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GAME INFO

If you are unfamiliar with the general rules of poker, you have come to the right page.  Poker is a game of skill (your abilities), mixed with the element of chance (the shuffled deck of cards).  In poker, you strive to get the best five card hand.  Our games all present the player with more than five cards.  You get to use the five best cards for the situation.  Poker hands are ranked based on the statistical odds of getting a specific set of cards.  If you are unfamiliar with the rankings of hands, see Hand Rankings.

How Dealing Works | How Betting Works | Texas Hold'emOmaha Poker

We will soon be adding 7 Card Stud  and  7 Card Stud High/Low.



How Dealing Works
In a casual game of poker among friends, each player takes turns as the dealer; the position of dealer rotating around the table in a clockwise fashion.  In a professionally managed card room, the house provides a dealer.  In a physical card room there is a person who deals.  In a virtual poker room, such as this, there is a virtual dealer.

For some games, position relative to the dealer is not important.  For example, in 7 Card Stud, where you are seated relative to the dealer does not have any impact on the game.

For other games, the position is very important.  For example in Texas Hold'em, the player to the immediate left of the dealer position and the next player are required to put money, the small blind and big blind, into play.  To ensure fairness, the deal rotates clockwise.  The image of a small, flat disk with the letter "D" is used to signify the virtual dealer.  This is also known as the button.

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How Betting Works
We use the standard bet and three raises model.  That is, for any betting round, there can be an opening bet and no more than three raises.  After the third raise, betting is said to be capped.  Unless otherwise stated, we permit check and raise betting.  This means player A, is permitted to check or call a prior bet when it is his/her turn.  If a subsequent player raises and the betting has not been capped, player A is permitted to raise when the betting returns to him/her.

Also see the section on betting on the House Rules page.

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Texas Hold'em
Pot Limit/No LimitHead-to-Head | Tournaments

The game of Texas Hold'em is a fast paced 7-card game. Many people consider Hold'em to be the most popular and exciting variation of poker. Each player gets two face down cards. The remaining cards are community cards, dealt face up in the center of the table, to be shared by all players.
  • The game begins with the posting of the small blind by the person to the left of the virtual dealer.
  • The player to the immediate left posts the big blind.
  • Each player is dealt two cards, face down, at the start.  These are called the pocket cards.
  • Following the dealing of the pocket cards is a round of betting, beginning with the first participating player to the left of the virtual dealer.  This first round of betting is at the lower level of the table stakes.  In a $10/$20 game, each bet in this round is $10.
  • Next, three community cards are dealt, face up.  These are called the flop.
  • Now there is another round of betting.  This second round is again at the lower stakes level.  
  • A fourth card, called the turn is dealt face up.
  • Once again, there is a round of betting.  Now betting in this third round is at the higher stakes level.  Using the $10/$20 game example, all bets are now $20.
  • A fifth and final face up card, called the river is dealt.
  • A final round of betting is held.  Once again, the betting in this fourth round is at the higher stakes level.
  • Beginning with the last player to bet, players must show or muck their hands.  This is called the Showdown.

In Texas Hold'em, betting always begins with the first active player to the left of the dealer button.

The winning hand is the strongest hand found by combining a player's pocket cards and the community cards.  You can win with a hand made up from both your pocket cards and three community cards, or one pocket card and four pocket cards.  You can even share in the winning if you are still in and the board, the five community cards, makes up the winning hand.

We offer 9 seat, 6 seat, and head-to-head Hold'em games.

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Pot Limit and No Limit Hold'em
Pot Limit and No Limit Hold'em are two exciting variants of this popular poker game.  The rules are the same, except for betting.  

Rules that apply to both Pot Limit and No Limit

  • The minimum bet is the larger of the big blind or the last bet/raise. 
  • No cap on number of raises (except when an under-raise has been made).

The rules for both variants are the same with one exception:

  • Pot Limit:  A player may bet or raise any amount between minimum bet and the amount of money in the pot.  The amount of money in the pot includes money in the pot, money in front of other players, money raked, and the amount needed by the current player to call prior betting.
  • No Limit:  A player may bet or raise any amount from the higher of the big blind or the last bet/raise .

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Head-to-Head Hold'em
This exciting variation of Hold'em allows you to pit your skills against just one other player.  Our poker room enforces the traditional special Blinds rule for one-on-one Hold'em, whether at one of our special two seat tables, or at a larger table at which only two players are seated.  Only in head-to-head poker, the blinds are handled differently than you might expect.

The small blind is posted by the dealer, rather than the player to the left of the dealer.  The other player posts the big blind.  On our tables that support more than two players, our system will switch to head-to-head rules whenever there are only two players dealt in.

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Tournaments
We offer both single table and multi-table tournaments.  Tournaments are another exciting and fun way to play your favorite variety of poker.  Compete to win all the chips and take home the first place payout.  See the tournaments page for the rules more details.

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Omaha Poker (Omaha High)
Limit | Pot Limit | No Limit | Hi-Lo Poker | Exceptions To Betting

Omaha Poker, like Texas Hold'em is a community card game.

Community cards, or board cards, are cards which are dealt face up in the middle of the table and which can be used by all players in conjunction with their hole cards to make a five card poker hand.

In a game of Omaha Poker, each player is dealt four hole cards (cards for the player's eyes only) and, whereas in a game of Hold'em a player may use any combination of five cards from their hole cards and the board cards to make a hand, in Omaha a player must use precisely two cards from their hand and three cards from the board.

The Game

At the start of play, before any cards have been dealt, the blinds are posted. The blinds are bets made by the two players to the left of the dealer. The player to the immediate left of the dealer posts the small blind, the player to the left of the small blind posts the big blind. The blinds are posted before any cards are dealt to help get the betting underway.

The First Round

Once the blinds have been posted, the players are dealt their hole cards and a round of betting follows.

  • The first player to act is the player to the immediate left of the big blind. At this stage in the game, because of the blinds, each player has three options: FOLD, CALL or RAISE.
  • To fold is to throw in your cards and take no further action in the hand.
  • To call is to match the previous bet in order to remain in the game.
  • To raise is to make a bet in excess of the previous bet by at least the table minimum. *

Each player in turn (in a clockwise direction) must make a decision and to stay in the game must continue to bet until all remaining players have staked an equal amount (this holds true for each of the four rounds of betting).

See "Exceptions to betting - All ins"

Note: If, when the action comes round to the big blind and none of the remaining players have made a raise (therefore all betting is even), the player on the big blind has the option to either raise or CHECK. To check is to pass without placing a bet and yet remain in the game. In all instances other than on the big blind in the first round, the option to check can only be used when no prior bets in a round have been made. *

The Second Round

Once the betting is even, the game continues with the dealing of THE FLOP (the first three board cards) which in turn prompts another round of betting. This time however, and for each subsequent round of betting, the first player to act is the first active player to the left of the dealer. In this and the next two rounds players can either check, fold, bet/call or raise, depending on the actions of the players before them.

The Third Round

The third round of betting commences after THE TURN (the fourth board card) has been dealt. Play begins again with the first active player to the left of the dealer, each player making a choice in turn as in the previous round.

The Fourth Round

The fourth and final round is begun after the dealing of THE RIVER (the fifth and final board card). Betting resumes (or not as the case may be) until all bets are once again even.

The Showdown

When, after the river card, all betting has finished, the remaining players must show all of their hole cards face up on the table in order to determine the winner. This is called THE SHOWDOWN.

Remember: A hand must comprise of precisely two hole cards and three board cards.

See "Exceptions to betting - Joining a table"

Hands are ranked in accordance with the following hand rankings:

  • High Card - The highest ranked card is an ace
  • Pair - Any 2 cards of the same rank (highest, pair of aces, lowest pair of 2's)
  • 2 Pair - 2 sets of cards of the same rank
  • 3 of a kind - AKA Trips, 3 cards of the same rank
  • Straight - 5 cards in sequential rank order
  • Flush - 5 cards of the same suit
  • Full House - Three of a kind and a pair
  • 4 of a kind - 4 cards of the same rank
  • Straight Flush - A straight with all the cards of the same suit.
  • Royal Flush - Straight Flush, 10 to the Ace
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Variations of Omaha Poker:

Limit Omaha (Stakes and Betting)

In a game of Limit Omaha the stakes are capped which means to say that any bet or raise is at a predetermined level. i.e. In a $2/$4 game of Limit Omaha any bet or raise is limited to $2 for the first two rounds and limited to $4 in the third and fourth rounds. In any given round, the number of raises allowed is also capped, usually at three, so that the maximum bet per player per round is four times the original stake.

Blinds in Limit Omaha

The big blind is determined by the lower staking level of the table, the small blind being half the value of the big blind. i.e. on a $2/$4 table the big blind is $2, the small blind $1.

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Pot Limit Omaha (Stakes and Betting)

Pot Limit Omaha differs from Limit Omaha in as much as the level of betting and raising is capped only by the amount of money already in the pot. The pot consists of all monies staked in previous rounds (if any) plus any money already staked in the current round including, if a player wishes to make a raise, the value of the call that that player would have to make first.

Example:

The game is in the second round. There is $20 in the pot from the first round. Three players have each staked $10 in the second round. The fourth player would have to call $10 to stay in the game allowing therefore a potential raise by that player of up to $60 ($20+$30+$10=$60). Unlike Limit Omaha, there are no restrictions on the amount of raises that can be made in a round.

Blinds in Pot Limit Omaha
The blinds in Pot Limit Omaha are determined by the table limits. i.e. on a $1/$2 table, the small blind is $1, the big blind $2.

Apart from the small blind, the minimum bet at any time is the upper level of the table stakes.*

See "Exceptions to betting - All ins"

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No Limit Omaha (Stakes and Betting)

No Limit Omaha is exactly the same game as Pot Limit Omaha except that, as the name suggests, there is no limit to the staking either in making an initial bet or in making a raise.

Blinds in No Limit Omaha

The blinds in No Limit Omaha are formulated in the same manner as in Pot Limit Omaha.

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Omaha Hi-Lo Poker

Another variation of Omaha Poker is Omaha Hi-Lo Poker. Omaha Hi-Lo Poker is played in exactly the same way as Omaha High except that it allows for two winning hands to share the pot; the best high hand and the best qualifying low hand. For a low hand to qualify it must consist of five unpaired cards with the highest card being no greater than 8. The winning low hand is decided by the player with the lowest high card. If two players have the same lowest high card then the next lowest high card will decide the winner. Again, if these cards are tied, then the next lowest cards are considered and so on until a winner is determined or the hand is a declared a tie. In the event of a tie the half of the pot awarded to the lowest hand is halved again, each player therefore receiving a quarter of the total pot.

Some more rules of Hi-Lo
  • If there is no qualifying low hand then the best high hand wins the entire pot.
  • One player can win the entire pot by having the best high hand as well as the best low hand.
  • Aces count as both high and low.
  • Straights and flushes may be used in a low hand but do not alter the value. In other words, a player may have five hearts, 8 or lower, and will still qualify for the low hand.
  • Players may use different cards from their hand for the low than the high, or they may use the same cards.
  • EACH PLAYER MUST USE PRECISELY TWO HOLE CARDS AND THREE BOARD CARDS TO MAKE A FIVE CARD POKER HAND!

Example:

Player 1's Hole Cards

Player 2's Hole Cards

Board Cards

In this example both players have a high hand and a qualifying low hand. Player 1 wins the high hand by using the As and the 3s with the three spades on the board to make a flush to the Ace, beating Player 2's pair of Queens. Player 2 however wins the low hand by showing Ad, 2s ,5s,7s,8s as opposed to Player 1's As, 3d ,5s,7s,8s.


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Exceptions To Betting

All ins

When a player wishes to call a bet or indeed wishes to make a bet but does not have enough funds to do so, the player can remain in the game by going all in (betting all their remaining money). The player will take no further action in the hand but will still be eligible to win the share of the pot up to and including their last contribution. They will not be eligible to win any money staked thereafter which goes into a separate (side) pot and can only be won by those players remaining in the game.

Joining a table

When a player joins a game mid-table, they will be given an option to either play in the next hand or to wait until it is their turn to post the big blind. If the player opts to join the game at any time prior to their turn on the big blind they must post an equivalent amount to the big blind. In these circumstances the player would also be given the option to check so long as a previous raise has not been made.

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