Popularized in Europe, the card game known as “Courchevel” is derived from 5 Card Omaha Poker. Much of the game is very similar and plays almost in an identical manner. However, interestingly, this poker variant features one really unique trait that sets it apart from regular Omaha games. The notable difference is that at the beginning of the game one of the community cards is dealt face up to the middle of the table before any pre-flop betting takes place.
Where to play Courchevel
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PokerStars has started spreading Courchevel for the first time in regular and hi/lo flavours as “pot limit” games from $0.10/$0.25 up to $200/$400. There will also be “fixed limit” games on Stars – adding to its long list of games being offered on the site. It’s the first new poker variant added since Badugi back in 2008. As with all new poker games the majority of the player pool is inexperienced which provides a good opportunity for new players, who have a commitment to being good at the game, to make a lot of money.
How to Play Courchevel
At the beginning of the game, a marker is used to indicate the location of ‘the dealer button’. This position is never static and changes with each and every hand you play. The button is used in positional games like Courchevel and Omaha to determine the position of players relative to the button.
Before each hand two players are required to pay forced bets (the blinds) in both the ‘small blind’ and the ‘big blind’ seats. This is done to encourage betting to start building a pot. The player immediately to the left of the button posts the small blind and the player to the left of this player posts the big blind, although the blinds can vary in size depending on the stakes that is played. For example, in a $0.10/$0.25 Pot Limit Courchevel Poker game, the small blind posts $0.10 and the big blind posts $0.25.
Similar to 5 Card Omaha games, each player at the table is dealt five hole cards and is required to use exactly two of these cards in combination with the community cards that are used by the other players to form the best hand. Following this the spit card is dealt face up to the centre of the table. This essentially provides a preview of the flop before it is actually dealt. This card is revealed before the betting action is initiated starting with the player to the left of the big blind.
The betting limits that are imposed on each player for each betting round is determined by the type of Courchevel poker game played. Pot limit Courchevel games are by far the most popular and in this format of the game bets are limited to the size of the pot – which always changes based on the betting action during each hand.
The First Betting Round (pre-flop)
After players get their five hole cards, the first betting round takes place. Players can choose to either fold, call or raise. The action rotates clockwise around the table until each player has acted.
After the pre-flop betting round, the remaining two community cards are dealt face up. But instead of the action beginning with the player to the left of the big blind, it starts with the player to the left of the button.
Once all the betting has been completed on the flop, the fourth community card is dealt followed by a third round of betting.
Once all the betting has been completed on the turn, the fifth and final community card is dealt on the river. Another betting rounds occurs.
After every player still involved in the hand has finalised their betting, each player is then required to turn over their cards to reveal their hand. The player that has the best five card poker hand wins the pot. The regular poker hand rankings are applicable in Courchevel which makes it such an easy poker variant to learn and play, especially if you have played 5 Card Omaha poker games before.
After each hand, the dealer button is moved to the next player and a new hand is dealt.