High Five Poker: The Casino Table Game Where the Joker Is Wild

High Five Poker is a casino table game originally developed and marketed by SHFL entertainment. The objective is to have a better five card poker hand than the dealer. If you ever played Pai Gow Poker you’ll find some similarities in that it uses a 53-card deck, where the 53rd card is a Joker. This lone semi-wild card can be used to complete a Straight, Flush, Straight Flush, or Royal Flush; otherwise it can be used as an Ace.

High Five Poker tables are currently at The Brass Ass (real name) Casino in Cripple Creek, CO, which also offers a progressive version.

How High Five Poker is Played

The table has seats for up to six players. Players must first make an Ante wager. The dealer will then deal seven cards face down in a clockwise manner to each player, and seven to him or herself. Each player then examines his or her cards and makes one of the following decisions:

– Fold, forfeiting the Ante bet.

– Discard two cards while keeping the best five card poker hand and make a Play bet equal to the Ante wager.

The dealer then reveals the house cards to make the best five card poker hand. The dealer qualifies if he or she has at least a pair of sixes or against a player who has a straight.

For example, if the dealer has a pair of deuces and player number 1 has a straight, and player number 2 has a pair of three’s, the dealer qualifies against player 1 but not against player number 2. So, what happens to the payouts when the dealer does or does not qualify?

– If the dealer does not qualify, the Ante bet pays even money, and the Play bet pushes.

– If the dealer qualifies and beats the player, the player’s Ante and Play bets lose.

– If the dealer qualifies and is beaten by the player, the player’s Ante and Play bets pay even money.

– If the dealer qualifies and ties the player, the player’s Ante and Play bets push.

The dealer works counter-clockwise when determining the outcome of all of the remaining players’ wagers. The house edge is about 3.6%.

Trips Side Bet

The Trips side Bet pays for a player hand with Three of a Kind or better, regardless if the player wins or loses the hand, according to the following table:

Three of a Kind pays 1/1

Straight pays 2/1

Flush pays 4/1

Full House pays 7/1

Full House (Aces Full) 20/1

Four of a Kind pays 40/1

Straight Flush pays 50/1

Royal Flush pays 100/1

Five Aces (Four Aces w/Joker) 200/1

Pay tables may vary slightly between jurisdictions.

Strategy

The strategy for this game is quite basic in that the dealer does not qualify if he or she has less than a pair of sixes, then you should fold with less than a pair of sixes. Otherwise make a play bet.

Omaha Poker: Here’s Where You Get Four Hole Cards Instead of Two

If you’re a poker player you undoubtedly know that Texas Holdem is the number one choice for players at poker room tournaments and cash games. The game is so popular that even James Bond favored it over his preferential game of Baccarat in the 2006 remake of the 1967 movie, Casino Royal..

The lesser known game of Omaha Poker is also offered at most major poker rooms. One version is called Pot Limit Omaha There are two major differences between Pot Limit and No limit Holdem:

· Players are dealt four hole cards instead of two

· Players may only raise to the size of the pot

All the other action is the same. There are five community up cards dealt by the house dealer between betting rounds: three called the flop, one called the turn and one more called the river.

Before play, the dealer places a white disc called the button in front of the player immediately to her left. The button represents a theoretical dealer and holds an advantage for the player because he is the last to act during a hand. The button moves one player to the left after each round.

The first player to the left of the button is called the small blind. The player to the left of the small blind is the big blind. Both players must put a pre-determined amount of money in the pot before any cards are dealt. The blinds also move one position to the left after each round. Their purpose is to incite action by ensuring an ample amount of money in the pot prior to play. The amounts increase after preset timed periods. Four cards are dealt clockwise face down to each player. The first player to the left of the big blind is under the gun and starts the action with one of three options:

o Muck, (fold) all four cards to stay out of the hand

o Call, by betting the amount of the big blind

o Raise, by betting twice the amount of the big blind.

Players may think that having four hole cards to play with may be more beneficial than two as in Texas Holdem but it’s quite the contrary because you can only use two of the cards together with three community cards from the board to make your best possible This makes the game very interesting. Here are some reasons why:

· The size of the pot grows quickly because the four hole cards allow for more drawing hands. Players often see the hands to the end of the betting rounds because the two card choice is not made until the final hand is played.

· In that the drawing hands are more frequent, opponents also have hands that they are more likely to bluff with.

· Double suited hands with high cards such as a Jack, King of spades and an Ace, Queen of diamonds are favorites due to the flush possibilities.

· Unfavorable hands at pre-flop can include three of a kind and two pair because only two of the cards can be used in the final round.

Another version of Omaha Poker is called Hi-LO Omaha, which is played exactly the same as Pot Limit except the pot is divided between the winners with the highest ranking hand and the lowest ranking hand. A winning low ranking hand cannot contain any pair or a card higher than an eight. Also, a straight with ace through five can be used to win a high or low hand.