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Four-Before Poker

Four-Before Poker Overview

Four-Before is a variation on Five Card Draw, but the variation can be used with many games based on Five Card Draw as well. It is most often played in lowball games, and is suitable for 3-8 players.

Four-Before Poker Rules

Like in other games based on Five Card Draw, generally players ante up, with each player placing an equal amount of money in the pot before the initial deal. In some casinos, however, the game is played with blinds, meaning that only two players place money in the pot before the deal, and everyone else must match the bigger blind in order to remain in the round.

Once the ante or blind has been placed, the dealer gives each player four cards, face down. The players look at their cards, and the first round of betting begins. If the game is played with antes, the player to the dealer’s left begins the betting. If it is played with blinds, the player left of the big blind begins the betting. In either case, there is a minimum requirement to stay in for the round. Players may call, meeting that amount, raise, forcing that amount up, or fold. If a player folds, they decline to put any more money in the pot and are not eligible for any winnings.

After the round of betting is complete, each player may give back up to two cards, or three if he holds an ace. The dealer gives them back one card more than they turned in, dealt off the top of the deck. There is another round of betting after this, followed by the showdown. Each player shows his cards, and the player with the best poker hand wins. If Four-Before is played as lowball, then the player with the lowest hand wins the money in the pot.

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