Setting up the game
The creator of the table can control four variables at the table.
Anywhere from 2 to 10 seats at the table can be chosen.
Local players only
As with the other parlor games, this prevents people in other scenes from seeing or joining the game.
There are 10 options here for the minimum bet, and maximum, if any.
Pot Limit means the bet cannot be lower than the minimum bet and cannot go higher than the current pot, plus the bet amount from each player that would be required to call (example: If the pot is 480 and the high bet is 30 with 3 players, the maximum bet cannot exceed 570).
No Limit means that there is no maximum bet value--one may bet anywhere from the minimum to whatever PoE one has on the table.
Fixed Limit is more restrictive. Before the flop and after the flop, one may only raise by the minimum bet value. After the turn and river cards are dealt, one may only bet exactly twice the minimum bet value. The number of times that the bet may be raised is also limited; however, if there are only two people betting, then there is no limit to the number of times that the bet can be raised (but note that the raise amount is always fixed).
One exception in all formats is that one can always bet all of one's remaining PoE if it is less than the minimum bet. This is called "going all in".
Fixed and Pot Limit can have a minimum bet of 2, 20 or 200, and Fixed Limit has an upper limit of twice those numbers. No Limit can also have a minimum bet of 2000.
The buyin limit is set to 10x-100x the minimum bet, and the blind amounts are set to .5x and 1x the minimum bet (2 No Limit will set a Buyin limit of 20-200, and blinds of 1 and 2, with a minimum bet of 2)
Can be set to 10, 20 or 30 seconds per turn, defaults to 20.
Joining the table
Unlike all of the other parlor games, players can join or leave a poker table at any time. To join, hit one of the Join buttons around the table, if a seat is available and a player has enough PoE to meet the minimum buy-in. Once the Join button is clicked, the spot is reserved unless the player decides not to buy in. Once a player has bought in, their buy-in amount will be their stack. If a player buys in to a spot within two spaces of the dealer, they must wait for the button to pass them before they'll be dealt in.
Leaving the table
If a player decides to leave the table, they can either click the Dismiss or Cash Out buttons. When this is done, the amount that they had in their stack is returned to them at the end of the hand. If the player is still in the hand when Cash Out is pressed, the player continues playing the rest of the hand. If Dismiss is pressed, the player automatically checks or folds (in the same behaviour as having the "Check/Fold" checkbox checked) when his or her turn is reached. The only other difference between dismissing and cashing out is that dismissing will leave the table entirely, while cashing out will put the player back as a watcher.
If a player is almost out of chips but wants to continue playing on the same table, they can use the Rebuy feature, which will allow them to repurchase chips up to the maximum buy-in for the table. While Rebuy can be used at any time, players who use it frequently and insubstantially (For example, players who rebuy after every hand played) are generally frowned upon.
Players who plan to go "all in" on a hand, but plan to stay at the table, sometimes prefer to rebuy even if they believe it unlikely that they will lose. This is because players with no chips are automatically removed from the table, whereas rebuying allows a player to retain his or her seat.
The Rebuy feature will not allow players to rejoin the table if they cannot afford the minimum buyin from their inventory.
At the start of a hand, some players are forced to bet blind. The player immediately to the left (clockwise) of the dealer starts with 1/2 the minimum bet (ie, betting 1 for a minimum 2 bet game, this is the small blind), and the next player will have the minimum bet placed (this is the big blind). Any players who bought in and have been dealt their first hand since buying in are also forced to pay the big blind; this is called the "bring-in". Players rebuying in the middle of a hand are not forced to pay blinds at the start of the next hand.
The rules of the game are the same as those of standard Texas hold 'em poker. Using the same 52-card deck as in Hearts and Spades, each player is dealt two hole cards. After the cards are dealt and the blinds and bring-ins are paid, betting begins, beginning with the player three seats to the left of the dealer (and therefore immediately to the left of the player who bet big blind) and proceeding left. At this point, because of the big blind and bring in bets, the standing bet is assumed to be equal to the minimum bet. Any player in turn whose bet is equal to the standing bet (here, the big blind and any bring-ins) has the option to check (refuse to bet, but keep their hand) or raise (bet more PoE in addition to the standing bet, therefore increasing the standing bet). All others must either call (bet enough to risk the entire standing bet), raise or fold (refuse to bet, and forfeit their hand). Raising a bet by risking one's entire stack, or risking the stack in order to call a bet as completely as possible, is called going "all-in".
After this series of bets is finished and added to the pot, five community cards, usable by all unfolded players, are dealt to the table in phases; three cards are dealt first (the flop), then one (the turn), then a final card (the river). After each phase of cards, another series of bets is made, with a standing bet of 0 PoE. In this case, it is possible for every player who has not folded to check, adding nothing to the pot.
If at any time, all but one player has folded their hand, the remaining player wins the entire pot amount. If the betting series after the river finishes with at least two players remaining, or a series ends with every player but one all in, the hole cards are revealed, the remaining community cards are dealt if necessary, and the hands are evaluated depending on the highest-ranked 5-card hand each player can make between their two cards and the 5 community cards. The pot is divided as follows:
- If no player was all in, or there was only one "level" of all-in (for example, two players with equal stacks go all in against a player with a larger stack than either), the entire pot is awarded to the best hand.
- If there are multiple levels of all-in bets, higher levels are split into "side pots", and awarded from highest stake to lowest.
- Example: Andrewcal holds 1000 PoE in a game; Blackfletch holds 800, Cleaver holds 600 and Dragonlilly also holds 1000. During the round, all players go all-in. As all players risked at least 600 PoE, the main pot holds 2400 (600 x 4); this is the only pot Cleaver can win. Andrewcal, Blackfletch and Dragonlilly all risked 800; the 200 PoE over the main pot is put in one side pot totalling 600 (200 x 3). This is the highest pot that Blackfletch can win, although he can also win the main pot. Andrewcal and Dragonlilly both wagered an extra 200; 400 (200 x 2) is put into a third side pot only for themselves.
- Furthermore, let us say Blackfletch holds the worst hand, Andrewcal holds the third best, Dragonlilly holds second and Cleaver (through no trickery, of course!) holds the winning hand. First, the highest pot is evaluated. Dragonlilly bests Andrewcal for this hand, winning 400 PoE. The next highest pot is evaluated between these two and Blackfletch. Again, Dragonlilly bests the other two for another 600. Finally, the main pot is evaluated, and Cleaver's winning hand applies for 2400. In the end, out of a total of 3400 PoE, 2400 is awarded to Cleaver and 1000 is awarded to Dragonlilly.
- If any pot, or level of pot (main or side), has two hands that tie for highest rank, that (part of the) pot is split. For example, if four cards within a straight (see below) are on the board, and two hands hold the fifth card to complete the straight and beat all other hands, those players share the pot.
- Do not discuss hands, even after having folded, until after all betting is complete. Doing so may give one or more players remaining in the hand an unfair advantage over his or her opponents and may result in a suspension of the guilty party. If players must discuss what cards they held, there will be plenty of time to make such comments after the hand is complete.
- If all but one player folds, the remaining player is under no obligation to inform anyone what cards (s)he held or if (s)he was bluffing or not. It is rude to ask for such information—the only way to find out is to remain in play until the end (I.E. to not fold).
- Do not slow the game down unnecessarily. No one should not feel obliged to press the buttons as quickly as possible and some hands do require careful thought. However, the other players will appreciate it if gameplay proceeds quickly most of the time.
- The process of "banking" (buying in with the minimum amount and then cashing out every time a profit is made, only to again rebuy with the minimum amount) can aggravate other players, particularly among smaller tables. They can even refuse to play or ask the offending player to stop.
- Occasionally a player will begin going all-in on every hand. Some players consider this bad form, believing it should be limited to the AoF tables. Other players welcome the presence of the constant high bets, which offers a quicker way to win chips.
Poker hands rank as follows, from least valuable to most valuable.
- No pair (also called high card): none of the more valuable hands are achieved. High card hands are ranked from highest card down; AKQ98 beats KQJ98; KQJ98 beats KJ987; KJ987 beats KJ876, and so on.
- Pair: only two cards match each other in value. A pair of a higher ranks beats a pair of a lower rank. Ties are broken by the "kicker" (the highest unpaired card). AKK32 beats KKQJ9
- Two pair: two separate paired cards, plus a fifth unmatched card. Ties are broken by highest pair. If those are tied, the second pairs are compared. If those are tied, kickers are compared. AA223 beats KKQQJ. AAKK2 beats AAQQJ. AAKKJ beats AAKK2.
- Three of a kind: only three cards match each other in value. Ties are broken by the rank of the three matching cards first and then by kickers. AAA85 beats KKK85. AAAKQ beats AAAQ9.
- Straight: five cards of consecutive value, but differing suits. A♣K♠Q♥J♣10♦ in mixed suits is the best possible straight. Aces may be used as the card that comes after Kings or the card that comes before Deuces but not both. AKQJT is a straight. 5432A is a straight. KQA23 is not a straight. (See example below).
- Flush: five cards of the same suit, not straight. A♠K♠Q♠J♠9♠ in any one suit is the best possible flush, because of the straight flush hand.
- Full house (also called full boat): one pair plus a different three of a kind. Tiebreakers between two full houses involve comparing the three of a kinds first; if the hands are still tied, the pairs are compared. AAA22 beats KKKAA. AAAKK beats AAAQQ.
- Four of a kind: four cards matching in value. Ties (only possible if all four cards are among the community cards) are broken by the kicker.
- Straight flush: a hand that matches the requirements of both a straight and a flush; 5 cards in matching suits and consecutive values. A♠K♠Q♠J♠10♠ is one of the four best possible straight flushes, and is in fact called the...
- Royal flush, the best hand in poker.
|1. No pair
|3. Two pair||4. Three of a kind|
|5. Straight||6. Flush|
|7. Full House||8. Four of a kind|
|9. Straight flush||10. Royal flush|
All in or fold (AoF)
"All in or fold", also known as "AoF", is a commonly heard term in the inns. It is a variant of poker in which the player has to all-in or fold the hand. AoFs are usually played on the table having buy-in of 20,000 to 200,000, but other buy-ins are also used.
AoF gameplay cannot be enforced. For example, the game mechanics will allow a player to call a hand and then fold. A player who does so will have broken the player-devised rules of AoF but will not have broken any rules in the eyes of the Ocean Masters:
- We do not support or enforce any player agreed variations to wagers.
For this reason it is recommended that this variant of poker is only played with trusted friends and hearties. Pirates play AoF entirely at their own risk.
AoFs are risky and may result in the loss or gain of a lot of PoE. This variant of poker is usually played by wealthy pirates, and those eager to gain PoE quickly.
All in or All in (AoA)
"All in or All in", also known as "AoA", is the riskiest and most lucrative form of Poker. In AoA, players have no choice but to all in every hand, regardless of whether the hands are good or bad. AoAs can be played with any buyin, but are usually played 1 on 1 and at the 200K tables. The general rules allow one to cash out after reaching 5 times the normal buy-in (for example, 1,000,000 PoE at the 200K level). AoA is only reserved for very wealthy pirates.
As with AoF, AoA relies on players to abide by the rules. When large amounts of PoE are at stake, however, it is unlikely that a player will want to all-in on a weak hand against a very strong hand, and there is a possibility that they may fold the hand. Ocean Masters do not provide any support for losses that are linked to AoA, and pirates play this variant entirely at their own risk.
|1 to 9 PoE||10 to 99 PoE||100 to 1000 PoE||1001 to 9999 PoE|
|10,000 to 99,999 PoE||100,000 to ~499,999 PoE||~500,000 to ~999,999 PoE||~1,000,000 PoE and up|
Poker was introduced with release 2006-02-02.
- Official game documents
- Commonly discussed ideas from Game Design
- Wikipedia's Poker article
- Zmasterben's Poker Dictionary
- Baldo's Poker Primer Lessons Learned from Hosting Poker Tournaments
- Dachimpy's Basic Poker Guide
- Dachimpy's Poker Videos Currently includes how to bluff, rest under construction
|See also: Tournament|