The Pokerati Game Rules


by , May 6, 2010 | 4:47 pm

Looks to be yet another fun night of 1/2 NLH/PLO round of each at the Hard Rock this evening. The Maven has been showing up on Thursdays with a few students lately. Apparently they think the Pokerati tables are easy pickins a ripe training ground or something? Though aggressive, the Mavenites aren’t really a threat once you figure out the whole of his poker training is basically push and re-push with any two cards. (Jk David … you’d never do that with Queens or better, right?)

The Pokerati Game — which started off mostly as a bunch of media donks and an uber-tight dude named Jackson — also seems to be becoming (as I’d like it to be) something of a must-play for out-of-towners … awesome 1/2 action that you simply can’t find anywhere else in Vegas. Seriously. Go ahead and try. It’s not the same game … And that doesn’t even get into all the promotional perks the Hard Rock has been feeding us.

Three tourists I know today are already gonna be there, which of course draws the vulturey locals who claim to “make a living” playing 1/2, but haven’t yet found enough success to be playing 2/5 or bigger. These Vegas grinders, I gotta say, are an interesting group … they don’t say much other than to call floor, appear to live for comps and free coffee, and may or may not have rent riding on an all-in with top set against the nut flush draw and a wrap … Run it twice!

Anyhow, after playing sporadically beta testing @HardRockPoker for about six months, and running into / working through all the nitty situational question marks that spring up, we’ve finalized and formalized the rules. So now, anytime the game gets going — as it did on its own Tuesday around midnight! — everyone can be on the same page about how we play Pokerati half-and-half at the Hard Rock.

Click here for an updated PDF of Pokerati Game rules suitable for posting on your bedroom wall. Or click below to see more immediately how we play it:

The Pokerati Game

Updated: May 6 May 7 May 8, 2010

$1/$2 NLH/PLO
min: $100
max: $400

Max buy-in is still $400. However, the table can agree to let someone rebuy for more; must be unanimous.

Is allowed under the gun and on the button (Hard Rock straddle). HR straddle always supercedes UTG’s desire to buy the last action.

In no-limit hold’em, the straddle is $4. In PLO it is $5.

Players can agree to run-it-twice in all-in situations where there can be no more betting, . If this happens after the flop, for example, dealers will burn-and-turn, burn-and-turn … then push those two cards upward and repeat … burn-and-turn, burn-and-turn.

With more than two involved in a hand, players decide if they want to run-it-twice only after all possible betting is complete. Players who prefer just one board must either show their hand or muck after seeing the first river to determine if the hand needs to continue.

Example: Short-stack (player A) is all-in pre-flop; two remaining players (B and C) get all-in on the turn and want to run it twice but player A objects. No problem. The first river will determine whether or not player A wins the main pot. If his hand is indeed best, player A gets the main pot, while B and C see a second river for the side pot only. If player A loses on the first run his hand is over, with B and C seeing a second river to determine what happens to the whole pot (main and side).

Or, say a middle stack (player B) doesn’t want to run it twice but players A and C do … the first river determines whether or not there will be a second. If B > C the hand is over, because player B wins the side pot, and the cards speak for the main pot. But if B < C, player B's hand is done, with C winning the sidepot and a second river determining the fate of the main pot.

In a 9-handed Omaha game, when the full board is run twice (all-in pre-flop), the last card in the stub will be used.

NOTE: There is no extra rake on run-it-twice.

Splash pot:

In NLH, the splash pot is simply added to the main pot. For PLO it is held off to the side, and the winner of the main pot gets it. But this extra money is not included in pot-size calculations.

At showdown, splash pots are considered part of the main pot, so even a short-stack who is all-in is eligible for all the added money.

Calculating the pot in PLO:

We round up the small blind, so someone coming in for pot UTG would be $8. With one limper “pot” is $10, with two, $12 … etc.

If someone wants to come in for pot with a ($5) straddle on, the bet is $20. If there is one limper it would be $25, and then $30, and then $35, etc.

Ater the flop, on all hands (regardless whether or not there was a straddle) the dealer will round to the nearest $5 increment for determining the pot.


* The game starts with a flip of a table coin to see which game is first. The button position determines where the game switches.

* Cannot be played 10-handed.

* A player is not allowed to be dealt around. If he is absent, standard buying the button rules apply.

* Switching games. Players should not change the game up, nor ask to add any other games into the mix, especially early in a session. Exceptions can be made when it becomes clear that no new players will be joining.

* All PLO. sometimes, especially late at night, players might want to change ito all PLO. This is acceptable in the late hours if unanimous; however, the game will stay listed on the board as NLH/PLO, and if new players want to join the half-and-half game, it will switch back to it’s original half no-limit/half PLO format.

* If a bigger version of the game occurs (2/5 or 5/10 for example) that too will be played as the Pokerati game, with the same base of rules, and betting numbers altered accordingly.

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