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Games of poker can become heads up when just two players remain at the table at the start of a hand, while heads-up tournaments are popular at online poker sites. With only one opponent to beat, competitors have a high chance of winning each hand regardless of what they are dealt and tend to play aggressively as a result. Similarly, with only one opponent needing to fall for your bluff, bluffing is more likely to be successful.
There is one key adaptation when it comes to playing community card poker games such as Texas Holdem and Omaha heads up, which see the normal position of the small and big binds reversed. In poker games other than heads-up the small blind is posted by the player positioned clockwise from the dealer or nominal dealer in online poker. The big blind is posted by the player to the left of the small blind. The first round of betting begins with the player who sits to the left of the player who posted the big blind and all subsequent rounds of betting begin with the player who posted the small blind.
However in heads-up play, the dealer posts the short blind and their opponent posts the big blind. This would give them an advantage. Underage gambling is an offence. Please gamble responsibly and only bet what you can afford. For gambling addiction help and support, please contact the National Gambling Helpline on or via the NetLine. We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future.
Visit our adblocking instructions page. My details. One or more selections must be successful to get a return. A super yankee is an even bigger version of a yankee bet, and consists of 26 bets on five different selections for different events. It covers all possible multiple combinations for five selections, namely: 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 fourfold accumulators and 1 fivefold accumulator.
Two or more selections must be successful to get a return. A lucky 31 consists of 31 bets on five selections for different events. It covers all possible single and multiple combinations for five selections, namely: 5 singles, 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 fourfold accumulators and 1 fivefold accumulator.
Originally named after the 57 varieties of Heinz, this bet consists of 57 bets on six selections. It covers all multiple combinations for six selections, namely: 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 fourfold accumulators, 6 fivefold accumulators and 1 sixfold accumulator. Like a Heinz bet above , a lucky 63 consists of multiple bets across six different selections, coupled with singles. It covers all possible single and multiple combinations for six selections, namely: 6 singles, 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 fourfold accumulators, 6 fivefold accumulators and 1 sixfold accumulators.
A Super Heinz bet is a multiple bet with seven selections. It covers all possible multiple combinations for seven selections, namely: 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 fourfold accumulators, 21 fivefold accumulators, 7 sixfold accumulators, and 1 sevenfold accumulator. A Goliath consists of bets on eight selections. It covers all possible multiple combinations for eight selections, namely : 28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 fourfold accumulators, 56 fivefold accumulators, 28 sixfold accumulators, 8 sevenfold accumulators, and one eightfold accumulator.
A Super Goliath uses 9 selections instead of 8. In addition to Yankees, Heinz and the other combination bets, our website will create all possible bet combinations for you - no matter how many picks you select.
If you make ten selections and want to combine them into all of the possible sixfold combinations, enter your stake in the sixfold stake box and all of the possible sixfold combinations will be created as bets for you. In this example a 1 unit bet will cost you units. System 2 If you pick three or more selections you will have the option to combine them into all of the possible doubles.
System3 If you pick four or more selections you will have the option to combine them into all of the possible trebles. System 4 If you pick five or more selections you will have the option to combine them into all of the possible fourfold accumulators.
System 5 If you pick six or more selections you will have the option to combine them into all of the possible fivefold accumulators. System 6 If you pick seven or more selections you will have the option to combine them into all of the possible sixfold accumulators. System 7 If you pick eight or more selections you will have the option to combine them into all of the possible sevenfold accumulators.
System 8 If you pick nine or more selections you will have the option to combine them into all of the possible eightfold accumulators. System 9 If you pick ten or more selections you will have the option to combine them into all of the possible ninefold accumulators.
In cases of uncertainty about the validity of a bet, the player is requested to check the open pending bets, or contact Support. Unless accepted in error, once accepted, a bet will remain valid and cannot be cancelled. It is the responsibility of the player to ensure details of the bets placed are correct. Should a dispute arise about the acceptance or lack thereof of any transaction in the player's account, the transaction log database will be the ultimate authority in deciding such matters. In the case of all sports, bets are settled on the official result published by the official governing body immediately after the match or event has finished.
Any subsequent correction or amendment to this result will not apply for settlement purposes. We reserve the right to apply a dead heat reduction on any event where more than one winner is specified, with individual sports having individual settlement rules. Bets are always settled at the fractional odds. When a customer chooses to display the odds as decimals, the odds will be rounded to two decimal places. This may cause the displayed betting slip odds to differ slightly from the true fractional odds.
This shall include, but not be limited to:. In the case of any of the activities listed above, and without restricting our ability to rely on other remedies available, the following actions may be taken, depending on the circumstances:.
As always, in exercising any of our rights we shall do so in a manner which is fair to you and to other users. For more details, see Clause 5 of our Terms of Service. As part of that membership, we are a full participant in its early warning system which is geared towards identifying any such betting behaviour. In the event of a warning being received by us, we withhold the right, in our absolute discretion, to:.
Once the result of an event or a market has been determined then all bets are settled immediately. Any prizes winnings due to customers are automatically credited to their account from where they can choose to withdraw them or place more bets. The cash out option allows you to take a return on your bet before the market for your chosen selection s closes. This can be either for a profit on your original stake or for a loss.
Subject to our acceptance you can cash out your bet for the return amount offered on the cash out button on your bet slip. If your cash out request is successful your bet will be settled immediately and funds returned to your account equal to the amount shown on the cash out option on your bet slip. This bet is settled and any subsequent results either in your favour or against will have no impact on the amount returned.
Cash out is available both pre-event and In-Play on single and multiple bets on any sport where the cash out option is provided. Your request to cash out is not guaranteed to be accepted and may be unsuccessful if, for example, the market suspends or the odds move before your request has been processed. We reserve the right to suspend or disable the cash out feature at any time and its availability to you cannot always be guaranteed.
We reserve the right to reverse the settlement of a cash out if the bet or a market is settled in error for example, a human or technical error. On occasion, the Cash Out amount offered will be greater than the maximum payout limit applicable to the bet. This is because maximum payout limits are applied retrospectively. In this instance, where a bet has been cashed out for an amount greater than the applicable maximum payout, then we reserve the right to amend the amount credited from the Cash Out to correctly reflect the applicable limit.
Any bet that is successfully cashed out will not qualify for any money-back, free bet, enhanced odds or any other special offers. In the event of a retirement or abandonment in-play, we reserve the right to void the cashed out element of any cash out bet if we believe it has been used to benefit from subsequent individual sports settlement rules.
Where a bet is declared void it will be settled with the odds of 1. A bet made as an accumulative bet shall remain valid notwithstanding a match or an event which is part of the accumulative bet being void. We reserve the right, at our own discretion, to declare a bet void, totally or partly, in the obvious case of errors, or rigging.
Bets can be voided regardless of whether the event has been settled or not. Use the menu at the top of the page to select your chosen sport and see in-depth betting rules on each sport offered by us. These rules are based on existing industry standards. Please Note: where an individual sport's rules differ to any general sports rules listed on this page, those detailed on the sport's specific, individual rules page will take precedence. Cancellation terms and how they will affect your bet s vary depending on which sport you are betting on.
For more details, select your chosen sport from the right hand menu. Multiple bets are not accepted where the outcome of one event contributes wholly or partially to the outcome of the other. Bets accepted in error will be settled at a special price determined by us for all of the outcomes to be successful.
Similarly if multiple bets are placed on one team to win multiple events at individual prices e. Manchester United to win The Premiership and The FA Cup we reserve the right to void such bets or to place them at a special price for the multiple. We reserve the right to void any bet where a blatant error is made. Instances of blatant error include but are not limited to an error in publishing a price or a handicap e. In case of such errors we will endeavour to contact the customer prior to the start of the event.
However, in the situation where it has not been possible to contact the customer, bets will be void. In the event that an error is discovered after a bet has been settled, we reserve the right to void the bet s retrospectively. In the case of incorrect settlements we reserve the right to correct any error made and re-settle the bet correctly.
Such funds shall be immediately repaid to us when a demand for payment is made by us to you. Where you have used monies or anything with monetary value e. And if we have paid out on any such bets or gaming activities, such funds are not to be deemed available for use or withdrawal, and such funds shall be immediately repaid to us when a demand for payment is made by us to you.
Where there is evidence of price, race, match or event rigging, we reserve the right to withhold payment, pending the outcome of any subsequent investigation and ultimately to declare bets on that event as void. Where evidence of rigging exists, or where there is evidence of a series of bets containing the same selections s having been placed by or for the same individual or by a syndicate of individuals, we reserve the right to require claims for payment to be submitted in writing to Support.
Therefore if a bet is placed on any selection that fails to participate for any reason, the bet will be lost if the betting event takes place. However, we reserve the right to void any bet where we feel that the change of venue has had a substantial impact on the betting for that match.
Where two or more competitors have the same surname and those competitors have not been identified by a first name, team where applicable or qualifying price, then the competitor with the lowest advertised price will be deemed the selection. In the event of two or more competitors being quoted at the lowest advertised price then stakes will be split between them. The limits apply to both single and multiple type bets.
When more than one player has no pair, the hands are rated by the highest card each hand contains, so that an ace-high hand beats a king-high hand, and so on. Two hands that are identical, card for card, are tied since the suits have no relative rank in Poker. In such a case, the tied players split the pot. Note that if two hands contain the same high pair, then the ranking of the next card in the hands determines which one wins.
For example: 9, 9, 7, 4, 2 beats 9, 9, 5, 3, 2. Likewise, two hands that have identical pairs would be decided by the fifth card. In the course of each Poker deal, there will be one or more betting intervals in which the players have an opportunity to bet on their hands. Minimizing losses with poor hands and maximizing winnings with good hands is the underlying skill that Poker requires. Before the cards are even dealt, the rules of the Poker game being played may require that each player put an initial contribution, called an "ante," of one or more chips into the pot, to start it off.
Each betting interval, or round, begins when a player, in turn, makes a bet of one or more chips. Each player to the left, in turn, must either "call" that bet by putting into the pot the same number of chips; or "raise," which means that the player puts in more than enough chips to call; or "drop" "fold" , which means that the player puts no chips in the pot, discards their hand, and is out of the betting until the next deal.
When a player drops, they lose any chips that have put into that pot. Unless a player is willing to put into the pot at least as many chips as any preceding player, they must drop out. A betting interval ends when the bets have been equalized - that is, when each player has either put in exactly as many chips as their predecessors or has dropped.
There are usually two or more betting intervals for each Poker deal. After the final interval there is a "showdown," which means that each player who remains shows their hand face up on the table. The best Poker hand then takes the pot. If a player makes a bet or a raise that no other player calls, they win the pot without showing their hand. Thus, in Poker, there is a bluffing element, and the best combination of cards does not always win the pot! Bluffing is one of the key reasons why Poker is so popular.
If a player wishes to remain in the game without betting, they "check. If another player has bet, they cannot check but must at least call the bet or drop. A player who checks may raise a bet that has been raised by another player. This is called "sandbagging," which is allowed, unless it has been decided beforehand that this practice is forbidden.
If all players check during a round of play, the betting interval is over, and all the players still in the pot remain in the game. In each betting round, one player is designated as the first bettor, according to the rules of the game. The turn to bet always moves to the left, from player to player, and no one may check, bet, or even drop, except when it is their turn.
The ranking of Poker hands is based on mathematics. The less likely a player is to get a certain hand, the higher it ranks and the more likely it is to win the pot. For example, a player should not expect to be dealt a straight flush more than once in 65, hands, but they can expect to be dealt two pair about once in every 21 hands. Unless a player is planning to bluff, they should not make a bet without holding a hand that they think may be the best. No Poker player can bet intelligently unless they know what constitutes a good hand, a fair hand, and a bad hand.
A table of the various Poker hands and the number of combinations of each in a pack of cards is provided. By unanimous or majority agreement, the players may establish a special fund called a "kitty. The kitty belongs to all the players equally, and it is used to pay for new decks of cards or for food and drinks.
Any chips left in the kitty when the game ends are divided equally among the players who are still in the game. Unlike the rule in some other games, such as Pinochle, when a player leaves a Poker game before it ends, they are not entitled to take their share of chips that comprised part of the kitty.
Poker is almost always played with poker chips. For a game with seven or more players, there should be a supply of at least chips. Usually, the white chip or the lightest-colored chip is the unit, or lowest-valued chip, worth whatever the minimum ante or bet is; a red chip or some other colored chip is worth five whites, and a blue chip or some other dark-colored chip is worth 10 or 20 or 25 whites or two, four or five reds.
At the start of the game, each player "buys in" by purchasing a certain number of chips. All of the players usually buy in for the same amount. One player should be designated as the banker, who keeps the stock of chips and records how many have been issued to each player or how much cash the player has paid for their chips.
Players should make no private transactions or exchanges among themselves; a player with surplus chips may return them to the banker and receive credit or cash for them, while a player who wants more chips should obtain them only from the banker. There are different ways of fixing a betting limit. Some limit is necessary; otherwise a player with a lot more money would have, or would be perceived to have, an unfair advantage.
Once fixed, the limit should be unalterable throughout the game unless the players unanimously agree to change the stakes. Some popular limit systems follow:. No one may bet or raise by more than a stipulated number of chips, for example, two, or five, or Usually this limit varies with the stage of the game: In Draw Poker, if the limit is five before the draw, it might be ten after the draw.
Any bet or raise is limited to the number of chips in the pot at that time. This means that a player who raises may count as part of the pot the number of chips required for the player to call. If there are six chips in the pot, and a bet of four is made, the total is 10 chips; it requires four chips for the next player to call, making 14; and the player may then raise by 14 chips. But even when the pot limit is played, there should be some maximum limit, such as 50 chips.
The limit for each player is the number of chips the player has in front of them. If the player has only 10 chips, they may bet no more than 10 and he may call any other player's bet to that extent. In table stakes, no player may withdraw chips from the table, or return chips to the banker, until they leave the game. A player may add to their stack, but only between the deal just completed and the beginning of the next deal. In a fixed-limit game, it is often agreed that following any very good hand - a full house or better, for example - there will be one deal by each player of Jackpots, in which everyone antes double, and the betting limit is doubled for these deals as well.
A maximum limit is put on the number of chips any player may lose. Each takes out one stack at the start; if they lose that stack, the banker issues the player another, without charging for it, and in many cases, the player can get still a third stack free before dropping out of the game.
Some limit should be placed on the number of free stacks so that a player will have the incentive to play carefully. In almost all games played today, there is a limit on the number of raises at each betting interval, and this limit is invariably three raises.
In Draw Poker, all the cards are dealt face down to the players. In Stud Poker, some of the cards are dealt face up as the betting progresses, so that all of the other players get to see a part of each player's hands. Unless the host, or the rule of a club, has already established the game, the players should first decide what form of Poker they will play.
Two factors should influence their decision: the number of players, and whether the group has only experienced players or has some inexperienced players. The following selections are recommended:. Usually, with so few players, only the very experienced play Draw Poker and they will often use a stripped deck, which is a pack with cards removed, such as all the deuces twos and treys threes. More than 10 players: One of the games in which fewer than five cards are dealt, such as Three-Card Monte or Spit-in-the-Ocean.
All of the Poker variations are described later in this chapter. Another alternative with so many players is to simply form two tables and organize two separate games. When the Poker session is Dealer's Choice, each dealer has the privilege of naming the form of Poker to be played and to designate the ante, wild cards if any , and the maximum limit of chips that can be wagered during each round.
However, the dealer may not require one player to ante more than another. If a game such as Jackpots is selected and no one opens the betting, the same dealer deals again and everyone antes again. While most Poker purists choose to play with no wild cards, in many games, especially Dealer's Choice, various cards may be designated as wild.
A wild card is specified by the holder to be a card of any rank or suit, such as a fifth queen, or the card needed to combine with the other four in a player's hand to form a straight or a flush. Wild cards in a Poker game add variety, and of course, they greatly increase the chances of getting a rare combination such as a full house or a straight flush. The usual choices for wild cards are as follows:.
Note that most packs of cards include two jokers for use in such games as Canasta. Poker players are increasingly adding one or both jokers as wild cards. This is the joker, but its wildness is limited: It counts as an ace; or as a card of any suit for making a flush; or as a card of any rank and suit for making a straight or straight flush. Every two is wild.
Sometimes the joker is included as a fifth wild card. Note that the number of wild cards in a hand does not diminish it in anyway; thus, with deuces wild, five of a kind comprised of 10, 10, 2, 2, 2 five 10s beats 8, 8, 8, 8, 2 five 8s. The king of diamonds and the jacks of spades and hearts show only one eye, whereas the other face cards all have two eyes.
One-eyed jacks are sometimes designated as wild cards, but the king of diamonds is rarely selected to be wild. In Stud Poker, each player's lowest "hole" card that is, the lowest card that is dealt face down and not seen by the other players is wild. In Draw Poker, the wild card would be the lowest card in a player's hand. When such a card is designated, it means that every card of that rank in that player's hand is wild, but the fact that a certain card is wild in one player's hand does not make that same rank of card wild in other players' hands.
In every game, a written code of Poker laws should be used as the final arbiter for settling all questions. No Poker laws are universally followed - there are many local customs and preferences - but the Poker laws on this site embrace the latest customs of the most expert games and are recommended for adoption. It is a tradition of Poker that any club or group of players may make special rules, called "house rules," to suit their personal preferences. Of course, any such house rules should be written down.
Before play begins, the players should set a time limit for when the game ends and stick to it. It's just a way of getting a pot started. It's called a blind because you haven't seen a card when you put in this bet -- you're going in without seeing, or blind. The most common practice is to have the two players to the left of the dealer pay the blinds.
Two actions are for when no one has put money in the pot in front of you, and three are for when you're facing a bet. If everyone checks the round is over. Once there's a bet, the rest of the players have three actions to choose from. To call is to match the amount one of your opponents has a bet. Your turn is over unless someone reopens the betting by raising. The round ends if everyone has either called or folded.
If there is a bet, anyone left to act can raise by putting in more money than the original bet. In most games, the size of the raise must be at least the size of the original bet. Folding is simply throwing your hand away and waiting for the next one. Most common in home games. The only other rule regards raising. If someone raises, you can only raise that much or higher.
For instance, say that with three players in a hand, Player A has a weak hand but decides to try a bluff with a large opening bet. Player C then folds out of turn while Player B is making up their mind. Player B now knows that if they fold, A will take the pot, and also knows that they cannot be re-raised if they call. This may encourage Player B, if they have a good "drawing hand" a hand currently worth nothing but with a good chance to improve substantially in subsequent rounds , to call the bet, to the disadvantage of Player A.
Second, calling or raising out of turn, in addition to the information it provides, assumes all players who would act before the out of turn player would not exceed the amount of the out-of-turn bet. This may not be the case, and would result in the player having to bet twice to cover preceding raises, which would cause confusion. A player is never required to expose their concealed cards when folding or if all others have folded; this is only required at the showdown.
Many casinos and public cardrooms using a house dealer require players to protect their hands. This is done either by holding the cards or, if they are on the table, by placing a chip or other object on top. Unprotected hands in such situations are generally considered folded and are mucked by the dealer when action reaches the player. This can spark heated controversy, and is rarely done in private games. The style of game generally determines whether players should hold face-down cards in their hands or leave them on the table.
Holding "hole" cards allows players to view them more quickly and thus speeds up gameplay, but spectators watching over a player's shoulder can communicate the strength of that hand to other players, even unintentionally. Unwary players can hold their hand such that a "rubbernecker" in an adjacent seat can sneak a peek at the cards. Lastly, given the correct light and angles, players wearing glasses can inadvertently show their opponents their hole cards through the reflection in their glasses.
Thus for most poker variants involving a combination of faceup and facedown cards most variants of stud and community are dealt in this manner , the standard method is to keep hole cards face-down on the table except when it is that player's turn to act. Making change out of the pot is allowed in most games; to avoid confusion, the player should announce their intentions first.
Then, if opening or cold calling, the player may exchange a large chip for its full equivalent value out of the pot before placing their bet, or if over-calling may place the chip announcing that they are calling or raising a lesser amount and remove the change from their own bet for the round. Normally, if a player places one oversized chip in the pot without voicing his intention while facing a bet, the action is automatically deemed a call whether or not the chip is large enough to otherwise qualify as a raise.
In most casinos players are prohibited from handling chips once they are placed in the pot, although a player removing his own previous bet in the current round from the pot for the purpose of calling a raise or re-raising is usually tolerated.
Otherwise, the dealer is expected to make change when required. Making change should, in general, be done between hands whenever possible, when a player sees they are running low of an oft-used value. The house dealer at most casinos maintains a chip bank and can usually make change for a large amount of chips. In informal games, players can make change with each other or with unused chips in the set. Similarly, buying in for an additional amount must be done between hands or, at least, done after a player has folded during the current hand since players are not allowed to add to their stack during a hand.
As described below, some casinos alleviate this issue by allowing cash to be deemed temporarily "in play" while staff fetches chips. Players who wish to always play with at least the buy-in limit will often carry additional chips in their pocket so that whenever they lose a pot they can quickly "top up" without inconveniencing the dealer or delaying the game. While having players buy chips directly from the dealer is seen as a convenience by some players, and can help deter players from exceeding buy-in limits, many players dislike this system because it slows down the game, especially if the dealer is expected to count large numbers of small denominations of chips.
Also, many jurisdictions require all such purchases or, at least, all larger transactions to be confirmed primarily to ensure accuracy by a supervisor or other staff member, potentially causing further delay. To speed up play and, by extension, increase the number of hands dealt and rake earned by the casino , many casinos require players to buy chips from a cashier - to assist players, some establishments employ chip runners to bring cash and chips to and from the tables.
Many casinos have a dedicated cashier station located in or very near the poker room, although in some usually, smaller venues the same cashier station that handles other transactions will also handle poker-related purchases.
In addition, if the casino uses the same chips for poker as for other games then it is often possible to bring chips from such games to the poker table. Touching another player's chips without permission is a serious breach of protocol and can result in the player being barred from the casino. Most tournaments and many cash games require that larger denomination chips be stacked in front i. This rule is employed is to discourage attempts to conceal stack size.
Some casinos discourage, prohibit or simply refrain from circulating larger chip denominations to prevent them from being used in lower-stakes cash games, although the drawback is that larger stacks won during play will become more difficult to handle and manage as a result.
Some informal games allow a bet to be made by placing the amount of cash on the table without converting it to chips, as this speeds up play. However, table stakes rules strictly prohibit this from being done while a hand is in progress. Other drawbacks to using cash include the ease with which cash can be "ratholed" removed from play by simply pocketing it , which is normally disallowed, in addition to the security risk of leaving cash on the table.
As a result, many games and virtually all casinos require a formal "buy-in" when a player wishes to increase their stake, or at least require any cash placed on the table to be converted into chips as quickly as possible. Players in home games typically have both cash and chips available; thus, if money for expenses other than bets is needed, such as food, drinks and fresh decks of cards, many players typically pay out of pocket. Some players especially professionals loath removing any part of their stack from play for any reason, especially once their stacks exceed the initial buy-in limit.
In casinos and public cardrooms, however, the use of cash is occasionally restricted or discouraged, so players often establish a small cache of chips called the "kitty", used to pay for such things. At a casino, dealers who exchange cash for chips are expected to immediately secure any cash by placing it into a locked box near his station. This means that regardless of how chips are purchased, when cashing them in it is typically not possible to sell them back to the dealer since s he has no access to any cash.
Poker chips must therefore be taken to the cashier to be exchanged for cash. Dealers who handle buy-ins will often be willing and sometimes encourage departing players to "color up" their stacks by exchanging them for the highest-available denominations, both for the convenience of the player and to minimize the number of times casino staff must deliver fresh chips to the poker table - a time-consuming process.
On the other hand, casinos that expect players to buy chips from the cashier will usually furnish players with chip trays typically designed to handle chips each to ease the handling of large numbers of chips. Chips given by players or otherwise retained by the dealer for tips, rake and other fees where applicable are usually placed in separate locked boxes by the dealer, although in some casinos the rake is kept in a separate row in the dealer's tray.
Public cardrooms have additional rules designed to speed up play, earn revenue for the casino such as the "rake" , improve security and discourage cheating. All poker games require some forced bets to create an initial stake for the players to contest, as well as an initial cost of being dealt each hand for one or more players. The requirements for forced bets and the betting limits of the game see below are collectively called the game's betting structure.
An ante is a forced bet in which all players put an equal amount of money or chips into the pot before the deal begins. Often this is either a single unit a one-value or the smallest value in play or some other small amount; a proportion such as a half or a quarter of the minimum bet is also common. An ante paid by every player ensures that a player who folds every round will lose money though slowly , thus providing all players with an incentive, however small, to play the hand rather than toss it in when the opening bet reaches them.
Antes are the most common forced bet in draw poker and stud poker but are uncommon in games featuring blind bets see next section. However, some tournament formats of games featuring blinds impose an ante to discourage extremely tight play. Antes encourage players to play more loosely by lowering the cost of staying in the hand calling relative to the current pot size, offering better pot odds.
With antes, more players stay in the hand, which increases pot size and makes for more interesting play. This is considered important to ensure good ratings for televised tournament finals. Most televised high-stakes cash games also use both blinds and antes.
Televised cash games usually have one of the players, normally the dealer, pay for everyone to accelerate play. If there are six players for example, the dealer would toss six times the ante into the pot, paying for each person. In live cash games where the acting dealer changes each turn, it is not uncommon for the players to agree that the dealer or some other position relative to the button provides the ante for each player. This simplifies betting, but causes minor inequities if other players come and go or miss their turn to deal.
During such times, the player can be given a special button indicating the need to pay an ante to the pot known as "posting"; see below upon their return. Some cardrooms eliminate these inequities by always dealing all players into every hand whether they are present or not. In such cases casino staff or neighboring players under staff supervision will be expected to post antes and fold hands on behalf of absent players as necessary.
A blind bet or just blind is a forced bet placed into the pot by one or more players before the deal begins, in a way that simulates bets made during play. The most common use of blinds as a betting structure calls for two blinds: the player after the dealer blinds about half of what would be a normal bet, and the next player blinds what would be a whole bet.
This two-blind structure, sometimes with antes, is the dominating structure of play for community card poker games such as Texas hold-em. Sometimes only one blind is used often informally as a "price of winning" the previous hand , and sometimes three are used this is sometimes seen in Omaha.
In the case of three blinds usually one quarter, one quarter, and half a normal bet amount , the first blind goes "on the button", that is, is paid by the dealer. A blind is usually a "live bet"; the amount paid as the blind is considered when figuring the bet to that player the amount needed to call during the first round.
However, some situations, such as when a player was absent from the table during a hand in which they should have paid a blind, call for placing a "dead blind"; the blind does not count as a bet. If there have been no raises when action first gets to the big blind that is, the bet amount facing them is just the amount of the big blind they posted , the big blind has the ability to raise or check.
This right to raise called the option occurs only once. As with any raise, if their raise is now called by every player, the first betting round closes as usual. Similarly to a missed ante, a missed blind due to the player's temporary absence e. Upon the player's return, they must pay the applicable blind to the pot for the next hand they will participate in. The need for this rule is eliminated in casinos that deal in absent players as described above.
Also the rule is for temporary absences only; if a player leaves the table permanently, special rules govern the assigning of blinds and button see next subsection. In some fixed-limit and spread-limit games, especially if three blinds are used, the big blind amount may be less than the normal betting minimum. Players acting after a sub-minimum blind have the right to call the blind as it is, even though it is less than the amount they would be required to bet, or they may raise the amount needed to bring the current bet up to the normal minimum, called completing the bet.
When one or more players pays the small or big blinds for a hand, then after that hand permanently leaves the game by "busting out" in a tournament or simply calling it a night at a public cardroom , an adjustment is required in the positioning of the blinds and the button. There are three common rule sets to determine this:.
In tournaments, the dead button and moving button rules are common replacement players are generally not a part of tournaments. Online cash games generally use the simplified moving button as other methods are more difficult to codify and can be abused by players constantly entering and leaving.
Casino card rooms where players can come and go can use any of the three rulesets, though moving button is most common. When a player immediately takes the place of a player who leaves, the player may have the option to either pay the blinds in the leaving player's stead, in which case play continues as if the player never left, or to "sit out" until the button has moved past him, and thus the chair is effectively empty for purposes of the blinds.
Many card rooms do not allow new players to sit out as it is highly advantageous for the new player, both to watch one or more hands without obligation to play, and to enter the game in a very "late" position on their first hand they see all other player's actions except the dealer's. For these reasons, new players must often post a "live" big blind to enter regardless of their position at the table.
The normal rules for positioning the blinds do not apply when there are only two players at the table. The player on the button is always due the small blind, and the other player must pay the big blind. The player on the button is therefore the first to act before the flop, but last to act for all remaining betting rounds. A special rule is also applied for placement of the button whenever the size of the table shrinks to two players.
If three or more players are involved in a hand, and at the conclusion of the hand one or more players have busted out such that only two players remain for the next hand, the position of the button may need to be adjusted to begin heads-up play. The big blind always continues moving, and then the button is positioned accordingly.
For example, in a three-handed game, Alice is the button, Dianne is the small blind, and Carol is the big blind. If Alice busts out, the next hand Dianne will be the big blind, and the button will skip past Dianne and move to Carol. On the other hand, if Carol busts out, Alice will be the big blind, Dianne will get the button and will have to pay the small blind for the second hand in a row.
A kill blind is a special blind bet made by a player who triggers the kill in a kill game see below. It is often twice the amount of the big blind or minimum bet known as a full kill , but can be 1. This blind is "live"; the player posting it normally acts last in the opening round after the other blinds, regardless of relative position at the table , and other players must call the amount of the kill blind to play. As any player can trigger a kill, there is the possibility that the player must post a kill blind when they are already due to pay one of the other blinds.
Rules vary on how this is handled. A bring-in is a type of forced bet that occurs after the cards are initially dealt, but before any other action. One player, usually chosen by the value of cards dealt face up on the initial deal, is forced to open the betting by some small amount, after which players act after them in normal rotation. Because of this random first action, bring-ins are usually used in games with an ante instead of structured blind bets. The bring-in is normally assigned on the first betting round of a stud poker game to the player whose upcards indicate the poorest hand.
For example, in traditional high hand stud games and high-low split games, the player showing the lowest card pays the bring-in. In low hand games, the player with the highest card showing pays the bring-in. The high card by suit order can be used to break ties, but more often the person closest to the dealer in order of rotation pays the bring-in.
In most fixed-limit and some spread-limit games, the bring-in amount is less than the normal betting minimum often half of this minimum. The player forced to pay the bring-in may choose either to pay only what is required in which case it functions similarly to a small blind or to make a normal bet. Players acting after a sub-minimum bring-in have the right to call the bring-in as it is, even though it is less than the amount they would be required to bet, or they may raise the amount needed to bring the current bet up to the normal minimum, called completing the bet.
In a game where the bring-in is equal to the fixed bet this is rare and not recommended , the game must either allow the bring-in player to optionally come in for a raise, or else the bring-in must be treated as live in the same way as a blind, so that the player is guaranteed their right to raise on the first betting round the "option" if all other players call.
Some cash games, especially with blinds, require a new player to post when joining a game already in progress. Posting in this context means putting an amount equal to the big blind or the minimum bet into the pot before the deal. This amount is also called a "dead blind".
The post is a "live" bet, meaning that the amount can be applied towards a call or raise when it is the player's turn to act. If the player is not facing a raise when the action gets to them, they may also "check their option" as if they were in the big blind. A player who is away from their seat and misses one or more blinds is also required to post to reenter the game.
In this case, the amount to be posted is the amount of the big or small blind, or both, at the time the player missed them. If both must be posted immediately upon return, the big blind amount is "live", but the small blind amount is "dead", meaning that it cannot be considered in determining a call or raise amount by that player. Some house rules allow posting one blind per hand, largest first, meaning all posts of missed blinds are live.
Posting is usually not required if the player who would otherwise post happens to be in the big blind. This is because the advantage that would otherwise be gained by missing the blind, that of playing several hands before having to pay blinds, is not the case in this situation. It is therefore common for a new player to lock up a seat and then wait several hands before joining a table, or for a returning player to sit out several hands until the big blind comes back around, so that they may enter in the big blind and avoid paying the post.
For this same reason, only one set of missed blinds can be accumulated by the player; old missed blinds are removed when the big blind returns to that player's seat because the player was never in any position to gain from missing the blinds. In online poker it is common for the post to be equal in size to a big blind and to be live, just like the big blind.
This can create a tactical advantage for the player if they choose not to play during the time they would otherwise spend in the blind in full ring games. A straddle bet is an optional and voluntary blind bet made by a player after the posting of the small and big blinds, but before cards are dealt.
Straddles are typically used only in cash games played with fixed blind structures. Some jurisdictions and casinos prohibit live straddles. Straddles are normally not permitted in tournament formats and are rarely allowed online. The purpose of a straddle is to "buy" the privilege of last action, which on the first round with blinds is normally the player in the big blind. A straddle or sleeper blind may count as a raise towards the maximum number of raises allowed, or it may count separately; in the latter case this raises the maximum total bet of the first round.
For example, straddling is permitted in Nevada and Atlantic City but illegal in other areas on account of differences in state and local laws. The player immediately to the left of the big blind "under the gun", UTG may place a live straddle blind bet. The straddle must be the size of a normal raise over the big blind.
A straddle is a live bet; but does not become a "bigger blind". The straddle acts as a minimum raise but with the difference being that the straddler still gets their option of acting when the action returns to them.
In a No-Limit game if any other player wants to make a raise with a straddle on board, the minimum raise will be the difference between the big blind and the straddle. The minimum raise would be 10, for a total of 30, it doesn't need to double to Action begins with the player to the left of the straddle. If action returns to the straddle without a raise, the straddle has the option to raise.
This is part of what makes a straddle different from a sleeper because a sleeper does not have the option to raise if everyone folds or calls around to him. Some casinos permit the player to the left of a live straddle to re-straddle by placing a blind bet raising the original straddle. Depending on house rules, each re-straddle is often required to be double the previous straddle, so as to limit the number of feasible re-straddles.
Straddling is considered poor long-term strategy by most experts, since the benefit of obtaining last action is more than offset by the cost of making a blind raise. Because straddling has a tendency to enrich the average pot size without a corresponding increase in the blinds and antes if applicable , players who sit at tables that allow straddling can increase their profits considerably simply by choosing not to straddle themselves. Straddling is voluntary at most cardrooms that allow it, however house rules can make straddling obligatory at times by using a special token called "the rock" at the table.
Whoever is in possession of the "rock" is obliged to place a live straddle for double the big blind when they are in the UTG position. The winner of the ensuing pot takes possession of the "rock" and is obliged to make a live straddle when the UTG position comes around to him. If the pot is split the "rock" goes to the winner closest to the left i.
This is very similar in principle to the "kill blind" of a kill game, but does not necessarily occur in the same circumstances, and the betting amounts do not have to be affected beyond the first round as in a kill game. A Mississippi straddle is similar to a live straddle, but instead of being made by the player "under the gun", it can be made by any player, depending on house rules one common variation is to allow this left of big blind or on the button.
House rules permitting Mississippi straddles are common in the southern United States. Like a live straddle, a Mississippi straddle must be at least the minimum raise. Action begins with the player to the left of the straddle in a common variation, action starts left of the big blind, skips over the straddle who is last. If action gets back to the straddle the straddle has the option of raising. The player to the left of a Mississippi straddle may re-straddle by placing a blind bet raising the original straddle.
A sleeper is a blind raise, made from a position other than the player "under the gun". A sleeper bet is not given the option to raise if other players call, and the player is not buying last action; thus the sleeper bet simply establishes a higher minimum to call for the table during the opening round and allows the player to ignore their turn as long as no one re-raises the sleeper bet.
Sleepers are often considered illegal out-of-turn play and are commonly disallowed, but they can speed up a game slightly as a player who posts a sleeper can focus their attention on other matters such as ordering a drink or buying a tray of chips. It can also be an intimidation tactic as a sleeper raise makes it unfeasible to "limp in" a situation where a player with a mediocre starting hand but acting late only has to call the minimum to see more cards , thus forcing weaker but improvable starting hands out of the play.
Alice is in the small blind, Dianne is in the big blind, Carol is next to act, followed by Joane, with Ellen on the button. Betting limits apply to the amount a player may open or raise, and come in four common forms: no limit , pot limit the two collectively called big bet poker , fixed limit , and spread limit.
All such games have a minimum bet as well as the stated maximums, and also commonly a betting unit , which is the smallest denomination in which bets can be made. It is also common for some games to have a bring-in that is less than the minimum for other bets. In this case, players may either call the bring-in, or raise to the full amount of a normal bet, called completing the bet.
In a game played with a fixed-limit betting structure, a player chooses only whether to bet or not—the amount is fixed by rule in most situations. To enable the possibility of bluffing and protection , the fixed amount generally doubles at some point in the game. This double wager amount is referred to as a big bet. Some limit games have rules for specific situations allowing a player to choose between a small or big bet.
For example, in seven-card stud high , when a player has a face-up pair on the second round 4th street , players may choose a small or big bet e. Most fixed-limit games will not allow more than a predefined number of raises in a betting round.
The maximum number of raises depends on the casino house rules , and is usually posted conspicuously in the card room. Typically, an initial bet plus either three or four raises are allowed. Once Player A has made their final bet, Players B and C may only call another two and one bets respectively ; they may not raise again because the betting is capped.
A common exception in this rule practiced in some card rooms is to allow unlimited raising when a pot is played heads up when only two players are in the hand at the start of the betting round. Usually, this has occurred because all other players have folded, and only two remain, although it is also practiced when only two players get dealt in. Many card rooms will permit these two players to continue re-raising each other until one player is all in.
Sometimes a fixed-limit game is played as a kill game. In such a game, a kill hand is triggered when a player wins a pot over a certain predetermined amount, or when the player wins a certain number of consecutive hands. The player triggering the kill must post a kill blind , generally either 1. In addition, the betting limits for the kill hand are multiplied by 1. The term kill , when used in this context, should not be confused with killing a hand , which is a term used for a hand that was made a dead hand by action of a game official.
A game played with a spread-limit betting structure allows a player to raise any amount within a specified range. These limits are typically larger in later rounds of multi-round games. Playing spread-limit requires some care to avoid giving easy tells with one's choice of bets. Beginners frequently give themselves away by betting high with strong hands and low with weak ones, for instance.
It is also harder to force other players out with big bets. There is a variation of this known as "California Spread," where the range is much higher, such as or California Spread, as the name implies, is played in California, Colorado, and Minnesota, where local laws forbid no limit. In a half-pot limit game, no player can raise more than the half of the size of the total pot.
Half-pot limit games are often played at non-high-low games including Badugi in South Korea. The most common practice is to have the two players to the left of the dealer pay the blinds. Two actions are for when no one has put money in the pot in front of you, and three are for when you're facing a bet. If everyone checks the round is over. Once there's a bet, the rest of the players have three actions to choose from. To call is to match the amount one of your opponents has a bet.
Your turn is over unless someone reopens the betting by raising. The round ends if everyone has either called or folded. If there is a bet, anyone left to act can raise by putting in more money than the original bet. In most games, the size of the raise must be at least the size of the original bet. Folding is simply throwing your hand away and waiting for the next one.
Most common in home games. The only other rule regards raising. If someone raises, you can only raise that much or higher. This is what most people play in casinos. It keeps it nice and simple.