When talking about playing poker, everyone generally refers to Texas Hold’em. However, there are a number of variations of the game that differ in their gameplay quite substantially. With many people preferring one style over the other.
When it comes to poker, Texas Hold’em is the most popular version of the game. When most people mention poker, they will likely be referring to Texas hold ‘em and so it is the most important game to know how to play. Luckily, it is the most straightforward of poker games which won’t take you long to get your head around.
This page is dedicated to helping you get off to the best start possible by giving you a Texas Hold’em poker gameplay guide, which informs you of Texas Hold’em poker rules and provides you with everything you need about playing Texas hold’em online.
Texas Hold’em Rules
The first thing you need to know about the game is naturally, how to play Texas Hold’em. The game is very straightforward and it only takes a few hands to get the gist of the gameplay, with the first part of the game probably the best, most confusing part.
- In Texas Hold ‘em, the betting begins immediately. With the person to the left of the dealer, which is symbolised by a plastic dealer button in front of them on the table, placing a small blind. The value of which is usually decided by the house.
This is then followed by a second bet, known as the big blind, which is usually double the small blind. Players may also place a straddle bet, which will voluntarily meet the big blind, or up the ante, whereby they raise the big blind immediately. However, this only happens sometimes, with the only necessity being the blinds.
- Once the two blinds are up, everyone is dealt two cards, known as hole cards. They then must bet the same amount that has already been bet, known as calling.
- Usually, this will be blind, but if someone has chosen to up the ante already, the players will have to call that too. Failure to do so will mean you fold your cards. This is the first round of betting completed.
- One card is then burnt, while three more cards are then dealt onto the table which is known as the Flop. The Flop is three cards that can be used by any player with their hole cards to make a winning hand.
- Players will then have the option to raise their bet, call the bet, or fold and give up there. If someone raises, then everyone must raise. If no one has raised, then players can check, which means they stay in the game with the same bet.
After this, the next round begins and another card is burnt and another is added to the three flop cards, called the Turn. Again, a betting round ensues. Finally, one more card if burnt and a fifth card, the River, is dealt.
This is where the final bets will be placed before the showdown when everyone must show their cards. During this stage, betting can generally go around the table several times as each player tries to outwit the others. The winner is the player with the highest-ranked hand.
Texas Hold’em: Tips To Know
Now you know the Texas Hold Em rules, it is nearly time to start playing. However, first of all, you may want to take on some Texas Hold’em tips to help you on your way. When it comes to playing Texas Hold’em, there is more of a skill involved than other casino games. This is why learning Texas Hold’em tips can be beneficial to your gameplay. Here are a few good ones to get you going.
Keep Track of Card Rankings
When people start off playing poker, they have heard of terms such as a flush or full house, but actually, have no idea what the best hands are. This is why you need to know your card rankings before you start playing.
Learn the Lingo
If you go into a Texas Hold’em game not knowing the terminology, then you will look like an amateur. This may result in people attempting to take advantage of your inexperience. Going into a game fully-tooled up with an arsenal of terminology won’t only save your blushes, but will make you look more like a force to be reckoned with.
Avoid The High Stakes AKA VIP Texas Hold’em Tables
Walking before you can run in poker is a big mistake and people at high stakes will quickly rinse you dry so take your time advancing. Of course, if you are making light work of the smaller tables then it is time to move on to the big bucks, but take it easy as even buy-ins can be extreme.
Know the Odds
The cards you hold will greatly influence your probability of winning in comparison to other players. This is why you need to understand poker odds if you want to be successful from the outset, as not knowing how much your hand weighs in the grand scheme of things will see you make the wrong decision.
You can find a Texas Hold’em calculator to assist you in this process, which will automatically calculate your hand. Use these as a jump-off point before you start playing.
Bluffing is as much part of Texas Hold’em gameplay as any other element of the game. This can turn a nothing hand into a big win. However, it is important to balance it just right. Bluffing too much or too little ends up being predictable. Doing it too much can be costly if people take you all the way to the showdown.
While not doing it enough means that you will limit big wins as people will know that if you are staying in you have a good hand and thus, cut their losses. Mastering bluffing is a sure-fire way to optimize on every hand.
Find a Top Texas Hold’em Poker Casino
Online you will find countless places to play poker, but only a handful that offers all-around service. You need to be able to find yourself plenty of virtual games, live dealer games and free Texas Hold’em games on offer so you can hone your skills in different situations.
Poker tournaments where you can play against numerous players and win big money are also a must. You should also try finding a Texas Hold’em venue where you can get yourself a tasty casino bonus or two as free gameplay is also a plus.
Get Playing Texas Hold’em
Texas Hold’em is a game with all the intensity of any other casino game, just with more skill involved and thus, more ways to capitalize and make real money. Get yourself out there now and try playing today with this guide in hand and before you know it, you may have already acquired some big money wins.
Players out there who enjoy Texas Hold’em will also have a lot of time for Omaha Hold’em too. This is because both have near enough identical gameplay, the only difference being you have a bit more freedom in Omaha poker to choose your hand in comparison to Texas Hold’em. All you need to know about playing Omaha poker can be found here.
How To Play Omaha
The game begins as it would with Texas Hold’em, and so the person on the left of the dealer places a small blind, followed by the person on their left betting a big blind.
The big difference about Omaha poker gameplay is the fact that players are then dealt 4 cards, rather than 2. They must then choose whether or to meet the big blind. If they don’t think their hand is strong enough, then they can fold immediately. If they do, then they stay in the game. Making this initial call is easier in Omaha poker thanks to the additional two cards.
Once these initial ante bets have been placed, then the flop happens as it would do in Texas Hold’em and 3 cards are revealed. A round of betting then ensues. Then this is followed by the turn where another card is revealed, followed by a round of betting. If players remain, then the final river card is revealed.
This is where the two extra cards come in, as in Omaha Hold’em you choose which two of the fours cards you use in order to make the best hand possible. It is on the weighting of these two cards combined with the community card that you will play the final round of betting with and which will determine the victor.
Unique Omaha Poker Rules
As you can see, there is a not a whole lot of difference between the Omaha card game and Texas Hold’em, other than the two extra hole cards. However, there are some unique Omaha poker rules that you need to consider which come as a result of the extra two cards being in play. The key difference involves the necessity of using at least two of your hole cards in order to formulate a hand, which isn’t the case in Texas Hold’em. Which effects numerous hands, as follows:
- Flushes – If a player is trying to form a flush, then he must have two cards of the required suit in order to play that it. For example, if there are 4 cards on the table that are 1 away from a flush, but you only have 1 of that suit, then you won’t be able to play it. You would need to have two.
- Straights – With straight that the same concept applies. And so, if you have just one card that fits into a straight, then you won’t be able to play it. You need to have two.
- Two Pair and Full House – You cannot achieve a full house with two pair in the community cards if you have just one matching card, as it does in Texas Hold’em.
- Three of a Kind and Full House – The same applies here, as a player must hold a pair to make a full house in this scenario too. This is a common mistake in Omaha.
As such, while the extra two cards and the option to choose which ones you want to use may sound ideal, you cannot use them with complete reckless abandon, as you NEED to ensure you use both the two cards if you want to play a hand.
Omaha Hi-Lo is an interesting variation of the game that turns the gameplay on its head a bit. In this instance of the game, the players put together two 5 card hands, one with the purpose of being a high hand and the other with the purpose of being a low hand.
The best high and low hands split the pot. However, low hands cannot be played every game and must consist of an 8-7-6-5-4 or lower. If there are no low hands possible, then the high hand takes the whole pot. While this is the main Omaha Hi/Lo rules, there are a few more things to consider:
- For anyone to play low hands, there must be at least 3 cards valued 8 or below in play.
- Ties are a frequent occurrence in the game, in this case, a player can win a quarter, or even less, of the pot.
- 4 or 5 same ranking cards are some of the worst hands you can get in this game- 4 of a kind is one of the worse hands, for example, which is at odds with Texas Hold’em where it is one of the best.
- Middle ranked cards also aren’t great.
- You don’t count flushes or straights when dealing with low hands.
Another variation of Omaha is Pot Limit Omaha or PLO. What is pot-limit Omaha? Well, it is a bit of a mix of the other styles of the Omaha card mentioned so far. In Omaha Pot Limit, you may include the high and low options seen in Omaha hi-lo, but generally, you would only include high.
There is more an element of drawing in this game. This means that secondary flushes and straights can often be beaten. With this considered, the lowest possible hand in the game would be four 2s.
The reason it is called Pot Limit is that you can only bet as much as the pot is worth. And so, if the pot is valued at €1,000 dollar, the highest bet you can place is €1,000. Anything below that is fine, anything above that is not.
Why Choose Omaha Poker?
One of the best things about Omaha Poker is the numerous variations of the game you can enjoy. This another way it can give you more freedom when compared to other popular variations of poker. It is a frequently found game online, so you will have no trouble finding all three of these options which you can give a go right now and see if the freedom the Omaha card games provides suits you.
Sometimes stylized as 7 Card Stud, Seven-Toed Pete or Down-The-River, the 7 card Stud rules vary from these other two styles quite a bit.
The first main immediate difference is the lack of community cards, but the rest of the gameplay reflects this. It starts with every player being dealt two cards, one dealt face-up, the other one dealt face-down. The player with the lowest face-up card then begins the play by opening the betting.
After this one card is burnt and another card is dealt to each player face-up. The second round of betting occurs, which is started by the player with the highest-ranked face-up cards when put together.
This happens twice more before a final downcard is dealt and a final betting round. This can then be followed by a showdown, where players make the best 5-card hand out their 7 cards.
5-Card Draw or 5 Card Poker is considered the easiest way to play poker and is usually the jump-off point for aspiring poker players and the basis for most video poker games. Play kicks off with each player being dealt 5 cards, which they must keep secret from the other players, while the deck is put to one side.
Then a round of betting occurs. This could potentially be the end of the game already. However, if not, then a second draw phase begins where players can choose to discard a number of their cards and have them replaced by the deck. The second round of betting begins. If there are still players remaining, then a showdown happens where everyone reveals their cards.
There is also a 7-card draw, which is the same, but you guessed it, it is played with 7 cards.
Three Card Poker
This is a version of poker that only includes the player and the dealer, it is what is known as a heads-up version of poker. The player kicks off the betting with an ante or what is known as a pair plus wager, which is betting on a pair or better. Three cards are then dealt, the player looks at their own cards and then bets again, which has to be the ante or higher. If not, then round is over.
If he does, then the cards are turned over and compared to the dealers. If the dealer has a Jack-high or worse, the play wager is returned. If they have a Queen-high or better and the player’s hand is stronger, then the player gets a payout of 1:1. If not, the player loses both.
That is essentially how to play three card poker. However, one thing to note is that in this game there are fewer outcomes, a Straight Flush, a Three of a Kind, a Straight, a Flush or a Pair. With the flushes and straight only requiring three cards opposed to five.
Jacks or Better
This is a common video poker option. The player is dealt 5 cards and can then choose which ones to keep, with the unwanted one discarded, in order to obtain the best possible hand. As per the name, the objective is to get at least a pair of Jacks or better.
Another popular video poker option is Deuces Wild. This is similar to jacks or better and 5-card draw in that you pick up 5 cards and can switch those cards for others. The difference being that 2s (Deuces) are wild and thus, it is a bit easier. Free Deuces Wild video poker games are available in many new casinos online.
Six-plus hold ’em
Also known as short deck poker, Six-plus hold ’em is a more modern version of poker. It is known as short deck poker as it is played with a smaller 36-card deck, opposed to 52, with 2s, 3s, 4s and 5s removed from the deck. Gameplay otherwise resembles Texas Hold’em identically. However, often Six-plus hold ’em will see a four of a kind ranked above a flush and three of a King ranked above straight in value.
In the final round, there may also be a different procedure, with players dealt a third hole card as opposed to a community “river” card. Players then make their best hand out of the 4 community cards, and two of their 3 holes card, like Omaha. However, this is not always the case and you may play the final round the same as you would do in Texas Hold’em.
Chinese poker sees players attempting to make three poker hands, two five-card hands and one three-card hand. With all hands needing to be as good as one another. A player is first dealt five cards which they arrange into the first part of their three hands. Then upon completion of this initial hand, the next player goes.
Once everyone has been, a single card is dealt and players continue building their hands over the course of the second, third, fourth, etc rounds until the hands are all complete. The winner is the person with the best-combined hands.
Rather than betting, players earn points in a fairly intricate scoring system. While the gameplay is significantly different, they rank hands primarily based on traditional poker rankings. There is also Open Face Chinese Poker, where your moves are played in full view of the opponents.
There are a few other variations out there on the market too, with this just being some of the more popular versions. We would recommend trying the first four on our list first then venture into something a bit more niche once you have mastered these.
Take a look at our overview of Poker to find more interesting elements you will need to know to effectively play poker online and win.