OFFICIAL POKER RULES

Texas Hold 'Em   |   7 Card Stud   |   Omaha 8 or Better   |   Badugi   |   Triple Draw

The official poker rules require that poker be played with a standard pack of 52 cards (some variant games use multiple packs or add a few cards called jokers). The cards are ranked (from high to low) Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, Ace. (Ace can be high or low, but is usually high). There are four suits (spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs). No suit is higher than another. For the most part, all poker hands contain five cards, the highest hand wins.

Poker Hand Rankings

Descriptions of Poker Hands

Five of a Kind
A five of a kind (which is only possible when using wild cards) is the highest possible hand. If more than one hand has five of a kind, the higher card wins (Five Aces beats five kings, which beat five queens, and so on).

Straight Flush
A straight flush is the best natural hand. A straight flush is a straight (5 cards in order, such as 5-6-7-8-9) that are all of the same suit. As in a regular straight, you can have an Ace either high (A-K-Q-J-T) or low (5-4-3-2-1). However, a straight may not 'wraparound'. (Such as K-A-2-3-4, which is not a straight). An Ace-High straight-flush is called a Royal Flush and is the highest natural hand.

Four of a Kind
Four of a kind is simply four cards of the same rank. If there are two or more hands that qualify, the hand with the higher-rank four of a kind wins. In games with wild cards, it is possible for two players to have four of a kind of the same rank, and in this case the one with the high card outside the four of the kind wins. The same can happen in games with community cards, such as Texas Hold'em, when the shared cards on the table include four of a kind. General Rule: When hands tie on the rank of a pair, three of a kind, etc, a player's kicker (the remainig card(s) a player is using to make his five card hand) breaks ties following the High Card rules.

Full House
A full house is a three of a kind and a pair, such as K-K-K-5-5. Ties are broken first by the three of a kind, then pair. So K-K-K-2-2 beats Q-Q-Q-A-A, which beats Q-Q-Q-J-J. (Obviously, the three of a kind can only be similar if wild cards or community cards are in use.)

Flush
A flush is a hand where all of the cards are the same suit, such as J-8-5-3-2, all of spades. When flushes ties, follow the rules for High Card.

Straight
A straight is 5 cards in order, such as 4-5-6-7-8. An Ace may either be high (A-K-Q-J-T) or low (5-4-3-2-1). However, a straight may not 'wrap around' (such as Q-K-A-2-3, which is not a straight). When straights tie, the highest straight wins. (AKQJT beats KQJT9 down to 5432A). If two straights have the same value (AKQJT vs AKQJT) they split the pot.

Three of a Kind
Three cards of the same rank, together with two cards of different ranks (otherwise it would be a Full House). Again, highest three of a kind wins. If both are the same rank (possible with wild or community cards), then compare the High Cards.

Two Pair
This is two distinct pairs of card and a 5th card. The highest pair wins ties. If both hands have the same high pair, the second pair wins. If both hands have the same pairs, the high card wins.

Pair
Two cards of the same rank (a pair) plus three cards of different ranks. The higher pair wins; if two players have pairs of the same rank the highest of the other three cards are compared.

High Card
This is any hand which doesn't qualify as any one of the above hands. If nobody has a pair or better, then the highest card wins. If multiple people tie for the highest card, they look at the second highest, then the third highest etc. High card is also used to break ties when the high hands both have the same type of hand (pair, flush, straight, etc).

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Most Played Games In Casinos

Texas HoldEm Rules
In Texas Hold ’Em, players receive two cards, face down, as their personal hand (called their holecards). Afterwards, there is a round of betting. Three cards are turned face up in the middle of the table (called the “flop”) and another round of betting occurs. The next two cards are turned face up one at a time, with a round of betting after each card (called the "turn" and "river").

The the face up cards (called boardcards) are community cards, and a player may use any five-card combination from among the boardcards and their two personal cards. A player may even use all of the boardcards and no personal cards to form a hand (called "playing the board").

The winning poker hands is the one with the highest ranking five cards used out of the seven available.

Omaha 8 or Better
Omaha is similar to Hold’Em in that it also uses 5 cards on the board. The difference here is that each player is dealt four holecards, instead of two, at the start. In order to make a hand, a player must use precisely two holecards with three boardcards. The betting is the same as in Texas Hold'Em. At the showdown , the entire four-card hand should be shown to receive the pot.

In Omaha 8 or Better the game is played High and Low. The lowest five card hand splits the pot with the highest five card hand. Low is determined just the opposite of high. You want no pairs in your hand for low. Straights and flushes don't count so it's alright to have five low cards in a row. The lowest hand is 5-4-3-2-A.

One more caveat. To qualify for low, your five cards MUST contain five cards that have a face value of 8 or lower. In other words, your low hand must NOT contain any card higher than an eight. If no one qualifies for low, then the high hand takes the whole pot.

7 Card Stud
Seven Card Stud uses the same poker hand rankings (discussed above) as Hold 'EM or Omaha. The difference here is how you get your cards. In Stud there are no community cards. Everybody gets their own seven cards and must make the best five card poker hand out of the seven cards.

You are first dealt two cards face down, one card face up after which there is a round of betting. You then get three more face up cards, one at a time, with a round of betting after each card. The final card is dealt face down and followed by yet another round of betting. Final outcome is two cards face down, four cards face up, and one card face down.

Badugi
This game is a favorite amongst the high rollers. In Badugi you are dealt four cards face down, followed by a betting round. You are allowed to discard cards from your hand and get new cards up to three times. There is a betting round after each round of discards.

The object here is to get the four lowest cards possible with Ace being low. A-2-3-4 is the best hand. Now here is the catch, all four cards must be of a different suit. If you can accomplish four cards of different suits and with no pairs, you have a Badugi. Lowest Badugi wins. If no one is able to get four different suits or no pairs, then each player is allowed to eliminate one card and play only three. The lowest non-paired, non-suited three cards is the winner.

Triple Draw
In Triple Draw, you get five downcards. Your goal is to get the five lowest cards. Straights and Flushes don't hurt your hand in regular Triple Draw. You just want five lowest cards without pairing. If at showdown, all players have paired, the lowest pair is the winner. If you are playing the 2-7 variation of Triple Draw, then straights and flushes count against you and the best hand in this game is 2-3-4-5-7 with Ace being a high card.

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AA
KK
QQ
JJ
AKs
TT
AQs
AJs
AK
KQs
ATs
KJs
AQ
99
QJs
KTs
88
QTs
A9s
AJ
s = suited

 
Tapping the Aquarium
To tell a poor player what he's doing wrong, i.e., waking up a [fish].
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