Poker Rules in Texas Holdem, Omaha and Stud

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Available poker games at DafaPoker:

Texas Hold'em
Up to 10 players (plus a virtual dealer) are sitting at a table. 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 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. The player to the left of the small blind posts the "big blind," equal to the amount of the minimum stake.

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 another player has already made a bet, you can raise it. Raise 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
Omaha poker follows the same rules as Texas Hold'em poker, but ith 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 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.

7 Card Stud
7 Card Stud is a variant of the game of stud poker, and until the advent of Texas Hold'em, was the most popular version played in both home games and at casinos. The most important difference between this and other poker game versions is that when you play 7 Card Stud, there are no "community" cards. Each player has his own individual hand, and in fixed limit games, there are two bet limits.

5 Card Stud
5 Card Stud is the simplest stud poker game, which has featured in many poker films and paved the way for many poker legends. Even though it is less popular today and no longer features as an event in the World Series of Poker, mastering the game of Five Card Stud can still be a great way to launch your poker career. In 5 Card Stud, one card is dealt face down to each player; there are 2nd, 3rd and 4th streets cards dealt face up, and betting rounds take place along the way.

Razz
Razz is a form of stud poker that also goes by the name lowball poker. In the game, players compete to form the lowest hand.

It is very similar in structure and rules to 7 Card Stud. In Razz, seven cards are dealt to each player and the lowest hand wins.