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What To Play


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Online Texas Holdem Poker offers a wide variety of stakes and variants of the game which can seem overwhelming to the uninitiated. The wealth of options means that you can learn all the different styles easily and find which one is best suited to you and your game. Below are some pointers and information as to what it all means:


Games found at most poker rooms:

Turbo Holdem - in these tournaments, the blinds go up much faster than in regular games either after a few minutes or a small number of hands. The resultant game is more frantic and involves quite a bit more luck. Not good for beginners to learn from and not something to wager large amounts at.

Kill Games - usually found in ring games only, a kill pot results when a player wins two hands in a row. A 'kill' token is then placed on the table and all bets and limits are doubled for the next hand. Can lead to big wins and losses, not for the faint-hearted.

Omaha Holdem - an ever increasingly popular Holdem hybrid, Omaha is nevertheless similar in the betting aspects and the general flow of the game. You are dealt four cards, all face down which you hold for the entire hand. The major difference at the showdown is that you must use two of your hole cards and three of the community cards to make your best 5 card hand.

Crazy Pineapple - becoming more popular online, this game is somewhat a hybrid of Texas Holdem and Omaha in that you are dealt three rather than the standard two or four cards but you discard one after the flop. All other rules are identical to regular Texas Holdem.

Hi/Lo Games - a tricky one to grasp initially, hi/lo games offer something a bit different to the game because now there are two nut hands that can be made in every pot - the lowest one, and the highest one. The lowest hand must be 5 different cards less than 8 with straights and flushes discounted making A2345 is the low nuts hand. The pot is split between the highest and lowest hands but it can be won outright if a player has the highest AND lowest qualifying hands or there is no low qualifying hand (eg the board shows AAKK9).

There are of course many more games out there to learn but those are the main ones to get to grips with at online casinos that are variants of Texas Holdem (7-Card Stud has been omitted since it is a very different game).


The stakes terminology explained:

Fixed Limit - fixed limit games are denoted with two values which set the limit to the bet for the first two rounds at the lower value and the limit of the last two rounds at the higher value. For example: a game denoted as $1/$2, has blinds of 50c and $1 and then a set raise each round of $1 pre-flop and directly after the flop. The initial bet can be raised up to 3 times making the maximum each round each player can add to the pot $4. After the turn card, the maximum raise goes up to $2 with 3 re-raises making the maximum each player can add to the pot after the turn $8.

No Limit - much simpler in theory, no limit games allow any size bet to be made at any time from the value of the big blind up to the value of the chips the player holds. The swings are obviously much greater in no limit games but this is the most popular form of poker played today because it is the most tactical.

Pot Limit - a hybrid of fixed and no limit games, pot limit games set the maximum each player can bet at any time equal to the total money in the pot at that time. Eg if there are 4 players after the flop and a pot size of 500, the next player to act may wager an amount between the big blind and the pot size of 500. Should he wager 200, the next player has the same limit as player 1 plus the 200 player 1 added. This continues onto players 3 and 4 accumulating as new bets are added.

Half Pot Limit - identical to pot limit games except that the maximum each player can bet at any time is equal to half the total money in the pot at that time/at the star of the betting round being played.

That covers the 4 online types of stake, there are other stakes such as spread limit but they are rarely, if ever, seen online so we will not cover them here.


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