Poker Help

Rules of Poker

General Rules

In standard poker rules, players bet their chips into a communal "pot" consisting of all participating players' combined wagers. In a typical game of poker, the pot is awarded to the player who either holds the highest ranking hand or makes a wager which goes unmatched by his or her opponents.

We offer the most popular of all poker games "Texas Hold'em" which is played as a high hand game, and Seven Card Stud and Omaha games, which are played in both "high-only" and "high-low split" form. In these high-low poker games, the best five-card poker hand for high wins half the pot, and the best qualifying five-card hand for low wins the other half. These poker games are also available in One on One games as well as short-handed 5 or 6 player games.

Every poker game begins with some forced wager over which players compete. In Seven Card Stud, the rules of poker prompt two forced wagers: a small ante and a bring-in. In Texas Hold'em and Omaha poker games, the forced wagers are a small blind and a big blind. Once the initial forced bets are made, the first round of cards is dealt and on the following betting rounds, the players will have the following five choices:

  1. CHECK - If there is no wager on the current betting round, a player may check. The act of checking passes the action to the next player immediately clockwise from him or her. A check does not forfeit interest in the pot, only the current right to bet. If all players check during a round of betting, the round is considered complete.
  2. BET - If there is no wager on the current betting round, a player may bet. If a player bets, the player immediately clockwise from him or her (and any subsequent players) may fold, raise, or call.
  3. FOLD - The act of folding forfeits all interest in the pot. A player who folds is not allowed to wager any further money for the current game.
  4. CALL - If there has been a wager on the current betting round, a player may call. The act of calling requires the player to match the current bet made by his or her opponent(s).
  5. RAISE - If there has been a wager on the current betting round, a player may raise. The act of raising requires the player to match the current bet, and make a greater one. All subsequent players are required to call the raise or raise again ("re-raise") to maintain interest in the pot.

With standard rules of poker, betting continues on each round until every person has placed the same amount of money on that round with the exception of "all-in." "All-in" players can only win the appropriate portion of the pot that they participated in before they ran out of chips.

After the final betting round is completed, the "showdown" occurs. This is when the winner of the pot is determined, as players either show or muck their hands face-down one-by-one. It may be the case that there is no showdown. If a player bets or raises, and no active players choose to call the player's bet (in other words, all players fold) then there is no showdown. In this case, the player doing the betting or raising wins the full amount of the pot.

Advance-Action Buttons

In most cases, each betting decision is represented in the card room software by what we call "action buttons." To speed up the poker game and make it more exciting, you will, when appropriate, have a choice of using advance action buttons. These buttons appear before your turn when you can make a decision in advance. Once you make the desired selection with an advance action button, the decision is carried out by the software automatically once play progresses to your turn.

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Table Stakes, All-In, Disconnection Protection

Poker is typically played with "table stakes", meaning only the chips in play at the beginning of each hand may be used throughout the hand. Players may bring the additional money to the table only between hands, and never during a hand.

According to the rules, if a player does not have enough chips to call a bet he/she can go "All-In". This player is eligible for the portion of the pot to the point of his final wager. All further action involving other players takes place in a "side pot", which is ineligible to the all-in player. We offer 2 "Disconnection Protections" per 24-hour period that enable a player who is disconnected in the middle of a hand to win the portion of the pot that they participated in before getting disconnected.

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Limits

There are three types of game limits available in our online poker room: fixed limits, pot limits and no limits.

Fixed Limit

Fixed limits are the predetermined limits for a particular game type, consisting of a lower limit and higher limit. At the beginning of betting rounds, lower limit applies and final rounds are played with higher limits. Please check the game rules of the individual games to learn the details.

Pot Limit

Once you know how to play our games, the rules for Pot Limits are very easy to learn. The difference between Fixed Limit games and Pot limit games is in the amount of money a player is allowed to bet on each round.

Minimum raise:
The minimum raise amount must be at least as much as the previous bet or raise in the same round. For example, if the first player to act bets $10 then the second player must raise a minimum of $10 (total bet of $20).

Maximum raise:
The maximum raise is equivalent to the size of the Pot. The size of the pot is defined as the total of the Pot in the middle plus all bets on the table plus the amount the active player must first call before raising.

How to Play Example:
Poker Pot is $10
First player to act bets $10
Second player to act calls $10
Third player has a maximum available raise of $50 - this includes $10 call and $40 raise. The $40 maximum raise portion is equal to the Pot of $10 + first player bet of $10, second player call of $10, third player call of $10.
In pot limit games there are no caps on the number of raises permitted.

No Limit

The difference between Fixed Limit, Pot Limit and No Limit games is in the amount of money a player is allowed to bet on each round.

Minimum raise:
The minimum raise amount must be at least as much as the previous bet or raise in the same round. For example, if the first player to act bets $10, then the second player must raise a minimum of $10 (total bet of $20).

Maximum raise:
All of the chips you have at the table!

To ensure a fair gaming environment, each player is limited on how much money he can bring to the table. This provides for competitive games where players with smaller bankrolls would normally have a disadvantage when competing against players with large bankrolls. Please visit our Lobby to find the game that suits your bankroll conditions.

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Poker Games

How to Play Texas Hold'em Poker

Texas Holdem Poker is the most popular card game in the world. Here are the basics of how to play Texas Hold'em .

Betting / Gameplay

In Texas Hold'em there are 4 different rounds of betting where players compete for the pot. The betting may vary based on the round or the type of game you play. In Texas Hold'em, instead of an "ante" selected players are required to place bets before they see their cards. These are called blinds. After the blinds are placed, the cards are dealt and play progresses to the other players, who may either call the blinds, raise, or fold. At the end of the hand, the highest-ranking hand (that hasn't folded) wins the pot.

Here is the typical betting sequence for Texas Hold'em Poker:

At the showdown for Texas Hold'em Poker, poker rules require that players may use either:

Fixed-Limit Texas Hold'em Betting Structure

In Hold'em there are four possible betting rounds.

Each bet and raise during the first two rounds is set at the lower limit of the stakes structure. For example, in a $2/$4 Fixed Limit game, all bets and raises are $2 for the first two rounds (after pocket cards are dealt and after the flop).Betting and raising during the last two rounds is set at the higher limit of the stakes structure. In this example, all bets and raises will be $4.

The maximum allowable number of bets during any betting round in Texas Hold'em poker is four. This includes a (1) bet, (2) raise, (3) re-raise, and (4) cap. The term cap is used to describe the 3rd raise in a round since betting is then capped and can't be raised further. Once capped, players will have only the option of calling or folding.

There are no caps on the number of raises in No-Limit and Pot-Limit games. One on One games have a cap after 5 raises.

Dealer Button

The Dealer Button, a small round disk with the letter 'D' marked on it, is used to signify the theoretical dealer of the hand. The hand is dealt clockwise from the dealer button.

Blinds

The player seated to the left (clockwise) of the dealer button is required to post the small blind. The small blind is equal to half the lower limit bet rounded down to the nearest dollar. The player in the next clockwise position is required to post the big blind. The big blind is equal to the lower limit bet of the table.

The blinds are considered live bets. A live bet means that the player has the option of checking, calling, raising or folding on his/her turn. During the remainder of the game, the player left of the dealer button is the first to act.

Missed Blinds

Players are required to post the small blind and the big blind once per round or their equivalent upon reentry to the game if the blinds are missed. Our software will prompt you to put in the correct amount if you have missed one or both blinds. You can also wait for the big blind to get to your position or to continue "sitting out" until you are ready to resume the game. In our Poker room, if you miss three big blinds in a row, you will automatically be removed from the table.

First Round

After the players in the blind positions put their blinds in front of them, the dealer deals two cards (pocket or hole cards) to each player (one at the time), at which time each player can see his own cards but not those of his opponents. On the first round only, the betting starts with the player to the left of the big blind, who has one of three choices, call, raise, or fold. On the first round only, the player in the small blind position acts after the button, and the player in the big blind position acts after the small blind.

Bet/Raise/Call/Check/Fold

Once a betting round has started, you must select one of these options from the play buttons that appear when it is your turn. If you choose one of the advance-action options, your bet is made automatically on your turn. If you select "Sit Out" or you close the window after a round has started, your bet will be considered a fold. If you click the "Sit Out" button before the game is started, you cannot be "Dealt In" until the hand ends. If your connection is lost, your hand will be played as an all-in bet. Please read our all-in policy for a detailed explanation.

Big Blind Option

The player who has the big blind is given the option to fold, check or raise if no one has raised before him/her. If someone has raised he/she will be given the option to fold, call or raise.

Succeeding Rounds

In all rounds except the first, the betting starts with the first active player to the left of the button, who has one of three choices, check, bet, or fold. Until there is a bet, each succeeding active player has the same choices. Once a bet is made, each succeeding player then has one of three choices, call, raise, or fold.

Showdown

When all the betting is done, and if more than one player is still in for the pot, then the showdown determines who wins. Players who elect to fold do not have to show their cards.

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Seven Card Stud

Seven Card Stud games are played with a maximum of eight players per table, unlike Hold'em games where the maximum is ten. Instead of four betting rounds, in Seven Card Stud there are five, not including the ante. Each player, starting from seat 1 (the seat to the left of the dealer), is dealt two cards face down, then four cards face up, and the final (river) card is dealt face down.

Betting / Gameplay

In the showdown of a Seven Card Stud poker game, players use any 5 of their 7 cards to make the best possible poker hand. Although uncommon, there sometimes may not be enough cards left in the deck to give each player their own river card. In this event, the dealer will turn one board card face-up and it will be used as a community card.

Outlined above, excluding the ante, there are five possible betting rounds in Seven Card Stud.

Each bet and raise during the first two rounds is set at the lower limit of the stakes structure. For example, in a $2/$4 Fixed Limit Seven Card Stud game, all bets and raises are $2 for the first two rounds (after two hole cards and door card are dealt).

Betting and raising during the last three rounds is set at the higher limit of the stakes structure. In this example all bets and raises will be $4.

The maximum allowable number of bets during any betting round in Seven Card Stud poker is four. This includes a (1) bet, (2) raise, (3) re-raise, and (4) cap. The term cap is used to describe the third raise in a round since betting is then capped and can't be raised further. Once capped, players will only have the option of calling or folding. There are no caps on the number of raises in no-limit and pot-limit games. One on One games have a cap of 5 raises.

Betting Rounds

With the beginning of each new hand of Seven Card Stud, every player must put their ante in front of them before he she receives his/her first three cards. The amount of the ante is based on the table limits. For instance, a Seven Card Stud poker game with a $1 - $2 limit may have a $0.25 ante and a $3 - $6 game may have a $0.50 ante. Once all participating players have placed their ante, the dealer then deals two cards face down (pocket cards) and one card face up (door card) to each player.

The player with the lowest door card is required to initiate action by betting a minimum of half the lower limit. This starting bet is called the bring-in. The player with the bring-in, always has the option of betting either half the lower limit or the lower limit for the table designated. For example, in a $2 - $4 Seven Card Stud poker game, the player with the lowest door card must make a bring-in bet of either $1 or $2.

After the initial round of betting, which is initiated by the bring-in bet, all subsequent rounds start with the player with the high hand on the board initiating the betting action. In cases of a tie, the player sitting closest to the left of the dealer initiates the betting action.

On the subsequent (second) round, low limit applies with the following exception:

If any player has an open (exposed) pair after the first two up-cards have been dealt, all players have the option to bet either the lower limit or the higher limit. If a player bets the higher limit, then all subsequent raises must be made at the higher limit. For example, in a $2 - $4 Seven Card Stud game, after each player has received the second up-card, one player has a pair of kings on board. Since this is the second round of betting, if no pair was showing, the betting would have to be at the $2 level. Since a pair is showing, however, the player with that pair can bet $2, or, if he wishes, $4. If he bets $2, any other player can raise either $2 or $4. If he bets $4, or if anyone raises $4, any subsequent raise must be $4.

Each bet and raise during the last three rounds of betting is set at the higher limit of the stakes structure. For example, in a $2 - $4 Seven Card Stud poker game, all bets and raises are $4 for the last three rounds of betting.

Bet/Raise/Call/Check/Fold

Once a betting round has started, you must select one of the options from the play buttons that appear when it is your turn. If you choose one of the advance options (advance buttons), your bet is made automatically on your turn. If you select "Sit Out" or you close the window after a round has started, your bet will be considered a fold. If you click the "Sit Out" button before the game started and you change your mind and then click the "Deal Me In" button, you will still sit out for that hand. If your connection is lost, your hand will be played as an all-in bet.

Showdown

When all the betting is done, and if more than one player is still in for the pot, then the showdown determines who wins. Players who elect to fold do not have to show their cards.

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Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo

Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo is the same game as the regular Seven Card Stud game with an exception: the pot is split 50-50 between the best High Hand and the best qualifying 5-card Low Hand. To be eligible to win the Low, the highest card must be an eight or less. The winning Low Hand is determined firstly by the player with the lowest High card. Upon a tie with the High card, the hand goes to the player with the next lowest High card. Any 5-card hand that has a high card of 9 or higher cannot qualify as a Low Hand.

If there is no qualifying Low Hand then the high hand wins 100% of the pot.

The rest of the game has the same rules as, previously described, standard Seven Card Stud.

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Omaha Hold'em

Omaha is a poker game in which each player receives four cards (hole cards) dealt face-down, while five cards (community cards) are dealt face-up on the table. In Omaha, all players play their best five cards, but they must use exactly two of their four hole cards in combination with exactly three of the five common cards on the table. The best five-card poker hand wins the Pot.

Betting/Gameplay

The betting structure in Omaha poker is the same as in Texas Hold'em. The game starts by players placing their respective blinds.

Following is the typical betting sequence for Omaha poker:

Omaha Betting Structure Rules

In Omaha poker, there are four possible betting rounds.

Each bet and raise during the first two rounds is set at the lower limit of the stakes structure. For example, in a $2/$4 Fixed Limit Omaha game, all bets and raises are $2 for the first two rounds (after pocket cards are dealt and after the flop). Betting and raising during the last two rounds is set at the higher limit of the stakes structure. In this example, all bets and raises will be $4.

The maximum allowable number of bets during any betting round in Omaha poker is four. This includes a (1) bet, (2) raise, (3) re-raise, and (4) cap. The term cap is used to describe the third raise in a round since betting is then capped and can't be raised further. Once capped, players will only have the option of calling or folding.

There is no cap on the number of raises in no-limit and pot-limit games. One on One games have a cap after 5 raises.

Button & Blinds for Omaha Poker

Dealer Button
At the table, a graphic called the Dealer Button (a small round disk with the letter 'D' marked on it), is used to signify the theoretical dealer of the hand. The hand is dealt clockwise from the button.

Betting
The small blind is a forced bet made by the player to the immediate left (clockwise) of the dealer button. The big blind is a forced bet made by the player to the immediate left (clockwise) of the small blind. The small blind is usually half the lower limit bet while the big blind is usually the same as the lower limit bet. In Omaha poker, the player with a small blind is the first to receive a card.

Missed Blinds
Players are required to post the small blind and the big blind once per round or their equivalent upon reentry to the game if the blinds are missed. Our software will prompt you to put in the correct amount if you have missed one or both blinds. You can also wait for the big blind to get to your position or to continue "sitting out" until you are ready to resume the game. In our Poker room, if you miss three big blinds in a row, you will automatically be removed from the table.

First Round
After the players in the blind positions put their blinds in front of them, the dealer deals two cards (pocket or hole cards) to each player (one at the time), at which time each player can see his own cards but not those of his opponents. On the first round only, the betting starts with the player to the left of the big blind, who has one of three choices, call, raise, or fold. On the first round only, the player in the small blind position acts after the button, and the player in the big blind position acts after the small blind.

Bet/Raise/Call/Check/Fold
Once a betting round has started, you must select one of these options from the play buttons that appear when it is your turn. If you choose one of the advance-action options, your bet is made automatically on your turn. If you select "Sit Out" or you close the window after a round has started, your bet will be considered a fold. If you click the "Sit Out" button before the game is started, you cannot be "Dealt In" until the hand ends. If your connection is lost, your hand will be played as an all-in bet. Please read our all-in policy for a detailed explanation.

Big Blind Option
The player who has the big blind is given the option to fold, check or raise if no one has raised before him/her. If someone has raised he/she will be given the option to fold, call or raise.

Succeeding Rounds
In all rounds except the first, the betting starts with the first active player to the left of the button, who has one of three choices, check, bet, or fold. Until there is a bet, each succeeding active player has the same choices. Once a bet is made, each succeeding player then has one of three choices, call, raise, or fold.

Showdown
When all the betting is done, and if more than one player is still in for the pot, then the showdown determines who wins. Players who elect to fold do not have to show their cards.

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Omaha Hi/Lo

Omaha Hi/Lo is also known as Omaha 8, or Omaha Hi/Lo 8. In Omaha Hi/Lo the pot is split 50-50 between the best High-Hand and the best qualifying Low-Hand.

A 5-card Low-Hand must be comprised of a high card of 8 or less to qualify. The winning Low-Hand (8 or better) is determined firstly by the player with the lowest High card. Upon a tie with the High card, the hand goes to the player with the next lowest High card. Any 5-card hand that has a high card of 9 or higher cannot qualify as a Low-Hand.

If there is no qualifying Low-Hand then the High-Hand wins 100% of the pot.

Betting

The betting structure in Omaha Hi/Lo is the same as in Texas Hold'em and Omaha High. The game commences by players placing their respective blinds.

Following is the typical betting sequence for Omaha Hi/Lo:

At the showdown, players must use exactly two of their pocket cards and three board cards.

Omaha Hi/Lo Betting Structure Rules

In Omaha Hi/Lo, there are four possible betting rounds.

Each bet and raise during the first two rounds is set at the lower limit of the stakes structure. For example, in a $2/$4 Fixed Limit game, all bets and raises are $2 for the first two rounds (after pocket cards are dealt and after the flop).

Betting and raising during the last two rounds is set at the higher limit of the stakes structure. In this example, all bets and raises will be $4.

The maximum allowable number of bets during any betting round in Omaha Hi/Lo poker is four. This includes a (1) bet, (2) raise, (3) re-raise, and (4) cap. The term cap is used to describe the third raise in a round since betting is then capped and can't be raised further. Once capped, players will only have the option of calling or folding. There is no cap on the number of raises in no-limit and pot-limit games. One on One games have a cap after 5 raises.

Button & Blinds for Omaha Hi/Lo

Dealer Button
At the table, a graphic called the Dealer Button, a small round disk with the letter 'D' marked on it, is used to signify the theoretical dealer of the hand. The hand is dealt clockwise from the button.

Blinds
The player seated to the left (clockwise) of the dealer button is required to post the small blind. The small blind is equal to half the lower limit bet rounded down to the nearest dollar. The player in the next clockwise position is required to post the big blind. The big blind is equal to the lower limit bet of the table.

The blinds are considered live bets. A live bet means that the player has the option of checking, calling, raising or folding on his/her turn. During the remainder of the game, the player left of the dealer button is the first to act.

Missed Blinds
Players are required to post the small blind and the big blind once per round or their equivalent upon reentry to the game if the blinds are missed. Our software will prompt you to put in the correct amount if you have missed one or both blinds. You can also wait for the big blind to get to your position or to continue "sitting out" until you are ready to resume the game. In our Poker room, if you miss three big blinds in a row, you will automatically be removed from the table.

First Round
After the players in the blind positions put their blinds in front of them, the dealer deals two cards (pocket or hole cards) to each player (one at the time), at which time each player can see his own cards but not those of his opponents. On the first round only, the betting starts with the player to the left of the big blind, who has one of three choices, call, raise, or fold. On the first round only, the player in the small blind position acts after the button, and the player in the big blind position acts after the small blind.

Bet/Raise/Call/Check/Fold
Once a betting round has started, you must select one of these options from the play buttons that appear when it is your turn. If you choose one of the advance-action options, your bet is made automatically on your turn. If you select "Sit Out" or you close the window after a round has started, your bet will be considered a fold. If you click the "Sit Out" button before the game is started, you cannot be "Dealt In" until the hand ends. If your connection is lost, your hand will be played as an all-in bet. Please read our all-in policy for a detailed explanation.

Big Blind Option
The player who has the big blind is given the option to fold, check or raise if no one has raised before him/her. If someone has raised he/she will be given the option to fold, call or raise.

Succeeding Rounds
In all rounds except the first, the betting starts with the first active player to the left of the button, who has one of three choices, check, bet, or fold. Until there is a bet, each succeeding active player has the same choices. Once a bet is made, each succeeding player then has one of three choices, call, raise, or fold.

Showdown
When all the betting is done, and if more than one player is still in for the pot, then the showdown determines who wins. Players who elect to fold do not have to show their cards.

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One on One Games

All of our poker games can be played on "One on One" tables. The differences as compared to the full table games are in the number of raises and position of the blinds. In one on one games, a player may have five raises as compared to three raises on a regular table and the button posts the small blind in Hold'em / Omaha games.

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Hand Rankings

Below are images of poker hands, listed in order from highest to lowest.

Royal Flush
The five highest cards, the 10 through the Ace, all five of the same suit.
Straight Flush
Any five cards of the same suit in consecutive numerical order. Our example shows a five-high straight flush.
Four of a Kind
Four cards of the same denomination. Our example shows four aces with a jack kicker.
Full House
Any three cards of the same denomination, plus any pair of a different denomination. Ties are broken first by the three of a kind, then the pair. Our example shows jacks full of aces.
Flush
Any five non-consecutive cards of the same suit. Our example shows a ace-high diamond flush.
Straight
Any five consecutive cards of mixed suits. Ace can be high or low. Our example shows a six-to-ten straight.
Three of a Kind
Three cards of the same denomination. Our example displays three of a kind, jacks.
Two Pairs
Any two cards of the same denomination, plus any other two cards of the same denomination. If both hands have the same high pair, the highest of the second pair wins. If both pairs tie, the high card wins. Our example shows two pairs, jacks and aces.
Pair
Any two cards of the same denomination. Our example displays a pair of tens. In a tie, the high card wins.
High Card
If no other hand is achieved, the highest card held wins. In our example, the ace of hearts is the high card.

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Rake Structure

Fixed Limit

$.02/$.04 to $1.00/$2.00

Limit Number of players Rake per Pot Max Rake
$0.02/$0.04 2-10 $0.01 for each $0.20 in Pot $0.04
$0.04/$0.08 2-10 $0.01 for each $0.20 in Pot $0.08
$0.05/$0.10 2-10 $0.01 for each $0.20 in Pot $0.10
$0.10/$0.20 2-10 $0.01 for each $0.20 in Pot $0.20
$.25/$0.50 2-10 $0.05 for each $1.00 in Pot $0.40
$.50/$1.00 2-10 $0.05 for each $1.00 in Pot $0.50
$1.00/$2.00 2-10 $0.25 for each $5.00 in Pot $1.00

$2/$4 to $100/$200

Number of players $20 Pot $40 Pot $60 Pot Max Rake
2-3 $0.50 $0.50 - $1.00
4-5 $1.00 $1.00 - $2.00
6-10 $1.00 $1.00 $1.00 $3.00

$200/$400

Number of players Rake per Pot Max Rake
2-3 $1.00 for each $100.00 in Pot $2.00
4-10 $1.00 for each $100.00 in Pot $5.00

Pot Limit & No Limit

$.01/$.02 to $25.00/$50.00

Number of players Rake per Pot Max Rake
2-3 $0.05 for each $1.00 in Pot $1.00
4-5 $0.05 for each $1.00 in Pot $2.00
6-9 $0.05 for each $1.00 in Pot $3.00

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