The quick and unsatisfying answer to questions about how to rank suits in poker is “It depends.” It depends on what variety of poker you’re playing as much as it depends on where you’re playing it. There are no hard and fast standard rules for how suits are ranked. It changes between different varieties of the game as much as it changes from geographic location to geographic location. Even in Canada there are no standards for how to rank suits in a game of poker. One casino might handle suits one way, and another could use the exact opposite rules. It all depends.
A more satisfying answer to this question, perhaps, is that the issue of ranking suits isn’t that relevant in many poker games. In this respect, grasping the complexities of how different games and different locations tackle the issue isn’t important. But there are some things, such as deciding which player will be the first to deal, that are determined by dealing a card to every player and then the player with the highest card is selected. In these circumstances, it’s important to understand how to rank the cards appropriately, but it won’t make or break the game for you.
In Canada, there are two common ranking conventions. First, the alphabetical order ranking of suits is quite common, with spades being the highest-ranked suit followed by hearts, diamonds, and then clubs. Second, the alternating colors ranking of suits, in which spades are the highest-ranked suit followed by hearts, clubs, then diamonds, is also common. However, it’s safest not to assume you know how the suits are ranked and instead make sure you ask!
In Canada and the rest of the world, Texas Hold’em is the dominant variety of poker. It’s the poker game you probably see on TV, it’s the poker game most casinos tend to specialize in, and it’s the poker game Canadians should be most familiar with! Here is a simplified list of rules to give you a good overview of this popular variety of poker so that you can follow what’s going on.
- The dealer shuffles and the two players on his or her left, known as the blinds, put in a pre-determined quantity of money. Usually the first player to the left puts in the minimum bet, the second player puts in half of that. If the dealer isn’t playing, such as in poker tournaments or at casinos, a small button symbolizing the dealer is rotated among the players so everyone is a blind in turn.
- Each player receives the hole cards, which are just two cards dealt face down to each poker player at the table.
- The first round of betting begins with the person sitting on the left of the two blinds. On his or her turn, each player can choose one of three options: to call, to raise, or to fold.
- The dealer reveals the flop — three community cards dealt face up — and the second round of betting commences beginning with the poker player seated on the dealer’s left. There are now four choices: call, raise, fold, or check.
- The dealer reveals the turn or fourth street – community card number four – and a round of betting begins for the third time.
- Finally, the dealer reveals the river, also known as the fifth street – the fifth community card – and the fourth round of betting begins. After the round is complete, all players must reveal their hands, and the winner is whoever has the best hand at the poker table.
When written out so concisely, the game seems incredibly simple, and that’s the beauty of Texas Hold’em poker. With these simple rules, it’s possible to create a game that is fun for beginners and pros alike. Of course things can become quite complex, but no matter your skill level, there’s plenty of opportunity for excitement and entertainment. Whether you’re playing a game of poker with friends at home, a game of online poker, or if you’re in Ontario near one of the big Canadian casinos and want to play a game of poker there, after reading this you should be good to go.
While not as popular as Texas Hold’em poker, Omaha poker is gaining popularity in Europe and other parts of the world. Omaha poker shares many characteristics with the more popular variety, with most of the poker rules overlapping to some extent. Canadian players who aren’t familiar with Texas Hold’em poker rules should take a few moments to read them or brush up your knowledge of these basic poker rules before continuing to learn how Omaha poker is played.
Once you’ve taken a look at the rules and are ready to see how Omaha poker rules are different from Texas Hold’em poker rules, continue reading below.
First and foremost, in Canada, Europe, and everywhere else, each player receives four cards in Omaha poker as opposed to the two cards that are dealt in the Texas Hold’em variety of the game.
Second, there are a few more rules involved in discerning who is the winner in Omaha poker. First of all, each player must, without exception, use two cards from his or her hand plus three community cards to form his or her hand. This can make things a little more complicated than Texas Hold’em poker, but with a little practice Canadian players should have no trouble at all enjoying both varieties despite the slightly different poker rules involved.
The three most popular forms of Texas Hold’em poker being played across Canada in recent years are the No-Limit variety of Texas Hold’em, Fixed-Limit Texas Hold’em, and Pot-Limit Texas Hold’em. While plenty of poker fans know the difference between these varieties, sometimes they can get a bit muddled if you don’t play all of them on a regular basis. That’s why we at Poker.ca have put together a quick reference for all those Canadian poker players out there who want to make sure they have all the betting rules straight.
No-Limit Texas Hold’em, which is the poker played at the WSOP Main Event, is the type of poker most people associate with the glamorous and exciting world of professional gambling thanks to all the ESPN coverage of the WSOP event and other major tournaments that are broadcast across the nation and no Canadian poker fan ever misses.
The important point to remember about the No-Limit variety is that it is aggressive and exciting because players can go all in at any time during the hand, making the ability to bluff all the more important – and risky – in this variety of poker. No-Limit poker rules are simple: on one hand, the minimum bet is the same amount as the big blind, and on the other hand the maximum amount is however many chips you have at your disposal.
Fixed-Limit Texas Hold’em poker rules encourage a more subtle, reserved strategy that doesn’t include bold, dramatic raises like the No-Limit type. A minimum bet, as usual, is equal to the amount in the big blind, but raises are strictly fixed depending on what point in the hand you’re in. This is important to remember.
Falling somewhere in between No-Limit poker rules and Fixed-Limit poker rules is Pot-Limit Texas Hold’em. In this variety, the maximum bet can only be determined by evaluating the size of the current pot. It’s important to keep an eye on the amount in the pot at all times to know how much you’re allowed to bet at any given point in the game. While this variety isn’t as popular as the other two, it’s been catching on in Canada in recent years, so be sure you know how to play!