Game Rules

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BoyleSports Poker Game Rules

Four poker games are available:

  • Texas Hold'em
  • Omaha
  • Omaha Hi-Lo
  • 6+ Poker

These are all games for two to nine people (plus a virtual dealer), with a card deck of 52 (except in 6+ which is 36). The bets placed by players accumulate into a pot as the game progresses. The best poker hand wins the pot.

The games are quite similar in their basic concept, but each has its own unique and important strategic differences. We offer these three different versions, so each player can choose his or her favourite.

First we describe the rules of Texas Hold'em, and then, since the other two are based on this game, we describe the key differences for 6+ poker, Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo.

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Texas Hold'em

Up to 9 players (plus a virtual dealer) are sitting at a table. In front of one of the players is a button with a "D" on it. This is called the dealer button. The dealer button moves one position to the left before each game round. This button originates from when players in the group took turns to deal the cards. In our poker room, there is a virtual dealer (shown in side view) who does the actual dealing (sitting in the middle of the left side of the table, behind the big box of chips). The virtual dealer does not participate in the game in any way other than dealing cards.

Blinds

First, the two players directly to the left of the dealer button (not the virtual dealer!) must post "blinds", that is to place a bet before getting cards. This is to ensure that every winning hand wins some money. Since the dealer button moves on every game round, everyone has to post blinds at some point in the game. The player to the immediate left of the dealer button posts the "small blind," equal to half of the minimum stake (e.g. €1 for a €1/€2 game). The player to the left of the small blind posts the "big blind," equal to the amount of the minimum stake (e.g. €2 for a €1/€2 game). After the blinds, first cards are dealt. Every player gets two cards face down. These are called pocket cards.

Bet round 1

Betting begins with the player immediately to the left of the big blind and continuing in a clockwise direction around the table. Every player can fold, call or raise. Raising is possible by the lower table stake (€2 in a €1/€2 game) only. Betting is explained in more detail below.

The Flop Cards

Now three cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table. These cards are called the flop cards. These are "community" cards and can be used by all the players to make up their hand.

Bet round 2

Second round of betting follows. This is carried out exactly as the first betting round.

The Turn Card

After the second round of betting, a fourth "community" card is dealt face up in the middle of the table. This is called the "Turn card". It is followed by a third round of betting.

Bet round 3

This round, again, is carried out just like the first and the second.

The River Card

Finally, a fifth and final "community" card is dealt. It is called the "River card" and is followed by a fourth and final round of betting.

Bet round 4

This final betting round is carried out exactly as the third.

Showdown

After the final betting round, the best five-card hand is determined. Both the pocket cards and the community cards can be used to make up a hand. The player with the best five-card poker hand wins the pot. Players can also split the pot if they have the same hand. In the rare case of the best hand consisting of community cards only, the pot is divided between all the players left in the pot at the showdown. If you see that you are losing, and do not want to show your cards, you can Muck, that is to give up your hand and lose the pot. Otherwise you can Show to compare your hand with others.

Start again

After a hand is completed and the pot taken by the winner, the dealer button is moved one player to the left, and the next hand begins.

Betting system

The player left of the big blind starts the betting round, betting order goes around the table clockwise.

Fold

If you don't like your cards, you can fold. If you have posted a blind, made a bet or raised a bet, you will lose that money. But you will not lose any more. After folding, you are out of the game until the next game round.

Check/Call

You can stay in the game by checking or calling. If no bet has been made before you, you can check without placing any money in the pot. If a bet has been made, you can call by placing the same amount in the pot.

Bet/Raise/Re-raise

You can make a bet if not players have made a bet before you. If another player has already made a bet, you can raise it. The amount you can bet is determined on the game type in "Limit" poker you are limited to the amount you can bet, in "No limit" you can bet all of the chips you have at the table.

All-in

A player can be all-in by either betting their entire chip stack or calling all of their chips to a bet which has already been made. Once this has happened the player will be unable to make any more actions regardless of how many betting streets remain. If 2 or more other players are still remaining in the hand they can form a "side pot" in order to continue betting.

At the showdown if the All-in player does not have a winning hand, both the side pot and the main pot go to the winning hand, as usual.

At the showdown if the All-in player has a winning hand, the main pot goes to the All-in player, and the side pot goes to the next best hand.

When several players go All-in, multiple side pots are created. The pots are divided according to hand and order in which the players went All-in. If a player not all in at the showdown has the winning hand he/she wins all side pots and the main pot. If an all in player has the strongest hand he/she wins the pot or pots that were collected until he/she went All-in. Any all in player with a winning hand can only win the pot or pots they are involved in.

A betting round continues until all players have folded or called the third raise, or until a bet has been called by all players (except the one who placed the bet) with no raise taking place.

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Omaha Poker

Omaha poker follows the same rules as Texas Hold'em poker, but with two exceptions:

  • Players are dealt four "pocket" cards instead of two.
  • Players must use two "pocket" cards and three "community" cards to make their best high hand.

The principle is the same, but the two differences in the rules demand a very different strategy for playing Omaha Poker.

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Omaha Hi/Low

Omaha Hi/Low follows the same rules as regular Omaha, but there is an additional way to win a share of the pot.

The Hi winner is the player with the best poker hand, as in Omaha High Only. But in addition to a Hi winner, there can be a Low winner. The Low hand is a hand with five different cards below a 9. You must use two pocket cards and three community cards to make a low hand.

For example, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 of any suit would be a Low hand. The lowest Low hand is the Low winner. In case of a Low winner, the pot is split 50/50 between the Low and High winner. In case of multiple Low hands, the Low winner is determined by comparing the highest of the low cards, then the second highest, etc. If the two or more Low hands are equal, the Low pot is split between them.

Because there must be at least three different low cards (under 9) on the board at the end to enable a qualifying low hand there may not be a Low winner every hand. Also, a player may use different pocket cards for Hi and for Low, from the four cards dealt to him along with any three community cards, where again different cards may be used for the high hand to the low hand.

In Hi Low Omaha the lowest possible hand is 5,4,3,2,A of any suits (flushes and straights do not count against you for the low hand). Ace counts as high and low and therefore the same ace can be used to make a high hand and a low hand.

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Pot Limit games

Pot Limit games differ from the Limit games by the betting and raising amounts allowed:

The minimum raise amount is the previous bet or raise in the same hand. For example, if the first player bet €1, the second player can raise a minimum of €1.

The maximum raise amount is the total betting pot + total bets of other players in the betting round + the call amount of the player. For example, if the pot is €50, the first player bets €10 and the second player calls €10, the third player can raise up to €80 (€50 in the main pot + €20 from past bets in the round + €10 of the player's own call).

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Rank of Poker Hands

The winning hand is determined by seeing which hand has the strongest combination of cards, using any combination of "pocket" cards and "community" cards. The combinations are listed here from strongest to weakest hand. Each combination is illustrated by an example, where the following abbreviations are used: J - Jack, Q - Queen, K - King, A - Ace.

Royal Flush

Royal Flush Straight flush from 10 to the ace.
Example: 10♠, J♠, Q♠, K♠, A♠

Straight Flush

Straight Flush Straight with all five cards of the same suit.
Example: 7♦, 8♦, 9♦, 10♦, J♦

Four of a Kind

Four of a Kind Four cards of the same value. Suit is irrelevant.
Example: J♣, J♦, J♥, J♠, 2♦

Full House

Full House Three cards of one value together with two cards of another value. When more than one full house is competing, the one with the highest ranking group of three wins.
Example: Q♥, Q♠, K♦, K♣, K♥

Flush

Flush Five cards of the same suit. When more than one flush is competing, the one with the highest card wins.
Example: A♥, 5♥, 7♥, 9♥, J♥

Straight

Straight Five cards in sequence. When more than one straight is competing, the one with the highest card wins. An ace can be taken as either high or low (but not both high and low in the same hand).
Example: 8♠, 9♥, 10♦, J♠, Q♣.

Three of a Kind

Three of a Kind Three cards of the same value.
Example: K♥, K♦, K♣, 2♣, 7♥

Two Pair

Two Pair Any two cards of one value together with two cards of another value. When more than one hand has two pairs of the same rank, the hand with the highest card outside the paired cards wins.
Example: J♣, J♥, Q♠, Q♦, 4♣

One Pair

One Pair Two cards of the same value. In case two hands have pairs, the highest pair wins. When more than one hand has a pair of the same rank, the hand with the highest card outside the pair wins.
Example: 10♣, 10♠, K♦, 9♥ 4♣

Highest Card

Highest Card When players have none of the above, the hand with the highest card wins.

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BoyleSports Poker Tournament Rules

Single Table Tournaments

These rules apply to the single table tournaments:

  • As soon as the table is full, the game begins. These are also commonly referred to as Sit and Go games.
  • You may leave the table any time prior to the start of the tournament without losing your initial buy-in.
  • Seating is randomised once all required players have registered.

Multi-Table Tournaments

These rules apply to multi-table tournaments:

  • Multi-table tournaments are scheduled events with specified start times. You must register for the tournament prior to the start unless the tournament is set with "Late Entry" allowing player to register before a certain blind level. Normal registration stops a few moments before the start of the tournament.
  • The table will open automatically prior to the start and you will be automatically seated at a table just before the start. Seating is random.
  • The software keeps tables balanced with regard to the number of players seated at each table. As players go broke this can cause an imbalance in the distribution of players, in which case you may be moved to and reseated at another table. This is done randomly; therefore you may experience reseating several times during a tournament.
  • The software closes tables as the number remaining players in the tournament reduces. You will be advised when the table at which you are seated is being closed.
  • You may open and watch other tournament tables while you play.
  • The tournament lobby will show the number of players in the tournament, their current chip count, and the prize structure.
  • As Multi-table Tournaments often take longer to complete than Single Table Tournaments, 5 minute breaks will occur.
  • Hand-for-hand dealing may be enacted during any tournament as is usual when there is only one player left to be eliminated before prizes are awarded. This renders the practice of slow-playing useless. During hand for hand play, all tables will be considered to be on the same hand until they all complete their hand in progress. Therefore, players eliminated at different tables may be considered to have been eliminated on the same hand.

Satellite Tournaments

The following rules apply to Satellite Tournaments only:

  • BoyleSports Poker provides both MTT Satellites as well as SNG satellite tournaments paying ticket prizes.
  • Live Event Entry

    • All tournament entries are subject to availability and subject to the Terms & Conditions of the organising body.
    • The Player must provide proof of identification showing that they are at least 21 years of age (or 18 years of age for some events) at the time the selected tournament is scheduled to begin. Any player who does not meet the age requirement will forfeit their funds.
    • If the Player fails to attend a Live Event for any reason, then the player will forfeit their entry.
    • A Player who plays a Live Event may be required to wear BoyleSports Poker branded clothing whilst playing throughout the event.
    • BoyleSports Poker branded clothing may be supplied to the player once entry into an event has been confirmed.
    • A player playing in a Live Event is not permitted to enter into any third party sponsorship or other agreements with any other online gaming sites or offline gaming companies. For the avoidance of doubt, a player playing in a Live Event shall only wear BoyleSports poker branded clothing.
    • The player agrees that by entering Live Event they are providing BoyleSports Poker with a promotional release granting the right to use their name and likeness for advertising and publicity purposes without additional compensation. The player further agrees to participate in all reasonable promotional activities as requested by BoyleSports Poker or the organiser of the Event. Entry into the Live Event constitutes your agreement to participate in such promotional activities.
    • Entry to a Live Event does not create any employment, sponsorship or other relationship between the player and BoyleSports Poker other than as stated above.
    • A Player who enters an event pursuant to the above agrees to act in a sportsman like manner at all times.
    • BoyleSports Poker reserves the right to amend or change any term or condition in relation to the Live Event by posting such changes on this site.
    • These Terms and Conditions should be read in conjunction with our [Site Terms & Conditions] and the exercise by the Company of any discretion contained in such Terms & Conditions shall be final and binding.

    Interrupted Tournaments Payout Policy

    If for any reason we have tournaments which are not able to play to a natural conclusion, we will compensate affected players using the below formulae to ensure the fairest distribution of funds possible.

    In all cases eliminated players do not receive a refund.

    Heads-Up Tournaments

    • Both players receive a refund of buy-in + fee.

    ALL SNG Tournaments

    • Remaining players receive compensation made up as follows:
      • Buy-in and Fee is returned.
      • Each player receives and equal share of the buy-ins from the eliminated players.

    MTT Guaranteed Prize

    The settlement is dependent upon what stage the tournament is at when it is interrupted:

    Prize money stage not reached (if the tournament is still in the re-buy stage then the prize pool will be the total of the buy-ins + add-ons. Once the re-buy period has closed then the prize pool will be the advertised guaranteed prize).

    • Remaining players receive compensation made up as follows:
      • Buy-in(s) and fee returned
      • The balance of the prize fund is paid out as follows:
        • 50% of the fund shared equally among the remaining players
        • 50% distributed proportionally in line with the players chip counts.

    Prize money stage has been reached:

    • Remaining players receive compensation made up as follows:
      • Buy-in(s) and fee returned
      • Each player is awarded an amount equal to the prize that the next eliminated player would have received if the tournament was not interrupted
      • Of the remaining prize pool 50% is distributed equally among the players and 50% is distributed in proportion to their chip counts.

    MTT No Guaranteed Prize:

    Prize money stage not reached:

    • Remaining players receive a refund made up as follows:
      • Buy-in(s) and fee returned
      • The balance of the prize fund is paid out as follows:
        • 50% of the fund shared equally among the remaining players
        • 50% distributed proportionally in line with the players chip counts.

    Prize money stage reached:

    • Remaining players receive a refund made up as follows:
      • Buy-in(s) and fee returned
      • Each player is awarded an amount equal to the prize that the next eliminated player would have received if the tournament was not interrupted.
      • Of the remaining prize pool 50% is distributed equally among the players and 50% is distributed in proportion to their chip counts.

    Freerolls

    Prize money stage not reached:

    • 50% of the fund shared equally among the remaining players
    • 50% distributed proportionally in line with the players chip counts.

    Prize money stage reached:

    • Each player is awarded an amount equal to the prize that the next eliminated player would have received if the tournament was not interrupted.
    • Of the remaining prize pool 50% is distributed equally among the players and 50% is distributed in proportion to their chip counts.

    Twister Events

    In cases where the prize pool is less than €1000:

    • Remaining players receive a refund of their buy in.
    • Any remaining prize pool is then distributed in proportion to chip counts.

    If the prize pool is €1000 or greater:

    • All remaining players receive a refund of their buy in.
    • All players receive 10% of the remaining prize pool.
    • The remaining prize pool is then distributed in proportion to chip counts.

    NOTE:

    The poker room reserves the right to make manual adjustments to any payments in order to ensure that all players have received a fair settlement.

    Tournament Disconnections

    If for any reason a Player loses his/her connection, play will continue. Blinds and antes will continue to be posted automatically. A Player should log back on as soon as possible to continue play. Players will be blinded/anted out of the tournament if they do not reconnect. Players MUST accept the risk of disconnection. This can and does occur. Log back on and continue play as quickly as possible.

    At no time will we assume responsibility for disconnected players regardless of cause. If a Player is disconnected during the play of a hand, they will be given a period of time in which to re-connect - about 30 seconds. If the player is not able to do so, their hand is folded unless they are "all in".

    If you choose to sit out, you are deemed 'away from the table' and will still receive cards that will be folded in turn. Blinds will also continue to be taken when appropriate. If you time-out or disconnect, you will be automatically marked 'away from the table' until you uncheck the appropriate box and re-join the game.

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