Holed Em Poker Rules

Please note : the poker cheat sheet page has a handy reminder of poker hand rankings, and a useful list of odds. The Texas Hold Em cheat sheet has hand rankings and suggested starting hands to help you win at Holed Em, the world's most popular form of poker. We also have a page dedicated to poker rules for beginners. The easiest way to learn is to print out the printer friendly cheat sheets and then practice poker at one of the Reputable Poker Sites we have listed. Once you have played a few dozen hands the rules become much easier to understand, and all of the rooms allow you to practice at "play money" tables - there is no obligation to play for real money.


(what beats what at holed em poker, in order of highest to lowest)

Royal Flush: T, J, Q, K, A all of the same suit.

Straight Flush: Five cards in a row all of the same suit, (but not Ace high).

Four of a kind: Four cards of the same rank e.g. QQQQ.

Full House: Three cards of the same rank plus a pair e.g. QQQAA.

Flush: Five cards of the same suit, but not in a row.

Straight: Five cards in a row e.g. 5,6,7,8,9.

Three of a kind: Three cards of the same rank e.g. QQQ.

Two pair: Two pairs e.g. QQAA.

One pair: Any two cards of the same rank e.g. QQ.

High card: If no-one has anything, the highest card wins aces count high.

Note : an Ace can count either high or low for straights, but not both e.g. A,2,3,4,5 and T, J, Q, K, A are both straights but Q,K,A,2,3 is not a straight!


Most forms of poker can be played with Limit betting, Pot Limit betting and No Limit betting. With Limit betting, the amount you can bet at any time is determined in advance, and players can't bet more or less than this amount. The bet is usually doubled when a particular betting round is reached e.g., in a $1 / $2 Texas Holed Em Limit game, what you can bet when you first see your cards is $1. What you can bet after you see the next three cards (the "flop") is again $1. But the amount you can (and must) bet after the 4th card (the "turn") is $2, and the amount you can (and must) bet after the fifth card (the "river") is also $2. (For full details, and a glossary of poker terms, see the Official Poker Rulessection.) In a Pot Limit game, the amount you may bet is equal to however much is already in the pot, and so as the pot gets bigger so the amount you can bet gets bigger. E.g. if there is $1 in the pot then you can bet up to $1 maximum, if there is $50 in the pot you can bet up to $50 max and so on. In a No Limit game you may bet as many chips as you have at any time.


Fold: end participation in the hand and forfeit any money already put into the pot.

Check: make no bet, but reserve the right to stay in the hand. (You can only check if no-one else has already bet).

Bet: put money into the pot. (The amount you can bet varies depending on the betting rules of the game).

Call: match a bet made by another player (or players) in order to stay in the hand

Raise: put extra money into the pot beyond the amount needed to "call".


One player is dealer, and the two players to the dealer's left make forced bets of an agreed amount, called the "small blind" and the "big blind" (the small blind is generally half the amount of the big blind). Each player is then dealt two cards face down (their "hole cards") and a round of betting ensues. Three cards are then dealt face up ("the flop") in the centre of the table, and all players can use these three "community" cards with their hole cards to make the best five card hand they can. Betting continues, with two more community cards being dealt face up ("the turn" and "the river") with a round of betting after each. The last player standing, or the player with the best five card hand, wins the pot. Players may use both, 1, or neither of their hole cards to make their final hand, and if 2 hands tie the pot is split.


Omaha rules are very similar to those of Texas Hold Em, except in Omaha each player is dealt four hole cards (face down) instead of two. The betting then follows the same pattern as in Texas Hold Em. One crucial difference between the two is that in Omaha you must use two and only two of your four hole cards to make your hand.


Each player pays an agreed ante and is dealt two cards face down and one card face up (the latter being called the "doorcard"). There then follows a round of betting in which the player with the lowest doorcard is forced to open for a "bring-in bet" (an agreed amount that is less than the ante). Other players to the opener's left may then "complete" the bet to the full ante. After the first round is complete, there follows three more rounds, with all players still active being dealt a card face up, then a final card face down, and a fresh round of betting after each set of cards. After the first round, the highest hand showing begins the betting for each round.

Confused?? It'll all become clearer once you've played a few hands - practice for free at one of the Reputable Poker Sites.

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