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Table Games : Game Tips & Strategies


Poker uses a standard pack of playing cards, 52 cards (there are some poker games that uses more or less depending on the variations such as adding wild cards like jokers). The card ranking is as follows Ace (the highest), King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 (the lowest), Ace (this may also be the lowest card depending on the variations you are using, but it is usually the highest).

There are four suits (spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs). No suit is higher than another. All poker hands contain five cards, the highest hand wins.

The use of Wild Cards depends on the variations; wild cards take on whatever rank or suit you want it to take. A wild card can either be a separate card added like a joker or you may specify a certain card in the standard deck to be wild like deuces, or whatever else.

The number of cards dealt is dependant on what type of game you are playing. The following is a list of the most popular types of poker along with their specific rules.



Draw Poker
To begin, two players at the table make a small bet, or blind wager, before receiving any cards. Each player seated in the game takes a turn at placing such a wager.

Players first receive five cards dealt face down. Players pick up the cards and look at them and then decide if they wish to stay in the game. If so, a bet must now be placed.

Once all bets are called the first round of betting is complete.

Players may now choose to exchange with the dealer any number of cards from their hand. This is known as 'the draw'.

Once the draw is complete a second round of betting takes place.

If all bets are called there is a showdown.

The winner is the player with the highest ranking hand.

If only one player remains (ie. no showdown) they will win the pot without having to expose their cards.



Seven-Card Stud
Seven-Card Stud is easy for beginners to learn, yet challenging enough to hold the interest of seasoned players. In Seven-Card Stud, each player receives two cards face down and one card face up. The player with the low card opens the betting. Each player in turn must call, raise, or fold. On all subsequent rounds, the player with the best hand open the betting.

Each player is then dealt 3 cards face up with a betting round following each card.

The last card dealt to each remaining player is face down with the final betting round following.

Players remaining in the hand will then show their hands and the winning poker hand will be awarded the pot. Suits are not used in determining the winning hand, and tied hands will split the pot.



Seven-Card Stud High/Low Split
High/Low Split differs from the high-only game in that the player with the highest card must open the betting.

At the showdown, if a qualifying low hand (five cards of 8 or below with no pair) exists, it will be awarded one half the pot and the best poker hand is awarded the other half.

In the absence of a qualifying low hand, the best poker hand wins the entire pot. A straight or a flush, 8-high or lower, may be both the highest and lowest hand, in which case it wins the whole pot.



Five-Card Stud
All players place a small wager known as an 'ante'. The dealer then deals each player two cards, one dealt face down, known as the 'hole' card and the other face up.

The player with the lowest ranking up-card must place the opening bet.

Each player to the left of the player making the opening bet must in turn either call the opening bet, raise it or fold.

When this round is complete each player is then dealt another card face up followed by a round of betting. This continues until all players have fice cards, one face down and four face up or until only one player remains.

From the third card onwards, the betting is started by the highest poker hand showing.

All players have five cards in their hand, one down and four up.

If there is a showdown, players show all five cards. The winning hand is the highest ranking five card poker hand.



Texas Hold 'Em
Texas Hold 'Em is a seven card poker game with simple rules that a beginner can easily learn and begin to play immediately. In spite of the simplicity, it is a fast and complex game that takes skill and practice to master. No wonder it has become one of the most popular forms of poker played today.

Texas Hold 'Em uses a disc called a dealer button to indicate where the cards are to be dealt. Prior to the deal, the two players to the left of the button place live bets called the small and large blinds. It's called blind because it's made prior to seeing any cards. It's called live because it counts as part of any further bets in the first betting round.

The play begins with two cards dealt face-down to each player. Action starts with a betting round beginning with the player to the left of the blind bets and continuing clockwise around the table. Players may bet, check, raise, or fold in turn. The large blind has the privilege of last action and may check or raise the bet.

Three community cards are then dealt face up in the center of the table and another betting round takes place beginning with the player to the left of the dealer button. Another card is dealt face up followed by a round of betting. The fifth and last card is dealt face up and a final round of betting takes place.

Players remaining in the hand will then show their cards and the winning poker hand will be awarded the pot. Any combination of hole cards and community cards may be used to make the best five-card poker hand.



Omaha
Omaha is a form of Hold 'Em that brings a few variables to the table. First you'll receive four cards face down prior to the flop and you must use two cards from your hand combined with three cards from the board to form your best five-card poker hand. Throw in the 8 or better himages/schools/lo variable and you've got a challenge for poker players at all levels.

Omaha is a nine-card poker game that uses a dealer button and blinds as in Texas Hold 'Em. The play begins with four cards dealt face down to each player. Action starts with the first player to the left of the blinds beginning the betting. Players may bet, check, raise, or fold in turn.

Community cards are then dealt face up in the center of the table in the same manner as in Texas Hold 'Em with betting after each round.

After the final betting round, the players remaining in the hand will then show all their cards. To qualify for a winning low hand, a player must have five cards of 8 or lower with no pair using two from their hand and three from the board. Straights or flushes may be used for the low hand if all the cards are 8 or below.

If there is a qualifying low hand, it splits the pot with the winning high hand. Other wise, the high hand takes the entire pot.

Remember, you must use two cards from your hand and three from the board to make the best five-card poker hand.



2 Card Manila
2 Card Manila is always played with a reduced deck of 32 cards containing 7 through Ace. The Ace cannot be used as a loc card to form a straight in all manila games.

To begin players receive two cards dealt face down.

The dealer opens (places face up) five cards in the centre of the table one at a time.

Players are required to either bet or 'check' on each card as it is opened.

At the showdown players use thier two hole cards and any three cards from the five community cards in the centre of the table to form a five card poker hand.



3 Card Manila
3 Card Manila is played the same way as 2 Card Manila except each player initially receives three cards and the deck may include 6's.

At the showdown players use any two of their three hole cards with any three cards from the five community cards to form a five card poker hand


Table Games School Lessons
Lesson 1: Poker History
Where did this card game come from? How did it get its name? Find out here.
Lesson 2: Poker Rules
The basics and the variations. Rules and regulations… How do you play Poker anyways?
Lesson 3: Poker Hands
So you know the basics, find out what hand wins over what… Does a straight beat 3 Aces?
Lesson 4: Poker Betting
“You gotta know when to hold them, know when to fold then”… and when to raise!
Lesson 5: Poker Strategy
Learn how to play and point to follow to play smart
Lesson 6: Poker Vocabulary
Impress your buddies on Poker night, with High Roller lingo.
 
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