Poker Rules and Poker Betting Basics
Poker can be an entertaining and rewarding experience – once you understand how the game is played. If you are new to the game, below are some poker explanations and rules made simple. When the basics are understood, you are ready to play!
Basic Rules of Poker
The objective of poker is like every other game – winning. It’s a game of chance, but when betting is incorporated into the mix, poker becomes a game that involves skill, patience and psychology. Starting with the standard 52-card deck, there are thirteen denominations and four suits, broken down into hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades. Suits are meaningful but color means nothing in poker. The lowest card in the deck is the two. The highest is the ace. In lowball poker games, the ace can also be treated as the low card.
There are several types of poker games, but there are common themes that apply to most of them.
There are several hands within a game of poker, and the object of each hand is to win the pot. The winner is determined at the showdown, which starts after all the players remaining in the hand bet in the final betting round. The player with the highest ranked hand wins the pot.
Depending on the type of game, cards can be dealt to each player that are concealed or not. There are also games that involve community cards, where players put together a hand using a combination of their cards and the community cards.
Before each hand begins, players contribute to the pot by posting blinds or antes. This ensures that there is money in the pot whether players decide to bet during each round or not. Antes are fixed amounts and blinds are used in community-card games.
Betting rounds range depending on the poker game. After a bet is made, a player’s options during a round of betting include folding, calling, raising or checking. If all players check, the play proceeds to the next round.
Below are the games currently offered by IslandCasino Poker:
Poker Betting Basics
Betting is the engine of poker. It’s what drives the game. There are essentially four moves a player can make when it’s his or her turn to bet:
Call: When calling, you remain in the hand by putting the same amount in the pot as another player bet.
Raise: When raising, you increase the amount other players must pay to stay in the hand by adding chips to the original bet.
Fold: To drop out or quit the hand.
Check: To pass on betting when it’s your turn. You can only check if you’re the first player to act or all the players before you have checked.
Betting - During games of Texas Hold ’Em and Omaha at 5Dimes, each bet and raise during the first two rounds is at the lower limit of the stakes structure, e.g. $4 in a $4/$8 game. Each bet and raise during the last two rounds is at the higher limit of the stakes structure, e.g. $8 in a $4/$8 game.
A player can bet up to four times per round. This is known as a bet and three raises. This would consist of (1) a bet, (2) a raise, (3) a re-raise, and (4) a cap. It’s called a cap since betting is then capped and cannot be raised anymore. Once the pot is capped, players can only call the cap or fold.
Check-raising is allowed in all games.
Button and Blinds - Hold 'em uses a button to indicate the theoretical dealer of each hand. After each hand, the button moves clockwise to the next active player. The player to the left of the button is first to receive a card and must post a small blind. The small blind is half the lower limit bet, rounded down to the nearest dollar, and placed in the pot before the cards are dealt. The player to the left of the small blind must post the big blind, equal to the lower limit bet, which is also placed in the pot before the cards are dealt.
In a $4-$8 game the blinds would be small blind $2.00 and big blind $4.00. This replaces the antes in 7-card stud.
The players who post the blinds have options when in clockwise progression the action returns to them. For the small blind, the options are to call the remainder of any bets made, or to raise if there are still raises remaining (not yet capped). For the big blind, the options are to check if no one has raised, to call if someone has raised or to raise if there are still raises remaining (not yet capped). After the flop and each subsequent betting round, the first active player left of the button is first to act.
When a player first sits at an active table, they may post the equivalent of the big blind or players may sit out and wait to become the actual big blind before playing. This rule ensures fairness to all players and stops potential abuses by preventing players from constantly entering games in late position and then leaving before they’re required to post the big blind.
All-Ins - Online poker games are played at "Table Stakes". This means that only the chip value you have in front of you at the start of a given hand can be used in that hand. You can increase your "table stake" at any time in between hands. NEVER DURING A HAND.
Sometimes during the course of a hand the betting will exceed a players "stake" and the player may not have enough to call a particular bet. The player does not have to forfeit their hand at this point. Should the player wish to continue, they can call the amount that they have in front of them and they will be declared "ALL IN". Any further action will create a side pot of which the "All In" player will have no claim to. The limit of the number of side pots is only limited to the number of participants in a particular hand. The player will have claim to the portion of the pot that they have contributed to. This rule is exactly how it's handled in Brick and Mortar card rooms.
Different from a B & M card room is the "ALL In" rule that occurs during Internet disconnects.
Our software can determine whether you are disconnected from the Internet during a hand. Should this occur your hand would play and lay claim to the portion of the pot that you have contributed to, up to and until the disconnect.
You will notice in the game that you have a preset "all in" account. This account has in it ONE (1) all in allowed in a 24 hour period. Should this happen more than once in a 24 hour period, you can ask to have this account reset by e-mailing support and requesting an all in re-set. Should this become a regular occurrence, please e-mail support to find out what suggestions we might have to help you increase the reliability of your connection.
If we determine that you are connected to the game your hand will be folded. This is done to protect the integrity of the game. Further if we feel that the "All In" policy is being abused, the abusing will be addressed and "All In" privileges may be revoked.
Players should exercise caution when their "All In" has been used. Until your “All In” has been reset, your hand may be folded during a disconnect and you can lay no claim to the hand or the pot you were involved with immediately prior to the disconnect.
Buy-Ins - The minimum buy-in requirement for all games is 10 times the small blind/bet in the game.
Buy-in examples would be $100 to enter the $10/$20 game, $50 to enter the $5/$10 game, $30 to enter the $3/$6 game or $5.00 to enter a 50¢/$1.00 game.
Rank of Hands in Poker
The common denominator in most poker games is the hand rank. The harder hands to obtain have the greatest value. Here’s a look from high to low:
Royal Flush: A combination of the highest straight (A-K-Q-J-10) and a flush. Odds of being dealt this hand in five cards is 1 in 649,740.
Straight Flush: Any five cards in a row (i.e. 9-8-7-6-5), all of the same suit. Odds in five cards is 1 in 72,193.
Four of a Kind: Four cards of identical rank (i.e. 2-A-A-A-A). Odds in five cards is 1 in 4,165.
Full House: Three cards of one rank and two of another rank (i.e. K-K-A-A-A). Odds in five cards is 1 in 694.
Flush: Five cards of the same suit. (i.e. 2-5-10-J-K of spades). Odds in five cards is 1 in 509.
Straight: Any five cards in a row of any suit (i.e. 5-6-7-8-9 unsuited). Odds of being dealt this hand in five cards is 1 in 255.
Three of a Kind: Also known as trips, any three cards of the same rank (i.e. 6-8-K-K-K). Odds in five cards is 1 in 47.
Two Pair: Two pair of unrelated cards (i.e. 3-5-5-K-K). Odds in five cards is 1 in 21.
Pair: The most basic hand in poker is the pair, two related cards (i.e. 3-5-7-9-9) Odds in five cards is 1 in 2.37.