Poker Guide and Rules
Are you new to the poker world? No problem ! Here are guides and rules for the most popular poker variants Five-card Draw, Texas Hold’em, Omaha Poker and Video Poker.
All 3 game variations differ in the way they are played, but the strength of each hand is the same in all, including video poker.
If you don’t know which poker hand is the strongest, here is a list of the rank of all poker hands in descending order.
Five Card Draw is the poker variation that many people have played since they were kids. It is probably the oldest variation of poker. Five Card is ideal for beginners who simply would like to test poker. Once you’ve stood your ground at 5 Card, it will be all the easier for the beginner to play a variation like Texas Holdem.
The rules and procedure of a typical five-card game
Five Card Draw is occasionally played with blinds like in Texas Hold’em, but more often with an ante – a small amount brought by all players who are dealt cards. The object of the game is to hold the five best possible cards after a draw.
Before cards are dealt
When the antes(or blinds) are placed, all players are dealt five cards face down. All five cards remain hidden and cannot be seen by anyone else until the showdown.
First betting round
After the cards are dealt, the first round of betting takes place. The player to the left of the dealer is the first player to act, i.e. he can either check or open the betting round with a bet. The following players can fold, call or raise the opening bet. Usually you can raise a maximum of three times in a betting round.
Draw phase (swap cards)
After the first betting round, the cards are drawn. Each player can now discard the cards that appear worthless to them face down and then receive the same number of cards from the dealer.
Second betting round
The second and final betting round follows the card exchange. The player who last raised in the first round of betting or, if there was no raise, the opening player in the first round of betting, must act first. The maximum number of increases is still limited to three.
The Showdown – Determining the Winner
If two or more players are still in play after the second betting round, the showdown begins. The player who last raised, or if no one raised, the player who opened the last round of betting must show their hand in full. The player with the highest hand wins the pot, the value of the combinations is identical to the general poker ranking. If two or more hands have the same value, the pot is split accordingly.
- base bet
- 5 cards are dealt to each player
- First betting round, you don’t have to call
- Cards can be exchanged, no matter if none or all 5
- The last round of betting follows
- The best hand wins at showdown
You have surely seen a poker tournament somewhere before and the probability that it was Texas Hold’em is very high. Texas hold’em is the most popular and also the most played form of poker in recent years. Texas Hold’em has also become the standard variation in many major tournaments due to its growing popularity.
The Rules of Texas Hold’em
Before you play Texas Hold’em, you should familiarize yourself with the rules of the game. In Hold’em, each player is dealt two hole cards that only he or she owns and that only he or she can see. In addition, a total of five cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table (the “board”). All players in the game use these community cards together with their starting cards to make the best possible five-card poker hand. In Hold’em, any combination of the seven cards available is possible – one player can use both starting cards, only one or none at all. The ranking of the poker hands can be found here.
The four most important variants of Texas Hold’em on PokerStars differ in their betting structure:
- Limit Texas Hold’em: There is a predetermined limit for bets in each game and each round.
- No Limit Texas Hold’em: A player can bet any amount – up to all his chips on the table.
- Pot Limit Texas Hold’em: A player can bet a maximum of one bet equal to the pot.
- Mixed Texas Hold’em: The game alternates between Limit Texas Hold’em and No Limit Texas Hold’em in each round.
Each of these Texas Hold’em variations can be played online for free (play money) or for real money
In Texas Hold’em, as in other poker games, you have the options to fold, check, bet, call or raise. Which of these options can be used depends on the action of the previous player. If no one has made a bet before him, the player can either check or bet. If a player bets before him, the player can fold, call or raise the bet one more time. The player who calls must bet the same amount that the player placed in front of him. Raising means not only equalizing a previous bet, but raising it again.
All about the blinds
In Texas Hold’em, there is a dealer button that is placed in front of a player and indicates which player is the (virtual) dealer in the current hand. Before the start of the hand, the player directly to the left of the dealer posts the small blind, the first mandatory bet. The player to the left of the small blind posts the big blind (usually twice the small blind). However, the blinds can vary depending on the stakes and operational structure.
After that all players at the table are dealt their hole cards. Players then start betting clockwise, starting with the player “under the gun” (immediately to the left of the big blind).
Depending on the betting structure, all players may also need to place an ante (another small mandatory bet for all players at the table – usually smaller than both blinds).
Texas Hold’em Game Guide
- Each player receives two cards (“hole cards”) at the beginning that only he can see.
- The dealer puts five cards face up on the table – three at a time(“the flop”), then one more(“the turn” or “fourth street”) and finally one more(“the river” or “fifth street”).
- With these cards, each player can make his best possible hand of five cards.
- Before and after each card is revealed, players place bets in turn. To stay in the hand, each player must have placed the same amount or more of chips into the pot.
- The best poker hand wins the pot
Detailed description of a Texas Hold’em poker game
Before the Flop
Once players have seen their starting cards, they can decide whether to call the big blind or raise it. The action starts with the player to the left of the big blind, which is considered the “live” bet of this round. The player has the options “Fold”, “Call” or “Raise”. An example: If the big blind was $2, it also costs $2 to call, raise at least $4, and the action continues clockwise around the table.
The betting continues in each betting round until all active players (who have not folded yet) have placed the same bet.
Now three cards are placed face up in the middle of the table. They form the so-called “flop”. In Hold’em, the three cards of the flop are community cards. They are available to all players
who are still in the hand. The next betting round begins with the player to the left of the dealer button. The betting structures are similar to the preflop round. However, the player now has the option to “check” and pass the action clockwise to the next active player, unless another player has placed a bet before him.
Once all bets are placed in the flop round, the turn is revealed on the table. The Turn is the fourth community card in Texas Hold’em. Another betting round starts with the player to the left of the dealer button.
Once all bets have been made in the turn round, the “River” (sometimes also called “Fifth Street”) is revealed on the table. The river is the fifth and final community card in Texas Hold’em. The player to the left of the dealer button starts betting. The same rules apply as in the flop and turn rounds.
If there is more than one player in the game at the end of the last betting round, the player who last bet or raised shows his hand first. If there was no betting in the last round, the player to the left of the dealer button shows his cards first. The player with the best five-card hand wins the pot. If several players have an equal hand, the pot is split equally among the players with the best hands. According to the Hold’em rules, all colors are equal.
After the pot is dealt, a new Hold’em hand can begin. The button is now moved clockwise to the next player, blinds and antes are posted into the pot and new cards are dealt to all players.
Omaha Poker is an exciting type of poker derived from Texas Hold’em. Each player is first dealt four cards (also called “hole cards”) face down, which belong to him or her and which only he or she can see. In addition, a total of five cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table (the “board”). In Omaha Poker, players must make their five-card hand from exactly two of their starting cards and exactly three of the community cards. Nothing more, nothing less. The ranking of the Omaha Poker hands can be found here.
Omaha Poker – Game Variants
- Pot Limit 5 Card Omaha Poker – a player can bet the value of the pot (e.g. $100 into a $100 pot). This is the most popular Omaha poker variation.
- No Limit Omaha Poker – a player can bet any amount – up to all his chips on the table.
- Fixed Limit Omaha Poker – each game and each round has a specific betting limit.
Below are general instructions for playing Omaha Poker. The basic rules are the same for all Omaha variants, but differ in the way they are set.
In Pot Limit and No Limit Omaha games, games refer to the size of their blinds (for example, a $1/$2 Omaha game has a small blind of $1 and a big blind of $2).
In fixed limit Omaha games, the big blind is as high as the small bet. The small blind is usually half the big blind, but it can be more than half the big blind, depending on the bets. An example: In a $2/$4 limit game, the small blind is $1 and the big blind is $2, in a $15/$30 limit game, the small blind is $10 and the big blind is $15.
Rules for Omaha Poker
You will find the exact course of the game step by step further down on this page. We will explain the most important rules here. Instead of two, as in texas holdem, each player in the poker variant Omaha receives four cards of which only two may be used. In fact, there are Omaha variants where you play with five or even six cards. But, these formats are rarer. However, the fact that only two cards may be used at a time remains the same for all variants.
However, it is important that exactly two of your cards always have to play. While in Texas Hold’em you can also play a hole card or even just the board, in Omaha this is not possible. In contrast, the number and sequence of betting rounds is identical to Texas Hold’em. Omaha is played as Fixed Limit, Pot Limit and No Limit Game. However, No Limit is rather the exception. Unlike Texas Hold’em, Omaha is the most popular pot limit game
The process of an Omaha game
Before the Flop
Once players have seen their starting cards, they can decide whether to call the big blind or raise it. The action starts with the player to the left of the big blind, which is considered the “live” bet of this round. The player has the options “Fold”, “Call” or “Raise”. An example: If the big blind was $2, it also costs $2 to call, raise at least $4, and the action continues clockwise.
Note: The betting structure differs depending on the game variant.
The betting continues in each betting round until all active players (who have not folded yet) have placed the same bet.
When the first betting round is over, the flop is revealed in the middle of the table. These are the first three (out of a total of five) community cards available to all players. Then the player to the left of the dealer button starts the betting round. Another round of betting follows. In Fixed Limit Omaha, all bets and raises during this round can only be made at the lower betting limit ($2 in a $2/$4 game).
Once all bets are made in the flop round, the turn is revealed on the table. The turn is the fourth community card in Omaha games. Then the player to the left of the dealer button starts the betting round. Another round of betting follows. In fixed limit Omaha, all bets and raises during the turn round can only be made at the upper betting limit ($4 in a $2/$4 game).
Once all bets have been made in the turn round, the “river” is laid face-up on the table. The river is the fifth and final community card in Omaha Poker. The last betting round begins with the player to the left of the dealer button.
If there is more than one player in the game at the end of the last betting round, the player who last bet or raised shows his hand first. If there was no betting in the last round, the player to the left of the dealer button shows his cards first. The player with the best five-card hand wins the pot. Again, in all Omaha games, players must form their five-card hand from two – and only two – of their starting cards and exactly three of the cards on the table. If several players have an equal hand, the pot is split equally among the players with the best hands.
After the pot is paid out, a new Omaha game can begin. The dealer button will now move clockwise to the next player.
Videopoker is a game offered in numerous online casinos. The casino player tries his luck at a slot machine based on the poker variant Five Card Draw. The hype became more and more popular during the 1980s as many found their way to try their luck at a machine more lucrative than at a poker table.
Video Poker has the advantage that no bluffs or even other human moves can occur, because there is a machine available as an opponent.
There are a variety of different video poker variations of how the game can be practiced. Sometimes it is played with or without Wild Card(Joker). Jacks or Better is the most popular version of video poker. The versions All American, Tens or Better and Deuces Wild are also represented in the numerous online casinos.
The rules are easy and quick to learn. The tempting thing about this casino game is the payouts offered by the machines. With payouts ranging from 95% to 100%, Videopoker is one of the casino games with the best payouts.
Video Poker Online – Rules and Variants
In order to be successful in the game, a basic knowledge of the Video Poker game rules is of fundamental importance. In the following, the basics of the casino game Video Poker will be discussed in more detail.
Value of the cards
The names of the Video Poker games, such as Jacks or Better, are derived from the respective card names. The list shows a brief insight into the values and names of the available cards.
Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Five, Four, Three, Three, the lowest card is two. She’s also called deuce.
However, the card values mentioned do not indicate the strength of a hand. Important are the combinations of Video Poker cards.
As Video Poker is based on Five Cards Draw, the rules are almost identical to normal poker. To refresh the memories a little bit, you will find a summary of all poker hands below. A poker hand consists of 5 cards.
- The Royal Flush is the highest possible sequence of cards.
- In Straight Flush, you have a series of 5 card values on your hand.
- If you find 4 cards of the same rank in your hand, you have a Four of a Kind.
- The full house consists of a triplet and a pair.
- The flush is represented by 5 card values in the same suit. (e.g. 2,5,6,8 and King in Cross).
- A straight is defined as 5 consecutive cards.
- The Three of a Kind (Triplet) has three equal card values
- You have a two pair on your hand if they are made up of 2 pairs in different colors.
- The One Pair is made up of two cards of the same value in different suits (e.g. Jack Heart, Jack Cross). In video poker, only a pair of Jacks or better is usually considered a win.
First, you made your basic bet. This may vary depending on your choice of Video Poker machine. Now click on the button “Deal” to shuffle the cards and 5 cards are displayed. Now you are free to swap as many cards as you want, just like in 5 Card Poker. If you already have a strong hand (Straight, Flush, Four of a Kind, etc.), you can also hold the cards. After your exchange, your card combination determines how much a win is credited to your account. The game can then start again. Basically, you should always exchange the right cards to win a winning hand.
The best-known variants
Jacks or Better
To win your bet back at Jacks or Better, you must have at least one pair of Jacks on your hand. The winnings you can make with each hand can be found in our Jacks or Better wagering and payout list.
Tens or Better
At Tens or Better, if you have two tens on your hand, you get your bet back. However, it should be mentioned that the distribution of profits is decreasing upwards. For example, you only receive 30 credits for a full house, but 45 credits for Jacks or Better.
In Deuces Wild, the Deuces act as so-called wildcards. If you get a B in your hand, you can assign any card value to it. As a result, Deuces Wild has the opportunity to receive a Five of a Kind ( 5 cards of equal rank). The chances of winning are significantly increased by the wildcards for the player. For this reason, payout rates are limited. To get your bet back, you need a triplet.
Joker poker/Jokers wild
In addition to the normal deck, there are two Joker cards that can be used to make a combination of cards in Joker Poker. In this Video Poker variation, you will only get your bet back after two kings or better or after two pairs. The distribution of profits is not as favourable here as with Jacks or Better.
Double Joker Poker
Zwei Joker gibt es bei dieser Variante, entsprechend wird mit 54 Karten gespielt. Auf diese Weise steigt noch einmal die Wahrscheinlichkeit, eine Hand zu treffen, und die Auszahlungsstruktur wird schlechter.
Double Bonus Poker
Jacks or Better is also played here, but the payouts for quads change dramatically.
Above all, a quadruplet aces is rewarded much better with 160 units per bet, for a quadruplet two to four there are 80 units and for all other quadruplets 50 units.
Other payments have been devalued accordingly.
Aces and Faces
Here, too, quadruplets are paid particularly well, but only if they are achieved with aces or so-called face cards (kings, ladies and boys). The payout for Aces is particularly high, for pictures it is significantly lower.
Aces and Eights
Quadruplets also play a special role in this variant. For four aces or eights there are 80 units per bet and for four sevens 50 units. All other four of a kind are paid out as usual, but full house and flush are devalued.
There is a special payout structure for this variant. Royal Flush, Triplet and a pair are also rewarded, but all other payouts are different. For a straight flush, a four of a kind, a flush and a straight, there is more money, for a full house and a triple less than in Jacks or Better.
Poker is maybe the most complex game. Knowing the rules will help, but it will never be enough to make you a winner. You need to have a strategy. Have a look on our Poker Strategies page.