Poker Texas Holdem
The ultimate goal of the game is to win a maximum of money, which is commonly represented by tokens. IF you have no more money, then the game is over for you.
In each round, each player has the opportunity to win the bet, more commonly called the pot. To win a bet, you must either convaince all other players to abandon the round (fold), or make a better card combination after four bet subrounds.
Beginning of the round
At the beginning of the round, the dealer is dealing two cards to each player. Then the player after the dealer pays the small blind, next one the big blind which is exactly twice the small blinds. These are forced bet to oblige players to eenter in the game. Then, the player after the one who payed the big blind goes first in the first bet subround.
For next three bet subrounds, the player right after the dealer goes first.
When you are in turn, you have three options :
- Follow, that is put in the pot as many tokens as necessary so that each player has paid the same number of tokens. For example, if the bet is 20 tokens per player and if you already put 5 tokens during a previous bet subround, follow will consist to put 15 more tokens, so that you have paid a total of 20 and that you are therefore in accordance with the bets of all other players.
- Raise the bet, that is putting as many tokens as necessary to follow, plus a certain amount of additionnal tokens. Next players will then have to follow you up to the new bet. For example, if the bet is 20 per player and you decide to raise by 10, then you will put 30 tokens (20+10) in the pot. The players who had already pay 20 tokens before that will have to pay 10 more to keep following you.
- If you think you don't have any chance to win the pot, or if you think that the investment to do is too big, you can stop following by abandonning the round. In poker vocabulary, we speak about fold rather than abandon. You will avoid unnecessary bets until the end of the round, but all tokens payed in the pot so far are lost. You wont show your cards after the four bet subrounds, and you can't win the pot that time.
In the poker vocabulary, we speak about call instead of follow, or check if the bet is 0. The term check comes from the fact that you are doing nothing, just looking at what other players are doing next.
When all players except those who have folded have paid the same number of tokens in the pot, then the bet subround is finished.
You can also bluff. To bluff consists in make other players believe that you have good cards, but in fact you know that it is not really the case. For example, you could raise by an important sum.
The fact to raise by an huge sum can discourage other players, making them fold, so that you may win the pot if you are the last one who hasn't fold.
You can also do the opposite, that is do not importantly raise and keep simply following when having excellent cards, so that other players will follow until the end of the round, and therefore win even more tokens.
The psychology of bluff is a very important face of the game, what make it much more than a simple hasard game. One can win with very bad cards and lost with good one. It is sometimes said that a poker expert hasn't even to look at his cards to win.
A player who has bet all his tokens is said to be all in. This is a risqued operation, because if he losts, then he has no tokens anymore and is in consequence out of the game.
First bet subround: preflop
The first bet subround is called preflop. By looking at the two cards in your hand only, a bet subround as explained above begins. The bet per player is at that moment equal to the big blind and the first player to bet is the one just after that who payed the big blind.
When that bet subround ends, the second one, the flop, begins.
Second bet subround: flop
Before beginning the second bet subround, the dealer return three cards on the table. These cards are common to all players and can be used to create the first card combinations.
By looking at your two private cards in your hand and the three on the table, a second bet subround is started as explained above. The player right after the dealer goes first.
When the second bet subround is finished, the third take place.
Third bet subround
Before starting the third bet subround, a fourth card is returned on the table. You can now make cards combinations with 5 of the 6 cards you have at your disposal. Best combinations have always at most 5 cards, there is no combination with 6 cards. You should choose which cards you want to keep in your combination and which you want to discard.
At the end of the third bet subround, the fourth and last one begins.
Fourth and last bet subround
Before beginning the last bet subround, a fifth and last card is returned on the table. You can now make a combination with 5 of the 7 available cards. In fact, you can choose not to use your personal cards and only rely on public cards, but it is often completely useless.
At the end of this bet subround, if there are at least two players who haven't yet fold, then it is time to show your cards and tell the combination you made.
Show your cards
After four bet subrounds, Now it is time to show your cards and tell the combination you made. The player who has the best combination win the entire pot (except special cases).
IN the playroom, you don't have to explicitely tell which cards you chose to make your combination. The best possible one is automatically found for you.
The different combinations you can make and their value are described below.
IF two players or more have exactly the same combination, then the pot must be shared.
Here is the list of all poker combinations allowed, from the weakest to the strongest.
A stronger combination always win over a weakest one (For example, a three of 2 always win over a double pair of aces and kings).
When two players own the same combination, the strongest card included in the combination wins, eventually followed by the second and the third in case of equality.
In general, colors (heart, spade, diamond, club) are not very important. IF a player can't make any combination, then the highest of his two cards is taken into account.
The pair is the simplest but the weakest combination. It is two cards with the same value, plus any three other cards. Example: jack of heart and jack of club forms a pair of jacks.
A double pair is two groups of two cards with the same value, plus any other card. For example, two aces and two 10.
Three of a kind
A three of a kind is a set of three identical cards, plus two any other cards. For example, three queens forms a three of queens.
A straight is a set of 5 cards having consecutive values. For example, a 8, a 9, a 10, a jack and a queen forms a straight starting at queen.
A color consists in 5 cards having the same color. A color means here heart, spades, diamond or club, not red or black. This is the only combination where the color is important.
A full house is the combination of a three of a kind and a pair, that is three identical cards plus two other identical cards. For example, three 8 and two 6 forms a full house at 8 and 6.
Four of a kind or poker
A four of a kind, sometimes simply just called poker, is a set of 4 identical cards plus any other card. For example, four aces forms a four of aces or a poker of aces.
A flush straight is the combination of a straight and a color. In other words, it is five cards of the same color and with consecutive values.
The flush straight ace, king, queen, 10, 9 is called royal flush straight, because it is the ultimate unbeatable card combination of the game.
Special cases in combinations
- When two players have the same double pair, the remaining card making the difference is called kicker. For example if player A owns 7 and 3, player B owns 7 and 4, and on the table are 2, ace, jack, 7, 2, then B wins over A. Both can make a double pair with 7 and 2, but B remains a 4 and A a 3. 4 is hgiher than 3, so B wins.
- Same case can apply to a three of a kind or a full house: i.e.: A : king and 4, B: king and 6, on the table: king, 7, 7, king, 3.
Special cases in bet win
If two or more players own exactly the same combination, then the pot must be shared between concerned players.
There is also special cases in win distribution when a player has bet all in.
If he wins, then he can only win as many tokens from other players as he has invested.
- C : follow / call / check
- R : raise
- A : go all in
- F : abandon / fold
- S : announce the sum of tokens you own (stack)
- V : announce number of tokens you have to pay to follow
- D : announce cards in your hand
- E : announce cards on the table
- G: annouce the best combination you have
- 1 to 7 : announce your cards then those on the table, one by one
- T : announce who is in turn