Poker Tournament Rules
There are some basic rules of poker that are applicable for whichever version of the game you are playing but there are some slight variations which you need to be familiar with if you decide to play in a poker tournament. The poker tournament organiser will decide which version of the rules they are using and we’ve listed the most popular variations below:
- Texas Hold’em – This is one of the most popular formats of tournament poker. Its starts with each player being dealt two cards, you view your cards and the first round of betting begins. There are a total of five community cards and these are revealed in three stages. Each reveal is followed by another round of betting. A player must use one of their own cards and then any of the community cards to make the best hand they can.
- Omaha – In this version of the game poker players are dealt four cards each, face down. You then turn over the cards and the first round of betting begins. Once the first round of betting concludes, three community cards are dealt which is also known as the flop. Another round of betting begins. Another two community cards are then dealt, also known as the turn making five community cards in total. Another round of betting commences. In order to win a player will need to make the best hand possible, using at least two of their original four cards along with the community cards.
- 7-Card Stud – In this variation, each player will start with three cards each – two of the dealt cards will be face down and one will be face up. Betting commences after the initial deal. Once initial betting is concluded the next round starts and each player receives a face-up card, this is accompanied by a round of betting. This is repeated another two times until each player has received a total of three face-up cards. The final card is dealt face-down before the final bets. All cards are then turned and the player with the best hand wins.
- Hi-Lo – Is typically used with Omaha or 7-card stud rules. Hi-lo poker can see the pot split between the highest hand and the lowest hand which is where the name comes from. A stake is wagered on the high and on the low. The low has to qualify or it’s just a high game.
- 5-Card Draw – Probably the most straightforward version of the game. Each player in the game is dealt five cards. You reveal all 5 cards in one go but only the player can see their cards. Player one (left of the dealer) will decide to play or check, once a play is made each player must decide to match the bet, raise the bet or fold. The winning player is the one with the highest hand at the end of the betting.
Poker Tournament Formats
So now you are familiar with the different poker variants, the tournaments themselves can also have a different format which is also worth knowing about before deciding to enter.
- Multi-Table Tournaments (MTTs) – Each player has the same amount of chips when entering the poker tournament. There are a number of tables available for poker players and this is determined by the number of total players in the competition. Once a player is eliminated the tables are shuffled around or “balanced”. The winner of the poker tournament is the player left at the end with chips.
- Sit and Go – Designed to be short games and fast-paced but follows the same format as MTTs. Sit and Go poker games tend not to have fixed start times, there are typically between five and ten seats available at the table and the game will begin when all seats are filled. The great thing about Site & Go poker tournaments is that smaller games can be done in an hour.
- Shootouts – Are similar to MTTs in that Shootouts will have several tables all in the game. The big difference between Shootouts and MTTs is that the tables are never balanced out. If you win a table then the winners will go on to form new tables and this process will repeat until only one player remains.