Rules of Poker

Almost everyone has played poker in a home game at one time or another. With the advent of online pokerrooms, however, poker has exploded across the World Wide Web. Often the games we played at home differ substantially from those at online poker sites , or brick & mortar casinos. These rules are those that are accepted throughout the poker community. You should always check the rules of any Internet poker site you join in case there may be some variations. A good example is Big River Hold’em, a game that’s available at RedlightPoker, and is quite different from Hold’em, which is found on most sites. It requires a severe modification of strategy.

Many of the games we played at home, at the kitchen table, varied greatly since the dealer usually called the game. Often adding wildcards, and other twists to complicate the game. Maybe as online pokerrooms attempt to draw business we will see more of these home games available at our favorite online poker site.

Few online poker sites provide the Spread Limit structure. Simply, it allows a range of bets, usually based on a multiple of 5, 1 to 5, 2 to 10, etc. The bet value is not fixed. The bettor may bet any amount within the range. This structure is encounter in stud games more than any other game.

Fixed Limit has become the normal structure for most games today, both in online pokerrooms and at brick & mortar casinos. In this structure the bet size is fixed. Usually the first two betting rounds are half the remainder. For example: $2/4 allows two bets of $2 then the remaining bets are $4. The bring-in bet or blinds may vary, but usually the bring-in bet is half the small bet, and the big blind is equal to the small bet. This structure can vary greatly. The 2-2-4-8-8 is still spread at some poker rooms and Big River Hold ’em has a structure of 2-2-4-10 (or 20).

No Limit has gained in popularity as more people watch the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour on Television. Simply put the player may bet any amount at anytime. The blinds are fixed, but the amount of the bet is only limited by the player’s table stake. At one time you found few No Limit games, now they dominate Hold ’em in online pokerrooms.

Pot Limit is variation on No Limit, which “limits” the size of the bet to the size of the pot at the time of the bet. If the blinds total $3, the first bettor may call the $2 blind and raise $5, (the amount of the pot). The next better may then call $7 and raise $17. Few people play Pot Limit when No Limit is available, and you will find it most often in Omaha . There is a variation of this that limits the bet to half-pot.