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Punto Banco Baccarat

There are 2 versions of Punto Banco Baccarat, one with a large table that can seat up to 14 players all playing against the banker, and a small version where there is just 1 player at a time.

 
In our Punto Banco how to play article, we will explain the following. You may click on any of the links below to bring you to that point within the article.
 

 

The majority of online sites have the smaller version, in both cases, it is 1 player against the banker and even if there are other players at the table you don’t need to worry about what they get.

Punto Banco Baccarat table

An example of a table layout for Punto Banco Baccarat is shown above.

Punto Banco Rules

As in all versions of Baccarat, Aces are worth 1 point, a 10 and all face cards 0 points and all numerical cards equal their face value. The aim of the game is to score as high as possible up to a maximum of nine. It is worth remembering that in Baccarat, only the last digit of the total counts, therefore if your cards add up to 17, the value of the hand is 7.

The game is played with either 6 or 8 decks of cards depending on the casino where you are playing, and the suits don’t make a difference to the outcome.

Your main decisions are how much to bet and whether to bet on who will get the highest total – the player, banker or whether their scores will be tied.

Once bets have been placed, 2 cards are dealt face up to the player and to the banker. If either has a score of 8 or 9 – or 18 or 19 s only the last digit counts – then the game ends here and winnings paid.

If neither the player or banker has an 8 or a 9, a 3rd card can be dealt depending on what each has.
 
As a general rule:
 

  • If the player has a 6 or a 7, the banker will draw a 3rd card if they have a total of between 0 and 5.
  •  

  • If the player has a total of between 0 and 5, they will draw a 3rd card.

 
If the player draws a 3rd card, the banker may also draw a 3rd card according to the rules below:
 

  • If the banker has a total of 0, 1 or 2 they will always draw a 3rd card.
  •  

  • If the banker has a total of 3, they will draw a 3rd card unless the player’s 3rd card was an 8.
  •  

  • If the banker has a total of 4, they will draw a 3rd card unless the player’s 3rd card was either a 0, 1, 8 or 9.
  •  

  • If the banker has a total of 5, they will draw a 3rd card unless the player’s 3rd card was either a 4, 5, 6 or 7.
  •  

  • If the banker has a total of 6, they will draw a 3rd card unless the player’s 3rd card was either a 6 or 7.
  •  

  • If the banker has a total of 7, the banker will always stand and no 3rd card is drawn.

 
Once the above has been completed, the winner of the hand is announced, whoever has the highest total is the winner and bets paid out on anyone who bet on them. If the scores are level, bets are paid on the tie.

Strategy Punto Banco

It isn’t necessary to remember all the above requirements as the casino will automatically deal hands, it is useful however to remember it and a handy little table is shown below with details on when the banker needs the 3rd card:
 

3rd Player card
Bankers Total 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
7 S S S S S S S S S S
6 S S S S S S H H S S
5 S S S S H H H H S S
4 S S H H H H H H S S
3 H H H H H H H H S H
2 H H H H H H H H H H
1 H H H H H H H H H H
0 H H H H H H H H H H

S = Banker Stands H = Banker Hits
 

In terms of payouts, if you bet on the player and they have the highest score, you win your bet at odds of 1 to 1. So a £10 bet sees you return £20.
 
If you bet on the banker and they have the highest score, you win your bet at odds of 1 to 1 but pay a 5% commission to the house. Therefore, a £10 bet sees you return £19.50.
 
If you bet on the tie and the scores are level, you win the bet at odds of either 8 to 1 or 9 to 1 depending on the casino. Therefore, your return from a £10 bet will be either £90 or £100.
 
Despite the higher odds for a tie, the likelihood is less than 1 in 10 and therefore represents the worst bet of the 3.
 
The chances of each bet coming in on Punto Banco Baccarat are shown in the table below:
 

Result No. of Combinations Probability
Banker Win 2,292,252,566,437,888 45.8597 %
Player Win 2,230,518,282,592,256 44.6247 %
Tie 475,627,426,473,216 9.5156 %
Total 4,998,398,275,503,360 100 %

 
As you can see from the above table, the most likely outcome is the banker to win, however with the 5% charged by the casino on this bet, in the long term the best option will be to bet on the player.
 
As Punto Banco Baccarat is a pure game of chance and no skill is involved and each bet is favored towards the casino, we recommend playing it just as a bit of fun as opposed to trying to win money.

Tips

Bet the Banker – As with most other types of Baccarat, the Banker bet in Punto Banco Baccarat is the best one in terms of house edge, even with the commission factored in. Therefore, the majority of your bets should be on this, some players always bet the Banker until it loses, wait for 1 round and then start again hoping for a winning streak.
 
Avoid the Tie – Although the Tie offers the best odds by far, this bet also has the highest house edge and should be avoided at all costs – in the long run, you will lose more than if you bet on the Banker and/or Player.
 
Control you bankroll – As in any game at a casino, when you start a session of Punto Banco Baccarat, ensure you have a bankroll that will last at least 40 or so hands to ensure you maximize your chances of winning the session and enjoying it at the same time.

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Chemin De Fer


Chemin De Fer Baccarat

Chemin De Fer – otherwise known as French Baccarat – is a form of Baccarat where players bet against another player.
 
In our Chemin De Fer Baccarat article, we will explain the following. You may click on any of the links below to bring you to that point within the article.
 

 
Instead of player versus banker as in other forms of the game, in Chemin De Fer or French Baccarat, one player takes on the role of the banker each hand and risks their own money against other players at the table. The casino takes a percentage of winning bets as their ‘fee’ to ensure they make money as well.

The remaining rules of the game are like other Baccarat variants.

Chemin De Fer Baccarat game

A typical screenshot of a game of Chemin De Fer/French Baccarat is shown above, note the number of players with a bet at the table, the banker needs to match all these bets in order for them all to count.

Chemin De Fer Rules

A standard game is played with 6 decks of cards and can feature anywhere between 8 and 12 players.
 
At the start of the game, the player to the right of the croupier has the choice to become the banker. All others at the table are deemed as players and can only bet on the player to win.
 
If the player to the right of the croupier agrees to be the banker for that hand, they decide how much of their own money they are prepared to risk. They are able to pass on being the banker if they wish, in which case the next player to the right of the croupier is offered the choice.
 
Once the banker has decided how much they are willing to risk, play continues to all other players who make their bet.
 
Once all players have made a bet, if the amount exceeds the amount the banker is prepared to risk, they can either increase the amount to match the other players or stick with what they agreed. In case of the latter, the last bets to be placed are removed from the table until the 2 amounts are equal – the earlier you place your bet as a player, the more chance you have of it being covered.
 
If the banker is prepared to risk more than the players at the table bet, in a land-based casino any spectators have the chance to place a bet as well.
 
Once bets have been placed, the player with the highest bet gets to act as the player against the banker. In the event of 2 or more players having an equal highest bet, the player who placed their bet first gets to decide what happens during the hand.
 
2 cards are now dealt – face down – to the player and to the banker.
 
They both now look at their cards in secret, not allowing the other to view the hand. The player can show the other players if they wish.
 
It is worth reminding you at this point that the scoring is the same as all other forms of Baccarat. Aces are worth 1 point, 10 and picture cards 0 points and all numbers are of equal value to their pips. If the total is 10 or more, only the last digit counts, the aim is to get as high total as you can with 9 – or 19 as this counts as 9 as well – the best hand possible.
 
If either has a hand worth 8 or 9 points, they turn the cards over and the hand ends. The highest total wins.
 
If neither the banker or the player has an 8 or 9, the player now has a choice to make. Unlike in other versions of Baccarat, the player can choose whether or not to take the 3rd card.
 
However, there are rules which should be adhered to in the game as you act for a number of other players as well and detouring from it can be frowned upon if you lose.

The Players Rule:

Total Player action
0 to 4 Draw a card
5 Draw or stand
6 or 7 Stand
8 or 9 Hand over before 3rd card taken

 
Only really when a player has a total of 5 do they get to choose whether or not to draw a 3rd card, it is down to the player in charge of the hand to make this decision.
 
If the player draws a 3rd card, it is dealt face up so that banker can also see the extra card.
Although the banker has the decision as to whether to take a 3rd themselves, there is also a general consensus as to what they should do with only 2 cases of the banker deciding what to do. The table below gives further information on this:
 

Banker total Banker Draws Banker Stands Up to Banker
0 to 2 Always Draws Never  
3 If player 3rd card is 1 to 7 or 10 If player 3rd card is 8 If player 3rd card is 9
4 If player 3rd card is 2 to 7 If player 3rd card is 0,1,8 or 9  
5 If player 3rd card is 5 to 7 If player 3rd card is 0,1,2,3,8 or 9 If player 3rd card is 4
6 If player 3rd card is 6 or 7 If player 3rd card is 0 to 5 or 8 or 9  
7 Never Always Stands  
8 or 9 No 3rd card drawn No 3rd card drawn  
If the Player stands, the Banker should draw a 3rd card with a total of 0 to 5 and stand on 6 or 7

 
Once all cards have been dealt, both hands are turned over and winnings paid. If the player has a higher total, all players whose bets were accepted are paid out at 1 to 1 from the funds set aside by the banker.
 
If the banker has the higher hand, the banker wins all the player bets less 5% which is paid to the casino.
 
In the event of a tie, the bets are left on the table and paid out the following hand when either the player or banker wins.
 
As you can see, being the banker means you can potentially win a higher amount that when you are a player, however, you do risk more in this position too as you are potentially betting against several players at any one time.
 
Once a hand has finished, the banker has the chance to remain as the banker for the next hand – they will need to risk more funds in order to do this – or pass it on to the next player. It is considered bad practice in Chemin De Fer and French Baccarat to give up the banker position if you win after the 1st hand, players should have at least one opportunity to win their money back. If the banker wins 3 or 4 times in a row, it is acceptable for them to allow the next player to replace them as the banker.

Strategy Chemin De Fer Baccarat

Chemin De Fer/ French Baccarat strategy is the same as for the majority of versions of baccarat.
The player should take a further card when they have a total of 0 to 4 and stand if they have a 6 or 7. They have to stand on a total of 8 and 9 anyway so it is really just a total of 5 where they have a choice.
 
If the player stands, the banker should take a card with a total of 0 to 5 and stand on 7.
If the player takes a card, the banker should do the following when determining if they should take the 3rd card:
 
Player

Banker 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
7 S S S S S S S S S S
6 S S S S S S H H S S
5 S S S S ? H H H S S
4 S S H H H H H H S S
3 H H H H H H H H S ?
2 H H H H H H H H H H
1 H H H H H H H H H H
0 H H H H H H H H H H

 
The only situations dependent on what the player did are:

  1. • If the player has a 5
  2.  

  3. • If the banker has a 6 and the player stood
  4.  

  5. • If the banker has a 5 and player hit and got a 4
  6.  

  7. • If the banker has a 3 and player hit and got a 9
  8.  

  9. • In the above cases, the banker should copy the player actions and stand when they stand and hit when they hit. From the player point of view, they should mix it up whether they stand or hit on a 5 to confuse the banker, this gives them the best chance of winning the hand.

 

Chemin De Fer Tips

• Always check the odds at the tables, some casino offer better odds than others so check out our recommended casinos for where to play

• Quit when you are ahead – it is very easy to get caught up in the game and think you are unbeatable only to go on a losing streak and lose the money you won, have a target before you start to play and stick to it

• Play short sessions – the casino will always win in the long run, in theory, the longer you play for the more chance you have of finishing down

• Manage your bankroll – To ensure the best possible amount of fun from a session, break your bankroll down into a good number of bets and stick to this amount

• Don’t chase losses – if you do have a losing session, it is tempting to deposit more to try and win back some of what you lost, this is a very bad idea in any casino game and should be avoided at all costs

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Punto Banco


3 Card Baccarat

In this 3 Card Baccarat article, we will explain the following. You may click on any of the links below to bring you to that point in the article.

 

3 Card Baccarat is a fairly new variation on the popular casino game Baccarat and isn’t widely available in online casinos yet.

There are some sites that offer it though and the rules are very simple to learn making it an easy game to have a go on if you fancy something different.

Firstly, the scoring is the same as in the standard version of Baccarat.

All face cards count as ten, an Ace a 1 and all other cards equal the value of their pips – so 3 counts as 3 points, 6 as 6 points etc.

The aim of the game, as in standard Baccarat, is to guess who will have the highest value hand, the Dealer or the Player. There is also the option of a Tie but this is less likely in 3 Card Baccarat than in the standard version as the number of face cards in the hand need to be equal for a Tie as well as the value of the hand.

3 Card Baccarat Rules

Once you have placed your bet in 3 Card Baccarat, 3 cards are dealt for the Player hand and then 3 for the Dealer’s hand. No further cards are dealt which is another difference to the standard version.

Points are then added up for each hand depending on the value of each card and the winning hand is then decided. Payouts are then made.

Some websites differ at this point as to the hand total.

Whilst some add the points up and allow the 2 digit total of up to 30 to count, other follow the route of standard Baccarat and only take the last digit. Therefore a hand of 7, 8, 9 would count as 4 as opposed to 24 which would be the normal total. It is worth checking with the casino you wish to play at which version they have before you play.

3 Card Baccarat table

Above is the layout for a standard version of 3 Card Baccarat.

Payouts

Once the hand is finished, payouts are made. This is normally even money minus 3% to 5% commission for bets on the Player and the Dealer, and 20 to 1 for the Tie. Again, due to the low number of sites that offer this variation of Baccarat, the payouts can be slightly different depending on the site so it is worth shopping around.

3 Card Baccarat Strategy

One of the worst casino bets we have come across is within 3 Card Baccarat.

Many casinos offer a side game ‘Three Faces’, which pays out if the Dealer has 3 face cards.

The table below gives an overview of how this works:

Points Pays Combinations Probability Return
3 Faces 16 220 0.009955 0.159276
2 or Less Faces -1 21880 0.990045 -0.990045
Total 22100 1 -0.830769

 
As the game is played with a single deck of 52 cards, the odds of this coming in are 0.83%, so less than 1% of the time. The house edge for 3 Card Baccarat is 83% so leave this well alone whatever you do!

The Tie is a tempting bet for many with payouts of between 20% and 25%, and those that play standard Baccarat will surely be tempted.

However, as mentioned above, in order for a Tie to come in, not just the value of the hand but also the number of face cards need to be equal.

Therefore, the probability in 3 Card Baccarat is around 3.7% giving the house edge as 20.8%. This is, therefore, another one to avoid unless you are feeling particularly lucky and fancy a big payout before walking away.

3 Card Baccarat Tips

Steer clear of the Tie – like other forms of Baccarat, the Tie in 3 Card Baccarat should be avoided, not only does it have a poor house edge, the number of cards in each hand also needs to be equal for the Tie to count.

Play for fun first – Most online sites offer you the chance to play casino games for fun chips as well as real money, as 3 card Baccarat is considerably different from the standard game, even if you consider yourself something of a Baccarat expert, we still recommend playing for fun first to get used to the differences between versions.

Manage your bankroll – Like all casino games, it is important to ensure you have enough funds for a good session to maximize enjoyment levels and your chance of winning, therefore start the session with around 40 hands and stick to your bet amount.

Baccarat References:

Free Baccarat For Practice
Baccarat Strategies
Baccarat Rules


EZ Baccarat

EZ Baccarat is a variation of the popular casino game Baccarat. It follows exactly the same format in terms of gameplay and features just 2 small differences.

 

EZ Baccarat Rules

In both forms of Baccarat, all Aces count as 1 point, picture cards, and 10’s count as 0 points and all numerical cards count as their face value.

The aim of the game is to guess who will have a higher hand, the Banker, Player or whether both scores will be the same.

Once you have placed your bet, 2 cards are dealt face up for each Player at the table and for the Banker. As in Blackjack, you are playing directly against the Dealer, known in Baccarat as the Banker, and therefore don’t need to worry about other Players hands.

EZ Baccarat table

An example of the layout of an EZ Baccarat game can be seen above.

There are no further decisions to be made in a game of WZ Baccarat as what happens next depends on the total of the cards for the Player and Banker.

When looking at your total, only the last digit counts so the total for both the Player and Banker is always between 0 and 9.

For example, if you have a 9 and 5, the total is 14 but only the last digit – so in this case 4 – is used. Therefore it is not possible to go bust and lose the hand as you can in other games such as Blackjack.

Once all players and the Banker have 2 cards, the totals are worked out and the hand continues as follows:

• If wither Player or Banker has a total of 8 or 9, they both stand
• If the Player’s total is 5 or less, they hit and receive 1 more card, otherwise, they stand
• If the Player stands, the Banker hits on a total of 5 or less
• If the Player does hit, use the following table to determine the action of the Banker

Players 3rd card
Bankers Score 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
7 S S S S S S S S S S
6 S S S S S S H H S S
5 S S S S H H H H S S
4 S S H H H H H H S S
3 H H H H H H H H S H
2 H H H H H H H H H H
1 H H H H H H H H H H
0 H H H H H H H H H H

S = Banker Stands
H = Banker Hits

Once the above actions have taken place, winning hands are paid out.

If the Player wins, any bets on the Player are paid out at even money.

One of the 2 differences between EZ Baccarat and standard Baccarat is that bets on the Banker are also paid out at even money in EZ Baccarat as opposed to standard Baccarat where a 5% fee is taken.

If both the Player and the Banker have the same total, bets on the Tie are paid out at odds of between 8 to 1 and 10 to 1 depending on the casino.

The other difference between the versions come if the Banker wins a hand with a 3 card total of 7. In this case, bets on the Banker will only Push and any bets will be returned. Bets on the Tie and Player will still be settled as a loss.

Strategy EZ Baccarat

One of the 2 differences between EZ Baccarat and standard Baccarat is that bets on the Banker are also paid out at even money in EZ Baccarat as opposed to standard Baccarat where a 5% fee is taken.

If both the Player and the Banker have the same total, bets on the Tie are paid out at odds of between 8 to 1 and 10 to 1 depending on the casino.

The other difference between the versions come if the Banker wins a hand with a 3 card total of 7. In this case, bets on the Banker will only Push and any bets will be returned. Bets on the Tie and Player will still be settled as a loss.

EZ Baccarat Tips

The EZ version of Baccarat is very similar to the main version. The main advantage is that there is no commission payable on Banker bets, therefore, this bet has a lower house edge. It is worth bearing in mind though that if the Banker wins after a 3 card total of 7, the bet isn’t paid as a win but instead pushed which is one way the house gets some of their edges back.

As with all casino games, ensure you play within your means and don’t overstretch your bankroll. Play bets which allow you to enjoy the game for some time as opposed to betting all or nothing.

More in-depth tips and strategy can be found on our Baccarat Strategy page.

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7 Card Stud

7 Card Stud used to be one of the most popular forms of poker around, at least until the Texas Hold’em boom. It remains a popular and widely played variety.

In this article, we will explain the following. You may click on any of the links below to bring you to that point in the article.

Like many forms of poker, the rules are simple to learn but the technique and winning formula can take a while to get used to.

Whilst 2 of the most popular forms of poker, Texas Hold’em and Omaha, have community cards, in 7 Card Stud, all players get their own cards that only they can use. You will see 4 of 7 of your opponent’s cards during the hand so you will get a good idea of what they have.

7 Card Stud is available at most of our recommended poker sites, but you will find there are fewer people playing it than other forms, especially at off-peak hours.

7 Card Stud Rules

7 Card Stud uses one deck of 52 cards. As in other forms of poker, cards count at their respective values, whilst Aces count either high or low.

Whilst most forms of poker use ‘blinds’ to ensure there is money in the pot, 7 Card Stud uses antes. This is a small bet paid by every player in the hand before the first cards are dealt.

In order for a hand to commence, one player is designated as the dealer. A small dealer ‘button’ is placed in front of this player to represent the dealer position. Cards will be dealt with starting with the player to the left of this position. Once a hand finishes, the dealer button – and consequently all other positions – move clockwise one position around the table.

Once all players have paid the ante bet, the first cards are dealt. Starting from the player to the left of the dealer, each player is dealt 2 cards face down and 1 card face up, so all other players can view it. The 2 face-down cards are known as the hole cards, with the face-up card commonly referred to as the ‘door’ card. Overall, they are the Starting Hand.

Below is a layout of each of the cards as they are dealt with showing which are face up and which are face down.

7 Card Stud hand

The first of 5 betting rounds now take place. The player with the lowest ‘door’ card pays a ‘bring in’ bet, this amount depends on the stakes in play in that particular game. The action then continues from that player going clockwise around the table. The position is important in any form of poker as the later you act in a hand, the more players you will see going before you giving you a better idea of what kind of hand they have.

Players have 3 choices they can make at this point. You can ‘Call’ the current bet – place a bet equal to the largest bet previously made in the hand, in the first betting round this will be at least the value of the big blind. You can ‘Raise’ the current bet – place a larger bet than the previous highest bet, this needs to be at least double the amount. You can also choose to ‘Fold’ – discard your cards and leave the hand, meaning you cannot win the pot but don’t invest any chips either.

The Play or Action continues clockwise around the table until all players have called the highest bet or folded. As the player in the big blind position has already put a bet in, if no one has raised before action returns to them, they have the option to Check if they wish – this is effectively calling the highest bet but without putting any more chips into the pot as they have already placed an amount equal to the highest bet.

Once the betting round has been completed, another card is dealt with all remaining players face up. This is known as 4th street.

We then see the 2nd betting round which is similar to before, the only difference is that the action starts with the player displaying the highest value cards on their upturned cards. If a player shows a pair, they go first, in the event, 2 players have a pair, the highest pair goes first. If 2 players tie for the highest cards, the player who ties and is first to the left of the dealer goes first. As there is no forced bet in this round, the first player to act can check if they wish, effectively calling the current highest bet of 0 and staying in the hand without the need to bet. If another player raises, however, all players will need to place a bet equal to this amount to stay in the hand and see the next card.

Once this betting round is completed, all remaining players get dealt a 5th card face up, known as 5th street. This will give all players 2 cards face down and 3 face-up.

A further betting round now takes place, exactly the same as the last round.

A 6th card is now dealt face up to all remaining players, unsurprisingly this card is known as 6th street.

Below is an image of how an online game would look at this stage, with players having 2 face-down cards and 4 face-up.

7 Card Stud Poker

A further betting round takes place the same as the last 2.

All remaining players now get a 7th and final card known as the 7th street or the River. This one is dealt face down. As there are only 52 cards in a pack and all players can, in theory, ask for 7 cards, a game of 7 Card Stud is limited to a maximum of 8 players. In the unlikely event that there aren’t enough cards left at this stage for all players to receive the 7th card, 1 card is dealt face up which all players can use. This is very unusual however as it will need all 8 players to remain in the hand until the end.

Once the final cards have been dealt, there is 1 final betting round the same as before. All remaining players then go to showdown to determine the winner of the hand and the pot.

The remaining player to the left of the dealer shows their hand first, the next player needs to show their hand if they can beat it if the previous hand is better, the hand can be ‘mucked’ – thrown away without other players seeing what that player had. This can be important when you are trying to get an idea of how someone plays, an important aspect of poker. Play continues around the table until all players have had the chance to show their hands.

The player with the best 5 card poker hand wins. If 2 5 card poker hands are identical, the pot is split equally. It is important that you understand the hands and their rankings, details of which can be found here if you are unsure of the strength of each, it is a good idea to learn them before playing for real money.

7 Card Stud Strategy

7 Card Stud strategy

Play Hands That Have The Ability To Improve

As the name implies, 7 Card Stud is a seven-card game and therefore you should always look to play hands that have the ability to improve to a nice hand. 3 cards of the same suit, 3 in a row or a high pair are all hands where you should get involved, especially when the pair are on your downturned cards

Consider how many others are in the hand…

When you are playing a drawing hand, i.e. looking to hit a flush or straight, the chances of hitting are low, therefore these hands are better when a lot of players are in the hand. When you do hit, your payout will be bigger.

Similarly, if you have a high pair, you are better off with fewer players in the hand as they are more likely to win without improvement.

The difference between a small pair and a large pair is huge…

If you have a small pair to start, the chances are you will need to improve in order to win the hand. Unless you get a 3rd card or a 2nd pair, you are unlikely to win with a small pair, with a larger pair, however, the chances are much higher even if you don’t improve later in the hand.

Be aware and beware of ‘scare’ cards…

These are cards that make an upturned hand look good, even if it isn’t. For example, 3 cards the same suit on 3rd, 4th and 5th street can show the real possibility of a flush, if you have these yourself you have a better chance of taking down the pot even if you don’t have another card of the same suit, however, if another player displays 3 the same suit then beware as there is a good chance they could hit their flush.

It is often worth the chase…

You should certainly be selective in terms of your starting hand, however, once you are in a pot it is often worth going all the way to the end as you never know what card you will hit on the river or which of your opponents will be chasing and missing.

7 Card Stud Tips

Decide on 3rd Street whether or not to stay in the hand – By this point, you will have almost half of your cards and have an idea of what kind of hand you will be going for, whether it be a Flush, Straight, Full House or less. One of the key traits in 7 Card Stud is to be selective on the starting hands you play.

Be aware of what you are up against – Always keep an eye on your opponent’s upturned cards as this gives you a very good idea of the type of hand they are after, never be afraid to fold if they look a lot stronger than you.

Steal the Antes – If you have a strong looking set of upturned cards, even if your downturned ones don’t help a lot, you can often scare your opponents and steal the blinds by betting big on the strength of these cards. It may not sound a lot, but winning a few hands and keep the blinds can make a difference during a tournament.

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Poker Video Tutorials


Crazy Pineapple Poker

Crazy Pineapple is a poker game that is very similar to Texas Hold’em. It is more commonly found in home games than online or in tournaments though.

In our Crazy Pineapple Poker article, we will explain the following. You may click on any of the links below to bring you to that point within the article.

 

Crazy Pineapple Rules

Crazy Pineapple Three Hole Cards

All the rules of Crazy Pineapple are the same as Texas Hold’em, with one difference. In Crazy Pineapple, you are dealt 3 hole cards as opposed to 2, as you will see from the screenshot above. After the betting on the flop, each player remaining in the hand must discard 1 of their 3 hole cards. There is also another variant called Pineapple Poker which sees 3 hole cards dealt and 1 card discarded straight away. These cards can be discarded face down so no other players get to see it.

One deck of 52 cards is used in Crazy Pineapple Poker. All of the cards count as their respective value, with Aces counting as either high or low.

One player each hand is chosen as the dealer, this is represented by a small disc next to that player and moves around the table after each hand so everyone gets a turn.

The player to the dealer’s left places a bet called the “small blind. The player to the left of the small blind – so 2 seats to the left of the dealer – places a bet known called the “big blind” which is normally double the small blind. These bets are compulsory and are designed to ensure there is a pot to be won each hand and to ensure players don’t simply sit waiting for one of the best starting hands to be dealt whilst not risking any money.

Three cards are now dealt with each player face down, starting with the player on the dealers left, the small blind.

Once these cards have been dealt, in Pineapple Poker each player must discard 1 of their 3 hole cards.

Because the first 2 players to the left of the dealer have placed a bet before the cards were dealt, the player to the left of the big blind – 3 to the left of the dealer – gets to act first. They need to either ‘Call’ the big blind bet (place a bet equal to this amount), ‘Raise’ (place a bet that is higher than the big blind) or ‘Fold’ (discard their remaining 2 hole cards and end their participation in the hand). The action then continues around the table in a clockwise direction until all players have either Folded or Called the highest bet. If the play goes back around to the big blind and no one has raised, the big blind player can ‘Check’ (effectively Call the largest bet but not put any funds in as their bet is already equal to the highest bet).

Once the first betting round is complete, 3 cards are dealt in the middle of the table. These are Community cards (cards that can be used by any player) and is known as the Flop. These cards are dealt face up so all players can see them.

Another round of betting now takes place, starting with the player to the dealers left (the player in the small blind position) unless this player folded in the first round of betting in which case it will be the next player who starts the betting. Action continues until all players who are still in the hand have either Folded or placed a bet the same as all other players. As there is no forced bet in this round, all players can Check if they wish which means no further bets are made, although if one player does decide to bet, all other players will need to either match this bet by Calling or Fold.

Crazy Pineapple Poker Betting Round

In Crazy Pineapple Poker, all remaining players now need to discard 1 of their 3 hole cards at this point before the next card is dealt. An example of how a Crazy Pineapple online game will look after the flop has been dealt.

A 4th community card is now dealt face up. This one is known as the turn and means all players now have 6 cards they can use, their own 2 that only they can see and the 4 community cards that all players can see and use.

Another round of betting takes place at this point following the same procedure as after the Flop. Some tables have a minimum amount that can be bet at this point, normally double the minimum of the last 2 rounds, so double the big blind.

Once this round of betting is complete, a 5th and final community card is dealt face up for all players to use. This card is known as the River and means players now have the 7 cards available to them in order to make the best possible 5 card hand.

A final round of betting now takes place, the same format as after the Turn.

Once this betting round is complete, the first player remaining in the hand to the left of the dealer shows their cards. The action then continues around the table with each player showing their hand to determine who wins. Please note that whereas the first player to show needs to do so if the next player cannot match that hand, they can Muck their hand which means they agree they have lost but don’t show the other players what they had. If their hand is better, they need to show their hand to this effect. The hand needs to be made up of 5 of the 7 cards available, a player can use all 5 community cards, 1 of his/her own cards and 4 of the community cards, or both of his/her own cards and 3 of the community cards. The player with the highest ranking hand wins the pot.

Crazy Pineapple Poker Strategy

One big difference to Texas Hold’em is the third hole card each player receives. This gives you additional information that you can use to your advantage. This is not always significant, but it can be – for example, if you have 3 of the same suit, the chances of hitting a flush are reduced as you need to discard one and there are therefore fewer cards of that suit to come out of the remaining pack. Also, if you get 3 cards of the same value, whilst this may look good if you can use all 3, as you need to discard one the chances of hitting 3 of a kind are severely reduced as there is a maximum of 1 other card of that value in the pack.

When playing Pineapple Poker it is worth having an idea of how to play Omaha as in this version of poker you can use 2 of 4 hole cards. Therefore strategy can be very similar. Look out for hands that are connected, either by value or by suit.

High pairs are as always a good starting hand, although lower pairs are harder to play as you can mostly only win by hitting 3 of a kind.

In Pineapple Poker and Crazy Pineapple Poker, the chances of hitting 3 of a kind on the board are slightly higher than in Texas Hold’em, although not by much.

This is down to the fact that you already have one card in your hand that is taken out of the game, however, the difference is so tiny that it’s not really relevant to your game.

Don’t play too many hands in the hope that you hit something on the flop. This will go wrong in many cases, especially in Crazy Pineapple, when everybody has three cards to connect with the flop. The extra card means players will on average get better hands more often than in Texas Hold’em and therefore a hand that would be strong in that version is not so strong in Pineapple or.

Crazy Pineapple Poker Tips

Play for free first…

If you play Crazy Pineapple online, try and play for free first until you get the hang of the game. Although the rules are essentially the same as in Texas Hold’em, the fact you get to choose which of your 3 hole cards to discard give the game an extra twist and you should get used to the strategy involved in this before playing for real money.

What may be a good hand in Hold’em isn’t as good in Crazy Pineapple…

As players have 3 hole cards to choose from until after the flop, the winning hands in Crazy Pineapple are likely to be better on average than in Texas Hold’em, therefore treat pairs and 2 pairs with caution especially if there is a straight/flush draw on the board.

Enjoy the game…

There is no point in playing if you don’t enjoy the experience, so always remember that you are playing to enjoy yourself as well as win money. If the enjoyment goes out of the game, it is time to stop playing.

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5 Card Draw Poker

5 Card Draw is one of the oldest forms of poker around. It is very basic and easy to learn, although like so many other versions, can take a long time to master.

In this article, we will explain the following. You may click on any of the links below to bring you to that point in the article.

 

Unlike some of the popular versions of poker, such as Texas Hold’em, 5 Card Draw does not have community cards, and no one gets to see any of your cards until the end of the hand.

5 Card Draw can be found on many online poker sites, however, it can be hard to find a game during off-peak hours as it isn’t as popular as versions such as Texas Hold’em and Omaha.

5 Card Draw Rules

5 Card Draw uses a single deck of 52 cards. As in most other forms of poker, all cards count at their respective values with Aces counting as either high or low.

Most online sites use the blind structure whereby 2 players at the table pay a forced bet each hand. Please note that in some versions and more commonly when played in a home game, it is played with antes, meaning all players pay a small bet at the start of each hand.

As the blind system is the most common online, this is the one we will be explaining.
At the start of each hand, one player is designated as the dealer. You will see a ‘button’ in front of this person to represent the dealer position. Cards are dealt starting with the player to the left of the dealer. After each hand, the disc and therefore all other positions move around the table in a clockwise direction.

Before the first cards are dealt, 2 players need to pay a ‘blind’. The player directly to the dealer’s left pays the ‘small blind’. If you are in a cash game, this amount is the same each hand depending on limits of the table you are at, if you are playing in a tournament, you will see the blinds increase at regular intervals, thus ensuring the tournament comes to a conclusion once it increases to a certain point. The player 2 positions to the left of the dealer – directly to the left of the small blind – pays a big blind bet which is normally double that of the small blind. Players take it in turns to be sat in these positions hence why the dealer button gets moved after each hand. The purpose of these bets is to ensure there is a pot to be won in every hand.

Once these bets have been made, every player is dealt 5 cards face down, ensuring no one else can view them, starting with the player to the dealers left, the small blind.

The first of 2 betting rounds takes place after cards have been dealt, starting with the player to the left of the big blind. Like any poker game, a position is important in 5 Card Draw, the later you act in a hand the more advantage you get as you will see what other players are doing before you act yourself. This gives you a better feel for what other players have.

The same as in other forms of poker, players need to either ‘Call’ the current bet – so place a bet equal to the largest bet made, at the start of the hand this will be the big blind bet – ‘Raise’ the current bet – increase the biggest bet that has previously been made, this normally needs to be at least double the previous largest bet – or ‘Fold’ – end your interest in the hand by throwing away your cards if you don’t feel they are good enough to win the hand.

The Play (otherwise known as Action) continues clockwise around the table until all players have either Called the highest bet made and put an equal amount in or Folded and thrown their cards away leaving the hand. The big blind is the last player to act and if no one before them has Raised, they can ‘Check’ – this effectively means they ‘Call’ the bet but as they have previously put in the largest bet, they don’t need to add more funds to the pot in order to proceed to the next round.

Once this betting round has been completed, the action starts again with the player to the left of the Dealer who is still in the hand. The example below shows the player holding a pair of kings and preparing to discard the other 3 cards.

 
5 Card Draw Poker hand 2 Kings
 

Each player, in turn, has to choose a number of cards which they wish to replace. They can keep all 5 of their cards if they wish, this is known as “stand pat”, or they can throw away any number of cards, all 5 if they wish, face down. They will be dealt an equal number of new cards which will give them their final hand.

Once all players have received their new cards, there is a 2nd and final betting round starting with the first active player to the Dealers left.

This is the same as before, except that there is no previous bet in this round, therefore the first player to act can ‘Check’ if he wishes meaning he doesn’t bet any further funds.

Once all players have acted and every player has either Called the highest bet of the round or Folded, the winner of the hand is determined at the Showdown. The first active player to the left of the Dealer shows his hand, play then continues around the table with the next player showing his hand if it is better or ‘mucking’ his cards – basically, admitting defeat and throwing them away – if his hand is beaten.

The player with the best 5 card poker hand wins the pot. You can check out the full hand rankings if you are unsure of the strength of each, it is a good idea to learn them before playing for real money.

See below for an example of how a 5 card draw online game will look:

 
5 Card Draw Bet
 

5 Card Draw Strategy

5 Card Draw is a very simple poker game to learn as there aren’t as many betting rounds or cards to choose from as in other forms.

We suggest playing for play money at one of our recommended sites if you are new to the game until you get used to it, following the simple steps below will help you become a winning player.

Don’t play too many hands – like all forms of poker, one of the main mistakes new players make is getting involved in too many hands. You need to be able to read your cards and the strength of them when you first get dealt them, and act accordingly, especially if you are one of the first players to act. Small pairs and drawing hands aren’t great in 5 Card Draw as there is only one opportunity to improve your hand.

Position – as mentioned above, if you are one of the first players to act in a hand, this is a distinct disadvantage. If you choose to Call when only 1 or 2 players have been, there is a good chance someone else will Raise meaning you have to either add more money to the pot or throw away your bet by Folding. The earlier you are, the fewer hands you should play, the same as in any form of poker.

Drawing hands – whilst in some forms of poker having 3 connecting cards of the same suit can be a good starting hand, you only have 1 chance to improve your hand in 5 Card Draw, therefore it is not as strong. The odds of hitting your hand are therefore much lower and we suggest you only play these in late position if you are confident you won’t have to pay a lot in the betting round to see if you manage to hit your hand.

Pairs – If you have 1 pair in your hand, discard the other 3 and go for the 3 of a kind or better. If you are dealt 3 of a kind, discard the other 2 and increase the odds of hitting that 4th card. If you are dealt 2 pairs, keep them and discard the other one to see if you can improve to a full house.

Tips

Those drawing 2 cards tend to have better hands than those drawing 1…

The chances are that a player drawing 2 cards will have trips and will, therefore, be in a very strong position, it is possible that they will be drawing for a straight or flush but this is less likely. Those drawing just the 1 card are most likely to have 2 pairs or a straight or flush draw, meaning they are behind players who have trips and need to hit their card.

Mix it up to confuse your opponents…

It is easy to read some players in 5 Card Draw as they act the same way in the same situations. It is important to mix up your game a bit to keep your opponents guessing as to what you have.

Play for fun to learn the game…
If you haven’t played 5 Card Draw before, find a site that offers free play games so you can learn the rules and strategy before risking your hard earned money for real.


Omaha Poker Strategies

Omaha is a poker game using community cards – Those that can be used by all players at the table along with ‘hole’ cards which are unique and secret to each player. As with all versions of poker, in Omaha, the aim is to make the best possible 5 cards by hand.

In this article, we will explain the following. You may click on any of the links below to bring you to that point in the article.

 
Omaha is the 2nd most popular form of poker behind Texas Hold’em and the rules are very similar except for one major difference. In Omaha, you receive 4 ‘hole’ cards as opposed to 2 in Texas Hold’em. It is important to remember that although you receive 4 ‘hole’ cards, you must use 2 of these 4. Whereas in Texas Hold’em you can choose whether to use 0, 1 or both of your hole cards, in Omaha you need to choose 2 of your 4 and cannot, therefore, play with all 5 community cards but need to use 2 from your hand and 3 from the board. This is a mistake many players make when playing Omaha poker.
 
Omaha Poker can be found on all good online poker sites although there will not be as many players or tournaments featuring Omaha as there are for Texas Hold’em.
 
You will find cash games though which allow you to sit down with your own chips and walk away with your money at any time as well as some sit and go and scheduled tournaments which see all players pay a buy-in and fee to play with the same number of starting chips. The last players in the tournament win so you cannot walk away at any point with money like you can when playing cash games.
 

Omaha Poker Rules

One single deck of 52 cards is used to play Omaha poker. As in other types of poker, cards count at their respective values and Aces can count as either high or low.
 
For each hand, one player is chosen as the dealer and will have a ‘button’ in front of them to represent this. When playing online, the cards are automatically dealt starting with the player to the left of the dealer. This disc moves around the table after each hand in a clockwise direction.
 
Before cards are dealt in a hand, the player to the dealer’s left puts in a forced bet known as a ‘small blind’. In a cash game, this is the same each hand depending on the table limits, in a tournament the blinds increase at set intervals to ensure the tournament comes to a conclusion at some point. The person to the left of the small blind, so 2 to the left of the dealer, pays a big blind bet, normally double that of the small blind. As the dealer button goes round after each hand, players take it in turns to place these bets, thus making it fair whilst also ensuring there is money to be won each hand.
 
Once these bets are in place, 4 cards are dealt face down to each player, starting with the player on the dealers left, the small blind.
 
The first betting round now begins with the player to the left of the big blind. An advantage of being ‘in the blinds’ is that you are last to act in the first betting round and therefore should have a good idea of what other players at the table have.
 
Players need to either ‘Call’ the current bet (this means to place a bet equal to it), Raise (meaning you increase the largest bet that has previously been made by matching this bet and then adding more on top) or Fold (decide you don’t want to be in this hand and throw your cards away, giving up the chance to win the hand but not risking any chips).
Play – or action – continues around the table until every player has either Folded and left the hand or Called – or matched – the highest bet. If the action goes to the last player, the big blind, and no one has Raised, that player can Check if he wishes, this means he stays in the hand but puts no more chips in as he has effectively already placed a bet equal to the big bet before. He can Raise if he wishes though in which case anyone still in the hand will need to Call the new highest bet.
 
Once this betting round has been completed, the Flop is dealt. This is 3 cards that are face up in the middle of the table, all remaining players can use these cards along with 2 of their 4 hole cards.
Please remember though that you do need to use 2 cards from your 4, therefore as an example, if you have 3 Clubs in your hand and there are 2 on the board, you don’t have a flush as you can only use 2 of the 3 Clubs from your hole cards.
 
Once the Flop has been dealt, the 2nd betting round takes place. This is similar to the 1st betting round and starts with the player to the left of the dealer who is still in the hand. As there is no forced bet at this point, each player can Check if they don’t wish to put more chips in, however, if another player does choose to bet, all remaining players will need to Call it to stay in the hand. Once all remaining players have either Folded or Called the highest bet, the round finishes.
 
A 4th card is now dealt face up in the middle of the table for everyone to use, this is commonly known as the Turn. A 3rd betting round now takes place as before.
 
Once this has been completed, the 5th and final community card, the River, is dealt. This is the final card and now gives all players 9 cards from which to choose from. A final betting round then takes place and if there are still 2 or more players left after this round, it is time for the Showdown to determine who wins. If all players Fold in the hand, the last player in the hand wins the pot.
 
The remaining players need to choose which 2 hole cards to use with which 3 community cards in order to make the best 5 card hand. You don’t have to choose the 2 hole cards until this point and if you are playing online, the software will choose the best cards for you so you need to worry about that.
 
The player with the best 5 card hand wins the pot, if the hands are exactly the same, players with the same best hand will split the pot equally. Check out our hand rankings page here if you are unsure as to the best ones.
 
An example of an Omaha Poker hand is below.
 
Omaha Poker hand example
 
This is an example of Omaha Poker. Remember that you can only use 2 of your 4 hole cards, therefore in the above example, your best option would be to use the 4 of Hearts and Ace of Diamonds along with the 8 Diamonds, 8 of Clubs and 4 of Spades from the 5 community cards.
 
This would give you a hand of 2 pairs, 8’s over 4’s, with an Ace kicker.
Winning hands tend to be better in Omaha than Texas Hold’em though as each player has a combination of starting hands available to them.
 

Omaha Strategy

 
We’ve said it in the Omaha Rules article and will say it again first thing here – when playing Omaha the key thing to remember, the thing that so many people don’t, is that you must use 2 of your 4 hole cards. Not 1, 3, 4 or 0, but 2.
So many people see 3 suited cards in their hand and think if the Flop contains 2 more, they have a flush. You don’t, you can only use 2 of your 4 hole cards.
 
If you remember this from the start, you will already find you have an advantage over some players who simply don’t understand the rules.
 
Another key thing to remember, especially if you play Texas Hold’em quite a lot, is that because all players have 4 hole cards instead of 2, the quality of the winning hands is likely to be much higher than that found in a game of Texas Hold’em.
 
There are 6 possible options of hold cards for every player in every hand compared to Texas Hold’em where you have 1. Therefore, it follows that a flush on a board that has at least 1 pair will not be as strong in Omaha due to the increased chances of a player hitting a full house or better.
 
So, what hands should you raise with preflop in Omaha?
 
For a start, it is not recommended to simply call a hand in Omaha. Raising or Folding is generally the way to go unless you are trying to trap an opponent or increasing your pot odds when you are in a big draw.
 
When you are acting pre-flop it is recommended to raise with a variety of different hands and to mix your play up a bit to keep other players guessing at what you have. It is a bad idea to be too predictable in all forms of poker, none more so than in Omaha. A variety of cards in your hand is also good for drawing opportunities, which is an important aspect of Omaha as well.
 
For example, a starting hand of AAKK with of 2 different suits is one of the best starting hands to have and the odds of getting this are around 50,000 to 1. However, this hand is just a 3 to 2 favorite pre-flop against a hand of 5678 double suited. It really is what happens after the flop that counts as there are so many more options in Omaha than in Texas Hold’em.
 
We would recommend raising pre-flop with any of the following (where x are any cards):
• All top 30 starting hands with at least 2 the same suit and sometimes if you are feeling it, off-suit
 
• All suited AKxx with at least one of the x cards 10 or higher
 
• All double-suited 4 in a row hand
 
• All double-suited connected hands with no more than a gap of one between the top 2 cards and bottom 2 cards or between the low card and 3 high cards, such as 8-9-J-Q double suited or 9-7-6-4 double suited
 
• All KKxx double suited
 

Omaha Tips

 
Be selective with your starting hands – The higher number of options all players have to mean the winning hand is likely to have to be much better than in Texas Hold’em, therefore avoid calling with low cards that aren’t double suited or consecutive.
 
Get to know the players – Whilst this is important in all forms of poker, this is especially the case in Omaha, if you can spot those players that call or raise with anything, you could well have a good advantage against them when you hit something good
 
Respect most big raises and bets – Again, true for all forms of poker but unless you have an exceptional hand or a lot of draws, get out if a big bet comes along
 
Do not overestimate your hand – The nut flush for example in Texas Hold’em would normally be an excellent hand and give you a great chance of winning, this is not the case in Omaha especially if the board has paired as winning hands are normally a lot better
 
Work out your outs – A hand with 8 outs in Texas Hold’em would normally be worth playing, however, due to the increased number of starting combinations in Omaha, it is possible to flop a hand with 13, 17 and 20 way Straight draws meaning it a lot less likely your hand will hold up
 
Do not always play unsuited Aces – AA preflop would be great in Texas Hold’em, in Omaha though if you don’t have another card of the same suit, you need to really hit one of the other 2 Aces on the Flop otherwise there is little else to improve your hand
 
Be cautious in multi-way pots – If more than one other player is in the hand with you, the likelihood is that you will need the ‘nuts’ – the best possible hand – to ensure you win, don’t invest too much if you don’t have a chance of getting it

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