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Intro to the most popular poker games

The following are very basic guides to the general format of the games and contain no strategic advice. There are also a number of variations of each of the games detailed below, which will have slightly different rules.

 

Texas Hold'em

This is most popular game online – hence it’s appearance at the top of this page!

Before any cards are dealt, the two players to the left of the Dealer Button must pay “blinds” with the first paying the small blind and the second paying the big blind. These are compulsory and are intended to prevent super slow play – the level of the blinds varies from game to game.

Play itself begins with each player (any number of people from 2 to 10) being dealt two “hold cards” face down. A round of betting then occurs starting with the person to the left of the big blind. Players can either fold, check, bet or raise depending on what has happened before the betting reaches them.

Once everyone has either folded or placed the same amount of money into the pot, 3 community cards are dealt in the middle of the table face up – this is known as the flop. All players can use these 3 cards along with their “hold cards” to complete their hand. Another round of betting then takes place, starting with the player who posted the small blind and moving clockwise.

Once that round of betting is completed, a 4th card is dealt (the turn). Another round of betting takes place, with the minimum bet being double that of the previous two rounds.

A final 5th card, known as the river, is then dealt, followed by a final round of betting. Once each player has put the same amount into the final pot, the player with the best hand wins the chips.


At any point during the hand, if all but one player folds, he will win the hand. If at the end of the game, one or more players have the same hand, they will split the pot.

 

Omaha

Omaha is similar to hold’em in that it uses a three-card flop, a fourth boardcard, and then a fifth board card. In Hold ‘em, the two hole cards along with the five community cards are used to make the best five card hand but in Omaha each player is dealt four hole cards at the start. In order to make a hand, a player must use two of their four hole cards along with three board cards.

Before any cards are dealt, the two players to the left of the Dealer Button must pay the “blinds”. Play then begins with each player being dealt four “hold cards” face down. A round of betting then occurs starting with the person to the left of the big blind. Players can either fold, check, bet or raise.

Once everyone has either folded or placed the same amount of money into the pot, the 3 community cards are dealt face up – this is known as the flop. All players can use these 3 cards along with two of their “hold cards” to complete their hand. Another round of betting then takes place, starting with the player who posted the small blind and moving clockwise.

Once that round of betting is completed, a 4th card is dealt (the turn). Another round of betting takes place.

A final 5th card, known as the river, is then dealt, followed by a final round of betting. Once each player has put the same amount into the final pot, the player with the best hand wins the chips.

At any point during the hand, if all but one player folds, he will win the hand. If at the end of the game, one or more players have the same hand, the pot will be split between them.

 

Other games to follow soon -

If you want to write a introductory guide to another type of poker, please emails us, we would be most grateful!

In the meantime, you can find a decent basic review of a number of game types here.