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Online Casino Project >>> Poker Rules

Poker is without question, the most popular card game in the world.  On the internet, poker accounts for nearly half of the annual revenue brought in from online gambling sites, sportsbooks and casinos.  Although there are several versions of the game, all of the poker varieties generally operate under similar conditions.  The game itself consists of several betting rounds and card substitution rounds, after which, the best ranked hand wins the pot.  It is this component of poker (betting rounds and card substitutions) which differs amongst the poker game varieties.  The structure of the game, in turn, is affected by the number of betting rounds.  Poker games with less than five betting rounds, like Texas Holdem fare will with several structures, such as a no limit pot.  Games with more than four betting rounds, like seven-card stud, operate more smoothly with fixed pot limits.  Some things do not change from game to game.  One is the lingo;  The other is the hand rankings.Before going over the different poker game varieties, including the most played online poker games, I shall go over the commonalities from game to game.  Here are a few action terms all poker players should know:

Ante - Also called a blind bet, an ante is a small wager made by all players before seeing their cards.
Pot - This is where all wagers are collected; That which the winner takes.
Call - When a player matches another players bet.
Check - When a player declines to put a bet down, thereby passing the action to another player.
Raise - One step up from a call, a raise occurs when a player makes a bet exceeding the amount of another players bet.

Here are some other terms players will surely hear:

Small Blind - A wager used to initiate betting in a pot.  Players are selected in rotation to make this wager usually in the amount of half the minimum betting limit before a game begins.
Big Blind - A wager used to initiate betting in a pot before a game begins.  A player will make this wager immediately after the small blind.  It is usually in the amount of the minimum betting limit.
Dealer Button - A small disk that sits in front of a player, designating them as the dealer.  Although this is just a title, and does not entail any duties, it plays a large factor in the game.  Therefore, it is rotated in a clockwise fashion to a new player each game.
Community Cards - Upturned cards resting in the center of the poker table.  These cards do not go directly to any one player, but rather serve can be used at a players discretion.
Flop - Refers to the first round of dealing cards after the initial hand.
Turn - Refers to the second round of dealing cards.
River - Refers to the last and final round of dealing cards.
Street - Many times a betting round will be referred to as a Street designated by a number, such as Fifth Street. Each numbered street refers to how many cards a player has to potentially form their hand at any given betting round.

As for the names of the betting rounds, these are explained in the individual game rules.  The other important factor common to all poker games, however, are the hands themselves.  The following lists the standard poker hands ranked from lowest to highest.

High Card - In the case in which no player has a legitimate poker hand, the hand with the highest ranking card wins. (In all tie hands, the one with the high card wins)

One Pair - Two matching cards of rank.

Two Pair - Two sets of matching ranked cards.  In a five-card poker hand this might be two seven's, two Queens, and an Ace.

Three of a Kind - Three matching cards of rank.

Straight - Five cards in consecutive order of rank.  The suits of each card can be dissimilar, and the hand can not go "around the corner", such as a Queen, King, Ace, 2, 3.

Flush - Five cards of the same suit, in no particular order.

Full House - Three matching cards of rank in conjunction with two matching cards of rank.

Four of a Kind - Four matching cards of rank.

Straight Flush - Five cards of the same suit in consecutive order of rank.

Royal Flush - The five highest ranked cards - Ten, Jack, Queen, King and Ace - all of the same suit.

As I said, there are numerous versions of online poker.  The most ubiquitous on the internet, however, is Texas Holdem, Omaha (Hi/Lo) and Seven Card Strud (Hi/Lo).  The largest online poker rooms usually stick to these varieties, with Texas Holdem unquestionably being the most popular.  The game rules and strategies for these versions are explained on separate pages, while the less common forms are briefly explained here. Let it Ride Poker, Pai Gow and Caribbean Stud are the most popular of the rest of the lot, and are available at most of the larger online casinos.

Click below for Complete Rules of these Popular Poker Games:

Let it Ride Poker is quite simple, and can payout some very large jackpots.  The format of the game is slightly different than other poker games in that the game is started with each player putting down three bets of equal size (depending on the stake of the game).  Each player is dealt three cards, with two face-down community cards in the center of the table (A community card is one which stays on the table and which all players can use to form their individual hand).  If a player is happy with their three cards, and thinks it could be the start of a good hand, they will signal the dealer to "Let it Ride" in regards to the first of three bets.  If not, the player can take the first bet back.  When all players have gone through this motion, the dealer will reveal one of the community cards.  The players will then go through the same process as the first round, but with the second wager in question.  Again, after all players are done, the dealer will reveal the second and last community card.  At this point, all players are in the game with at least one bet, and hands are revealed to determine winners.  Any hand greater than a pair of 10's is a winner, and is paid according to a payout scale taking into consideration the exact hand ranking and how many of the three bets were left on the table.

Caribbean Stud Poker is another simple game of poker that doesn't pose elaborate betting rounds like some other games.  In some ways it resembles blackjack - And with a large progressive jackpot attached to the regular pot, players have the option of putting down an additional wager to vie for it. Games begin with the players putting in a predetermined ante, after which, both the dealer and players are dealt five cards.  The dealer will then reveal one card and the player must decide whether to fold their hand and forfeit the ante, or stay in the game by placing a call bet the same size as the ante.  If such is the case, the dealer and player will reveal their hands.  If the dealer does not have at least an Ace and King, they do not qualify, and all players who called bets win the amount of their ante back.  If the dealer does qualify with an Ace and King, the two hands are weighed in accordance to standard poker hand rankings.  If the players hand is higher, it will win the amounts of both the ante and the call bet.  If the dealer's hand is higher, the player loses all bets.  In order to play for the progressive jackpot, the player must bet an additional fee at the start of the game.  Whether the dealer qualifies or not, does not affect the player's claim at the jackpot.  If the player's hand is a Flush, Full House, Four of a Kind, Straight Flush or Royal Flush, the hand will win a portion or all (Royal Flush) of the progressive jackpot.

Pai Gow Poker is an interesting combination between the Chinese game of dominoes and Seven Card Stud Poker. With only one betting round, the game begins with initial bets followed by dealing of the hands.  After the player is dealt seven cards from the start, he or she must split their hand into one five-card hand and one two-card hand. If each hand outranks each of the banks split hands respectively, the player wins.  If both hands are beat by the banks, the player loses.  If one hand wins and the other loses, the game is considered a push.  All ties go to the bank - and there is a 5% commission on winning hands.

The other less common forms of poker that are playable online are Five Card Draw, Crazy Pineapple, Big 2 Poker, Guts, and Triple Draw Poker (and many other varieties of stud poker).  Although you will not find these poker varieties in large poker rooms, they are still available at smaller sites - and fun to play too.

Click below for Specific Tips on these Popular Poker Games:

Additional Poker Tips, Rules and Pointers:


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