Courchevel is an exciting game derived from Omaha. Each player in a Courchevel game is dealt five private cards (‘hole cards’) that belong only to that player. Five community cards are then dealt face-up on the ‘board’. All players use exactly two cards from their five hole cards in conjunction with exactly three cards from the board to make the best five-card poker hand possible.
Courchevel is different than 5 Card Omaha in that the first flop card is dealt face-up at the beginning of the hand, before the preflop betting round.
Types of Courchevel Games
Courchevel can be played in the following formats:
- Limit Courchevel– Specific betting limit applied in each game and on each round of betting.
- Pot Limit Courchevel– Bets are limited to the amount of chips in the pot.
- No Limit Courchevel Poker– A player can bet any amount, up to all of their chips.
Rules for Playing Courchevel
In Courchevel, a marker called ‘the button’ or ‘the dealer button’ indicates which player is the nominal dealer for the current game. Before the game begins, the player immediately clockwise from the button posts the ‘small blind’, the first forced bet. The player immediately clockwise from the small blind posts the ‘big blind’, which is typically twice the size of the small blind, but the blinds can vary depending on the stakes and betting structure being played.
In Fixed Limit games, the big blind is the same as the small bet, and the small blind is typically half the size of the big blind but may be larger depending on the stakes. For example, in a $2/$4 Fixed Limit game the small blind is $1 and the big blind is $2. In a $15/$30 Fixed Limit game, the small blind is $10 and the big blind is $15.
In Pot Limit and No Limit games, the games are referred to by the size of their blinds (for example, a $1/$2 Courchevel game has a small blind of $1 and a big blind of $2).
Now, each player receives their five hole cards, and the first flop card is dealt face-up on the board. Betting action proceeds clockwise around the table, starting with the player ‘under the gun’ (immediately clockwise from the big blind).
After seeing his or her hole cards and the initial flop card, each player now has the option to play their hand by calling or raising the big blind. The action begins to the left of the big blind, which is considered a ‘live’ bet on this round. That player has the option to fold, call or raise. For example, if the big blind was $2, it would cost $2 to call, or at least $4 to raise. Action then proceeds clockwise around the table.
The betting structure varies with different variations of the game. Betting continues on each betting round until all active players (who have not folded) have placed equal bets in the pot.
After the first round of betting, the remaining two cards of the ‘flop’ are dealt face-up on the board. The flop is the first three community cards available to all active players. Betting begins with the active player immediately clockwise from the button. Another round of betting ensues. In Limit Courchevel, all bets and raises on the flop are in increments of the small bet (for example, $2 in a $2/$4 game).
When betting is completed for the flop round, the ‘turn’ is dealt face-up on the board. The turn is the fourth community card in a Courchevel game. Play begins with the active player immediately clockwise from the button. Another round of betting ensues. In Limit Courchevel, bets and raises on the turn are in increments of the big bet (for example, $4 in a $2/$4 game).
When betting is completed for the turn round, the ‘river’ is dealt face-up on the board. The river is the fifth and final community card in a Courchevel game. Betting begins with the active player immediately clockwise from the button. A final betting round ensues.
If there is more than one remaining player when the final betting round is complete, the last person to bet or raise shows their cards, unless there was no bet on the final round in which case the player immediately clockwise from the button shows their cards first. The player with the best five-card hand wins the pot. Remember, in all Courchevel games, players must use two (and only two) of their five hole cards in combination with exactly three cards from the board. In the event of identical hands, the pot will be equally divided between the players with the best hands.