Poker is one of the most popular and best loved games in the world. With the advent of online casino gaming, the accessibility and popularity of poker is skyrocketing. Online casinos offer a wide variety of interesting interfaces to play on as well as many different types of tournaments and incentives to keep the poker player coming back for more. Land based casinos host tournaments and many have exclusive poker rooms where some of the most famous high stakes poker games take place. If you choose to play poker in a land based casino or online, you will be joining millions of people around the world who love the challenges of poker in all its different varieties.
Texas Hold ‘Em is a seven card poker game that is easy to learn and a new player can begin to play quickly. However it is still a complex game that takes patience and practice to master. It is the most popular form of casino poker today.
Texas Hold ‘Em uses a disc called a dealer button to indicate where the cards are to be dealt. Before the deal, the two players to the left of the button place live bets called the small and large blinds which are made before seeing any cards. The button is usually chosen by players drawing a single card and high card gets the button first by most rules.
The play begins with two cards dealt face-down to each player. Betting starts with the player to the left of the blind and goes clockwise around the table. Players may bet, check, raise, or fold in turn. The large blind has the privilege of last bet and may check or raise the bet.
Three community cards are then dealt face up in the center of the table and another betting round takes place beginning with the player to the left of the dealer button. Another card is dealt face up followed by a round of betting. The fifth and last card is dealt face up and a final round of betting takes place.
Players still in the hand will then show their cards and the winning poker hand will be awarded the pot. Any combination of player cards and community cards may be used to make the best five-card hand.
Seven Card Stud and Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo
Seven-Card Stud is an easy game to learn but still offers challeges to the experienced player. In Seven-Card Stud, each player receives two cards face down and one card face up. The player with the low card opens the betting. Each layer in turn must call, raise, or fold. On all subsequent rounds, the player with the best hand opens the betting.
Each player is then dealt 3 cards face up with a betting round following each card.
The final card is dealt to each player still in the game face down with the final betting round after the final card is dealt.
Players still in the hand will then show their cards and the winning hand takes the pot and tied winning hands split the pot.
In Seven-Card Stud High/Lo the player with the highest card starts the betting. To have the winning low hand a player must form a hand of five cards of 8 or lower. A winning low hand is given half the pot and half the pot goes to the winning high hand. If there is no winning low hand, the entire pot goes to the winning high hand. It is possible to have the winning high hand and the winning low hand.
Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo
There are two versions of Omaha. Omaha High only and Omaha High-Low Eight or Better which is a game where the high hand and low hand splits the pot.
Omaha is a nine-card poker game that uses a dealer button and blinds as in Texas Hold ‘Em. The play begins with four cards dealt face down to each player. Betting begins with the first player to the left of the blinds. Players may bet, check, raise, or fold in turn. You will use two cards from your hand and three from the board to make the best five-card poker hand.
Community cards are then dealt face up in the center of the table in the same manner as in Texas Hold ‘Em with betting after each round.
After the final betting round, the players remaining in the hand will then show all their cards. If you are playing Omaha the winning high hand takes the pot. If you are playing Omaha Hi/Lo to have the winning low hand a player must form a hand of five cards of 8 or lower using two from their hand and three from the board. If there is a winning low hand, it splits the pot with the winning high hand. Other wise, the high hand takes the entire pot. As with other hi/lo games, it is possible to have the winning high hand and the winning low hand.
As in other poker games, the betting begins with the blind bet. Players will then be dealt 5 cards, all face down. Players will then look at their cards and decide if they wish to remain in the game. Remaining players will then place their bets and this will complete the first round.
After the first round comes the draw in which the players may exchange any number of cards in their hands with the dealer for new cards. After the draw the second round of betting will follow. This completes the second round and is followed by the showdown. The winning hand is the highest ranking five card hand. If there is only one player still in the game after the second round and there is no showdown, that player wins the pot without having to show their cards.
Five Card Stud
All players begin by placing a bet called the ‘ante’. Each player is dealt two cards, one face down and one card face up. The player with the lowest face up card begins the betting.
Each player to the left of the starting bettor then either calls, raises or folds.
After the first round, each player is then dealt another card face up followed by a round of betting. The rounds countinue until 5 cards are dealt to all remaining players, four cards face up and one card face down. Starting with the third round the betting is begun by the highest poker hand showing on the table.
After 5 cards are dealt and all bets are made, comes the showdown. The players will show all five cards and the winning hand is the highest ranking five card hand.
Ranking of Winning Poker Hands (excluding Lo Hands In Hi/Lo Games.)
1. Straight Flush: Five consecutive and suited cards.
2. Four of a Kind: Four cards of the same rank, plus any fifth card.
3. Full House: Three of a kind and a pair.
4. Flush: Any five cards of the same suit, except for a higher ranking straight flush.
5. Straight: Five consecutive cards, except for a higher ranking straight flush.
6. Three of a Kind: Three cards of the same rank, plus any other two cards.
7. Two Pair: Two pairs, plus any fifth card.
8. Pair: A pair and any other three cards.
9. High Card: If none of the above hands are formed, the highest card wins.
Poker players can take following actions:
CHECK – Players can check when there is no wager on the current betting round. This action passes from one player to another in the clockwise direction. The round completes when all players check during one round of betting. After a player checks if the next player in the round “bets” then all other players must bet, raise that bet or fold to complete the round. Checking is most often seen during the first or early rounds of betting when players have weak hands but wish to remain in the game for that hand.
BET – The player can bet when there is no wager placed on current round of betting. When a player bets, the poker player who is immediately sitting next to him or her in clockwise direction can call, raise or fold.
CALL – When there is a wager on the current round of poker game, a player may ‘call’. Calling requires players to match the current bet made by players’ opponent. Players may also raise or fold after a player before them in the round bets.
RAISE – The Raise action can be taken when there is a wager on the current round of betting. The player raising matches the current bet and then increases the bet. To maintain interest in the pot, all the subsequent poker players must take the ‘raise’ , ‘raise again’ or ‘re-raise’ or fold. One will often hear a player at a live table say ” I call your bet and I raise.”
FOLD – The ‘fold’ action loses all interest in the pot. When a player folds they are no longer allowed to wager on the current hand and are not eligible for that hands pot.
We invite our users to write in to our Casino Guru with their own insights and strategies for betting in the game of poker. We will include many of your submissions in the site. Remember, this site will also be built by you, the user, and we welcome your contributions.
It is important to mention that while the rules of poker and the various games are basically the same if live or online, the pace of play and the human involvement is different online. Online casinos offer you the major advantage of playing with “PLAY MONEY” before you have to wager real cash and we strongly suggest anyone who is new to ONLINE poker play with play money until they are totally familiar with the pace and play of ONLINE poker. It is also important to remember that when you play online there is nothing in the rules that prevents you from taking detailed notes about each hand and the other players strategies.
The results of hands and the rounds of each hand are usually available from the online casinos in text files for you to download and study. As of this time there is also nothing in the rules of online poker that prevents poker players from using any play aid devices or strategies as long as the player does not try to alter the game software in any way. Feel free to use your favorite hand held poker computer or your favorite poker book while you play if you feel that helps your play. However we do suggest you read the rules of play for the online casino you choose to wager your money with before you start to play. We also remind players to play first for enjoyment and remember to bet carefully and within your limits. That said, WELCOME TO THE AMAZING WORLD OF POKER.
I’m Jason Rockwell. When I’m not winning playing online poker, I enjoy writing about my love of the game. Thanks for visiting!