The Poker Exchange is a four handed computer simulation of Texas Hold ‘Em. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. Each hand is randomly generated, by a computer programme, as are the community cards.
The main difference between ‘normal’ poker and the Poker Exchange is that on the Poker Exchange there are no players, only observers. In normal poker, a player may only view their own ‘hole’ and ‘community’ cards i.e. their own hand. On the Poker Exchange, all four hands are revealed. As such, the objective isn’t to win, as in normal poker, but to back the winning hand and/or lay any or all of the three losing hands.At each stage of the play, odds to bet and lay each of the four hands are displayed by the simulation.
Another major difference between normal poker and the Poker Exchange is that, in normal poker, bets must be made at each stage of the game. On the Poker Exchange, betting on a hand is allowed at one or more stages in the game. In addition, betting one more than one hand is permissible as is laying more than one hand. Arbitraging one or more hands, i.e. betting on a hand to win and laying the same hand to lose, is also permissible.
Given that the exchange is a computer simulation, and therefore devoid of human intervention, folding is an excluded function. As such, the winner of the game is not usually declared until the ‘river’ card is revealed. The term ‘usually’ is used because hands, which cannot possibly win, are eliminated at the earliest possible stage in the game.
The option to back or lay any hand, at any time in the game, exists. It is therefore possible to place a bet on a hand after the cards have been dealt but prior to any cards being revealed. This action is considered to be a totally random act since the outcome of a bet is totally reliant upon luck. It is therefore not to be recommended.
Following the dealing of the cards comes the ‘preflop’ stage where the ‘hole’ cards of the four hands are revealed. The ‘community’ cards, at this stage, are not visible. Once a bet has been placed, it remains in effect until the game is ended. Further bets may be placed at any stage of the game. Again, they will remain in effect until the game is ended. At the end of the game, all bets are settled and funds either credit to, or debited from, the player’s accounts.
For those familiar with horse race betting, the Poker Exchange is akin to betting on a horse race whist it is in progress. This is called in-running betting. As a horse race proceeds, the odds on each particular horse either increases or decreases depending on the perceived chances of the horse winning or losing the race. This is also the case with the Poker Exchange and the odds on a hand winning or losing change at each stage of the game.