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2 and 3 Card Manila

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2 and 3 Card Manila are variants of Texas Hold ‘em that are hugely popular in Australian casinos. It’s played with a stripped deck, which means some cards have been removed. In Manila games, every card lower in rank than seven is removed from the deck, resulting in a 32-card deck. When playing 3 Card Manila, it’s not uncommon to leave the sixes in the deck.

Manila games play like Texas Hold ‘em, so if you already know how to play that game, this will be an easy one for you to learn. Remember, to be a really good poker player, you need to know how to play many poker variants, so definitely give this one a try.

Manila differs from Texas Hold ‘em in that there are more betting rounds since the flop is dealt once card at a time (as opposed to three cards being dealt at once) and the players must use their two hole cards in to make their hand.

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To have the strongest-ranked five-card poker hand at the table using your two hole cards and three community cards.


Two Card Manila

The game starts with the player in the blind position (they’re one seat to the left of the person with the dealer button) posting a blind bet, followed by the dealer dealing every player two cards face-down and the first community card face-up. (There’s usually only one blind in Manila, unlike two in Texas Hold ‘em the table will have a sign indicating the number of blind bets and the betting limits.)
The players look at their cards and the first betting round starts. Players can call the bet, raise, or fold.

Once all the bets are called (meaning everyone has the same amount of chips in the pot), a card is burnt and a second community card is dealt face-up, followed by another round of betting. Players can check, bet, call, raise or fold in turn. This cycle repeats itself for the third, fourth, fifth (and final) community card, resulting in five betting rounds. (Because there are so many rounds of betting, Manila is not suitable for No-Limit or Pot Limit games. If you want to play with that betting structure, it’s advised to remove one betting round by dealing the second and third community cards at the same time.)

After the final community card is dealt, all players who still have a claim to the pot (whoever hasn’t folded) turn their cards over for a showdown. The players must use their two hole cards and three community cards to make their hand. Whoever has the highest-ranked hand wins. Hand ranking in Manila is the similar to regular poker games (there is an omission of the Ace-low straight hand and a flush beats a full house).

At the end of the round, the dealer button is moved one position to the left and the next hand begins.

Three Card Manila

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The game is played exactly the same as 2 Card Manila except players are dealt three hole cards and need to use at least two of them and three community cards to make their hand (they can’t use all three of their hole cards). Also, the six cards are sometimes kept in the deck.


Limit Poker is the most common betting format for Manila poker. Because the low-ranking cards have been removed from the deck, playing for low (the lowest-ranking hand wins) or high-low split (both the highest- and lowest-ranking hands win) is not usually done in Manila games.

The betting structure for Manila varies from Texas Hold ‘em. In a $2 game with five rounds of betting, the structure is as follows: $2, $4, $4, $4 and $8. For a $5 game, it would be: $5, $10, $10, $10 and $15.
For the first betting round, in a $2 game, the blind is $2, and players who want to stay in the game have to call the bet by putting $2 into the pot. If they want to raise, it’s double the blind plus the blind (for example, $2 x 2 = $4 and + $4 + $2 = $6). In a $5 game, the raise would be $15 ($5 x 2 = $10 and $10 + $5 = $15).

For all other betting rounds (2nd to the final round), a raise is only double the value of that betting round. For example, in a $2 game, the 2nd betting round bet is $4, which would make it $8 if you wanted to raise the bet. There is usually a limit of three raises per betting round if there are more than two people playing


In addition to the rules of Texas Hold ‘em, 2 and 3 Card Manila have some game-specific rules:
The Ace, when it’s used in a straight, can only be used in a high straight (A-K-Q-J-10) and not as a low straight (5-4-3-2-A).
As in most games with stripped decks, a flush beats a full house.


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