Several variations are possible when playing for low. Some games permit the ace
to play low and ignore straights and flushes, making 5432A the best possible
low, even if it makes a straight flush. Other games just reverse the order used
for high hands, making 75432 of mixed suits the best possible low. Still others
count straights and flushes against you but let the ace play low, making 6432A
best. Note that in most games in which the ace plays low, a pair of aces is
lower than a pair of deuces, just as an ace is lower than a deuce.
When a joker is in play, it usually can only be used as an ace or to complete a
straight or flush. It cannot be used as a true wild card, for example, as a
queen to make QQ43X play as three queens. When playing for low, the joker
becomes the lowest rank not already held, so 864AX is played as 8642A, with the
joker used as a deuce.
Although true wild cards are rarely seen in a casino, they are a popular way to
add excitement to a home game. Wild cards introduce an additional hand, five of
a kind, which normally ranks above a straight flush. They can also cause
confusion when two players hold the same hand composed of different wild card
combinations. The standard rules of poker do not distinguish between such hands,
but some players prefer to rank hands using fewer wild cards above less
"natural" versions of the same hand.
What are some fun home poker games?
Poker variants differ in the amount of skill they admit. Some, like 7-card stud
high/low with declare (no qualifier), provide skilled players many opportunities
to gain an edge. Others are a virtual crap shoot. In general, the crazier games
are designed to discourage folding and minimize the influence of skill on the
outcome. They accomplish this through a betting structure that requires a large
investment before the value of one's hand is known. The level playing field that
results is ideal for many informal social groups.
How is Texas Hold'em played?
Texas Hold'em is a "community card" game, meaning that some cards are dealt
face-up in the middle of the table and shared by all the players. Each player
has two down cards that are theirs alone, and combines them with the five
community cards to make the best possible five-card hand.
Play begins by dealing two cards face down to each player; these are known as
"hole cards" or "pocket cards". This is followed by a round of betting. Most
hold'em games get the betting started with one or two "blind bets" to the left
of the dealer. These are forced bets which must be made before seeing one's
cards. Play proceeds clockwise from the blinds, with each player free to fold,
call the blind bet, or raise. Usually the blinds are "live", meaning that they
may raise themselves when the action gets back around to them.
Now three cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table; this is called the
"flop". A round of betting ensues, with action starting on the first blind,
immediately to the dealers left. Another card is dealt face up (the "turn"),
followed by another round of betting, again beginning to the dealer's left. Then
the final card (the "river") is dealt followed by the final round of betting. In
a structured-limit game, the bets on the turn and river are usually double the
size of those before and on the flop.
The game is usually played for high only, and each player makes the best
five-card combination to compete for the pot. Players usually use both their
hole cards to make their best hand, but this is not required. A player may even
choose to "play the board" and use no hole cards at all. Identical five-card
hands split the pot; the sixth and seventh cards are not used to break ties.
How is Omaha Hold'em played?
The rules of Omaha are very similar to those of Texas Hold'em. There are only
Each player receives four hole cards, instead of two.
One must use *exactly* three community cards and two hole cards to make one's
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