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Online Poker Rules

Online Poker is a fun and exciting way to play poker that is quickly becoming loved by millions of people around the world. At Pokertropolis, you can play a number of different varieties of poker games Online. Our Online poker games range from "play money" tables to high stakes games where advanced players are testing their luck and skill for big pots.

Much of the information within this support document assumes that you have some familiarity with basic poker rules. Online poker rules are usually exactly the same rules that you will find in any 'brick and mortar' poker room.

Dealer Button

  Dealer Button | Table Limits and Buy In | Buy-Ins
Antes, Blinds, and Forced Bets | Community Cards | Number of Raises Deciding Who Wins | Going All-In
 

At Pokertropolis, the players do not deal the cards. In all the Online poker games except stud games, you'll see a Dealer Button (also called "the button") in front of one of the players for each hand. That is where the action will begin for that hand. You'll notice:

- Cards are dealt starting to the left of the Dealer Button.
- When blinds must be posted, they are posted by the player(s) to the left of the Dealer Button.
- In most cases, each round of betting starts to the left of the Dealer Button and proceeds clockwise around the table.
- After each hand, the Dealer Button moves to the next active player to the left.

Table Limits and Buy In

  Dealer Button | Table Limits and Buy In | Buy-Ins
Antes, Blinds, and Forced Bets | Community Cards | Number of Raises Deciding Who Wins | Going All-In
 

Every poker game at Pokertropolis will have the limits clearly posted. There are three categories of table limits:

• Fixed Limit Poker - Bets and raises on each round are limited to a fixed amount
- Pot Limit Poker- Bets and raises are limited by the size of the pot and the preceding bets
- No Limit Poker- Your entire bankroll can be bet at any time.

For a Fixed Limit game, there will be two limit amounts specified, i.e. $1/$2 or $5/$10. The lower limit will be the size of all bets and raises in the earlier rounds of betting. The higher limit will be the size of all bets and raises in the later rounds of betting.

For example in a $3/$6 Texas Holdem game, a player may bet $3 in the first two rounds of betting. If someone wants to raise, they must raise by $3. In the last two rounds of betting, if player bets, he or she must bet $6 and any raiser must raise by $6.

Buy-ins

  Dealer Button | Table Limits and Buy In | Buy-Ins
Antes, Blinds, and Forced Bets | Community Cards | Number of Raises Deciding Who Wins | Going All-In
 

When you sit down at a table, you must purchase chips to play. The "Buy-In" is the amount of chips you must purchase to begin playing at the table. You must purchase at least 10 times the size of the small bet. For example - to join a $3/$6 game, you must purchase at least $30 in chips to play. To join a $5/$10 game, you must purchase $50 in chips. Games that don't have a fixed limit have a maximum buy-in amount.

During a game in progress, you may want to purchase more chips. You must purchase at least the minimum buy-in. Remember - any chips purchased during a hand will not be available until the next hand.

Antes, Blinds, and Forced Bet

  Dealer Button | Table Limits and Buy In | Buy-Ins
Antes, Blinds, and Forced Bets | Community Cards | Number of Raises Deciding Who Wins | Going All-In
 

In every form of poker, you need to get some money into the pot to start things off. There are three ways in which this may happen on Pokertropolis, and every poker game uses one or two of them.

Antes

In games that require one or more blinds, each player is required to post (pay) an ante before receiving cards. The ante is the same for each player, and the antes are gathered up to form the initial pot.

Blinds

In many poker games, there are "blind" bets to start the pot. A blind bet is a required bet made before the player sees his/her hand. Blind bets are different from antes in two ways:

1. A blind bet is a "live" bet. Others must call or raise the bet to remain in the pot.

2. Not all players make the blind bet in every hand. A small number of players (usually two players) make the blind bet every hand. This requirement passes from player to player to insure that the game is fair and starts to the left of the dealer button.

Typically, there are two blind bets:

The Small Blind is equal to half of the minimum bet, (Ex. $3-$6 game, small blind = $1.50) and is posted by the player to the left of the Dealer Button

The Big Blind is equal to the minimum bet. (i.e. $3-$6 game, big blind = $3) and is posted by the player to the left of the Small Blind

Since the blinds are live bets, all other players must call the Big Blind in order to stay in the hand. After the other players have acted, the blinds act on their hands.

The blind counts toward calling any bet. If a player has put in a $1 blind, and the pot has been raised to $4, then the player needs to only put in $3 to call.

When you first take a seat at an active table, you must post a blind bet before you receive your first hand. At this point you have the choice of posting an amount equal to the big blind at the start of the next hand (even if you are not the "designated" blind better for the hand) - or - you may wait until you are in the normal position (two seats to the left of the button) to post the big blind. Either way, you may not begin playing until your first blind bet is posted.

If you miss your turn to post the blinds, you can either wait until it is your normal turn to post the big blind, or you can post your blind at the start of the next hand. If you post the blind out of position, you will be required to post an amount equal to the sum of the big blind and the small blind. The amount of the big blind will be treated as a blind and will apply to calling any wagers. The amount of the small blind is considered "dead money" and is added to the pot.

Forced Bets ("Bring Ins")

When you play stud poker, in addition to the ante, there is also a forced bet called a "bring-in" after the first set of cards is dealt. Each player will have one card face-up at this point. The player with the lowest face-up card must bet an amount equal to half the minimum bet for the table. (In a $2/$4 game, the low card must bring it in for $1.)

The low card may also choose to start the betting with a full bet instead of a half bet. For example, in a $2/$4 game, the low card may bet either $1 or $2 when forced to bring it in.

If there are two cards tied for low, the suits are used to break the tie. The order of the suits is from lowest to highest: Clubs, diamonds, hearts, and then spades. (If one player has a 2 of diamonds and the other has a 2 of hearts, the 2 of diamonds must "bring it in" because that is the lower card.)

Community Cards

  Dealer Button | Table Limits and Buy In | Buy-Ins
Antes, Blinds, and Forced Bets | Community Cards | Number of Raises Deciding Who Wins | Going All-In
 

Many popular forms of poker involve community cards. These cards are dealt face up and can be used by everyone at the table to make their best hand. If there are two aces included in the community cards, then everyone in the hand has at least a pair of aces. If you have an ace in your hand, you have three aces.

In Texas Holdem Poker, Omaha Poker, and Omaha High/Low Poker, there are five community cards by the end of the hand. Together, they are called "the board." The first three are called "the flop", the 4th card is called "the turn," and the 5th card is called "the river."

Number of Raises

  Dealer Button | Table Limits and Buy In | Buy-Ins
Antes, Blinds, and Forced Bets | Community Cards | Number of Raises Deciding Who Wins | Going All-In
 

When three of more players are in a pot, no more than a bet and three raises will be allowed during any round of betting. After the 3rd raise, the pot is said to be "capped", and players may only call or fold.

At heads-up tables, a bet and five raises are allowed.

Deciding Who Wins

  Dealer Button | Table Limits and Buy In | Buy-Ins
Antes, Blinds, and Forced Bets | Community Cards | Number of Raises Deciding Who Wins | Going All-In
 

At any point, if every player except one has folded, the remaining player wins the pot. If, however, more than one player is left at the end of the hand, then there will be a showdown and the best hand(s) will win.
There are three forms of poker:

1. High hand wins

2. Low hand wins

3. High hand and Low hand split the pot.

High Hand Wins

The player with the highest hand wins the entire pot. (See Poker Hand Rankings to see how the decision is made.)

Low Hand Wins

In these games the player with the lowest hand wins the entire pot. A flush or a straight does not count as high when determining the lowest hand.

The best low hand:

Five of Hearts Four of Clubs Three of Clubs Two of Spades Ace of Hearts

(See Low Hand Rankings for more information about this.)

High Hand and Low Hand Split

In these games the player with the highest hand and the player with the lowest hand each win half of the pot.

A low hand must be an "8 or better" to qualify. To be eligible to win the low, the highest card in the hand must be a 5, 6, 7, or 8. If there are no qualifying low hands, then the high hand wins 100% of the pot.

The same player can have the best high hand and the best low hand. In this case the player wins the whole pot.

As in games where the low hand wins, a straight or flush does not disqualify a hand for low. Thus, 6-5-4-3-2 can be a straight for high and a 6-5 for low, or A-7-5-3-2 of spades can be a flush for high and a 7-5 for low.

You can use different cards to make a high hand and a low hand. Suppose your hand is:

Ace of Clubs Ace of Hearts Seven of Diamonds Seven of Clubs Six of Clubs Five of hearts Two of Spades

For your high hand you would have two pair (aces and sevens) by selecting:

Ace of Clubs Ace of Hearts Seven of Diamonds Seven of Clubs Six of Clubs

For your low hand you would have a 7-6 by selecting:

Seven of Diamonds Six of Clubs Five of Hearts Two of Spades Ace of Hearts

Pokertropolis will automatically choose the right cards to make the best high and low hand possible, so you will never "overlook" you hand.

If there is a tie for either high or low (or both), half the pot is divided among all those who may tie for high and the other half is divided among those who tie for low. For example, if one person has the best high hand and two people have the best low hand, the holder of the high hand wins one-half the pot. The two winners of the low hand divide the other half of the pot and each gets one-quarter of the total pot.

Going All-In

  Dealer Button | Table Limits and Buy In | Buy-Ins
Antes, Blinds, and Forced Bets | Community Cards | Number of Raises Deciding Who Wins | Going All-In
 

If you do not have enough money to call a bet, you can call with whatever money you have at the table. By calling with your remaining pot, you have gone "all-in." At this point, you are still eligible to win a portion of the pot. Please see the All-ins section for more info on how this works.

Online poker is a fun and easy way to introduce yourself to the great game of poker. Please remember, our customer support center is always available to help 24 hours a day.

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Saturday, March 18, 2006, 7:56:46 AM EST