The objective of the game is to achieve the highest value playing hand, or win by default if all other players fold, and collect the contents of the pot. Whether playing for money, or for fun, Poker tests individual skills and strategic abilities.
Players contribute, or ante, into a central pot containing play chips or chips representing actual money.
The Dealer Button designates the dealer position. This position rotates clockwise with each new hand dealt. The Small Blind ante position is immediately left of the Dealer Button and is one-half of the Big Blind ante value. The Big Blind ante position is the first position left of the Small Blind position.
Following the Small and Big Blind antes, all other players ante a minimum amount designated before the start of play and before the deal. Anted players in the game are dealt single cards face down until each player in the game has two cards know as hold cards, or pocket cards. These cards are under the direct control of each player and remain concealed during play.
Seven cards are dealt in the game. Five cards are community cards, which are dealt to the center of the table and shown face-up. Each player uses these five cards along with their two hole cards to build a five-card poker hand.
Betting, passing, or folding actions are made by individual players based on the strength of the cards they hold combined with the communal cards revealed during play.
After the betting rounds are over, the player with the strongest hand, or the last player left after all others have folded, wins the hand.
Limit. Bets and raises during the first two rounds of betting (pre-flop and flop) must be equal to the big blind and this is referred to as the "small bet." The next two rounds of betting (turn and river), bets and raises must be equal to twice the big blind and this is referred to as the "big bet."
No Limit. Players may bet or raise any amount over the minimum raise up to all the chips the player has which is referred to as the "all in" bet. The minimum raise is equal to the size of the previous bet or raise. If someone re-raises, the value of the re-raise must be equal to the value of the last raise plus the value of the big blind. If a raise or re-raise is "all-in" and does not equal the size of the previous raise, the initial raiser cannot re-raise again.
Pot Limit. The maximum raise if the current size of the pot including the amount needed to call.
The game is played with a 52-card deck containing no jokers. Play begins with the cards being dealt after all antes are paid, starting with the player in the small blind position and ending with the player in the dealer position. Each player receives two cards.
The "pre-flop" betting begins when all players have received two cards starting the player to the left of the big blind position and continuing clockwise. A round of betting continues until every player has folded, put in all their chips, or matched the amount put in by all other active players. Blind players are considered active in pre-flop betting and may check, or raise during the pre-flop.
Assuming two or more players are active in the hand following pre-flop betting, the dealer deals three face-up community cards, the "Flop," to the center of the table. Each active player considers the impact of the communal cards combined with their unrevealed hole cards.
After the Flop, a second round of betting occurs, after which, a single community card, referred to as the "Turn," is dealt to the center of the table, then a third round of betting occurs.
Following the third round of betting, the final community card, the "River" card, is dealt to the table followed by a fourth round of betting also knows as the showdown.
If a player bets during the showdown and all other fold, the betting player is awarded the pot and is not required to show their hole cards.
If two or more players remain in the game, a showdown occurs with each active player making the best five-card poker hand possible based on their hole cards and the five communal cards. Players with winning poker hands of equal value, share the pot equally, but any extra chip (uneven split) goes to first player(s) after the left of the dealer button.
When all calls are made by all active players, the last player calling shows their cards first, followed by the next player to the left until all active hands are revealed.
There is no absolute formula suggesting which cards to play, and many factors determine the outcome of a game. As a guideline, the chart below may give a player an idea of a starting point until the player learns through experience the potential of the their hole cards relative to their position at the table.
|Early Position:||The first three seats to the left of the Big Blind|
|Middle Position:||The next three seats after the Early Position|
|Late Position:||All seats thereafter, including the dealer position|
|Early Position:||Middle Position:||Late Position:|
In a tournament format game, each participant commits a specific value of free play chips used for tournament play competition. Player accounts cannot be replenished after the initial tournament buy-in is committed. An eliminated participant cannot reenter the tournament. The tournament ends when one player has won all the chips committed from all participating players.
Game play proceeds normally with blinds increasing at predetermined intervals.
The entry value of free play chips will be posted prior to the start of any tournament with an indication of the closing time/date for tournament entry. Once the entry value of free chips is committed for a tournament from a users account, the free play chips are considered consumed and shall not be returned to the users account.
Seating will be randomly assigned.
Each tournament participant will begin with the full free chip value of their tournament buy-in.
This is the same as standard Texas Holdíem dealing.
All players must be dealt a hand with blinds and antes forced. An untended hand is considered dead.
As players are eliminated, new tables for remaining players will be determined on a random basis.
Any player may declare and All-In bet. An opposing player declaring All-In is only committed to an equal value bet, or the full value of that players remaining free play chips, as is normally the case in non-tournament Texas Holdíem.
The amount of time allotted to each player for taking a player action such as Check, Raise, Fold, etc., is consistent for all players and will not be changed or altered after tournament play commences.
If two players go broke on the same hand the player with the greater amount of free play chips at the start of the hand finishes in the higher position.