Beginners: Basic Poker Playing Guide
How To Play Texas Holdem
How To Play Omaha Poker
How To Play Seven Card Stud
A-Z Poker Terms
All poker games use a standard 52 card deck, and the cards are ranked as follows: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, Ace. (Aces count as both high and low). There is no strength in the suits of the cards, they are equal, Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts and Spades.
The aim is to create the best five card hand possible out of the cards you are dealt, in accordance with the following ranking from high to low:
The ultimate hand, the Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and Ten of any one suit. The odds against this hand are 1 in 650,000 hands.
A straight in one suit, i.e. five cards of the same suit in ascending order. 1 chance in 72,000 hands.
Four of a Kind
Four cards of the same value.
1 chance in 4,200 hands.
Three of a kind and a pair.
The three of a kind counts first.
1 chance in 700 hands.
Five cards of the same suit.
1 chance in 510 hands.
Five cards of assorted suits in ascending order.
1 chance in 250 hands.
Three of a kind
Three cards having the same face value.
1 chance in 48 hands.
Two sets of pairs.
1 chance in 21 hands.
One pair of cards.
1 chance in 2.4 hands.
Highest card wins the hand in the event of one of the above hands being present. 1 chance in 2 hands.
How To Play Texas Hold 'em
In Texas Hold'em, each player is given 2 pocket cards (hole cards). The game continues with a total of 5 community cards face up, first 3 'The Flop', then 1 'The Turn', then the last card 'The River'. Between each deal there is a round of betting.
Hold'em is played with two blinds (a bet before the pocket cards are received). The first two players after the dealer pay the blinds. The small blind is posted by the first player and the big blind by the second. In heads-up games, the player seated after the dealer pays the big blind. The first two betting rounds are played with the lower limit while the last two rounds of betting are played with the higher limit.
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Omaha is a poker game derived from Texas Hold'em. Each player is dealt four cards ("hole cards"), which belong only to that player. Five community cards are dealt face-up on the "board". All players use three of the five community cards together with two of their hole cards to make the best five-card poker hand.
The player with the best five-card hand for high wins half the pot, and the player with the best hand for low wins the other half. In Omaha, players must use two and only two of their four hole cards in combination with three cards from the board. In the event of identical hands, the high and low shares of the pot will be equally divided between the players with the best hands. In the event that no hand qualifies for low, the best hand(s) for high wins the pot.
For a five card hand to qualify for low, it cannot include cards higher than 8 or contain any pairs. Aces can be used for both high and low. When comparing low hands, the winner is the hand with the lowest high card, thus 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 is better than Ace, 2, 3, 4, 8. The best possible low hand is Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5.
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How To Play Seven Card Stud
In Seven Card Stud, players are dealt seven cards throughout the course of the hand, but only the best five-card hand possible for each player is used to determine the winner.
Before a game of Seven Card Stud starts, all players ante a nominal amount, for example $1 in a $10-$20 game. Each player is dealt two hidden hole cards and one exposed card. The player with the lowest exposed card is the "bring-in", and is forced to make a wager of either a half a small bet or a full small bet (for example, either $1 or $2 in a $2/$4 game). Action continues clockwise around the table until betting is complete for the round.
In the unlikely event that all 8 players are still in the hand on the river, the total number of cards needed for all the players to receive their own card would not be available in a standard deck of cards. In this case the river card is dealt face up on the table and it will be used as a community card.
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Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo
The player with the best five-card hand for high wins half the pot, and the player with the best hand for low wins the other half. In the event that no hand qualifies for low, the best hand(s) for high wins the pot.
Available Poker Betting Structures
In structured limit games, the only valid bet/raise is the current limit, for example $5 on the first two rounds in a $5-$10 Hold'em game. There may be a maximum of 4 bet/raises in a round of betting. This includes a bet, raise, re-raise and a cap.
In no-limit, a valid bet/raise must be at least the higher of the current limit and the last bet/raise. No higher limit is available, other than the players' credits. No maximum number of raises exists.
In pot-limit, the valid bet/raise must be at least the higher of the current limit and the last bet/raise. A pot-limit bet/raise may be at highest the value of the pot, plus all bets at the table including the current players call. No maximum number of raises exists.
A-Z of commonly used terms in Poker games:
When a player has insufficient chips to "call" the bet, he bets all of his chips and covers the current pot, any subsequent bets will be in a side pot and he will not be involved in this side pot. If his hand is the highest then he will win the main pot, but not the side pot.
This is a common term for when you have a really good hand and are beaten by a much better hand. Some poker rooms offer jackpot prizes for the best BAD BEAT hand, i.e. the best losing hand.
The player to the dealers left posts a small blind, (a compulsory bet) equal to half the small bet, the player to his left places the Big Blind, equal to the small bet.
The community cards in flop games.
A disc that signifies who is the nominated dealer for this hand. The button moves clockwise (to the left), each hand.
This is a bet that matches the current bet.
If no other bets have been made, you can check (pass), and wait to see if anyone else will bet. If everyone checks, then play moves to the next round.
The player nominated to be the dealer for each hand, he doesn't actually deal, but is the last one to bet, so it can be advantageous.
The weakest player on the table, the one who loses the most money. The famous saying is: " If you look around the table for the "Fish" and you can't find him, it's you and it's time to get out of this game".
The first three community cards in Hold'Em or Omaha.
To throw your cards in, i.e. to decide your hand is not worth playing anymore.
The first two cards dealt face down to you, also known as "pocket cards" in Hold'Em.
The first set of cards dealt to players before they have to make a decision.
The high card that goes with a pair or two pair.
To throw your cards in without showing them to anyone.
The best possible hand in any one game. A hand that can not be beat, and should be bet aggressively.
Same as Hole Cards.
Usually a forced bet, like a blind, upon entering the poker game.
The total of all the chips in the centre of the table, this is what we are all playing for.
The money removed from each pot by the house, as a commission.
A bet that will increase the level of the current bet.
The last community card in a flop game, also refers to the last card in 7 card stud.
ROUNDS OF BETTING
A round of betting is complete when all players have had the opportunity to either fold, call or raise.
When betting is finished and the cards are required to be shown, to establish the highest hand.
Refer to Big Blind.
The fourth community card in flop games.
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