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Breaking down the differences between the various formats of poker

by David Hill 2 years ago in table top
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We'll break down the 6 variations of the game

One of the most popular forms of poker these days is Texas Hold ’em. However, it isn’t the only one available. In fact, there are lots and lots of exciting games to choose from, each with their own unique ups and downs. Poker as an industry is big, attracting around 100 million people around the world. This is no surprise, considering the variety and depth offered by the game. So, if you’re looking for something to do at the minute, poker is guaranteed to keep you entertained for hours!

6 Fun Types of Poker Games You Can Play Today

Tired of the same old poker game? There are lots of others to choose from! Here’s a quick lowdown of the most popular.

Texas Hold ’em. You’ve probably heard of this one already as it’s one of the most popular poker games out there. Winnings can be sizable, and few restrictions exist on betting. The gameplay isn’t complicated, and movement of the play is clockwise around the table. Two players are situated to the left of the dealer, as well as small and large blinds. Once each player has two-hole cards, their aim is to build up the best 5 card ‘hand’ as they can from other cards plus five extra ‘community’ cards. Overall, the game isn’t too difficult to learn, however, the strategy side of the game can be tough. Ultimately, if you’re hoping to get into online poker at some point, Texas Hold ’em is a good practice ground. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can then move on to more challenging strategies and learn how to defeat other players.

For a fun variation on the game give 2-7 Triple Draw a go, this modified version of the game uses a lowball hand ranking system and allows players to discard cards from their hand and replace them with cards from the deck, as is standard procedure in all draw variants. The game is fairly simple to get a grip of, the worst hand wins. So, straights and flushes count against you!

7 Card Stud. Although this can be a complicated game where you could easily spend most of your life attempting to learn it, you can get up and running fairly quickly with it. You actually pay to enter the game, then start with two hole cards, one of them facing upwards. The player with the lowest value cards kicks off the game, either making a ‘nominal’ bet or full bet. As rounds progress, players gain another exposed ‘street’ card, up to seven streets in total and these are only known to the player. After the 7th street, there is a final ‘showdown’ which determines the overall winner. The person who previously bet in the last round has to show their cards first and failing that, the player in the earliest seat. The highest value hand then wins. Knowing when to either play or fold can win a seven-card stud while finding aces or kings in the first 3 cards provides a strong indication to stay in the game. Ultimately, if no decent cards appear beyond the first few rounds, players are advised to fold.

Omaha (high-low). Seeking a game with the high or low thrill experienced in Texas Hold ’em but with lower risk and quicker pace? Omaha could be the perfect game for you! Unlike Texas Hold ’em, players have four hole cards each. Two of these are then combined with three community cards. There is a pot-limit, and the player achieving the highest hands wins the game. The high/low version of Omaha is where players use their high and lowest hands. However, to qualify for low, a player needs to have at least five cards ranked at 8 or lower. Players having closely connected hands are more likely to win. The game is also not suitable for ‘bluffing’ as this can damage the overall credibility of the table.

Open-Faced Chinese Poker. This game works by a player taking a card from one pack to create the best hand as they can. Once various card replacement rounds have been played, 13 cards are then arranged into three separate rounds, the top round consisting of just 3 cards. Contrastingly, mid or bottom hands have five regular card hands which must each be higher than the hand before it. This game tends to be popular with professionals due to its fast pace and high levels of ‘chance’ involved. Keeping score isn’t particularly easy, and players must use a careful combination of both strategic thinking and concentration. Each hand won gains another three points, which is otherwise known as the ‘scoop’ if another player is beat in all three hands.

5-Card Draw. If you’re looking for an easy game of poker to pick up, you’ll like a 5-card draw. Players can ‘draw’ their cards from time to time, which is when they discard existing cards for new ones. After this, another betting round occurs, followed by a showdown where the highest value ultimately wins. Not being a game that is commonly seen in bricks and mortar casinos, it’s only commonly available online.

Short Deck Poker. Similar to Texas Hold’Em, this game requires little in the way of explanation and is often much quicker in terms of game length. Cards numbered between two and five are removed from the deck, and no blinds are posted. Instead, players must post ‘ante’. Once the dealer has also done this, the action finally commences.

Choosing the Best Poker Game for You

Considering the number of poker games available out there, it’s no surprise that it’s so popular. We have mentioned five popular types of poker in this article. However, we haven’t covered them all. There are other types as well, like high/low Chicago and ‘follow the queen’. So, get out there, give a couple a try and see which one you enjoy best!

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David Hill

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