Real Money Poker Games, Rules & Strategy Tips

PokerSyte is the home of exclusive bonuses and rakeback deals for real money poker players. I also focus on the rules, winning strategies, and how to play popular poker games such as Texas hold'em, Omaha, 7 card stud, Omaha high low, seven stud hi lo, seven low razz and 5 card stud. You'll notice that these include the five games used in the popular multi-game contest named HORSE. The winning poker strategies are those generally accepted by the champion players and experts on each of the games. There are no big secrets here, but you will find the basics of what you need to know to be a consistent poker winner. Each game presented here is displayed in its own well illustrated full page format that is easy to read, understand and remember.

A good thing about poker is that it's a game that you can consistently win if you are normally playing less skilled players. Unlike all the other games where the casino always wins in the long run, in poker, the poker room makes its profit from the table "rake", that's just a small percentage of each pot. The house doesn't care if you win or lose. The winners collect most of the pots, so they usually don't mind paying most of the "rent".

Along with the information you will need about starting hand values, game tactics etc., you will also have a "Best of the Net" resource to many of the finest articles, game tips and info pages from over a hundred web sites about poker games.

I hope you find my site useful. . . . Clay

Real Money Poker Online

There are nearly 700 real money poker sites on the internet, however many of them have a lousy reputation in the industry and amongst players. Some have unacceptable withdraw times and methods while others are simply lacking in customer service, player rewards, liquidity (traffic) or other features like player-to-player transfers. This page narrows it down to the top online poker rooms that accept players from your country, state, province or territory along with the best bonuses and rakeback deals available. If you don't like being glued to your PC all day I also show you which sites let you play on your mobile devices and/or iPad and Android tablets. To get started just click on the "visit site" button and sign up. If there is a bonus code available make sure to enter it on your first deposit.

Basic Poker

When we use the word poker, we could be talking about any one of a number of games that share common characteristics such as: hand rankings, the best five card hand wins, betting, folding, raising, re-raising, bluffing, etc. On this page I narrow it down to poker basics and explain the differences between a stud game and a draw game. I also present hand rankings in a full page graphical format that is easy to read and understand. Speaking of easy to understand, if words like "Belly Buster" and "Under the Gun" have you scratching your head, I've included a link to some of the more commonly used terms along with their definitions. Keep in mind that although poker is an easy game to learn, it can take a lifetime to master. Once you've "mastered" the basics, you can continue to the game of choice or learn all of them and become a well-rounded player.

5 Card Stud

Five card stud is one of the oldest and simplest forms of poker, the grandfather of sorts, to more modern games like holdem. It was played and discussed somewhat regularly on the television show Star Trek: The Next Generation and has appeared in hit Hollywood movies like The Cincinnati Kid. If you’re old enough you might remember the finale when Steve McQueen's character has a full house but loses in the showdown to a straight flush. In reality big hands are rare in 5 card stud since players are not allowed to exchange their cards for new ones and more often than not a pair is good enough to win the pot. The game has many variations such as last card down, playing with a stripped deck, etc. but on my page I explain the most basic and easy to understand version and take you step-by-step all the way to 5th street.

Texas Holdem

Thanks in large part to widespread media coverage over the past two decades, Texas hold'em is the world's most popular poker game both online and in brick-and-mortar card rooms and casinos. It's the featured game at the World Series of Poker, WPT and on television shows like Late Night Poker. Holdem's online popularity exploded when Chris Moneymaker in 2003 and Greg Raymer in 2004 entered the WSOP main event through an online satellite and ended up winning millions. The game has a broad appeal because it's easy to learn and can be played at fixed limits, as a pot-limit, or a no-limit tournament or cash game. On my page you will learn the basic rules, betting procedures, playable starting hands, game definitions and strategy tips. There are also links to several odds pages including the very popular odds of being dealt aces pre-flop chart.

7 Card Stud

Seven card stud is an important game to learn but it differs dramatically from holdem and Omaha. One of the biggest differences is that there are no community cards. Each player gets his or her own cards, two cards face down and one face up to start the hand, three more open cards and the last one dealt face down. Also, instead of blinds each player is required to ante before the cards are dealt and whoever holds the lowest up-card after the initial deal has to make what's called the bring-in bet. Keeping track of exposed cards is critical for success at 7 stud, not only to assess the chances of making your hand, but the probability your opponent will make his. However reading cards doesn't always work when three of the seven cards are face down, players can be holding a full house, straight, flush or four-of-a-kind and it can be difficult if not impossible to detect. On my page I walk you through one hand of a limit game. I also give you some good strategy tips, a list of playable starting hands and a link to 3 card starting hand frequencies.

7 Card Stud Hi Lo

The full name for this game is seven card stud eight or better, hi-lo split. It's usually abbreviated to 7 stud high low, seven stud eight-or-better or just seven stud/8, etc. It simply means that players must try to make the best high hand, the best low hand or both. However in order for the low hand to qualify, it must contain five unpaired cards with a rank of eight or lower. The winner of a qualifying low hand splits the pot with the high hand winner. If a player has the best low and high hand or there is no qualifying low hand, he/she scoops the entire pot. Reading cards, i.e. keeping track of live cards and cards that have been folded, is critical for success just as it is in Seven Stud. Contrary to what you might think, there are actually fewer playable starting hands in eight-or-better than there are in 7 stud high and the winning strategy is to scoop, not split as many pots as possible. My page explains how to play limit games, optimal strategies, which starting hands you should play and includes links to several hand frequencies and improvement odds.

Razz Poker

The playing procedures for razz poker, sometimes called seven stud low, are identical to seven card stud but the lowest hand, not the highest, wins the pot. Hand rankings and card values remain the same with the exception that aces are always low (A-2-3-4-5 is the lowest possible hand) and straights and flushes do not count against your low hand. Razz is a good game to learn because there are not nearly as many expert players as there are in holdem and some of the other popular poker games. Only fairly recently have there been any books written about 7 stud low strategy and tactics so a proficient player has a good chance to make some money. You might have a hard time finding ring games at a casino but you can usually find decent online or tournament action. On my page you will find rules, strategy tips and links to low hand rankings and starting hand frequencies.

Omaha Poker

Omaha poker which is sometimes called Omaha holdem, is a popular game in Europe. It was derived from and is very similar to Texas holdem. The two differences are that players receive four hole cards instead of two and are required to play no more and no less than two of their hole cards. Also, the strategies and starting playable hands are vastly different between the two games and most experts advise that new players learn holdem first. With each player having nine cards at their disposal, the nut hand wins quite often. A new or un-educated player often makes the mistake of playing too many hands which can result in large pots for the serious player to scoop up. Start out playing low stakes games and leave pot-limit Omaha (PLO) to more advanced players. PLO side games at major tournaments that use blinds of $200-$400 can have pots well over $100,000! On my page I give you the rules for limit play, strategies generally accepted by the experts and playable starting hands.

Omaha Hi Lo

Omaha eight or better, hi-lo split in recent years has become the second or third most popular poker game behind Texas hold’em. The rules are similar to regular Omaha except the player with the best qualifying low hand wins half the pot. The requirement of using exactly two of your hole cards remains except that any two of your four may be used for high and any two may be used for low. This means that without three low cards on the board there will be no qualifying low hand. As in other hi-lo games your goal here is to scoop as many pots as possible. On my page I focus on limit Omaha hi-lo and take you through a sample hand. I also give you the playable starting hands, strategy tips and a link to the odds of holding a low qualifying hand.


HORSE separates all the one-trick ponies from good all-around poker players. That's because H.O.R.S.E. is actually five games in one: Texas holdem, Omaha high low split / 8, seven card low (razz), seven card stud and seven card high low split - qualify eight. Games are usually played in that order for one hand only until moving on to the next game. When the cycle is complete, the games start over with holdem. Tournament rules may vary somewhat although most limit games are structured this way. David "Chip" Reese won the inaugural H.O.R.S.E. World Series of Poker event in 2006.

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