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How to Play Card Games - Poker Rules - Irish PokerHow to Play Card Games

Need to brush up on poker rules? Not sure why you've been dealt three cards and one is face up? Thought Courchevel was just a holiday resort in the French Alps? Read on before you enter that HORSE tourney or play dealer's choice in your next home game.

Over a dozen different card games can be played online for real-money. The same familar poker hands are used in all, but maybe not in the ways you'd expect. A flush in Triple Draw is worthless, and might only earn you half the pot in Stud Hi Lo. In 8-Game mix the game itself switches every 6 hands.

See below for video examples of how to play each poker type, with step by step diagrams whether you're preflop or postdraw. Access all the card games below on leading rooms PokerStars, FTP & Tonybet.  

Texas Holdem

Dubbed 'the cadillac of poker' by Doyle Brunson, Texas Holdem is the most commonly played game live and online. 

Its also one of the simplest, with just two hole cards dealt to each player. What comes next takes a minute to learn and a lifetime to master.

The Small Blind and Big Blind make forced bets and action starts left of the Big Blind. Players have the option to fold, call or raise...

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Omaha Holdem

A close second and possible successor to the popularity of Holdem, Pot Limit Omaha doubles the fun with four hole cards.

A much less 'solved' game, online PLO cash games are highly profitable if you can ride out the increased variance.

The sequence of play mirrors Holdem but players must choose exactly two cards from their hand to use to make a five card hand...

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Omaha Hi Lo

A staple of any HORSE game, Omaha Hi Lo turns regular Omaha into a split pot game, awarding half the pot to the best high hand and half to the best low.

This split pot dynamic shifts the value of starting hands to favour those with both low and high potential, such as A♠ 2♠ K♥ 3♥.

At showdown a player winning both high and low can scoop, or three quarter an opponent... 

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Razz

The game players 'love to hate', Razz is a lowball Stud variant where low cards are King, and high pairs would be an insta-muck on third.

Players receive three cards with two in the hole and one face up for everyone to see. Players receive one card at a time and battle over five rounds of betting. The nuts in Razz is any wheel, A♠ 2♥ 3♣ 4♦ 5♠.

Part of the skill in Razz is recalling which cards are 'dead' by watching the up cards...

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7 Card Stud

Said by Phil Ivey to have 'the most skill and the most luck' of all poker games, 7 Card Stud follows Razz at a HORSE table. Action is the same although its back to reality with K♥ K♣, flushes etc. being hands you want to see.

On third street each player pays an ante and the player with the lowest up card also places a forced bet known as the Bring-In. Action starts left of the bring-in...

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7 Card Stud Hi Lo

Last in the HORSE rotation, 7 Card Stud Hi Lo or 'Stud 8' is a split pot version of Stud.

As in Omaha Hi Lo half the pot is awarded to the best qualifying low (8 or better). Low straight flush draws such as A♣ 2♣ 3♣ are powerful starting hands.

7 Card Stud Hi Lo is played with max 8 players due to the number of cards dealt out. Stud8 is usually played with a Limit structure...

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5 Card Stud

5 Card Stud was made famous on the silver screen by Steve McQueen in The Cincinatti Kid.

Players each pay an ante then receive one down card ('in the hole') followed by four up cards. Stud is usually played with a Limit structure.

On second street each player pays an ante and the player with the lowest up card also places a forced bet known as the Bring-In...

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2-7 Triple Draw

2-7 Triple Draw has recently seen a surge in popularity online, requiring a totally different skillset to flop-based games. Game theory principles will serve you better than hand-reading or aggression.

Predraw each player is dealt five hole cards. The Small Blind and Big Blind make forced bets and action starts left of the Big Blind as in Texas Holdem. Players can draw three times to attempt to improve their hand...

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2-7 NL Single Draw

Lowball draw games don't have to be thoughtful and theoretical - 2-7 NL Single Draw is a pure bluffing game, where you'll frequently need to put your opponent to the test for all his chips.

Players can draw only once to attempt to improve their hand or stand pat with a strong hand. Flushes and straight count against you, so the nuts is e.g. 2♣ 3♦ 4♥ 5♠ 7♦...

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Badugi

Badugi is a four card lowball game where the best low hand wins. Players can draw three times to attempt to improve their hand or stand pat with a strong hand.

Four flushes count against you but four straights do not, so the nuts is A♣ 2♥ 3♠ 4♦ offsuit.

Predraw each player is dealt four hole cards. The Small Blind and Big Blind make forced bets and action starts left of the Big Blind...

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5 Card Draw

5 Card Draw poker is one of the simplest and oldest forms of poker, often the first type a player learns. No community cards are dealt.

Players can draw cards to attempt to improve their hand or stand pat with a strong hand.

5 Card Draw is played with max 7 players due to the number of cards dealt out...

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HORSE

A test of being a good all-round 'poker player' rather than a specialist in just one game, HORSE is a rotation of five mixed games - Hold'em, Omaha Hi Lo, Razz, Stud Hi and Stud Eight or Better (Stud Hi Lo).

Popular in high stakes live cardrooms, each game in HORSE is played fixed limit for a round of 8 hands before switching. HORSE is played with max 8 players.

Other variations include HEROS, to break up the Stud parts, HOSE to remove Razz, or RSE ('Triple Stud') for a rotation of just the three Stud games...

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HORSE Poker

8-Game

The 8 Game mix is a rotation of eight games, including 2-7 Triple Draw, Hold'em, Omaha Hi Lo, Razz, Stud Hi, Stud Hi Lo, No Limit Holdem and Pot Limit Omaha. Each are played for 6 hands.

The $50k buy-in Poker Players Championship at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas is an 8-Game mix event, seen as the ultimate test of poker skill.

Games are played fixed limit up until NLHE and PLO, for which the blinds are lowered. 8 Game is played with max 6 players...

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8 Game Poker

Open Face Chinese

Open Face Chinese (OFC) poker has recently exploded in popularity as a luck and skill-based gambling game.

Currently Open Face is only available for real-money play at Tonybet Poker, in regular, Turbo speed and Pineapple formats. 

OFC is played with max 4 players due to the number of cards dealt out...

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5 Card Omaha

5 Card Omaha is simply Omaha played with five cards instead of four.

The game launched on PokerStars in March 2013 alongside another five card Omaha variant, Courchevel.

5 Card Omaha is played Pot Limit (or Fixed Limit in a Hi Lo game) with max 9 players due to the number of cards dealt out...

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Courchevel Poker

Courchevel - named after a French Alps ski resort - is an Omaha variant where players are dealt 5 cards and see one community card preflop as a preview of the flop. 

Just like regular Omaha Courchevel can be played Heads Up (2 players), 6 Max (up to 6 players) or Full Ring (up to 10 players), and made its online debut exclusively on PokerStars in Spring 2013...

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Irish Poker

Irish Poker is a mix between Hold'em and Omaha. Players start with 4 cards up until after the flop round of betting, at which point they discard 2 cards and play the turn and river with the remaining two.

Launched in 2013 exclusively by Full Tilt Poker, Irish Poker can be played Pot Limit or No Limit with the same table sizes you'd expect in Omaha or Holdem, anywhere from HU to 6-Max and Full Ring...

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