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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.

Baccarat References:

Free Baccarat For Practice
Baccarat Strategies
Baccarat Rules


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 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.

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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.

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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.


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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Chinese Poker

Chinese Poker is a game often played by professional poker players between tournaments or players new to poker who want help learning hand rankings.

In theory, as there are no betting or chips involved, it isn’t officially a form of poker, however as it uses poker hand rankings to determine the winner, the game was given the name Chinese Poker

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.
 

 

Chinese Poker Rules

Chinese Poker uses a standard deck of 52 cards and can involve a maximum of 4 players. This is because each player is dealt 13 cards so any more and there would no cards for them…

Although the game can be played with 2 or 3 players as well, 4 hands of 13 cards are always dealt so all the cards are used.

The aim of Chinese Poker is to make 3 poker hands of as high quality as possible. The ‘Bottom’ hand is made up of 5 cards and needs to be the best hand. The ‘Middle’ hand is also made up of cards and needs to be of a lower value than the Bottom hand. The ‘Top’ hand is made up of just 3 cards and needs to be the lowest ranked of the 3. This 3 card hand does not include Straights or Flushes and can therefore only be 3 of a kind, a pair or a high card.

Example Chinese Poker Hand

An example hand is above. There are many ways you could sort your hands, one of the best would be:

Example Outcome Chinese Poker

The Bottom hand – which needs to be the best – gives you an Ace High flush.

The Middle hand – which needs to be lower ranked than the Bottom hand but higher ranked than the Top hand – gives 2 pair, Jacks over 3’s.

The Top hand – the 3 card hand that needs to be the lowest value of all the hands – is a pair of 9’s.

As there are no chips or betting involved, points are given for each hand with a value of each point agreed at the start of the game.

1 point is given for every hand won, so 3 points for every deal – the bottom hand, middle hand, and top hand. If a player wins all three hands in one round, they are said to have ‘scooped’ their opponent and get double the number of points, so 6.

Once the game is over, after an agreed amount of time or after reaching a certain number of points, the player that has the lowest number of points owes the other player this number of points multiplied by the agreed value of each point.

For example, if you are playing for $1 per point and you win 50 points to 38, you win $12 from your opponent – 12 point difference multiplied by $1.

If there are just 2 players, the scoring is fairly straightforward. With 3 or 4 players, it becomes more complicated as each player needs to compare their hands to each of the other players in turn. A separate score is kept for each pair of players, at the end of the game, each player settles up with the other players as opposed to a total score. Payments are then made between each pair of players.

Chinese Poker Strategy

Mathematics help

Unlike most forms of poker, in Chinese poker, it is possible to gain a real advantage in a hand by working out the best way to play. You can do this by calculating all possible hands your opponents could hold, then find the hand you have that scores highest against them. This could stop it becoming as big online as other forms of poker, but if you do find an online game, you could be in luck.

Adjusting to your opponent

This is important in all types of poker, in Chinese poker though you can normally get an idea of which hands your opponent tends to favor and use that to your advantage.

Avoid invalid hands

Although this sounds an obvious thing to say, it is amazing how many people still make a mistake when getting their hands in the correct order. On every occasion you make a mistake, your opponent scoops so a couple of mistakes from you, or your opponent, can make a big difference to the final score.

Prevent players scooping you

By making sure one of your hands is as strong as possible, it will become much harder for a player to scoop you and get bonus points. By the same token, always keep a lookout for hands where you have 3 strong hands and try to maximize your chances of being the player that scoops someone else.

Hands with 4 pairs

Being dealt 13 cards, you will get 4 pairs in your hand quite often. It is always worth putting your 2nd best pair in the top, the 2 bottom pairs in the bottom and the best in the middle. This gives you the best possible chance of scooping all 3.

Splitting pairs

If, for example, you have a flush and 2 pairs, you can choose whether to put 2 pairs in the middle or the higher pair in the middle and lower pair at the top. A lot of the time it is better in Chinese Poker to split them as a pair at the top is a strong hand whilst a middle hand of 2 pairs isn’t so strong and risks you losing both. However, if you have a good high hand for the top hand such as AQ9 or AJ8 then consider using this as the top hand and 2 pairs in the middle.

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Omaha Hi-Lo Poker

Omaha Hi-Lo is a poker game that uses community cards – These are cards that all players at the table can use in conjunction with their own hole cards, which in the case of Omaha Hi-Lo is 4. The aim of the game, as with any poker game, is to make the best possible 5 card poker hand. However, where Omaha Hi-Lo differs from most is that you sometimes need to make 2 poker hands, a Hi hand and a Lo’s hand. More of this later.

 

Omaha Hi-Lo is not as popular as some version of online poker such as Texas Hold’em and Omaha. The rules are the same as in Omaha for the Hi hand. In Omaha Hi-Lo, as in Omaha, all players receive 4 ‘hole’ cards at the start of a hand. An important thing to remember for Omaha Hi-Lo is that you must use 2 of your 4 hole cards for the Hi hand and 2 for the Lo hand where applicable. You cannot choose 3 of your hold cards and 2 of the community cards for example. You can choose 2 different cards for the Hi hand and the Lo’s hand if you wish, but for each, you can only select 2 hole cards and 3 community cards.

Omaha Hi-Lo is not found at all online poker sites, but if this is your game of choice, there are sites available that have good games, both in terms of cash games and some tournaments.

In a cash game, you can sit down with your own money and leave at any time with the chips that you have in front of you. If you choose to play either a multi-table tournament or a sit and go, you will all start with the same number of chips for the same buy-in and play continues until one player has all the chips in play. Money is paid to the best-placed players, the number of players who end up ‘in the money’ depends on entrants, but winnings are only paid once the tournament has finished so you cannot walk away at any time with funds like you can in cash games.

Rules

Omaha Hi-Lo uses one deck of 52 cards. All cards count at their respective values with Aces counting as either high or low for both hands which can be very important in this game.

The rules in terms of betting rounds are essentially the same as for Omaha except when it comes to determining the winning hands.

A player is designated as the dealer for each hand. This player has a ‘button’ in front of them to signify this. Although this player won’t physically deal the cards, the position of this button determines other actions like who will receive cards first and who will be first and last to act. The cards are dealt with each player starting with the player on the left of the dealer. This dealer button moves around the table after each hand in a clockwise direction.

Before each hand commences, the player to the dealer’s left places a bet known as a ‘small blind’. This is necessary for them to be dealt into the hand. This amount is the same each hand in a cash game, the amount depends on the table limits, whilst in a tournament, these bets increase at predetermined intervals which ensures the tournament will finish as players bet higher and higher amounts. The next player to the left of the small blind, effectively 2 places to the left of the dealer, pays another forced bet, this one known as the big blind. This is usually twice the amount of the small blind. The dealer button moves around the table after each hand to ensure all players take their turn at placing these bets ensuring fairness in the game and also that there is money in play for each hand.

When these 2 bets have been placed, all players receive 4 cards face down that only they can see. The player to the dealers left, the small blind, gets a card first with play continuing in a clockwise direction. The dealer is the last to receive cards.

It is now time for the 1st of 4 betting rounds. As the 2 players to the left of the dealer have already placed a bet, the player to the left of the big blind is the first to act now. This gives an advantage to those in the blinds as they will be the last to act and will, therefore, have a better idea of what other players have.

There are several options each player has at this point. They can ‘Call’ the current largest bet (place a bet equal to the largest one so far, this will be the big blind unless someone else has previously ‘Raised’), Raise (place a bet of more than the previous highest bet, different table limits have different rules about how much this can be, it normally needs to be at least double the big blind amount) or Fold (if you don’t feel it is worth Calling the highest bet as your cards aren’t that good, you throw your cards away and are out of the hand without the need to pay any further funds).

Play – otherwise known as action – now continues to the next player on the left of the previous one until all players have either Called the highest bet or Folded and left the hand. If the action gets back to the big blind, who is the last player to act in this betting round, and no one has Raised, the big blind can ‘Check’ which effectively means he Calls the highest bet without needing to put more chips in as he has already matched the highest bet with his big blind bet.

When all players have either Called or Folded, 3 cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table. This is known as the ‘Flop’ and the first of 5 Community cards that all players can use.

We now have a 2nd betting round for all remaining players. This is the same as the last betting round except that action starts with the 1st player to the Dealers left who is still in the hand, the player who placed the Big Blind. The first player can ‘Check’ if they wish as no forced bet is in play in further betting rounds, this means they effectively Call the highest bet which is currently nothing. No chips need to be added at this point, although if any other player Raises, all players need to place chips of this value to continue in the hand.

As before, the betting round ends once all players have either Called or Folded. If there are at least 2 players still remaining, we go to the Turn, which is a 4th community card dealt face up for all players to use. A 3rd betting round now takes place the same as before with one difference, which is the minimum bet from now on is twice the value of the big blind, therefore if a player decides to Raise, the minimum they can bet is twice the big blind for that hand.
When this hand has been completed, a 5th and final community card is dealt, the River. This completes the cards available to use so at this point you will know your best hand for the Hi hand and whether it is possible that a player can have a qualifying Lo hand. More of that in a moment. There is then one final betting round the same as the last one.

If 2 or more players are still involved after this betting round, we go to Showdown to determine the winner/s. If all except one player has folded, that remaining player wins the pot.

The winning Hi hand is determined by the best 5 card poker hand using 3 of the 5 community cards and 2 of the 4 hole cards available to the player. Please remember that it needs to be this combination and you cannot use 0, 1, 3 or 4 hole cards, it needs to be 2 of your 4 hole cards and 3 of the 5 community cards.

Here is where Omaha Hi-Lo differs from Omaha, the Lo hand.

A qualifying Lo hand is one that contains 5 separate numbers from 1 (Ace) up to 8. Pairs of numbers don’t count, there need to be 5 unique values.

If 3 of the 5 community cards have separate values of between Ace up to 8, then it is possible for a Lo hand to be made. In this case, half of the pot goes to the best Lo hand and a half to the best Hi hand.
The best Lo hand is determined by the lowest values in the hand.

If 2 or more players have a qualifying hand, the lowest number is compared. If 2 or more players have a hand with the same lowest card, the 2nd lowest is compared. This continues until one player has a lower value card than the other, this hand is declared the winner of the Lo hand, if more than one player has the same value Lo hand in terms of all 5 cards, that part of the pot is split equally.

When deciding your best Lo hand, you can use the same 2 hole cards as for your best Hi hand or different cards for both. The same rule applies though that you need to use 2 of your 4 hole cards and 3 community cards for each.

Take a look at the example below.

Omaha Hi Lo Poker Winning Hand

This is the Showdown and there are 3 players left, Adam, Harry, and Alex.

As there are 4 cards valued at 8 or below in the community cards – Ace of Spades, 3 of Clubs, 5 of Clubs and 8 of Clubs, a Lo hand is possible.

Players need to use 2 of their 4 hole cards to make a hand, therefore only Adam with his 2 Diamonds and 6 of Diamonds has a qualifying Lo hand of Ace, 2, 3, 5 and 6. He wins half the pot for the best Lo hand.
However, he only has a pair of Kings for the best Hi hand and is beaten to that by Harry who has a flush, using the Jack and 10 of Clubs from his hole cards along with the 3, 5 and 8 of Clubs from the community cards. He, therefore, wins half the pot as the best Hi hand.

Omaha Hi-Lo can take some getting used to, so we suggest you try it for free at one of our recommended sites before you start playing for real money.

Omaha Hi-Lo Strategy

Omaha Hi-Lo is totally different from most forms of poker and a lot harder to master.
That being said, because of this even if you only get a good grip on the best way to play, there is still money to be made against less experienced players.

The key thing to remember is that there are 2 hands that you are looking to make, so you need to consider the Lo hand at least, if not more than, the Hi hand.

An Ace is a great card to have in any form of poker, this is especially the case in Omaha Hi-Lo as it is the best Hi card and the best Lo card.

In fact, many players would not consider putting money into the pot pre-flop without an Ace in their hand.
It is only after the Flop though that you get a real feel for how the hand is likely to go and if there is likely to be a Lo hand or not.

30% of the time, there is no possibility of a Lo hand and therefore the best Hi hand will take the pot.
The top 10 starting hands in Omaha Hi-Lo are open to discussion, you won’t go far wrong raising though with any of the following:
AA23 DS
AA24 DS
AA23 Suited
AA25 DS
AA24 Suited
AA34 DS
AA23 Non suited
AA22 DS
AA35 DS
AA26 DS
DS = Double suited, so 2 cards of 1 suit and 2 cards of another
Suited = 2 cards the same suit, 2 cards of different suits
Non-Suited = 4 cards of different suits or the non-aces suited

Other playable starting hands (ones to play when in late position if no raise has been made)
AA2x
AA3x
AA45
A23x
A2KK
A2QQ
A2JJ
A345
AAxx
A2KQ
A2KJ
A2xx (with suited Ace)
A3KK
A34x
2345 (fold if no Ace appears on the Flop)
JQKA
TJQK
KKQJ
QJT9
234x (fold if no Ace appears on the Flop)
Any 4 cards between T and Ace

*x represents any card

Omaha Hi-Lo Tips

A2 is the new AA – In most games, a pair of Aces is the hand you are looking for to start. However, due to the nature of the Lo hand in Omaha Hi-Lo, A2 is the one to look for. You would almost always want to see the Flop with these cards as you are guaranteed at least a share of the Lo pot if 3 of 3,4,5,6,7, or 8 appear on the board

Look for connectors – the closer together your cards are the better as Omaha Hi-Lo is very much a drawing game. If these are double suited, so much the better

Don’t bluff – in some forms of poker, bluffing is a key part, this is not the case with Omaha Hi-Lo though. As there are 2 hands to consider most of the time, it is going to be harder to bet a player off the pot if they have, for example, A2 and there are 2/3 Lo cards on the board, you are much more likely to get your fingers burnt if you bluff against them

Don’t stay in without a premium Hi or Lo hand – if you have a good Hi hand and a good Lo hand, the chances are neither will be good enough to win, especially if there are several players left in the pot. Stay in only when you have at least one hand which is the nuts or close

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 Hi-Lo, 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 Hi-Lo 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 Hi-Lo, 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 Hi-Lo 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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When you are choosing where to play online, there are a number of options you need to take into account.
Bonuses available to you, game types and language are all important, but none of these are any good unless you can deposit and withdraw funds easily.
 
Many players understandably don’t want to use their card details online and give these details to a site they don’t know and have no prior experience at, and this is where online wallets come in. One of the oldest and most trusted of these wallets is Neteller.
 

What is Neteller?

Neteller was launched in 1999 to a British company but based out of Canada. It moved its headquarters to the Isle of Man in 2004 and today has offices in many countries around the world. Millions of people use it regularly to transfer funds online and there are many online casinos that accept payments to and from Neteller, reviews of some of these sites can be found below.

Neteller Casinos

There are more online casinos around now that accept Neteller as a payment option than those that don’t. It adds to the security of your online transactions as you don’t need to share your credit/debit card details with the site itself, just Neteller.
 
We have put together reviews of some of the best casinos that allow transactions to and from Neteller, along with other details such as bonuses, games available and transaction times.
 
Many online casinos prefer you to use Neteller to deposit and withdraw as there is no risk to them of getting a chargeback. Therefore, they will offer deposit bonuses if you use Neteller that aren’t available if you deposit with a debit/credit card. Keep an eye out for these if you like to accept bonuses when you deposit funds.
 

Why use Neteller?

 
• You can deposit and withdraw to your online casino without giving them your card details
 
• You receive your money a lot quicker on average than if you deposit via a card, funds are normally received back to Neteller within 24 hours as opposed to 3 to 5 working days
 
• As using an online wallet such as Neteller is less risk to a casino, they are less likely to ask you for KYC (Know Your Customer) documents which can be a time-consuming process
 
• Neteller customer support is generally very quick so if there are any issues with transactions, these can be sorted quickly and painlessly
 
• You will find that some casinos offer unique bonuses if you deposit via Neteller that aren’t available when using other methods for your transactions

How to make a Neteller deposit/withdrawal

 
• Open an account at www.Neteller.com if you don’t already have one
 
• You will need to verify the email address you used when signing up with them
 
• Link a payment method to use with your Neteller accounts such as a credit/debit card or bank account
 
• Select a casino that accepts Neteller from our list of recommended sites above
 
• Open an account using our links, once you have this just login and go to Neteller from within the Payments section
 
• Choose the amount you would like to deposit
 
• You will now be transferred to the Neteller website, log into your Neteller account and choose your payment method – with Neteller you can either add funds to the Neteller account itself or use the debit/credit card and/or bank account that you have linked to it to top up funds to the casino site
 
• Confirm all the details, including the amount, are correct and click send. You will see that your Neteller casino account is credited immediately so you can start playing
 
• Once you decide to withdraw, if any turnover requirements have been met, you can go to the withdrawal section and choose Neteller. Your funds will then get transferred to your Neteller account, normally within 24 hours, from here you can either use them somewhere else or choose to return them to your credit/debit card or bank account
 
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Can I use Neteller at any casino?
Most online casinos do allow transactions via Neteller but not all, take a look at our reviews above for recommended casino sites that accept it
 
Do I need to open a Neteller account?
In order to deposit with Neteller, you will need an account with them, if you already have one you can use this, otherwise open a free one at www.Neteller.com
 
What are the deposit and withdrawal limits with Neteller?
Each casino is different but most will allow you deposit enough to play with. If you are a High Roller and wish to deposit a large amount, take a look at our High Roller Casino section and choose a casino from here
 
Do I pay any fees?
Neteller can charge a small fee when depositing and withdrawing to an online casino, this needs to be weighed up with the added security when you decide which payment method to use
 
What currencies can I use with Neteller?
Neteller has over 25 currencies to choose from, if your Neteller account is in a different currency to your online casino account, the transaction will be made at the daily rate at the time of depositing