Rules

Pursuant to Article 9 of the Gaming Act (Official Gazette No. 87/09) and Article 17 of the Ordinance on the Organization of Games of Chance in Casinos via Interactive Online Gaming Sales Channels (Official Gazette No. 78/10), the Management Board of Hrvatska Lutrija d.o.o., Ulica grada Vukovara 72, Zagreb, issued, on 7 August 2017, these

RULES OF POKER IN CASINOS
VIA INTERACTIVE ONLINE GAMING SALES CHANNELS

I.   RECITALS
 
Article 1
These Rules define the requirements for participating in the Interactive Gaming Sales Channel Casino Poker game (hereinafter referred to as Online Poker).
The requirements for participating in Online Poker are defined by the General Rules of Participating in Hrvatska Lutrija’s Online Games and General Rules of Casino Table Games via Interactive Online Gaming Sales Channels.
 
Article 2
Hrvatska Lutrija (hereinafter referred to as the organizer) is liable for its obligations to participants (hereinafter referred to as players) and such obligations may be enforced against all its assets, subject to the requirements defined in these Rules.
The Republic of Croatia guarantees the payment of winnings in Online Poker.
 
Article 3
Online Poker is a game where players play against each other at card game tables. Players may choose between a cash game and different kinds of tournaments  (with predefined start times where a specific number of players is not predefined, or so-called Sit&Go tournaments with no predefined start time, but with a predefined number of players).
Cash game – Only chips are used as buy-in in this game, as monetary and quantitative equivalence of playing chips. A player who wishes to join a game must purchase chips in such value as is predefined for that table. Only the chips on the table in front of the player are used to play in the course of one hand. Players are only allowed to purchase additional chips between two dealings. A player who wishes to abandon and withdraw from the game may do so at any time.
Tournament – Only tournament chips are used as buy-in in this game. Tournament chips are distributed at the tournament table based on a defined buy-in for a particular tournament and their nominal value is determined by the organizer for each tournament. Depending on the type of the tournament, a player may receive additional chips for additional payments (rebuy, add on).
 
Article 4
A payment for Online Poker is received online, on the organizer’s website where a player may in online interaction with the organizer’s system autonomously play a game. Online Poker is accessible via the organizer’s website. Once a payment transaction is completed, it may no longer be canceled. 
 
REQUIREMENTS FOR PARTICIPATING IN A GAME

Article 5
These Rules constitute the exclusive statutory and legal basis for entering into an Online Poker participation agreement between the organizer and the player. These Rules are in compliance with the international rules of the game and apply to all Online Poker games.
These Rules apply in conjunction with the General Rules of Online Participation and the General Rules of Casino Table Games via Interactive Online Gaming Sales Channels.
After expressing his free will by selecting one of the playing options available and after the payment for the game has been confirmed on the organizer’s website, the player also acknowledges that he is fully aware of how the game is played and all its details.
These Rules are binding upon the parties to such agreement.
Persons under the age of 18 are not allowed to take part in the game.
 
Article 6
A player may choose an actual or a demo game. In an actual game, the player may receive the winnings earned, whereas a demo game does not allow for the winnings to be earned by the player. Playing a demo game is not considered participation in Online Poker.
Each game is accompanied by a description of the game, instructions on how to play and other details relevant to the game.
 
BUY-IN
Article 7
The buy-in for participation in an Online Poker game and the required initial stakes are determined by the organizer.
Buy- in – Online Poker games are played with money on the table presented as chips. This means that only those chips the player has on the table in front of him may be used to play. There is a minimum buy-in to join a game and a maximum buy-in at tables without limit and those with a pot limit.
 
An example of different buy-ins for participation and the relevant required initial stakes for a cash game:


No.

REQUIRED INITIAL STAKES (HKR)                                     SMALL BLIND/BIG BLIND

MIN BUY-IN (HRK)

MAX BUY-IN (HRK)

1.

0.10/0.20

5

20

2.

0.15/0.30

7.50

30

3.

0.20/0.40

10

40

4.

0.25/0.50

12.50

50

5.

0.5/1

25

100

6.

0.75/1.5

37.50

150

7.

½

50

200

8.

2/4

100

400

9.

3/6

150

600

10.

5/10

250

1,000

11.

7.5/15

375

1,500

12.

10/20

500

2,000

13.

25/50

1,250

5,000

14.

50/100

2,500

10,000

 
 
New player – A player who wishes to join a game must wait until he is in the big blind position, or may start playing immediately, but only if he immediately bets the big blind.
Missed blinds – A player who misses the big blind may only rejoin the game if he waits for the big blind or if he immediately puts the big blind in the pot.
All-in – A player who puts all his chips in the pot is considered to have played “all-in”, which means he stays in the game until the cards are laid down. This player may not win from each player more than he put in the pot. If the other players bet more chips, a side pot is created. This way, several side pots may be created if several players bet all their chips.
Limits - The buy-in in each game must be at least equal to that of the preceding one (when betting or raising), unless the player has already bet all his chips.
Fixed limit – In case Online Poker is played using a fixed limit, blinds and betting limits are preset at each table.
The bets made in the first two hands are equal to one big blind (e.g. where the limit is HRK 5/10, the bet is HRK 10). The lower amount is used in the first two hands of betting and the higher one in the next two hands of betting, but must be equal to two big blinds.
A maximum of four bets may be placed in each hand (initial stake + three raises).
No limit – Where Online Poker is played with no limit, players may bet any amount at any time, the only limit being the amount of chips the player has on the table.
The minimum buy-in equals the big blind.
Pot limit – Where Online Poker is played with a pot limit, players may bet any amount at any time, but only up to the amount of the pot.
The minimum buy-in must equal the big blind.
Pot – By each instance of betting within a round, the players create an amount referred to as the pot.
The player who shows the winning hand earns the pot less the rake.
Rake – This is a fee payable to the organizer from the pot created by active players in a table cash game.
Rake is only collected from those pots where a flop has been dealt.
Only those players to whom cards are dealt at a table are considered to be active players.
Each player participates in the rake in proportion to the amount he puts in the pot.
The rake amount is determined as a percentage of the pot specified by the organizer.
Rake at poker tournaments (tournaments and sit&go events) – This is a fee payable to the organizer and deducted from the buy-in, except for freeroll tournaments. The organizer may at its sole discretion make changes to such amount or discontinue it. At poker tournaments, the organizer may also apply rake to rebuy and add on payments. The organizer introduction or discontinuation of such fee for rebuy or add on payments is a responsibility of the organizer.
At poker tournaments, rake is presented as a surcharge on the tournament participation payment (e.g. HRK 20 + HRK 2 means that HRK 20 goes toward winnings and HRK 2 is reserved for the organizer). This rule also applies to registration for sit&go tournaments.
    
II.   DESCRIPTION OF ONLINE POKER GAMES
 
Article 8
A)    TEXAS HOLD'EM POKER
Aim – Complete a winning combination of five cards out of seven (five common cards and two player’s cards).
Number of players – How many players may participate in a game at a table depends on the rules of each table, provided that such number may not be less than two.
Dealer – The dealer is designated by a dedicated position ("dealer button").
 
HOW TO PLAY

Each hand may consist of up to four rounds.
Round one – It is played with two required initial stakes called the small blind and the big blind. They must be bet before the cards are dealt according to the players’ positions at the table in relation to the dealer. The player to the left of the dealer plays first and bets the small blind, and the next one is the player to his left who bets the big blind. These blinds are treated as live bets. Whoever bets the blind must compensate for the difference, if any, between the blind and the present stake. Players in blind positions may fold, call, check or raise.
Each player is then dealt two cards facing down, which are visible only to him. This is the starting hand.
The player to the left of the big blind plays first and the other players choose one of the following options:
• call;
• raise; or
• fold.
Round two – It begins by dealing three common cards facing up and visible to all. These cards are also referred to as the flop and the players combine them with their cards. The first active player to the left of the dealer starts the round. The players decide how to proceed with the game:
·         a player may check if none of the players bet in this round;
·         if any of the players decide to place a bet, the other players who wish to stay in the game must call or raise.
Round three – It begins with the dealing of the fourth common card facing up and visible to all. This card is also referred to as the turn or fourth street. The players now combine four commons cards with their cards. The round starts with the first active player to the left of the dealer and the players now decide to how to proceed in the same way they did in the preceding round.
Round four – The round begins with the dealing of the fifth common card facing up and visible to all. This card is also referred to as the river or fifth street. The players now combine all five common cards with their cards. The round starts with the first active player to the left of the dealer and the players now decide to how to proceed in the same way they did in the preceding round.
 
B)     OMAHA POKER
Aim - Complete a winning combination of five cards out of nine (five common cards and four player’s cards).
Number of players – How many players may participate in a game at a table depends on the rules of each table, provided that such number may not be less than two.
Dealer) – The dealer is designated by a dedicated position ("dealer button").
 
HOW TO PLAY

Each hand may consist of up to four rounds.
Round one – It is played with two required initial stakes referred to as the big blind and the small blind. They must be bet before the cards are dealt according to the players’ positions at the table in relation to the dealer. The player to the left of the dealer plays first and bets the small blind, and the next one is the player to his left who bets the big blind. These blinds are treated as live bets. Whoever bets the blind must compensate for the difference, if any, between the blind and the present stake. Players in blind positions may fold, call, check or raise.
Each player is then dealt four cards facing down, which are visible only to him. This is the starting hand.
The player to the left of the big blind plays first and the other players choose one of the following options:
• call;
• raise; or
• fold.
Round two – It begins by dealing three common cards facing up and visible to all. These cards are also referred to as the flop and the players combine them with their cards. The first active player to the left of the dealer starts the round. The players decide how to proceed with the game:
·         a player may check if none of the players bet in this round;
·         if any of the players decide to place a bet, the other players who wish to stay in the game must call or raise.
Round three – It begins with the dealing of the fourth common card facing up and visible to all. This card is also referred to as the turn or fourth street. The players now combine four commons cards with their cards. The round starts with the first active player to the left of the dealer and the players now decide to how to proceed in the same way they did in the preceding round.
Round four – The round begins with the dealing of the fifth common card facing up and visible to all. This card is also referred to as the river or fifth street. The players now combine all five common cards with their cards. The round starts with the first active player to the left of the dealer and the players now decide to how to proceed in the same way they did in the preceding round.
 
C)    OMAHA HI-LO POKER
Aim - Complete a winning combination of five cards out of nine (five common cards and four player’s cards).
Number of players – How many players may participate in a game at a table depends on the rules of each table, provided that such number may not be less than two.
Dealer) – The dealer is designated by a dedicated position ("dealer button").   
 
HOW TO PLAY

Each hand may consist of up to four rounds.
Round one – It is played with two required initial stakes referred to as the big blind and the small blind. They must be bet before the cards are dealt according to the players’ positions at the table in relation to the dealer. The player to the left of the dealer plays first and bets the small blind, and the next one is the player to his left who bets the big blind. These blinds are treated as live bets. Whoever bets the blind must compensate for the difference, if any, between the blind and the present stake. Players in blind positions may fold, call, check or raise.
Each player is then dealt four cards facing down, which are visible only to him. This is the starting hand.
The player to the left of the big blind plays first and the other players choose one of the following options:
• call;
• raise; or
• fold.
Round two – It begins by dealing three common cards facing up and visible to all. These cards are also referred to as the flop and the players combine them with their cards. The first active player to the left of the dealer starts the round. The players decide how to proceed with the game:
·         a player may check if none of the players bet in this round;
·         if any of the players decide to place a bet, the other players who wish to stay in the game must call or raise.
Round three – It begins with the dealing of the fourth common card facing up and visible to all. This card is also referred to as the turn or fourth street. The players now combine four commons cards with their cards. The round starts with the first active player to the left of the dealer and the players now decide to how to proceed in the same way they did in the preceding round.
Round four – The round begins with the dealing of the fifth common card facing up and visible to all. This card is also referred to as the river or fifth street. The players now combine all five common cards with their cards. The round starts with the first active player to the left of the dealer and the players now decide to how to proceed in the same way they did in the preceding round..
 
SHOWDOWN

Article 9
After the last round of betting and after all cards have been dealt, the winner is determined by a showdown. In case a bet is made on the river, the player who last bet or raised must show his hand first. If no bets were placed, the active player to the left of the dealer shows his hand first.
The winning hand is the hand with the most valuable combination of up to five cards.
In Texas Hold’em poker, a player may use his two initial cards and five common cards to complete the winning combination.
To complete the winning combination in Omaha poker, each player must use two of his four initial cards and three of the five common cards (e.g. if two cards selected out of the four initial cards are spades and there are four spades on the table among the common cards, he will not have a flush because it would require two spades in his two cards selected out of the four initial cards).
To complete the winning combination in Omaha poker, each player must use two of his four initial cards and three of the five common cards. The winners are the players with the strongest and the weakest hands and they share the pot. The weakest low hand may only win if all the cards in the combination are ranked 8 or less. It is not always possible to complete both the low and the high hand, so the player who has the strongest or weakest hand takes the whole pot. It is quite possible for a player to have both the strongest and the weakest hands. For example, if a player has A2456 all in clubs, he has a club flush and also the weakest hand with these same cards. Players may also use other cards in their hands to create separate strongest and weakest combinations. If a player has both the strongest and the weakest hands, he takes the whole pot.
The aces are the strongest cards, except on a scale of A-2-3-4-5 where an ace counts as 1.
If two players or more show the same hand (which is also the strongest hand at the table), they share the winnings.
If two players or more have equally ranking hands, the player holding the high card wins.
The winning hand wins the pot (players’ chips less the rake). The values of combinations are defined in Article 10 of these Rules.
 
POSSIBLE COMBINATIONS IN THE GAME

Article 10
All types of combinations are specified in the table below, starting with the strongest and ending with the weakest combination.
Table of possible combinations:

 

Combination

Description

1.

Royal Flush

Ace, K, Q, J, 10 in the same suit

2.

Street flush

Five cards of the same suit and of consecutive values

3.

Four of a kind

Four cards of the same value

4.

Full House

Three of a kind + one pair

5.

Flush

Five cards of the same suit

6.

Street

Five cards of consecutive values

7.

Three of a kind

Three cards of the same value

8.

Two pairs

Two sets of two cards of the same value

9.

One pair

Two cards of the same value

10.

Hi card

The strongest card in a combination


 
 
Article 11
The winnings earned by a player in Online Poker are credited to his HL account immediately after the game is completed.
 
NEXT HAND

Article 12
After the winner wins the pot, the next game (hand) is played.
Before the next dealing, the dealer button moves in front of the player who had the small blind position in the preceding game.
The small blind and big blind positions are moved accordingly and the game continues. 
  
III.   TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF USE
 
FIXING A GAME AND REFUND

Article 13
The provisions of this section define the sanctions and refunds with respect to the following 3 types of prohibited game fixing by players:
-  consensual check,
-  consensual transfer of chips, and
-  joint playing.
The organizer will impose on players involved in prohibited game fixing one or several sanctions at its sole discretion:
a)         a warning;
b)         repossession of the tournament winnings;
c)         freezing and/or seizing of funds in the virtual account (HL account);
d)         closing of the virtual account (HL account); or
e)         the organizer is entitled to temporarily limit the disposal of player’s HL account or make such disposal unavailable.
The organizer will supervise Online Poker games and will, if it so decides, notify the players in case an investigation is initiated for suspicious conduct.
 
Consensual check – This is a prohibited situation where two players or more follow the stake of a player who bet all his chips in the game and may not act or may fold. In such a situation, it is not allowed for other players who may continue to play or fold to consensually check in order to increase their chances of pushing out an all-in player.
Consensual transfer of chips – This is a prohibited situation where a player deliberately loses chips to another player in order to increase the latter’s chances of winning.
Joint game  - This is a situation where one player or more enter a (normal or sit&go) tournament or join other tables from two virtual account (HL accounts) or more and share or attempt to share information about their hands or about players. Sharing of information refers to playing in different accounts on a single computer, using messaging services or any other form of online or offline communication.
 
INTERRUPTION OF CONNECTION WITH THE SERVER DURING A CASH GAME

Article 14
In case the connection with the server is temporarily unavailable or interrupted at tables during the game, a player who put money in the pot may contact the organizer’s customer service to investigate this situation.
If such error or interruption is found to be a result of organizer’s fault, the amounts paid for that hand will be refunded to the players to their HL accounts.
If such error or interruption is not found to be a result of organizer’s fault, no refund will be made.
 
INTERRUPTION OF CONNECTION WITH THE SERVER DURING A CASH GAME

Article 15
The following rules apply to cases of interruption of connection with the server during a tournament game:
If a player was in a hand in which he bet:
●    the hand will be played to the end if the player has already bet all his chips before the connection was interrupted – he will win the chip if he had the winning hand;
●      the player will automatically fold if he is unable to continue playing and has not already bet all his chips;
●     the player will automatically fold if the preceding player raised.
Where the connection remains interrupted for the entire duration of the tournament, players’ chips will be deducted when players are in the small blind or big blind position, until such time they drop out of the tournament (or until such time they restore their connection and rejoin the tournament).
If an error or interruption is found to be a result of organizer’s fault and the organizer is unable to continue organizing the tournament, the amounts paid for the tournament will be refunded to the players to their HL accounts.
 
AUTOMATED PLAYERS (BOTS)

Article 16
The use of Artificial Intelligence, including without limitation “robots”, is strictly prohibited in Online Poker games.
Any use of the Poker application may only take place through a player interface authorized by the organizer.
 
PROHIBITED CONTENTS

Article 17
Players are prohibited to use illegal, rude, racist or threating language using chat services or when inserting an avatar, as well as any language that may be offensive in any way.
If such content is found, it will be promptly removed and the relevant players will be sanctioned by a warning, removal of the avatar, chat prohibition or, in cases of material violations of these Rules, by closing of the virtual account (HL account) at organizer’s sole discretion.
 
SUPERVISION AND SANCTIONS

Article 18
The organizer uses sophisticated supervisory actions to detect and prevent any prohibited conduct and the use of prohibited software.
The organizer will autonomously monitor all actions within the Poker application to ensure the security and integrity of the game it offers players.
The organizer reserves the right to close player HL accounts, repossess their winnings and seize money from their virtual accounts (HL accounts) if he finds such players to have engaged in any prohibited conduct or used any prohibited software.
 
Article 19
The player agrees that the information about each game and the hand history may be stored on organizer’s servers.
In case of discrepancy between the cards displayed on the computer and the data saved, the saved data will prevail in each case.
Article 20
In addition to other measures that may be available to it, the organizer reserves the right to restrict certain players’ participation in a tournament or a cash game. This includes prohibiting two players to participate in the same tournament or at the same table. 
  
IV.   MISCELLANEOUS
Article 21
The organizer will not be liable for any loss or damage incurred by the player as a result of a failure of any system, communication or equipment beyond the organizer’s control (Force Majeure).
In case winnings are obtained as a result of a technical error, the organizer reserves the right to withhold the winnings and refund the player for the money he bet.
 
Article 22
The organizer is required to retain records of receipts (game payment transactions) in accordance with the applicable legislation.
If a judicial dispute is brought for the purpose of exercising any rights stemming from the participation in Online Poker, the organizer is required to retain such records of receipts until such time the proceeding is effectively completed.
 
Article 23
The Municipal Court in Zagreb shall have full jurisdiction in case of any dispute arisen from the participation in Online Poker.
 
Article 24
These Rules shall come into effect as of the date they are published on the organizer’s website, subject to prior authorization from the Ministry of Finance.

Hrvatska Lutrija d.o.o.
Director
Mario Musa, MBA

These Rules have been authorized by the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Croatia by its Resolution, Class: UP/I-461-01/17-01/83, Ref.: 513-07-21-01/17-3 of 4 September 2017.