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Explanation

Hand Rankings

 

 


Royal Flush         - Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten all in the same suit.

 

Straight Flush    - Straight with all five cards of the same suit.

 

Four of a Kind     - Four cards of the same value.

 

Full House            - Three cards of the same value and a pair of two other cards. 


Flush                     - All five cards of the same suit.


Straight                - All five cards in numerical sequence  (e.g. 34567, 9TJQK or A2345)


Three of a Kind    - Three cards with the same value.

 

Two Pair                - Two pairs of two cards with the same value (AA KK or 22 JJ.)


One Pair                - Two cards with the same value ( AA as pictured.)


High Card              Highest valued card in the hand. (High card Ace shown here)

 

 

DIFFERENT VARIATIONS OF POKER

1. Texas Hold 'em (Limit or No Limit)

2. Pot Limit Omaha

3. Omaha Hi/Low (O8)

4. Seven Card Stud

5. Stud Hi/Lo

6. Razz

7. 5 card draw

8. 2-7 (Deuce to Seven)

9. Badugi

 

 

Texas Hold 'Em

 

Game Play: 

 

Texas Holdem (or simply, "Holdem") is the most popular poker game in the casinos and poker card rooms across North America and Europe. Before you begin playing Texas Holdem however, you'll want to learn the rules first. In Texas Hold'em, each poker player is dealt two cards (known as "hole cards") that belong only to that player. Five community cards are dealt face-up on the "board". All players in the game use these cards in conjunction with their own hole cards to make the best possible five-card poker hand. To view the ranking of poker hands refer to our Hand Rankings section at the top of the page. 

 

The four major variations of Texas Holdem at PokerStars are distinguished from each other by their betting limits:

  • Limit Texas Holdem: There is a specified betting limit in each game and on each round of betting.
  • No Limit Texas Holdem: A player can bet all of his chips at any time.
  • Pot Limit Texas Holdem: A player can bet what is in the pot.
  • Mixed Texas Holdem: The game switches between rounds of Limit Hold'em and No Limit Hold'em.

 

How to Play Texas Holdem

 

The Blinds

In Texas Holdem, a disc called "the button" indicates which player is the nominal dealer for the current game. Before the game begins, the player immediately clockwise the button posts the "small blind", typically half a small bet (for example, $1 in a $2/$4 game). The player immediately clockwise from the small blind posts the "big blind", which is always a full small bet ($2 in a $2/$4 game). Now each player receives his or her two hole cards.

Pre-Flop

After seeing his or her pocket cards, each player now has the option to play his or her hand by calling or raising the big blind. As mentioned before, the big blind is the size of a full small bet. Thus in a $2/$4 Texas Hold'em game, it would cost $2 to call in this initial round of betting (known as the "pre-flop").

In Texas Holdem the available actions are bet, call or raise. These options are available depending on the action taken by the previous player. Each poker player always has the option to fold. The first player to act has the option to bet, call or raise. Subsequent players have the option of calling or raising. To call is to bet the same amount as the previous player has bet. To raise is to match the previous bet and increase the bet.

Now, the "flop" is dealt face-up on the board. The flop consists of the first three community poker cards available to all active players. Betting begins with the active player immediately clockwise the button. All bets and raises occur in small bets (increments of $2 in a $2/$4 game). The same rules apply from above to complete this round of poker betting.

Note: The betting structure varies with different variations of the game. Explanations of the betting action in limit holdem, no-limit holdem, and pot-limit holdem can be found below.

The Flop

Now three cards are dealt face-up on the board - this is known as the flop. In Texas Hold'em, the three cards on the flop are community cards available to all players still in the hand. Betting begins with the active player immediately clockwise of the button. All bets and raises occur in small bets (increments of $2 in a $2/$4 game).

When betting action is completed for the flop round, the "turn" is dealt face-up on the board. The turn is the fourth community card in a Texas Hold'em poker game. Play begins with the active online player immediately clockwise the button. On this round, Same rules apply as above except that poker betting doubles from the small bet to the big bet. In a $2/$4 game, betting on the turn is done in $4 increments.

The Turn

When the betting action is completed for the flop round, the "turn" is dealt face-up on the board. The turn is the fourth community card in Texas Hold'em. Play begins with the active player immediately clockwise of the button. On this round, the betting doubles from the small bet to the big bet. Thus, in a $2/$4 game, betting on the turn is upped to $4 bets.

The River

When betting action is completed for the turn round, the "river" is dealt face-up on the board. The river is the fifth and final community card in a Texas Hold em game. Betting begins with the active player immediately clockwise the button and the same poker rules apply as they do in the fourth card explained above.

The Showdown

If there is more than one remaining poker player when the final betting round is complete playing Texas Hold'em, the last bettor or raiser shows his or her cards. If there was no bet on the final round, the player immediately clockwise the button shows his or her cards first. The player with the best five-card hand wins the Texas Hold'em pot. In the event of identical hands, the poker pot will be equally divided between the players with the best hands.

At the end of the final betting round, if there is more than one remaining poker player, the last bettor or raiser shows his or her cards first. If there was no bet on the final round, the player immediately clockwise the button shows his or her cards first. The player with the best five-card hand wins the pot. In the event of identical hands, the pot will be equally divided between the players with the best hands. Texas Hold'em rules state that all suits are equal, so split pots are more common than in other variations of poker.

After the pot is awarded, a new game of Texas Hold'em is ready to be played. The button now moves clockwise to the next player and new hands are dealt to each player.

 

Limit Texas Hold'em

In Limit Texas Hold'em a maximum of four bets is allowed per player during any betting round. This includes a (1) bet, (2) raise, (3) re-raise, and (4) cap (final raise), but in No Limit Texas Hold'em and Pot Limit Texas Hold'em there is no limit to the number of raises that a player can make.

 

No Limit Texas Hold'em

Minimum raise: In no limit Texas Hold'em, the raise amount must be at least as much as the previous bet or raise in the same round. As an example, if the first player to act bets $5 then the second player must raise a minimum of $5 (total bet of $10).

Maximum eligible raise: The size of your stack (your chips on the table).

 

Pot Limit Texas Hold'em

Minimum raise: The raise amount must be at least as much as the previous bet or raise in the same round. As an example, if the first player to act bets $5 then the second player must raise a minimum of $5 (total bet of $10).

Maximum raise: The size of the poker pot, which is defined as the total of the active pot plus all bets on the table plus the amount the active player must first call before raising.

 

Mixed Hold'em

In Mixed Hold'em, the game switches between rounds of Limit Hold'em and No Limit Hold'em. Please note that the blinds are increased when the game switches from No Limit to Limit. This is to ensure that the stake levels are consistent.


 

 

 

Omaha

 

Game Play:

 

 

Omaha Poker, or Omaha Hi, is a variation of Hold 'em played with four hole cards instead of two. At showdown, the best five-card hand using exactly two of your hole cards and three cards from the board wins. You must use two of your hole cards!!!  Unlike Hold 'em, you may not use more than three cards from the board. The betting and blinds are exactly the same as in Hold 'em.

 

At the beginning of a hand, each player is dealt four hole cards. There is a small blind, a big blind and a round of betting.

 

Example Hole Cards:

 

            

 

For example, in a $10/$20 game, the small blind (the player to the immdiate left of the dealer) has to make a initial mandatory bet of $10.  The next player, the big blind, must make an initial mandatory bet of twice the small blind's or $20.  Going clockwise around the table, any player who wants to participate in the hand must call a minimum $20.  Any player can open with a raise of twice the big blind.  The most that can be raised is the size of the pot at the time of the bet.  For example, suppose a player has limped into the pot by calling the big blind.  A raiser would be able to bet $50, the amount of the small blind($10), the big blind ($20) and the limper's call ($20.)  A second raiser could then bet $100.  And so on.  Of course, a player can always raise an amount between the minimum and the size of the pot.

 

 

 

 

Once the first round of betting is complete, the dealer then puts out a three-card flop, just as in Hold 'em. There is a round of betting. In the above example, the minimum bet would be $20 (the size of the big blind) and the maximum bet would be the size of the pot.

 

All raises in all remaining rounds behave as described above.

 

                          The Flop                        

 

              

 

The dealer then puts out a fourth (or turn) card, followed by another round of betting.

 

 

                          The Turn


              

 

 The dealer then puts out a fifth (or river) card, followed by the final round of betting.

 

                          The River


              

 

The winner is the player who makes the best possible five card hand using exactly two cards from his or her hand and three cards from the board.

 

This is important. Unlike Hold 'em, in Omaha Hi Poker, you cannot use just one card from your hand nor can you play the board.

 

In this example you would have a full house, Queens full of Sevens. You would use Qh and Qd out of your hand, along with the 7s7cQc from the community cards.

 

Another example:

 

Your hand: Ah Kc Qc Jc

 

The board: 3h 4h 5h 6h 7h

 

You DO NOT have an ace-high nut flush nor can you simply play the board for a straight flush. Using two cards from your hand, your best hand is:

 

Ah Kc 7h 6h 5h (Ace Hi)

 

 

 

Omaha Hi/Lo

 

Game Play:

 

 

Omaha Hi/Lo is a variant of Omaha. The betting, blinds, and postings are exactly the same as in Omaha.  At the showdown, the pot is split between the holder of the highest hand and the holder of the lowest hand, if the low hand qualifies.

 

To qualify for a low hand, you must have five distinct cards (no pairs), with no card higher than an 8. Remember, you have to play two cards in your hand. The two cards in your hand and three on the board all need to be 8 or lower. Straights and flushes do not count against you. The best five-card low hand is A-2-3-4-5 of any suit. The hand is "ranked" by starting with the highest low card. 7-4-3-2-1 would be considered a 7-low, and would lose to 6-4-3-2-1, a 6-low. If two players each have low hands with the same highest card, the next highest card determines the winner. 7-5-4-3-2 loses to 7-4-3-2-1.

 

If there is no qualifying low hand, the high hand wins the entire pot.

 

Just as in the high version of Omaha, each player starts with four hole cards.  The dealer places five cards face-up in the center of the table. These community cards are part of each player's hand, so each player has access to seven cards. The difference between Omaha high and Omaha Hi/Lo is, in Omaha Hi/Lo each player can potentially have two different hands: a high hand and a low hand.

 

Each player forms a five-card high hand by using only two (no more, no less, but they can be any two) of his hole cards together with only three (no more, no less, but they can be any three) of the five community cards. Each player forms a five-card low hand (if possible) by using only two (no more, no less, but they can be any two) of his hole cards together with only three (no more, no less, but they can be any three) of the five community cards. Both the high hand combination and the low hand combination can use the same set of cards but they don't have to.  In fact, usually, they would not.

 

Because of the qualifying restriction, if at least three cards 8 or lower do not appear among the community cards, a low hand is not possible.

 

 

Stud

 

Game Play:

 

 

Each player starts with two hole cards and one upcard; there are then three more rounds of upcards, with betting after each card, and a final downcard, followed by a final betting round. Each player ends up with seven cards: four face up and three face down. The player holding the best hand using any five of their cards wins the pot. As in Hold 'em, aces play both high and low.

 

Each new hand begins with every player putting an ante into the pot. For example, in a $2/$4 limit game, each player would ante 40 cents. The ante is not like a blind and does not count toward any future bets. On the first round, the betting starts with the player having the lowest upcard. This bet (called the bring-in) is a forced bet the player must put into the pot. In a $2/$4 game, the bring-in would be $.50.

 

Each player can then fold, call the bring-in, or complete the bet (that is, raise to the lower limit). Once the bring-in bet has been completed, there is a limit of three reraises. All future rounds have a three raise limit, as well.  Four bets in total are possible before betting is capped.

 

On fourth and all successive streets, the betting always starts with the player showing the highest board (Best hand showing). If two or more players have the same high board, the betting begins with the player closest to the left of the stud button.

 

The betting on fourth street normally proceeds at the lower limit. If, however, any board shows an open pair, any player may choose to bet or raise at the higher limit. Once a bet has been made at the higher limit, subsequent raises must be at the higher limit. For example, in a $2/$4 game, the betting in fourth street normally proceeds in increments of $2. If one of the players has an open pair, that player has a choice of betting either $2 or $4. If that player bets $2, any other player can call the $2, raise $2, or raise $4. Once a bet or raise of $4 has been made, the betting must proceed at $4 increments.

 

On fifth street, the betting starts at the higher limit and remains at that limit through the final round of betting. After the last round of betting, if two or more players are still in the hand, the player with the best five-card hand wins the pot.

 

 

Stud Hi/Lo

 

Game Play:

 

 

The betting, ante, and bring-in are exactly the same as in Seven-card stud. At the showdown, the pot is split between the holder of the highest hand and the holder of the lowest hand, if the low hand qualifies.

 

To qualify for a low hand, you must have five distinct cards (no pairs), with no card higher than an 8. Straights and flushes do not count against you. The best five-card low hand is A-2-3-4-5 of any suit. The hand is "ranked" by starting with the highest low card. 7-4-3-2-1 would be considered a 7-low, and would lose to 6-4-3-2-1, a 6-low. If two players each have low hands with the same highest card, the next highest card determines the winner. 7-5-4-3-2 loses to 7-4-3-2-1.

 

If there is no qualifying low hand, the high hand wins the entire pot.

 

The only betting difference is that fourth street does not offer an optional increase in the betting limit, regardless of any pairs on the board. In Seven-card stud Hi/Lo, the first two betting rounds are always at the lower limit, and the last three always at the higher limit.

 

Just as in the high version of Seven-card stud, each player starts with two hole cards and one upcard; there are then three more rounds of upcards, with betting after each card, and a final downcard, followed by a final betting round. Each player ends up with seven cards: four face up and three face down.

 

In Seven-card Stud Hi/Lo, each player forms a high hand and, if possible, a qualifying low hand, using any five of his seven cards. Both the high hand combination and the low hand combination can use the same set of cards but they don't have to. As in Seven-card Stud, aces play both high and low. You may use an ace as a high card for one hand and as a low card for another.

 

 

 

Razz 

 

 Game Play:

 

 

Each player starts with two hole cards and one upcard; there are then three more rounds of upcards, with betting after each card, and a final downcard, just as in stud. Each player who completes the hand ends up with seven cards: four face up and three face down.

 

The player holding the best low hand using any five of their cards wins the pot. Aces are always low, and flushes and straights have no effect on the value of a hand. Also, it's good to remember, drawing a pair will not necessarily hurt your hand. The best possible hand is A-2-3-4-5.

 

Each new hand begins with every player putting an ante into the pot. For example, in a $2/$4 limit game, each player would ante 40 cents. The ante is not like a blind and does not count toward any future bets.

 

In the first round, the betting starts with the player having the highest upcard. This is a forced bet and the software will automatically put the specified minimum bet (called the bring-in) into the pot.

 

Each player can then fold, call the bring-in, or complete the bet (that is, raise to the lower limit). Once the bring-in bet has been completed, there is a limit of three reraises. All future rounds have a three-raise limit, as well.

 

The betting on fourth street always proceeds at the lower limit. Unlike 7-card stud, an open pair does not affect the betting limit. All bets and raises on fourth street will be increments of the low-limit bet. For example, if the low limit bet is $5, it can be raised to $10, and then reraised to $15. On fifth street, the bets start at the higher limit and remain at that limit through the final round of betting.

 

After the last round of betting, if two or more players are remaining, the player with the best (lowest five-card hand) wins the pot.

 

 

5-Card Draw

 

Game Play:

 

Five-card draw is a form of poker that can be played a few different ways.  The game is played both with blinds (The two players left of the dealer) or with antes (everyone at the table puts in before the hand is dealt).  The game can also be played with "wild" cards, which means a certain value card can be used to represent any card in the deck.

 

The Game is played with no community cards.  After the antes or blinds are posted, each player at the table is dealt five "hole cards" which only he can see.  The players then have a round of betting.  Betting starts at the left of the dealer if the game has antes, or to the left of the big blind if the game has blinds.  The players have an option to call, raise or fold on the first round of betting.

 

Once the first round of betting is completed, the players will discard any number of their hole cards and draw new cards from the deck.  If a player wishes to draw no cards from the deck, this is called "standing pat".  The order in which each player draws their cards starts at the left of the dealer and goes clockwise around the table until all players remaining in the hand have had the option of drawing.

 

There is one last round of betting, again starting at the left of the dealer.

 

Once the last round of betting is complete, the player with the best five-card hand is awarded the pot.

 

 

2-7 (Deuce to Seven)

 

Game Play:

 

 

2-7 (Deuce to Seven) Triple Draw is a poker game in which the low poker hand wins the pot at showdown. In other words, it is a form of "lowball". It is a "draw" game, meaning you are dealt five cards.  A player may discard from none to five cards on the draw and receive a like number of replacement cards. In Triple Draw, each player has the opportunity to draw three times, though you may "stand pat" (not discard any cards) on any or all of the draws.

 

In 2-7, straights and flushes count against your low hand.  Aces are always high.  So, the best possible hand is: 7, 5, 4, 3, 2. The following 2-7 hands are ranked from least powerful (#1, which will rarely win the pot) to most powerful (#16, the nuts):

  1. J, 7, 4, 3, 2 (all the same suit - a flush)
  2. 8, 7, 6, 5, 4 (a straight)
  3. 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 (a lower straight)
  4. 5, 5, 5, 6, 3
  5. 2, 2, 7, 6, 5
  6. A, 9, 6, 4, 2
  7. A, 8, 7, 4, 2
  8. A, 5, 4, 3, 2 (not a straight - ace-high)
  9. K, J, 8, 7, 4
  10. T, 7, 5, 4, 3
  11. T, 6, 5, 4, 3
  12. T, 6, 5, 4, 2
  13. 9, 7, 6, 4, 3
  14. 8, 6, 4, 3, 2
  15. 7, 6, 4, 3, 2 (2nd best possible hand)
  16. 7, 5, 4, 3, 2 (best possible hand)

 

Draw games are played with blinds, just like flop games. Each player is dealt five hidden hole cards. The first player after the big blind has the option to fold, call, or raise. Action continues clockwise around the poker table until betting is complete for the round.

Once the first round of betting is complete, there is a draw. Online, each player selects which (if any) cards he wishes to discard by clicking on them. By clicking a second time on a card that you have planned to discard, you remove it from the discard set. Discarding continues around the table clockwise. When it is your turn to discard, you press the button to confirm you wish to discard the selected cards.

 

After the first draw, there is another round of betting, beginning with the first active player to the left of the button.

 

There are two more draws with a round of betting following each one, resulting in three draws total, and four rounds of betting. So, the sequence of action is:

 

  1. Five cards dealt to each player
  2. Betting round #1, beginning with player to left of big blind
  3. Draw #1
  4. Betting round #2, beginning with player to left of button
  5. Draw #2
  6. Betting round #3, beginning with player to left of button
  7. Draw #3
  8. Betting round #4, beginning with player to left of button
  9. Showdown (if necessary)

 

The player with the best five-card 2-7 hand wins the pot. After the pot is awarded to the best hand, a new game of 2-7 Triple Draw is ready to be played.

 

If two or more hands have the same value, the pot is equally split among them. There is no rank of suit for the purposes of awarding the pot. Please, remember, this is different from other forms of low or high/low poker, where an ace can be played either high or low. In 2-7, an ace is always the highest card.

 

 

The Players

The number of players in any game of poker ranges from two (also known as heads-up) through to ten (seated at a single table). Tournaments can be structured over a multiple number of tables (multi-table tournaments; MTTs), meaning the possible number of competitors in a given tournament is virtually unlimited. The world's biggest and best known live poker tournament is the World Series of Poker Main Event, which attracted a record number of 8,772 participants in 2006. Online, Pokerstars each week hosts The Sunday Hundred Grand which often reachs its limit of 20,000 entrants.

Game Structure

Poker can be played in tournaments (single or multi-table) or in cash (ring) games. Tournaments typically involve a set buy-in (entrance fee) and each player begins with the same amount of chips. The buy-in is comprised of an amount that contributes to the overall prizepool and a much smaller administrative fee that goes to the casino, pub or online poker room. All players then compete until there is only one player remaining, with the prize money distributed amongst players. For example, 50% for first place, 30% for second and 20% for third. The distribution can vary greatly depending on the tournament being played.

    Cash games operate on a single table and continue for as long as there are players seated. Blinds (the forced bets before play begins) are kept constant. The key feature here is that players can join and leave whenever the desire, making this game structure ideal for players who do not wish to slug it out for hours in a multi-table tournament. Players can bring as little or as much money with them to cash games (although a minimum amount usually applies).

    There are also sit-n-go tournaments. These single table tournaments begin as soon as all seats at a table have been filled and finishes when one player remains. This type of game appeals to players who do not wish to play cash games, but do not have the time to play in lengthy multi-table tournaments. In sit-n-go tournaments and multi-table tournaments, the blinds increase at regular intervals (known as levels). This is to speed play along, which is especially necessary in large multi-table tournaments.

MORE TO KNOW

The descriptions below assume a familiarity with the general game play of poker and with poker hands.
 
Betting structures

 

A standard hold 'em game showing the position of the blinds relative to the dealer button
A standard hold 'em game showing the position of the blinds relative to the dealer button

 

 

Hold 'em is normally played using small and big blind bets – forced bets by two players. Antes (forced contributions by all players) may be used in addition to blinds, particularly in later stages of tournament play. A dealer button is used to represent the player in the dealer position; the dealer button rotates clockwise after each hand, changing the position of the dealer and blinds. The small blind is posted by the player to the left of the dealer and is usually equal to half of the big blind. The big blind, posted by the player to the left of the small blind, is equal to the minimum bet. In tournament poker, the blind/ante structure periodically increases as the tournament progresses. (In some cases, the small blind is some other fraction of a small bet, e.g. $10 is a common small blind when the big blind is $15. The double-blind structure described above is a commonly used and more recent adoption.)

    When only two players remain, special 'head-to-head' or 'heads up' rules are enforced and the blinds are posted differently. In this case, the person with the dealer button posts the small blind, while his/her opponent places the big blind. The dealer acts first before the flop. After the flop, the dealer acts last for the remainder of the hand.

    The three most common variations of hold 'em are limit hold 'em, no-limit hold 'em and pot-limit hold 'em. Limit hold 'em has historically been the most popular form of hold 'em found in casino live action games in the United States. In limit hold 'em, bets and raises during the first two rounds of betting (pre-flop and flop) must be equal to the big blind; this amount is called the small bet. In the next two rounds of betting (turn and river), bets and raises must be equal to twice the big blind; this amount is called the big bet. No-limit hold 'em is the form most commonly found in televised tournament poker and is the game played in the main event of the World Series of Poker. In no-limit hold 'em, players may bet or raise any amount over the minimum raise up to all of the chips the player has at the table (called an all-in bet). If someone wishes to re-raise, they must raise at least the amount of the previous raise. For example, if the big blind is $2 and there is a bet of $6 to a total of $8, a raise must be at least $6 more for a total of $14. If a raise or re-raise is all-in and does not equal the size of the previous raise, the initial raiser can not re-raise again. This only matters of course if there was a call before the re-raise. In pot-limit hold 'em, the maximum raise is the current size of the pot (including the amount needed to call).

Most casinos that offer hold 'em also allow the player to the left of the big blind to post an optional live straddle, usually double the amount of the big blind, which then acts as the big blind. No-limit games may also allow multiple re-straddles, in any amount that would be a legal raise.

Play of the hand

 

There are only two private cards in hold 'em. They are dealt first.
There are only two private cards in hold 'em. They are dealt first.

 

 

Play begins with each player being dealt two cards face down. (Like most poker games, the deck is a standard 52 card deck, no jokers.) These cards are the player's hole or pocket cards. These are the only cards each player will receive individually, and they will only (possibly) be revealed at the showdown, making Texas hold 'em a closed poker game.

    The hand begins with a "pre-flop" betting round, beginning with the player to the left of the big blind (or the player to the left of the dealer, if no blinds are used) and continuing clockwise. A round of betting continues until every player has either folded, put in all of their chips, or matched the amount put in by all other active players. See betting for a detailed account. Note that the blinds are considered "live" in the pre-flop betting round, meaning that they contribute to the amount that the blind player must contribute, and that, if all players call around to the player in the big blind position, that player may either check or raise.

After the pre-flop betting round, assuming there remain at least two players taking part in the hand, the dealer deals a flop, three face-up community cards. The flop is followed by a second betting round. This and all subsequent betting rounds begin with the player to the dealer's left and continue clockwise.

    After the flop betting round ends, a single community card (called the turn or fourth street) is dealt, followed by a third betting round. A final single community card (called the river or fifth street) is then dealt, followed by a fourth betting round and the showdown, if necessary.

In all casinos, the dealer will burn a card before the flop, turn, and river. Because of this burn, players who are betting cannot see the back of the next community card to come, which might be marked.

The showdown

If a player bets and all other players fold, then the remaining player is awarded the pot and is not required to show his hole cards. If two or more players remain after the final betting round, a showdown occurs. On the showdown, each player plays the best five-card poker hand he can make from the seven cards comprising his two hole cards and the five community cards. A player may use both of his own two hole cards, only one, or none at all, to form his final five-card hand. If the five community cards form the player's best hand, then the player is said to be playing the board and can only hope to split the pot, since each other player can also use the same five cards to construct the same hand.

    If the best hand is shared by more than one player, then the pot is split equally among them, with any extra chips going to the first players after the button in clockwise order. It is common for players to have closely-valued, but not identically ranked hands. Nevertheless, one must be careful in determining the best hand; if the hand involves fewer than five cards, (such as two pair or three of a kind), then kickers are used to settle ties.

Note that the card's numerical rank is of sole importance; suit values are irrelevant in Hold'em.

    Learning the basic yet key aspects of poker is important for any beginner. The following represents rules for the showdown:

1. Before the pot can be awarded, all losing hands are killed by the dealer.

2. Prior to winning any part of the pot, all remaining players show their cards face-up.

3. Any participant in the game who sees an indiscretion - such as the wrong amount of chips added to the pot - must report the error.

4. Once the deal has occurred, if cards are displayed to another player, each player at the table has a right to see those cards.

5. In games with a side pot, the winner of that pot should be determined prior to the main pot's winner. With more than one side pot, winners should be awarded by having the pot with the players starting the deal with the greatest number of chips settled first. During final betting rounds with wagering in side pot games - any players shooting for the side pot must show their hands prior to the all in players vying for the main pot.

6. When everyone is all in at the last round of betting, the player who acted first will be the first to display his hand.

7. With wagering during the final betting round, the last player to make a move with a bet or raise shows his hand first. Maybe he or she wins.  And maybe that player will be you.

 

Badugi 

 

Badugi originated in Asia and is a variant of draw poker. It shares many similarities with Lowball, as it’s the lowest hand that wins. It differs significantly from most popular poker variants however, as the hand ranking system is different. The strongest hands are those that have no pairs and four low cards, one of each suit. This is known as a Badugi.  

 

How to Play

 

 

Blinds

Badugi is played using forced bets known as blinds, with the player sitting to the left of the dealer button posting a small blind, and the player to their left posting the big blind. The small blind is usually half the size of the big blind.

The Deal

 

Each player is dealt four cards face down. The first round of betting then takes place, where you can call, raise or fold. Players still left in the hand after this first betting round now have the option to draw. The idea of the draw is that you can choose to discard any cards that you don’t want, and have them replaced with new ones that you hope will improve your hand. Click the cards you want to discard, and then click the ‘Discard’ button. You can opt to discard all four cards if you want. A second round of betting then takes place, with players having the option to bet or fold, unless there are no bets, in which case you can check. Once this round of betting is complete, another draw and betting round takes place. This is followed by a final draw and betting round, after which a showdown occurs if more than one player remains. The player with the best hand takes the pot.

 

Basic Strategy

The object of the game is to make a Badugi - a four-card low hand with four different suits, and no pairs. The best possible starting hand therefore is 4-3-2-A (with each card a different suit).

Badugi hands are ranked by their highest card, with aces always playing as a low card, and straights ignored. A player holding 9-8-4-3 of different suits (a ‘Nine Badugi’) would lose to an opponent holding 8-7-3-2 (an ‘Eight Badugi’) of different suits. Likewise, 6-3-2-A (a ‘Six Badugi’) would lose to 5-4-3-2 (a ‘Five Badugi’).  If the top cards in the hand are tied, then the next-highest card is considered, and so on.  Therefore, a 6-5-4-A (a ‘Six-Five Badugi’) would lose to a 6-4-3-2 (a ‘Six-Four Badugi’).

 

If a hand reaches showdown and no player has a Badugi, the player with the best three-card or two-card hand wins the pot. For example, if you hold 6h-4d-3s-Ah, you have two hearts, so the highest one is ignored, leaving a 4-3-A-x.  That hand is known as a ‘Three Card Four’, and would lose to any Badugi, but it would beat 7h-5d-4d-3s (the highest diamond is ignored, making a ‘Three Card Seven’, 7-4-3-x),.  All three-card hands, in turn, beat all two-card hands.  For example, Ad-As-2d-2c is a ‘Two-Card Deuce’, 2-A-X-X, because there are two pairs). It’s even possible to have a ‘One Card’ hand; for example, Qd-Jd-8d-4d has four cards of the same suit, so three of them are ignored, leaving just the 4d, a ‘One-Card Four’.

The following Badugi hands (not a complete list) are ranked from least powerful (#1, which will rarely win the pot) to most powerful (#18, the nuts):

 

One-card hands

 


  1. [5-x-x-x] (three of the diamonds are ignored)

  2. [4-x-x-x] (three of the spades are ignored)

  3. [A-x-x-x] (three of the Aces are ignored)

Two-card hands


  1. [Q-J-x-x] (the Js and another Jack are ignored)

  2. [T-9-x-x] (one Ten and the Nine of the other suit are ignored)

  3. [7-6-x-x] (the two highest spades are ignored)

  4. [2-A-x-x] (the 3c and one Ace are ignored)

Three-card hands

 

 


  1. [K-2-A-x] (the Kd is ignored)

  2. [Q-2-A-x] (a Queen is ignored)

  3. [J-T-9-x] (the Qs is ignored)

  4. [J-T-6-x] (the Qs is ignored)

  5. [J-8-6-x] (the Ks is ignored)

  6. [4-2-A-x] (the 3c is ignored)

  7. [3-2-A-x] (a Three is ignored)

Badugi

 


  1. [K-Q-J-T] (the worst Badugi)

  2. [8-7-2-A]

  3. [8-5-4-2]

  4. [4-3-2-A] (the best Badugi)

It’s important to think about position, as the player last to act is able to gain information on what hands their opponent may have, based on the number of cards they have discarded. If a player who acts before you does not discard any cards, it’s likely that they already have a strong hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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