are blinds, antes, and the dealer button?
are the essential tools that make a poker game work. When the game
first starts everyone draws one card and highest draw has a 'dealer'
button placed in front of him/her. In casinos the dealer will do
this at the start of every game.
The dealer deals
the cards one at a time to each player clockwise. The first to receive
a card is the player to the left of the dealer button and is called
"the Small Blind". The second to receive a card is called
the Big Blind. After these two we have 'first position', 'second
position', all the way to the last position called the 'button'
which is the player with the dealer button in front of him/her.
The small blind
and the big blind have to wager in order to receive cards, hence
the name Blind. If you fail to put in your blind amount the dealer
will skip you and you will not receive cards. Everyone other player
receives their cards for free and then chooses if they would like
to wager of fold. The amount of the big blind is a full minimum
bet established before the game started and never changes. The small
blind is normally half of the big blind, but can vary from 1/3 to
2/3 of the big blind. So if you would like to play “2-5 NL
Hold’em”, the small blind would be $2.00, and the big
blind would be $5.00. However, even though both dollar amounts allow
you to receive cards, only the big blind is qualified to play out
the hand, the small blind must match the big blind with another
$3.00 in order to play the hand.
is a labeled example of a seven-handed poker game.
Notice that the positions are
labeled but the 'seat numbers' are not. Your seat number NEVER
changes unless you move, but your position changes with every
move of the button.
hand has been dealt, all the bet sessions have finished, and
the winner has been established, the dealer button is moved
one position clockwise. The 'actual' dealer of the table then
deals the first card to the ‘new’ small blind, which
is again 1 position to the left the dealer button in front of
them. This way everyone plays every position as the game moves
on, similar to rotating in volleyball. If there were no blinds
at all and no position rotating then no one would ever be forced
to play, there would be nothing to play for, and all positional
skill would be eliminated. So you see that the blinds are very
key elements ofpoker.
forms of Poker such as 7-Card Stud, home games, or during the
later stages of most tournaments, 'antes' are also put into
play. These are small forced bets (around 1/4 of the big blind
amount) for ALL players in ALL positions in every hand played.
In this case no hands from any position are free and the blinds
must put up their forced bet plus the ante bet.
The left of where the dealer
sits is always seat number one. The rest of the seats are numbered
clockwise accordingly. The dealer is neither a seat number nor
a position since he/she does not play the game. So from the
table above, position 4 would be seat #1, the dealer button
would be seat #3, and the blinds were seat’s 4 and 5.
Then after the button moves once, seat #1 would be in 2nd position,
the dealer button would be move to seat four, and the blinds
would be in seats 5 and 6.
Below is the above example
with the seat numbers also labeled.
is a bet session?
it is your 'turn' to ‘act’ in poker your can either
bet nothing by saying 'check', match someone else's bet by which
is termed 'calling', raise someone else's bet, or fold your hand.
When and why it is your turn depends on your position. The betting
starts from the first person to act and keeps going around the table
until all wagering is completed. One bet session is one round of
competed clockwise wagering. The number of bet sessions from one
Poker game to another may or may not be the same.
In a 2-4 Limit
Flop game there are 4 total bet sessions. The minimum bet would
be $2 and maximum would be $4. So if you want to play your hand
you can come in or call with $2. Or you can come in with a raise
for $4. You cannot raise to $3 or $6 from the minimum of $2 because
in a Limit game you can only raise 1 increment of the previous bet
at a time. The reason why you can come in with a raise of $4 even
though there has been no previous bet is because the big blind counts
as a previous bet. Once you have raised to $4, if the person who
is next to act after you wants to re-raise, he can make it $6 even
since the previous bet to him was $4. Now if more than two people
are in the hand there is a maximum of 4 raises allowed. So at the
$2 betting phase the most you could put in would be $2 + 4 two dollars
raises, or $2 + $8 = $10. At the $4 betting phase someone could
actually put in $20 at once in a 2-4 game. However in the 2nd, 3rd,
and 4th, bet sessions you cannot raise to $8 without someone
betting $4 before you, since the big blind counts as a bet only
in the first bet session.
typical bet session in a seven player 2-4 game would be:
Fold, Fold, Fold, Call, Call, Raise, Fold, Call, Call. (9 actions)
What happened here exactly?
First of all you should notice that there were 9 actions made in
this one bet session with only 7 players. The first three players
folded, the next 2 players called or come in with $2 each, the next
player raised them $2 therefore coming in for $4, then the last
or 7th player folded. Now from here the clockwise action comes back
around to the first 2 players who called for the $2. They must decide
either to fold or call or re-raise. Here they chose to call. So
you see a bet session must go in correct order, that's why there
are 9 actions here
but only seven players.
In Poker terms everything that happened here can be stated very
”The first 2 players called the 3 player’s raise”.
“Three way action, 1 raise.”
are the 10 hand rankings of Poker:
worst hand you can have in poker is called ‘NO PAIR’.
This means you have no matching cards out of all
five, they are not in consecutive order, and are not all
the same suit. When a player say’s “I got nothing”, this would
be the worst they could mean.
Whichever card in your hand is the highest becomes
the name of your hand. So if the highest is a ten you have a “TEN HIGH”, and queen would
be “QUEEN HIGH”, and so on.
worst no pair hand, a "SEVEN HIGH".
the worst possible hand in poker.)
best no pair hand is called an "ACE HIGH".
is the best possible ACE HIGH.
next hand on the ladder is "ONE PAIR".
This just means any two matching cards.
worst five cards you can have with ONE PAIR.
best possible one pair hand.
one pair we have “TWO PAIR”.
Any one pair plus another different pair.
worst two pair hand.
best two pair hand.
of a kind is next with its poker name being a “SET” or “TRIPS”. This means any three matching cards with any
two different cards.
worst set with the worst two cards.
best possible set.
beat any set you must have what's known in poker as a “STRAIGHT”.
This means ALL FIVE of your cards are in consecutive
order but they are NOT all of the same suit.
worst straight hand still beats all the hands above.
best straight hand.
hand above can be beaten by what’s called a “FLUSH”. All FIVE of your cards must be of the same suit for this hand.
However, unlike the straight, they don’t need to
be in consecutive order.
flush loses to a very powerful hand called a “FULL HOUSE”. Three cards the same with the two others also
matching. With a
full house your have a set and a pair.
So three nines and two jacks would be called “nines
full of jacks”, or “full house… nines over jacks”.
the top full house ALMOST never loses. You must be dealt
“FOUR of a KIND” or “QUADS” to crush a full house.
This is naturally any four matching cards with any
other fifth card.
worst quads hand.
best four of a kind.
actually see four aces lose, someone has... A “STRAIGHT FLUSH”.
It means just what it says, a ‘straight’ plus a ‘flush’. All five cards in your hand are in consecutive
order AND they all have the same suit.
worst straight flush hand.
best straight flush hand.
Ace-through King Straight flush is so rare that it has
been given it's own name. Maybe
before you die you will have a chance or two to see someone
lose with a straight flush. The only way this could happen
would be to for someone to have a “ROYAL FLUSH”. The highest straight flush (from 10 to Ace) is given it’s own name because it cannot be
worst royal flush.
bronze medal royal flush.
silver medal royal flush.
Greatest Possible Royal Flush
This does mean that you can have a Royal Flush when someone
else does! Only in 7-Card Stud and 5-Card Draw could such
a thing occur. In my whole life history of Poker research,
I have only heard of this happening once in a 7-Card Stud
game in a California Poker room around 2002. The casino
gave the 2 players there money back, gave them shirts and
jackets, and took pictures of the players and the hands
which ended up in Card Player magazine.
two players are playing 5 Card Draw, the odds if this to
occurrence on the first draw would be almost 16 billion