Tutorial - How to play Poker

Poker Basics


A deck consists of 52 cards. These cards are separated into 4 suits (spade, diamond, club, heart) with for each one suit having 13 ranks. In poker, commonly the Ace is the highest card and the Deuce (2) is the lowest. However, the Ace can be used as a low card to form the straight 5432A.
Bet: you are able to put in one bet into the pot. The other players must call that bet, alternatively they must fold.

Check: You can decide not to put in any money into the pot. If no one bets, then the game continues with everyone still in the hand. If someone else bets, then you have a decision to make...
Fold: You don't put in any more money, but you are out of the hand and cannot win any money. Any money you've put into the pot up to this point is lost.

The blind is a “must bet” which comes once in a round, something as a tax, so the player can’t just fold his cards until he gets a pair of Aces. The blinds are anted up no matter of whether the player likes his cards or not. The other players must call (or raise) the blind wager, or as an alternative they must fold. The player in the small blind must catch up with the difference between the BB and SB in order to stay in the hand. So if the big blind was $2 and the small blind was $1, the player in the small blind would have to pay $1 to call.

how to play poker

Texas Hold’em Poker


Texas Hold'em is arguably the most fashionable form of poker. It's widely believed to have the most strategy of all poker games, yet the rules are rather simple. Here is how a hand of Texas Hold'em is played:

1. Hole Cards. Each player is dealt two cards face down.
Round of betting.
2. The Flop. Three cards are dealt face up on the table.
Round of betting.
3. The Turn. A fourth card is dealt to the table.
Round of betting.
4. The River. Finally, a fifth card is dealt to the table.
Round of betting.
The five cards on the table are community cards. Your hand is formed by taking the best poker hand by applying any five out of the seven cards (5 community + 2 hole cards). But remember, all the players have access to the community cards. When played for money, there is a round of betting after a round of cards is dealt (so four rounds of betting in total).


Omaha Poker


Omaha poker rules are similar to Texas Hold'em. The difference is that the hands in Omaha are generally very much better, since you get to select from 9 cards total.

1. Hole Cards. Each player is dealt four cards face down.
Round of betting.
2. The Flop. Three cards are dealt face up on the table.
Round of betting.
3. The Turn. A fourth card is dealt to the table.
Round of betting.
4. The River. Finally, a fifth card is dealt to the table.
Round of betting.
The five cards on the table are community cards. Your hand is formed by taking exactly two hole cards and exactly three community cards, and making the best poker hand possible. But remember, all the players have access to the community cards. When played for money, there is a round of betting after a round of cards is dealt (four rounds of betting in total).


Omaha hi/lo Poker


The game of Omaha Hi/Lo uses the equivalent basic set of rules as Omaha, except that instead of only ranking the high hand (as in Omaha), in Hi/Lo the pot is split between the best low hand and the best high hand.
In Hi/Lo poker, hands are valued in two ways. The 'high hand' is the natural ranking of poker hands used in Texas Hold'em, Omaha, 7-card stud and 5-card draw. For more on the general poker hand ranks please look our poker hand rankings examples.
The 'low hand' in Hi/Lo is a hand ranking that is significantly different from the 'high' hand strength, in that one doesn't want to make pairs or 'three of a kind' or other usual poker hands, but instead, one would like to* make a poker hand with five cards that are of a different rank and as low as possible.
In determining a low hand, the rule of '8 or better' is used (which is why Omaha Hi/Lo is frequently addressed Omaha 8-or-better). This means that a low hand can't contain a card higher than 8. For example, A2348 is a low hand, whereas A2349 isn't. Note that 'straights' and 'flushes' do not impact low hands (although they still count towards high hands). Aces are considered low for the low hand, and high for the high hand.
In determining which low hand wins, the rank of the hand is based on the highest card in the hand, and the lowest 'high card' in the low hand wins. E.g., 23456 is a better low hand than A2347. Note that you can't use the same rank of a card twice for a low hand (that is, a low hand cannot have a pair in it).
The best low hand and best high hand will split the pot, and if two or more players have the same low or high hand, the a ½ of the pot due to that type of hand will be split amongst them. If no one has a qualifying low hand (that is, no one can make a five card poker hand for the low, where all their cards are 8 or lower) then the entire pot will be awarded to the best high hand.



7 Card Stud Poker


Time-honored, 7-card stud is still widely played nowadays. Stud is played with 2 to 8 participants. It's commonly played with fixed-limit betting, although occasionally people play it as a spread-limit game, five betting rounds take place.

Ante: Seven card stud is commonly played with an ante. Different stakes games have different antes. E.g., a $1 ante is common in a $10-$20 game (10% of the small blind), but a $0.25 ante is also common in a $1-$2 game (25% of the small blind). Some places do not even play with an ante at all.

3rd street: After everyone antes, all players are dealt two cards face down (hole cards) and one exposed card. The person with the lowest card must 'bring in' and is forced to bet half the small bet (if it is played fixed-limit). Players can then, raise, call, or fold.

4th street: An exposed card is dealt to each player, followed a round of betting. For fourth street onward, the person with the best exposed hand begins the betting (e.g. if someone has A K exposed, another has 6 6 exposed, and someone else has 3 3 exposed, the person with 6 6 goes first, because he has at least a pair of sixes.)

5th street: An exposed card is dealt to each player, followed a round of betting. If the game is played in a fixed-limit format, this is where the big bet would kick in.

6th street: An exposed card is dealt to each player, followed a round of betting.

7th street: Each player is dealt a final hole card, followed by the final round of betting.

If the game has 8 players and on that point aren't enough cards left in the deck to deal each player a last hole card, a card is placed on the board and it's considered 'shared' by all the players (similar to a community card in Hold'em).

Best poker hand wins (best 5-card hand out of the 7 cards the player has).


7 Card Stud Hi/Lo Poker


All players chip in an ante.
Beginning to his/her left, the dealer deals to each one player two cards down (known as hole or pocket cards) and one card face-up. This is called the "door" card.
Everybody looks at their hole cards.
The player with the lowest card showing face-up has to put in a small bet called a "bring in." Then betting carries on to that low-card player's left. Each player can call, raise, or fold their cards.
After the betting is made out, additional card is dealt to each player face-up. This card is likewise known as "Fourth Street" or "the turn."
Another round of betting takes place, starting now with the player with the highest cards showing. From Fourth Street on, the player with the highest cards showing will carry on to be the first to bet.
After betting is complete, the fifth card (Fifth Street) is dealth face-up. More betting occurs, then the sixth card is dealth face up. More betting.
The 7th and final card is dealt face-down to the players remaining in the hand. A final round of betting occurs.
The players show their hands at the showdown. The player who can make the best high five-card hand from the seven they were dealt wins one half of the pot, and the player with the best low five-card poker hand wins the other half.
The most crucial thing to remember when beginning to learn this game is that you get 7 cards to pick from to make your final 5 card hand, and you are able to use two different sets of five cards to make a high hand and a low hand. In other words, if your final seven cards are Ace-Ace-2-3-4-6-6, you would have a high hand of two pair: Aces & 6s, and a low hand of Ace-2-3-4-6.
If a hi/lo game is played eight or better, your low hand cannot have a card higher than 8 in it. Put differently, if you have Ace-2-4-6-9-10-10 as your final 7-card hand, you don't have a low, because the best low hand you can make is Ace-2-4-6-9.
Additional important thing to know about the low hands in eight or better games is that straights and flushes don't count against you. If you have the Ace-2-3-4-5 all of hearts, even though it's a straight flush it's also a wheel, or the lowest possible hand.


Caribbean Stud Poker


How to play Poker: Caribbean Stud is played on a single standard deck of 52 cards and uses the common five-card hand rankings in a poker. Players make an ante bet ahead the cards are dealt, and may also make an optional $1 progressive jackpot side bet. Each player is then dealt five cards each face down. The dealer is also dealt five cards, one of which is face up. Players examines their own cards and then either fold and forfeit the ante bet, or call the dealer by placing an supplementary call bet equal to exactly twice the ante. If the dealer’s hand is an Ace-King or better, the dealer is said to qualify. If the dealer doesn't qualify, any player who made the call bet is paid even money on only their ante. If the dealer qualifies, the value of his hand is compared to that of each player who made the call bet. If the dealer wins, the player loses both the call bet and the ante bet. If the player wins, he's paid even money on the ante bet and the call bet is paid according to the following table:
Caribbean Stud Poker Payoffs
Hand Call Bet Pays Jackpot
Royal Flush 100 to 1 100%
Straight Flush 50 to 1 10%
Four of a kind 20 to 1 $100
Full House 7 to 1 $75
Flush 5 to 1 $50
Straight 4 to 1 0
Three of a kind 3 to 1 0
Two pair 2 to 0
One pair or less 1 to 1 0



Let it Ride Poker


Let it ride is additional poker type game played on a single standard deck of 52 cards. Players place three bets of equal size ahead the cards are delta. An optional bonus side bet of $1 may also be made. Each player is then dealt three cards and the dealer two cards, all face down. After analyzing the tree cards, each player may take back one of the three bets, or “let-it-ride” and keep all tree bets in the game. The dealer then turns over one of his two cards, which acts as a fourth card for each player. The player must once again make the decision to either take back one of their bets (of the two or three that remain depending on their first decision) or let all remaining bets ride. The dealer then displays the second community card and remaining wagers are resolved and paid according to:
Hand Payoff
Royal Flush 1000 to 1
Straight Flush 200 to 1
Four of a kind 50 to 1
Full House 11 to 1
Flush 8 to 1
Straight 5 to 1
Three of a kind 3 to 1
Two Pair 2 to 1
Pair of Tens or better 1 to 1
Players are not betting against the dealer or additional players. The player is plainly trying to get a good poker hand using his three cards and the dealer’s two community cards. A five-card hand with a pair of 10s or better wins at least even money on the remaining wagers. Whilst the player always starts with three units bet, he always has control of two of the three bets.


Pai Gow Poker


Pai gow poker uses 53 cards - a standard deck plus one Joker. The Joker can be applied to fill up a straight or a flush, otherwise it is an Ace. After bets are placed, each player and the dealer are dealt seven cards, used to create a five-card hand and two-card hand. The five-card hand must be of equal or higher rank than the two-card hand. Hand rankings are shown below:
Pai Gow Poker Hand Rankings
Five Aces
Royal Flush
Straight Flush (A-2-3-4-5 is highest)
Four of a kind
Full House
Flush
Straight (A-2-3-4-5 is second highest)
Three of a kind
Two pair
One pair
High Card
One person is assigned to be the banker. In the casino edition of the game, the dealer generally acts as banker although a player may be the banker. A player who acts as banker must be able to cover all bets at the table if all other players win.
Once all hands are set, the player’s two hands are compared to the banker’s two hands. If the player’s five-card hand beats the banker’s five-card hand and the player’s two-card hand betas the banker’s two-card hand, the player wins. If both of the banker’s hand beat the player’s hands, the player loses. If one of the player hands beats the bankers hand, and the bankers other hand beats the players other hand, it is a push. The payoff on winning hands is even money, but the casino takes 5% commission on the winning bets.
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