styles of poker

When high stakes poker games are held (legal or not), what kinds of poker are most commonly played and what rulebooks are used, or understood, for settling tied hands (e.g., splitting a pot versus looking at kickers, etc.)?

Limited knowledge here, but I’d say the number one game is Texas Holdem. Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo are probably nearly as common.

It seems to me that kickers are not used, tied hands are merely split. However, if someone goes all-in (with the last of his chips), then there are side bets. This is where things get complicated.

I base my conclusions on an online game called Absolute Poker, which seems to be based on standard casino rules.

Texas Hold 'em is the standard for really big tounaments, though the stakes in any game that a casino runs can get to pretty high stakes.

Kickers are assuredly used, they are part of your 5 cards. It’s not a tied hand if your kicker card is higher than the other guys. If they are tied, then I’m not sure, I believe the one time it happened to me in a casino we both got our money back (The flush on the table was the high hand).

If someone goes all in, there are not side bets as such. There is a continuation of the normal betting, but since the all-in player cannot bet, he/she is only eligible to win a portion of the pot. I feel that is a very different thing than a side bet, which is basically illegal.

I guess it depends on what you mean by “kicker.” In the case of a pair od deuces, for example, tied hands then go by high card. But in the case of a pair of aces, those are the highest cards, so the pot is split. I think.

As far as the side bet thing goes, I agree with your interpretation, but not your terminology. The all-in player’s portion is indeed called a side bet.

If I have pair of aces and my next high card is a king, compared to your hand of a pair of aces and next card is a 9, I win. My 5 cards are better than yours, that’s all there is to it.

I’m not expert enough on terminology to dispute it… if that’s really what it’s called, then OK – though IMO that’s a very poor choice of terms. But then, many poker terms are pretty nonsensical, so I can’t complain! :slight_smile:

The only part I’m not positive about – I am fairly sure that suit is not considered in standard casino poker, but I am not positive.

If we both have a pair of aces then in any casino and in almost any home game, the person with the high card wins. If we both have A-A-Q-10 and your last card is a nine and mine is a deuce, you win. This is standard everywhere. However, if we are playing a seven card game like Hold 'em and our best hands are each the same, it is a tie. We DO NOT compare the cards we did not use in our best hand.

Suits are NEVER ranked, no suit is better than any other in any casino and most home games.

Not according to Absolute Poker, nor according to Bravo’s Celebrity Poker, and I believe those are both based on casino rules.

Of course, “casino rules” are probably subject to change from house to house, so I’m betting that we’re both right, depending on what casino we’d decide to go to.

I think flight’s right here - I’ve never seen a casino use anything other than this.

I think it’s actually called a side pot, not a side bet. A small, but significant difference in terminology.

Thanks. So in Texas Hold Em, how many times can you keep raising? If you call, can you raise when it comes to you again? E.g., Tom bets 20, you call, Harry raises Tom by 10, Tom call, can you now raise?

I checked at Absolute Poker and didn’t see anything about the elimination of kickers so I’d like to see your citation for that.

It is true that some minor and/or technical rules change from house to house, but it is rather hard to believe that any house would alter the rules to the point that poker stops being a best of five cards game. I would refuse to play at any such place and I can’t imagine that any serious poker player would play under such rules.

Just FYI, a side bet is any sort of bet not placed on the table. Casinos don’t allow side bets as they don’t get any action off such a bet. Side pots, as explained already, are a different situation.

Depends on the rules of the game. Some tables limits the number of raises on your hole cards or the flop (e.g. 3 raise limit), some limit raises on each round, some don’t limit them at all.

This is one of the house rules that can change from game to game but most places use the three raise maximum per betting round.

In the above scenario, yes, you can now raise as yours would be the second raise. If someone else raises after you, that is the third raise and the most you could do would be to call it.

there are effectively two varieties of Hold’em, which differ in how the betting works.

In limit hold’em the bet amounts are set for each round and you either raise that amount, call the amount coming in to you, check if you don’t owe the pot anything or fold if you don’t want to pay. There is a limit of 3 raises per round of betting, as described here

In no limit hold’em the bet amounts are not set, but each player is limited to one raise each round of betting.
I play a fair bit on my dining room table with friends but have an aversion to casinos, hopefully I’ve gotten all that right, but I’m open to correction by casino players.

IANAPoker Expert but I watched Celebrity Poker and I watch the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour and all of them use kickers. I remember commentary from Celebrity Poker from the poker pro talking about kickers and in last year’s WPT final there was a very dramatic hand in which K-K was up against A-x and four 7s came up on the board. The wired kings were cracked because both players ended up with four of a kind but the Ace was the better kicker.

In limit poker, this is usually the case. However, in a heads up situation (that is, when there are only two people still in the hand), unlimited raising is allowed at many cardrooms.

Note that this situation is NOT quite the same as no-limit betting. For instance, in a $20-$40 limit game that is heads up at the river, there can be an unlimited number of raises, but each of those raises will be at $40.

But that’s still a best hand of five cards, consistent with what daffyduck and others were saying. The question would only come up if the best five cards were the same value for two different players, either by being on the table or by coincidence in the hands.

Chronos, I believe the post you quote was replying to tdn, and was agreeing with DaffyDuck. Basically, everyone agrees that all of your best 5 cards are used (regardless of how many cards those 5 are drawn from), ergo kickers are considered, suit is not a factor, end of story.

And I’m gratified to see the terminology was different – a side pot is indeed very different than a side bet.

I’m starting to doubt my self here, and I haven’t played for several months, but I do remember that a huge number of pots were split. I’ll have to get back to you on that.

The fact that pots are split doesn’t prove or disprove kickers being used.
If I go in with a pair of queens and you go in with a pair of jacks, and a straight to the ace appears on the board, we tie. For both of us, the best 5 cards is the straight. This doesn’t happen every hand or anything, but it definitely happens.