A very important part of all poker games is the action of declaration which means that in this way the player makes a formal announcement of his intention regarding how he wishes to act in course of the game. So, if a player makes a verbal declaration that he wishes to fold or call or raise it becomes binding on him to act accordingly. In draw poker games, a player can also declare the number of cards he is to draw, a decision which however he is not obliged to follow strictly whereas many other poker variants have room for some sort of declaration other than the common ones of folding, calling and raising.
The commonest use of declaration in a poker game is in the high/low split games whereby the player is required to verbally declare if he wants his hands to be assessed as a high or a low or both hands when showdown takes place. While this is a part of home games, the same games in casinos do not use declaration but the card speak method where the players need not make any announcement but simply reveal their cards at showdown.
It is important to remember that declaration in poker games has to be made so that other players are fully aware to its nature. While either simultaneous or in turn declaration are possible, in games where positional play is crucial, in turn declaration is not allowed a the last player to declare will then get an undue advantage. The chips in hand method comes into play in simultaneous declarations. So, all players take two chips in hand and taking them below the table transfer them to a closed hand containing one, two or no chips. When all the players bring up their closed hands up on the table, they reveal their choices, with a hand containing no chips means playing for low, one chip means playing for high and two chips mean playing for both high and low hands.
Poker Part 2
In community card poker games, sometimes there is a condition where a player or hand is considered to have counterfeited when a commonly shared card not only does not improve the player’s hand value but makes it certain that his opponent will end up winning. This situation mainly occurs in the high/low split game variation of Omaha hold ‘em.
Counterfeiting occurs most generally when a person is holding a nut low hand, which is considered to be the best possible low hand. So if one player holds a hand of an ace of spades, 3 of clubs, jack and queen of diamonds; the second player holds the ace of clubs, 2 and 9 of diamonds and jack of spades; and the third player has a hand of 9, 10, king and ace of hearts; and the flop round gives such cards as the 6, 7 and 8 of hearts, then evidently the third player has a 10-high hand of straight flush while the other two players are vying for the bottom half of the pot. It can be calculated that the second player has the nut low hand of 8, 7, 6, 2 and ace where the first player holds 8,7,6,3 and an ace. Now if in the turn round the card dealt is 2 of clubs, the two players’ hands get changed. Now the first player has the nut low of 7,6,3,2 and ace against his opponent’s 8, 7, 6, 2 and ace. Thus the turn card has improved the first player’s hand making it a nut low and the second player cannot hope to win the pot unless he gets a 3 card in river which makes it a case of counterfeiting whereby both he and his opponent will be holding 7,6,3,2 and ace and splitting the pot. Incidentally none of the two players will be holding the nut low hand which would be 6,4,3,2 and ace. If the flop cards are 8, 7 and 6 then with a hand of an ace, 2, 3 and 4, a player virtually cannot be counterfeited allowing him to play boldly.