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Poker, like so many other pastimes and professions, has developed its own terminology. This guide includes not just common poker terms, but also those specifically related to online Poker.

BETTING STRUCTURES

LIMIT

In a limit poker structure game, a player has a fixed amount of chips he can raise. In a game of $2 - $4 the small blind is $1 and big blind post $2. The raising pre flop amount is limited to $2 increments. So, if a player would like to raise after the big blind he can raise to $4. The next player has the option to fold, call $4 or raise to $6. After the flop the initial opening bet would be $2. After the turn the opening betting would be $4 and raising would be with $4 increments.

POT-LIMIT

Game play would be exactly the same as in limit poker, apart from the amount of betting allowed. In pot limit game, all bets are restricted to the pot size. This means a player can bet anything from the big blind to the pot size, unless a player is forced to move all-in, (the player has no more chips to cover the bet).

To calculate the pot size, the calling amount should be added to the amount already in the pot. An example: let say small blind is 1$ and big blind is 2$. If the next player would like to bet the pot size it would be 7$. (small blind 1$ + big blind 2$ + call cost 2$ = 5$, these 5$ are the pot raise amount hence maximum bet would be 2$ to call + 5$ raise = 7$). If the next player wants to raise the pot amount it would be 24$. (small blind 1$ + Big Blind 2$ + Raise of 7$ + the call 7$ = 17$ which is the pot raise, so 7$ to call + 17$ the re-raise = 24$ pot raise bet.) A minimum re-raise would have to be at least double the raise. If a player does not have enough chips or money on the table and still wants to bet then he is forced to move all-in. The above situation could be also when a player would like to call any bet but does not have enough chips or money then he can bet all his remaining chips and move all-in.

NO-LIMIT

In a no limit game you can bet your entire stack at any point in the game. The minimum re-raise would be at least double the amount of the previous raise, unless the player has not enough chips or money then his option would be all-in move or folding. The above situation could be also when a player would like to call any bet but does not have enough chips or money then he can bet all his remaining chips and move all-in.

TEXAS HOLDEM

Texas Hold'em or simply "hold'em" is the most popular poker game at the moment. On television shows such as "Late Night Poker" the players are usually playing a hold'em tournament. Furthermore, the Main Event at the World Series of Poker™ is a hold'em event. So if you have any aspirations of becoming a world champion, you will need to master this form of poker. Hold'em is a relatively straight forward game. As the old adage goes, a few minutes to learn, a lifetime to master. There are four parts to a hold'em hand: pre-flop, flop, turn and river.

PRE-FLOP

After the dealer button is moved into place and the blinds are posted, each player is dealt two cards face down. These are called "hole cards". You cannot see anyone else's hole cards and they cannot see yours. The player sitting to the immediate left of the big blind acts first. They may either fold, call or raise. To call, this player simply needs to put an amount equal to the big blind into the pot. The "action" moves around the table in a clockwise direction until every player has acted. After this round of betting is concluded, the flop is dealt.

THE FLOP

When the flop is dealt, three cards will be dealt in the middle of the table. Every individual player uses their two hole cards in combination with the three cards of the flop to make their five card poker hand. As such, all cards dealt in the middle are called community cards because every players uses them to make their best possible five card poker hand. Another round of betting occurs and then the turn is dealt.

THE TURN

The dealer will deal the fourth face-up card, which is called the "turn." At this stage, you have two hole cards and four community cards to use. As such, you can use the six cards (community cards and hole cards) to make the best possible five card combination. This may involve either:

  • Combining two of your hole cards with three of the four community cards; or
  • Combining one of your hole cards with all four community cards.

to make the best five card hand. Another round of betting occurs and then the river is dealt.

THE RIVER

The dealer will deal one final face up community card, known as the river. Another round of betting occurs and then the players who are still contending for the pot will "showdown" their hand, which means that they display their hole cards face up so that the winning hand can be determined. On the river, each player can use their two holes cards and the five community cards in any combination to make the best five card hand. This may involve either:

  • Combining two of your hole cards with any three of the five community cards; or
  • Combining one of your hole cards with any four of the five community cards; or
  • Not using any of your holes cards and simply using all five community cards to make the best five card hand.

THE SHOWDOWN

A small note in relation to the showdown. In casinos, amateur players frequently make the mistake of folding the winning hand on a showdown simply because they have difficulty realizing that they have the best hand. If you accidentally fold the winning hand at the showdown in a casino, you will lose the pot. The dealer will not roll over your cards for you. As such, if you're in doubt, roll your cards over and let the dealer determine the winner for you. There is nothing to be embarrassed about if you turn over the losing hand. But if you fold the winning hand face down at the showdown, the dealer will not help you. In online poker, you are assisted by the online poker room. If you stay to the showdown, the winner will automatically be determined for you, so there is no possibility of accidentally folding the winning hand.

OMAHA HIGH LOW

The Rules of Omaha High-Low / "Hi-Lo" / Eight or Better

Hi/Lo is a variation of Omaha. Hi-Lo means that the highest hand collects half the pot and the lowest hand collects the other half of the pot. It is possible for one player to have both the best high hand and the best low hand. If this occurs, this player will "scoop" or collect the entire pot.How the High Hand is Determined

In Hi/Lo poker, you determine the highest hand through the method used to determined the winning hand in an normal game of poker. Therefore, if in hi-lo, one player has a straight and the other has a full house, the player with the full house will win the half of the pot given to the highest hand.How the Low Hand is Determined

The low hand is exactly that: the lowest possible five-card hand you can make. An important thing to remember is that straights and flushes do not work against you when making a low hand. That is, a straight is not regarded as a 'straight' when determining the low hand. The same applies for flushes. As such, A-2-3-4-5 is a straight (high hand), but it is also the best low hand you can possibly make because it is the lowest 5-card combination. An ace is considered the lowest of all low cards. Virtually all hi-lo games are called "hi-lo 8 or better" or "hi-lo 8 qualifier." These two terms mean the same thing: to make a low hand, you must have five unpaired cards that are all below 9. If not, your low does not qualify for the half of the pot that is awarded to the best low hand. For example, 8-7-5-3-2 is a low hand because there are five-cards that are eight or lower. However, 10-5-4-3-2 is not a low hand because one of the cards is above eight. As such, it does not qualify as a low hand.Occasionally, no one at the showdown will have a qualifying low hand. When this happens, the high hand wins the whole pot because there is no low hand.Also, an important thing to keep in mind is that you must have 5 UNPAIRED cards below 9 to qualify for a low hand. For example, 5-5-4-3-A does not qualify as a low hand. Even though all cards are below 9, there is a pair of fives and you cannot have pairs in your low hand if you want to qualify for the half of the pot awarded to the best low hand. To determine the best low hand, we will teach you the following trick: make a sequential five figure number using your low cards and starting from the highest of your five low cards. The lowest five figure number wins the pot. Let us illustrate this by example.

Let's say:

  • Player A has the low hand 7-5-3-2-A; and
  • Player B has the low hand: 7-5-4-3-2.
  • Who has the best low hand?

Well it's simply a matter of converting these hands to five figure numbers starting with the highest card. As such, 7-5-3-2-A can be expressed as 75,321. Player B's hand can then be expressed as 75,432. Since 75,321 is lower than 75,432, Player A has the best low hand and will win half the pot.It is difficult to obtain a perfect understanding of hi-lo without playing it. The best way is to practice with play money online. See who wins the low hand and why. After considerable practice and observation, you will understand the dynamics of the low hand.

OMAHA HI LO

It is difficult to obtain a perfect understanding of hi-lo without playing it. The best way is to practice with play money online. See who wins the low hand and why. After considerable practice and observation, you will understand the dynamics of the low hand.

In Omaha hi-lo, you can similarly use any two hole cards in combination with three community cards to make the best five card high hand. Then you can use any two hole cards in combination with three community cards to make the best five card low hand.

For example, if you have K-Q-3-2 and the community cards at K-Q-7-6-4, then you best high hand is two pair: kings and queens with a seven kicker. However, your best low hand is 7-6-4-3-2. In other words, you are permitted to use any two hole cards with any three community cards for the high hand and then use two different hole cards with different community cards to make the low hand.

There are no real restrictions on what combination of hole cards that you use to make you low hand, just so long as you use two hole cards with three community cards. For example, if your hand is A-9-9-J and the community cards are 2-3-5-6-10, you cannot form the low hand A-2-3-5-6 because you must use two holes cards with three community cards. Therefore, the "two-hole-card" rule from omaha hi applies to omaha hi/lo.

Here is a test for you and the answer is below. Try to work it out before looking at the answer. Your hole cards are A-2-5-K. The community cards are A-2-3-5-J. What is your high hand and what is your low hand?

Answer:

Your high hand is two pair: aces and fives with a jack kicker. However, you don't have a low hand that qualifies. If you look carefully, you will notice that you cannot form any UNPAIRED 5 card combination using two of your hole cards with three community cards. If you are still confused, we recommend playing in a play money hi-lo game and learning through "free" practice.

7-CARD STUD

Unlike Hold'em and Omaha, seven card stud is not a community card game. The dealer does not deal the flop, turn and river in the middle of the table. Rather, each player receives their own cards which they (and only they) will use to make the best five card hand. Each addition card that you receive is called a 'street.' The deal works as follows:

START OF THE HAND

Initially, every players posts an ante, which is usually a small amount of chips. The antes are collected and go into the pot. Then each player is dealt two face-down (hole) cards and one face up card. A round of betting occurs before and then fourth street is dealt.

FOURTH STREET

On fourth street, each player receives another face up card and another round of betting occurs.

FIFTH STREET

On fifth street, each player receives another face up card and another round of betting occurs.

SIXTH STREET

On sixth street, each player receives another face up card and another round of betting occurs.

THE RIVER: SEVENTH STREET

On seventh street or "the river", each player receives their final card face down. Then a final round of betting occurs and the showdown takes place.By the river, each player should have three face down cards and four face up cards. Each player can make their best five card hand using any of the seven cards that are dealt to them. In contrast to community card games - hold'em and omaha - each player receives their own seven cards with which they make the best five card hand. It is important to note that one cannot use another players' face up cards to make your best five card hand.* 5 Card Stud is played in the same manner as 7 Card Stud with the exception that each player receives one face-down and four face-up cards. There are four betting rounds in total. Followed by the showdown.

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