The game uses a standard 52-card deck with four suits.
The highest card is an Ace, the lowest is a Two.
The deck is shuffled before the cards are dealt.
Players and Table Layout
Usually, several players are active in the game.
All players independently compete with the dealer.
There are two rectangle boxes drawn on the table in front of each player.
One of them is called ANTE, and the other is called either the BET, RAISE or PLAY.
There is usually a circle drawn upon the ANTE box – for the Bonus Bet.
Before dealing, the player makes a prebet by placing one or more chips on the ANTE position.
Each bet must be within the casino’s fixed range: the minimum and the maximum bet are displayed on the table, as well as the table’s maximum payout – the upper limit of the win.
The range and maximum payouts may vary from table to table.
Here are several examples:
Minimum Bet (€)
Maximum Bet (€)
Maximum Payout (€)
The dealer deals five cards to himself and to each player.
The cards are dealt face-down alternately.
The dealer’s last card is dealt face-up.
The Objective of the Game
After the cards are dealt, the player evaluates his hand.
The objective of the game is to get the higher poker hand than that of the dealer’s.
Every hand consists of one of eleven combinations.
The lowest combination is called empty and the others are called meaningful.
A combination is defined by the rank of its cards, as well as by their suits.
The order in which the cards are received does not matter.
The combinations below are arranged according to their rank.
For players’ convenience, the brief information on various combinations is given in the table below.
Royal Flush – the highest poker combination with 5 highest cards of the same suit (A-K-Q-J-10).
Straight Flush – straight in one suit. Straight consists of 5 successive cards, for example, Q-J-10-9-8.
The following combination – 5-4-3-2-A, is also a Straight.
An Ace within the combination such as 4-3-2-A-K does not make up a Straight.
Four-of-a-Kind – 4 cards of the same rank, for example, 4 Jacks or 4 Fives (plus one extra card).
Full or Full House – 3 cards of the same rank and 2 of another.
For example, 6-6-6-K-K.
Flush – 5 cards of the same suit.
Straight – 5 successive cards, for example, 9-8-7-6-5.
Suits have no meaning.
Three-of-a-Kind – 3 cards of the same rank, for example, 9-9-9-Q-4.
Two Pair – two cards of the same rank and two of another, for example, A-A-5-5-10.
One Pair – two cards of the same rank, for example, 8-8-K-4-2.
Ace-King – an Ace and a King of any suits, for example, A-K-8-7-3.
No Hand – cards do not make any of the above combinations, for example, J-10-7-5-2.
The higher the combination, the higher the hand is ranked.
If two hands have the same combinations, they are valued by the rank of the cards.
A few examples:
Ace-King – A-K-J-3-2 is higher than A-K-10-9-8 (a Jack is higher than a 10);
Pair – 5-5-4-3-2 is higher than 4-4-A-K-Q (the value of paired cards is compared);
Pair – 5-5-Q-3-2 is higher than 5-5-J-10-9 (a Queen is higher than a Jack);
Two Pair – A-A-2-2-3 is higher than K-K-Q-Q-A (the value of the cards from the highest pair is compared);
Straight – A-K-Q-J-10 is the highest, 5-4-3-2-A is the lowest;
Full House – 3-3-3-2-2 is higher than 2-2-2-A-A (the value of Three-of-a-Kind is higher than the Pair).
The suits themselves are equal. For example, a hearts Royal Flush is equivalent to a clubs Royal Flush.
The Name of the Combination
Cards in the Combination
Examples of the Layouts
5 highest cards of the same suit
5 consecutive cards of the same suit
Four of a Kind
4 cards of the same rank
Full or Full House
3 cards of the same rank and 2 of another
5 cards of the same suit
5 consecutive cards
Three of a Kind
3 cards of the same rank
2 cards of the same rank and 2 of another
2 cards of the same rank
an Ace and a King of any suits
Course of the Game
The player looks at his cards and determines the value of his hand.
The player will ultimately have to compare his hand with the dealer’s.
This is the point of the game.
Whoever has the higher combination wins.
The dealer’s one card lays face-up on the table, but that is the only information the player has about the dealer’s hand.
Other players’ cards could be of a little help, but they are unknown.
Players are not allowed to show theirs cards to each other, as well as to share theirs problems.
After looking at his hand, the player decides which of the three possible actions to take:
The ANTE is lost, the game is over.
Continue playing with the cards he has.
The player places his cards on the table, but that's not all.
He must place an additional bet on the BET box to continue the game.
This bet is equal to twice the original ANTE.
The described procedure is sometimes called Raising the bet.
Exchange one card in order to get a better combination.
For example, the player could discard a Queen from the Q-9-8-7-6 hand in the hopes of getting a Ten or a Five to complete a Straight.
However, this not a free option.
The player puts his cards on the table and lays aside the unwanted card.
He then has to put new chips on it – the payment for exchange – equal to ANTE.
The dealer takes away the chips and draws the new card.
After the change, the player evaluates his five cards again.
If the change has been successful, he makes Decision 2.
If not, the player can only make Decision 1, which is to stop the game.
At this point there are no other alternatives.
After all players make decision, the dealer reveals his cards.
If the dealer has a meaningful (not empty) combination, he qualifies.
It means that his combination is compared to that of the players’.
He then opens the player’s five cards.
If the player's hand is lower, he loses all his bets.
When equal hands occur, the player keeps his bets.
The most dynamic moment is when the dealer loses.
The ANTE is paid 1:1.
The BET is paid according to player’s poker combination.
Here is the payout ratio table:
Four of a Kind
Three of a Kind
If the ANTE was €10 (the BET is €20), the player’s total winning with a Full House is €150.
With a Royal Flush, the player gets €2010.
But players should always keep in mind that in addition to the table’s minimum and maximum ANTE there is the table’s maximum payout.
The player won’t get more than this sum in any circumstances.
The above calculations are only true when the dealer’s combination is meaningful.
If it is not the case, the player’s combination is irrelevant, the dealer doesn't qualify.
The player has still won, even if his combination is meaningless, or empty.
His payment will be the ANTE sum.
Those players who made Decision 1 would be a little upset, but if a player had a Royal Flush, it would be extremely frustrating.
This Royal combination is very rare, and if the dealer qualified, the winnings would be enormous!
If the player made Decision 3, the result against a non-qualifying dealer is neutral, because of the payment for the card exchange.
Game on Multiple Boxes
We’ve written about the basic rules of the game.
But there is an opportunity to play on multiple boxes at once (make prebets in several ANTE boxes, not occupied by other players).
The normal game is usually played on two boxes while the other boxes are blind.
On blind boxes, the player is not allowed to look at his cards and the only decision he can make is Decision 2.
When playing like this, the chances of winning decrease.
As soon as the BET is obligatory here, it is made together with the ANTE.
Two-box games are a little bit more profitable than one-box games.
That is why when playing two boxes players can only look at their hands one after the other, box after box.
The player starts by examining the first box’s cards and makes his decision on that hand.
Only after he has played that hand can he look at the second box’s cards.
Otherwise, players would know too much for the casino to tolerate.
On the other side, it is possible for several players to play on one box, with each of them making bets on one ANTE box.
The total sum can’t overdraw the maximum table bet.
Every following decision is made by the lead player.
Giving tips or advice is not allowed in casinos.
At the beginning of the game, players have the opportunity to make an additional bet – the so-called Bonus Bet.
As a rule, it is confined to €2-5.
The corresponding chips are placed in the circle above the ANTE box.
This bet wins if the player immediately gets a poker combination of a Straight or higher (though in some casinos players are paid for Three-of-a-Kind or higher).
Each casino has its own bonus rates.
This is a possible table of bonus rates:
Four of a Kind
The bonus payout is independent of the maximum table payout and the dealer’s cards.
It doesn’t matter whether dealer qualifies or not, or if his combination is better than the player’s.
The Bonus Bet doesn’t influence the main game.
However, if the player makes the decision to replace one of his cards (Decision 3), the Bonus Bet is usually lost.
The most interesting bonus game is when, as a reward for a Royal Flush, the player receives a Jackpot rather than a financial reward.
The Jackpot is an electronic money account that receives a predetermined deposit for every losing hand played at the casino.
The Jackpot’s size doesn’t correspond to the likelihood of being dealt a Royal Flush, and can easily grow to anywhere from €10,000 to €60,000.
There certainly aren’t many other ways to win that size sum with a “single strike” in a casino.
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