POKER SCHOOL

Playing Texas Hold’Em

 Texas Hold’Em is the most popular version of poker. A Texas Hold’Em game is played in several basic stages of alternating deals and bets.

The initial bet
The initial bet involves the first two bets made: the first player to the left of the dealer is required to place the first bet (chosen by the dealer button) and next player to the left places the second bet.

The first player’s bet is known as the “small blind” and the second player’s the “big blind” (double the “small blind”).

The initial bet makes up the starting amount of the pot. It is mandatory and is done with no one having seen any cards (hence the term “blind”) since no cards have yet been dealt at this stage.
 
1st deal
Two cards face down are dealt to each player. These cards are therefore only visible to the player who holds them.
 
1st round
The player to the left of the “big blind” starts the first betting round. Then it is the turn of the next player to the left and so on, until it is back to the “small blind”.
The player can either "raise", "bet", or "fold".
2nd deal
Three cards are placed face up on the table: The Flop. These are community cards and are therefore visible to all players. They can be used by all the players to make up a winning hand.

2nd round
Players who are still in the game place their bets in turn, starting with the player to the left of the dealer (who may not be the same player as in the 1st round). Each player has the option to either ”raise”,  “check“, “fold “ or “call”.

3rd deal
A fourth card is placed on the table: “The Turn”.

3rd round
The third betting round follows. The player to the left of the dealer starts, then the other players still in  each take their turn.

4th deal
A fifth and final community card is placed on the table:  “The River”.

4th round
It’s the last betting round for those still in the game.

Showdown
After the last betting round, if no bets happened in the 4th round, those still playing need to show their cards: it’s the showdown. The Players can therefore use the community cards to form the best combination of five cards (hand) to win the game. The player with the best hand wins and takes away the pot. If there is a draw, the pot is split equally between the players concerned.

Playing Omaha

The aim of the game for Omaha is the same as Texas Hold’Em. The only difference is the number of cards which are dealt to the players on the 1st deal. In Omaha:
  1. Each player is dealt four cards (instead of two as in Texas Hold’Em)
  2. Five community cards are dealt in the Texas Hold’Em. However, in Omaha, players can only use two of their four cards and three community cards. In Texas Hold’Em, players are allowed to use all five community cards.

How to play Omaha High-Low

Omaha High-Low has the same rules than the classic Omaha game. Omaha High-Low differs on how the pot is split during the showdown. There are two winners in Omaha High-Low:
  1. The High: the player with the best hand in the game
  2. The Low: the player with 5 different cards ranked lower than "9". For example, a hand with 2, 3, 5, 6 and 8, is classed as a Low hand.
There’s not always a Low winner in every game. But if there is, the pot is equally split between The High and The Low. When there are two equal Low hands, the Low pot is equally split between the Low winners.

Poker hands

The nine poker hands are as follows (from the strongest to the weakest: 

Royal Flush 
Five cards of the same suit* in succession and ranging from 10 to an Ace.
e.g.: 10 (hearts) . Jack (hearts). Queen (hearts). King (hearts). Ace (hearts)

Straight Flush
Five cards of the same suit in succession.
e.g:  7 (clubs).  8 (clubs).  9 (clubs).  10 (clubs).  Jack(clubs)

Four-of-a-Kind
Four cards of the same rank** and another fifth card.
e.g:  Ace (diamonds) . 10 (clubs) . 10 (diamonds) . 10 (spades) . 10 (hearts)

Full House
Three cards of the same rank and two cards of another rank.
e.g:  5 (diamonds). 5 (clubs). 5 (hearts). 2 (hearts). 2 (clubs)

Flush
Five cards of the same suit but not in order.
e.g:  4 (spades). 8 (spades). Jack (spades). Queen (spades). Ace (spades)

Straight
5 cards of sequential rank but different suits.
e.g:  2 (hearts). 3 (spades). 4 (hearts). 5 (clubs). 6 (diamonds)

Three-of-a-kind
Three cards of the same suit and any other two cards.
e.g:  9 (diamonds). 9 (spades). 9 (hearts). Ace (spades). 2 (hearts).

Two Pair
Two pairs of cards and any other fifth card.
e.g:  King (hearts). King (spades). 7 (diamonds). 7 (clubs). Queen (diamonds).

Pair
Two cards of the same rank and any other three cards.
e.g:  6 (hearts). 6 (spades). 2 (spades). 10 (hearts). King (clubs)

* The suit of a card relates to whether it is "hearts", "spades", "clubs" or "diamonds" and not to the colours "red" or "black".

**   The rank of a card decides its value against the other cards.

Glossary

Showdown
Players who are still in the game after the last round of betting, show their cards.


Blind
Both mandatory bets to start a game of poker.


Bluff
A gaming strategy where you bet and raise for the other players to believe you hold a better hand than them so that they fold.


Call or Bet
Betting the same amount as the previous player to stay in the game.


Fold
To leave the game.


Dealer
The person who deals the cards during a poker game. In a casino he is called a croupier.


Flop
The first three community cards placed on the table face up.


Heads-up
The point when only two players are left in the game.


Position
A player’s place in comparison to the dealer, which also decides his time to bet.


Pot
The sum of money the players have bet and taken by the winner(s). Poker games can be played with a Limited Pot (recommended for beginners) or an Unlimited Pot (generally for more experienced players). Games with a Limited Pot have a maximum limit for bets and for a raise, but the Unlimited Pot has none.


Raise
To raise the bet.


The River
The fifth community card placed face up on the table.


The Turn
The fourth community card placed face up on the table.