Every form of poker has its own set of rules and if you play multiple forms of poker, sometimes it is hard to keep rules straight going from one game to another. Then again, sometimes we learn a form of poker from friends or family and use rules not normally used in live casinos and online.
Today we will take a look at a 7 poker rules that many players get wrong at one point or another. Many times, these mistakes occur while someone is learning a game but other times they come when someone infrequently plays a particular variant, such as Razz or Badugi.
No Double Bet on Open Pair on Fourth – Stud 8 or Better
In Stud 8 or Better, aka Stud Hi-Lo Split, there is no double bet if there is an open pair on fourth street. No, I am not sure as to why that rule exists, but it is a standard rule and one that players get confused about when they first start playing.
I had this ruled drilled home several years ago when Jack Effel actually misruled that a player could open bet on fourth. I disputed and he said he could call the Tournament Director (Johnny Grooms) to make a ruling. Johnny came over and sided with me.
In all fairness, the event was the first time that Jack had floored a Stud 8 or Better tournament. I could never see him making a similar mistake like that ever again.
Anyone Can Double Bet Once There is an Open Pair on Fourth – Seven Card Stud
Some Stud players have the mistaken idea that only the person with an open pair can double bet on fourth in Seven Card Stud. That’s simply not true. If the player with the pair decides to check, then the next player has the option to bet in the double bet amount.
Granted, I have only seen that happen in a couple of instances and you are practically telegraphing that you caught trips on fourth or are betting a monster draw. However, the option is there if you want to take it.
Five Card Draws Are Allowed – Triple or Single Draw Lowball
This is a rule I didn’t know about until the first time I played lowball. I just assumed that four was the max you could draw in Lowball. I had no clue that you could exchange all five cards.
Now, there is a caveat to this in many casinos. In many casinos, you can draw up to five cards but you cannot receive more than three consecutive cards at a time. If you draw five, you will get three cards, the dealer will distribute cards to the other players requesting cards and then you get your last two cards.
You Don’t Need an Ace to Draw Four in Five Card Draw
A standard rule I’ve seen in many Five Card Draw games is that you can only draw four cards if you have an ace. In most games, you have to show that ace or just draw three. That’s not how the online or casino version of this game works.
Actually, just like Lowball you can draw up to five cards. You will probably be subjected to the same drawing rules as I mentioned earlier, but the old rule of having an aces to draw four doesn’t apply.
You Must Use Two Cards in Your Hand – Omaha Poker
One concept that’s hard for some players to grasp when they first start playing Omaha Poker is that they use two cards and only two cards from their four card hand along with three cards on the board.
Going deeper, some don’t grasp that you can only use two cards in your hand. You can’t use three or four cards. The biggest argument that I’ve ever had in a home game was a guy that had Kh-Qh-Jh-10d and couldn’t understand why he didn’t have a king high straight flush on a board of 9h-8h-6h-3c-2s.
It took about four times for him to grasp that he can use two cards and ONLY two cards in his hand. The funny thing is that after this massive argument, his king-high flush was still the winning hand. He just wanted to brag about catching a straight flush.
You Don’t Have to Use the Same Two Cards to Make Low – Omaha Hi-Lo
One of the funniest things to see in Omaha Hi-Lo is when the light bulb goes in inside a player’s head that they don’t have to use the same two cards for both high and low. Low is considered a separate hand and you make the best hand using two from your hand and three from the board.
Some beginners get locked into making sure that they understand how to make their hands that they get confused trying to make two separate hands. Most pick this up quickly but some struggle for a while until they get used to the concept.
The Best Five Card Hand Doesn’t Have to Include Your Hole Cards – Texas Hold’em
We all know that in Texas Hold’em that you make your best five card hand using the two cards in your hand and the five on the board. Some players don’t understand that you are not required to use the cards in your hand to make the best hand.
A great example was a tournament I played at Binions a few years ago where two players got into a raising war and one player was all-in with pocket kings against pocket aces. He stood with shoulders slumped as the board ran out 6-7-8-9-10. After the river hit, he started walking away.
A couple of players asked him where he was going. “I lost” was his reply. We had to then remind him that there was a straight on board and the two players chopped the pot. The player had forgotten that the board can play. That wound up being fortunate for him as he managed to make the final table after that.