How to Play

Texas Hold'em

To start, 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).

After the blinds have been placed, the down cards/hole cards are dealt with each active player. In Hold'em, 2 cards are dealt with each of the players, these are called pocket cards, after which the first betting round starts. The player to the left of the player who placed the big blind starts the betting for this round. Each player will now have the option to place his or her bets in the first round, which is set at the lower limit of the stakes structure. For example in a $10/$20 Hold'em game, the value of each bet is $10 for the first round. When we say the bets are limited to $10, it refers to a Bet (single bet) of the value of $10, so when a user places "BET" then it is $10, "RAISE" would be $20 - includes one additional bet and a call on the previous bet placed by a player. Bets can be placed by playing any of the following options - Bet, Call and Raise. Each player will also have the option to Fold. These options are available to each player depending on the action taken by the previous player. The first player (left of the Big Blind) to act (in the first round) would get the Bet, Call and Raise options. Subsequent players would also get the options of Call and Raise. To Call is to bet the same as what the previous player has bet. Raise action calls for raising whatever was the bet/call amount of the previous player, and can be calculated based on the value of the previous bet amount.

Every player participating in the hand should place an equal amount of bet as the previous players (includes bets, calls and raises). Till the time all the players have placed equal amounts in the pot, the betting will continue.

After the first round of betting is over, the Flop (the first three cards of the community) is dealt with. These are "community" cards and can be used by all the players to make up their hands.

The second round of betting follows. This is carried out exactly as the first betting round. After the round, the fourth community card is dealt out - also known as the Turn.

The third round of betting follows. This is carried out exactly as the first and second betting round. After the round, the fifth community card is dealt out - also known as the River.

The fourth round is the final betting round. It is carried out exactly like the first three rounds.

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.

6+ Hold’em

Six Plus Hold’em is a variant of Texas Hold‘em that uses a reduced deck. Instead of the standard 52 card deck, all cards with the values of 2,3,4,5 ( 4 deuces, 4 treys, 4 fours and 4 fives) are removed from the deck, resulting in a 36 card deck, where the lowest card is 6 and the highest A. Six Plus Hold’em follows the same game logic and betting structure as the classic Texas Hold’em. The only exception comes in hand strength. The aces can still be used for the high straight (AKQJT) as well as for the low straight (also called the wheel). This means that in Six Plus Hold’em, the hand A6789 is equivalent to the A2345 hand in classic Texas Hold’em, which is the weakest straight in both game types.

Six Plus Hold’em has a slightly different hand ranking from the classic Texas Hold’em:

Royal Flush
Straight flush
Four of a kind
Flush
Full house
Three of a kind
Straight
Two pair
One pair
High card

The two major differences are that Three of a kind now beats a Straight, and Flush beats a Full house. This is implemented to make up for the changed probabilities of hitting, due to the reduced deck as compared to the classic Hold’em game with 52 cards.

Omaha

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-Lo

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 the case of a Low winner, the pot is split 50/50 between the Low and High winners. In the 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 with 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.

5 Card Draw Poker

In five-card draw poker, each player is dealt five cards and has the opportunity to bet and exchange cards to try for the highest hand.

7 Card Stud Poker

The most important 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 don't have to use any specific ones of the 7 you're dealt, just whichever 5 give you the highest hand.

Razz

Razz is seven-card stud played for low -- in other words, instead of the highest hand winning, the lowest hand wins the pot. The lowest hand in Razz is A-2-3-4-5 because straights and flushes don't count against a hand being low, and aces are counted as low. The ace to five straight is also called "the bike" or "the wheel."

Unlike split-pot hi-lo games like Omaha, Razz doesn't have an "eight or better" component to its play. In a hi-lo eight-or-better game, the winning low hand cannot have a card higher than 8 in it to count as a low hand -- but since Razz is a game with only a low hand winning, any hand can win, including hands with low pairs. However, while this is possible, it's highly unlikely, and most winning Razz hands will not have a pair in them.