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Three Poker Games are available:

These are all games for two to ten people (plus a virtual dealer), with a card deck of 52. The bets placed by players accumulate into a pot as the game progresses. The best poker hand wins the pot.

The games are quite similar in their basic concept, but each has its own unique and important strategic differences. We offer these three different versions, so each player can choose his or her favourite.

First we describe the rules of Texas Hold'em, and then, since the other two are based on this game, we describe the key differences for Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo.

Texas Hold'em - Limit

Up to 10 players (plus a virtual dealer) are sitting at a table. If you have selected Side View, you will see avatars representing the players. In front of one of the players is a button with a "D" on it. This is called the dealer button. The dealer button moves one position to the left before each game round. This button originates from when players in the group took turns to deal the cards. In our poker room, there is a virtual dealer (shown in side view) who does the actual dealing (sitting in the middle of the left side of the table, behind the big box of chips). The virtual dealer does not participate in the game in any way other than dealing cards.

The Game Round

This is how the game round goes (examples shown are for limit poker):

Blinds

First, the two players directly to the left of the dealer button (not the virtual dealer!) must post "blinds", that is to place a bet before getting cards. This is to ensure that every winning hand wins some money. Since the dealer button moves on every game round, everyone has to post blinds at some point in the game. The player to the immediate left of the dealer button posts the "small blind," equal to half of the minimum stake (e.g. $2.5 for a $5/$10 game). The player to the left of the small blind posts the "big blind," equal to the amount of the minimum stake (e.g. $5 for a $5/$10 game).

Pocket Cards

After the blinds, first cards are dealt. Every player gets two cards face down. These are called pocket cards.

Bet round 1

Betting begins with the player immediately to the left of the big blind and continuing in a clockwise direction around the table. Every player can fold, call or raise. Raising is possible by the lower table stake ($5 in a $5/$10 game) only. Betting is explained in more detail below.

The Flop Cards

Now three cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table. These cards are called the flop cards. These are "community" cards and can be used by all the players to make up their hand.

Bet round 2

Second round of betting follows. This is carried out exactly as the first betting round.

The Turn Card

After the second round of betting, a fourth "community" card is dealt face up in the middle of the table. This is called the "Turn card". It is followed by a third round of betting.

Bet round 3

This round, again, is carried out just like the first and the second, with one exception: raising is possible only by the higher table stake ($10 in a $5/$10 game).

The River Card

Finally, a fifth and final "community" card is dealt. It is called the "River card" and is followed by a fourth and final round of betting.

Bet round 4

This final betting round is carried out exactly as the third.

Showdown

After the final betting round, the best five-card hand is determined. Both the pocket cards and the community cards can be used to make up a hand. The player with the best five-card poker hand wins the pot. Players can also split the pot if they have the same hand. In the rare case of the best hand consisting of community cards only, the pot is divided between all the players left in the pot at the showdown. If you see that you are losing, and do not want to show your cards, you can Muck, that is to give up your hand and lose the pot. Otherwise you can Show to compare your hand with others.

Start again

After a hand is completed and the pot taken by the winner, the dealer button is moved one player to the left, and the next hand begins.

Betting system

The player left of the big blind starts the betting round, betting order goes around the table clockwise. Everyone is betting according to what they think their hand will lead to.

Fold

If you don't like your cards, you can fold. If you have posted a blind, made a bet or raised a bet, you will lose that money. But you will not lose any more. After folding, you are out of the game until the next game round.

Check/Call

You can stay in the game by checking or calling. If no bet has been made before you, you can check without placing any money in the pot. If a bet has been made, you can call by placing the same amount in the pot.

Bet/Raise/Re-raise

If you think you hand is good enough, you can make a bet. If another player has already made a bet, you can raise it.

Bet amounts are fixed by the table stakes. For example, in a $5/$10 table, bets are $5 in the first two rounds and $10 in the last two. There can be one bet and three raises in each round (bet, raise, re-raise, re-raise). After three raises the betting round is capped and the next card is dealt (or, if it is the final betting round, the best hand is determined).

All-in

When a player runs out of chips during the course of a hand, he/she does not have to fold. Instead the player can choose to be All-in. When you are all-in, you call all your chips and the pot is divided into the main pot and side pot. All subsequent chips are hereafter added to the side pot.

At the showdown if the "All-in" player does not have a winning hand, both the side pot and the main pot go to the winning hand, as usual.

At the showdown if the "All-in" player has a winning hand, the main pot goes to the "All-in" player, and the side pot goes to the next best hand.

When several players go All-in, multiple side pots are created. The pots are divided according to hand and order in which the players went All-in. If a player not all in at the showdown has the winning hand he wins all side pots and the main pot. If an all in player has the strongest hand he/she wins the pot or pots that were collected until he/she went All-in. Any all in player with a winning hand can only win the pot or pots they are involved in.

A Betting round continues until all players have folded or called the third raise, or until a bet has been called by all players (except the one who placed the bet) with no raise taking place.

Omaha Poker

Omaha poker follows the same rules as Texas Hold'em poker, but with two exceptions:

  • Players are dealt four "pocket" cards instead of two.
  • Players must use two "pocket" cards and three "community" cards to make their best high hand.

The principle is the same, but the two differences in the rules demand a very different strategy for playing Omaha Poker.

Omaha Hi/Low

Omaha Hi/Low follows the same rules as regular Omaha, but there is an additional way to win a share of the pot.

The Hi winner is the player with the best poker hand, as in Omaha High Only. But in addition to a Hi winner, there can be a Low winner. The Low hand is a hand with 5 different cards below a 9. You must use two pocket cards and three community cards to make a low hand.

For example, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 of any suit would be a Low hand. The lowest Low hand is the Low winner. In case of a Low winner, the pot is split 50/50 between the Low and High winner. In case of multiple Low hands, the Low winner is determined by comparing the highest of the low cards, then the second highest, etc. If the two or more Low hands are equal, the Low pot is split between them.

Because there must be at least three different low cards (under 9) on the board at the end to enable a qualifying low hand there may not be a Low winner every hand. Also, a player may use different pocket cards for Hi and for Low, from the four cards dealt to him along with any three community cards, where again different cards may be used for the high hand to the low hand.

In Hi Low Omaha the lowest possible hand is 5,4,3,2,A of any suits (flushes and straights do not count against you for the low hand). Ace counts as high and low and therefore the same ace can be used to make a high hand and a low hand.

Pot Limit games

Pot Limit games differ from the Limit games by the betting and raising amounts allowed:

The minimum raise amount is the previous bet or raise in the same hand. For example, if the first player bet $10, the second player can raise a minimum of $10.

The maximum raise amount is the total betting pot + total bets of other players in the betting round + the call amount of the player. For example, if the pot is $50, the first player bets $10 and the second player calls $10, the third player can raise up to $80 ($50 in the main pot + $20 from past bets in the round + $10 of the player's own call).

No Limit games

No Limit games differ from the Limit games in the fact that there is no maximum to each raise (apart from the player's table balance).

The Rake

The house commissions between 0% and 5% of each total pot, but never more than $3. We do not charge a rake if the hand ended before the "flop" cards were dealt - "No flop no drop".

Rank of Poker Hands

The winning hand is determined by seeing which hand has the strongest combination of cards, using any combination of "pocket" cards and "community" cards. The combinations are listed here from strongest to weakest hand. Each combination is illustrated by an example, where the following abbreviations are used: C - Clubs, D - Diamonds, H - Hearts, S - Spades; J - Jack, Q - Queen, K - King, A - Ace.

Royal Flush
Straight flush from 10 to the ace.
Example: 10S, JS, QS, KS, AS
Straight Flush
Straight with all five cards of the same suit.
Example: 7D, 8D, 9D, 10D, JD
Four of a Kind
Four cards of the same value. Suit is irrelevant.
Example: JC, JD, JH, JS
Full House
Three cards of one value together with two cards of another value. When more than one full house is competing, the one with the highest ranking group of three wins.
Example: QH, QS, KD, KC, KH
Flush
Five cards of the same suit. When more than one flush is competing, the one with the highest card wins.
Example: AS, 5S, 7S, 9S, JS
Straight
Five cards in sequence. When more than one straight is competing, the one with the highest card wins. An ace can be taken as either high or low (but not both high and low in the same hand).
Example: 8, 9, 10, J, Q; suit is irrelevant.
Three of a Kind
Three cards of the same value.
Example: KH, KD, KC
Two Pair
Any two cards of one value together with two cards of another value. When more than one hand has two pairs of the same rank, the hand with the highest card outside the paired cards wins.
Example: JC, JH, QS, QD

One Pair
Two cards of the same value. In case two hands have pairs, the highest pair wins. When more than one hand has a pair of the same rank, the hand with the highest card outside the pair wins.
Example: 10C, 10S

Highest Card
When players have none of the above, the hand with the highest card wins.

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