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Poker Variations Guide

The first thing that comes to mind for most people when hearing the word “poker” is Texas Hold’em. But did you know that other poker variants are equally as good and challenging to play? This guide will show you all the various types of poker available today.

History & Evolution of Poker

The world-famous game has ancient roots dating back 1,000 years. According to some historians, poker originated from a domino card game invented at the court of the Chinese emperor around the 10th century, while others believe it is deeply embedded in Persian culture as a descendant of the game called “As-Nas” from the 16th century.

However, the betting rounds, which are the most crucial part of the game, became popular in the mid-to-late 18th century, especially in France, where they were known as Poque. Poque travelled to North America from Europe during the French sailors' voyages.

In the meantime, the game evolved significantly during the 19th century, adopting the features we know today - a 52-card deck and five cards for every player. It gained popularity during the Civil War, becoming a staple game among the North and South soldiers.

During World War I, once US soldiers came to European territories, poker started to pick up pace and be played more. In the early 1920s, different types of poker were invented, such as seven-card stud, five-card draw, and Texas Hold’em, which took the world by storm, especially Texas Hold’em when it was introduced in casinos in the 1970s.

Poker became the most prominent game in the 21st century, thanks to the evolution of technology and the ability to play online. Nowadays, players can choose from various poker variations with stakes that suit everyone’s pocket.

Types of Poker

Each poker variant comes with its strategy and dynamics. Have a look at the most famous poker variants:

Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold’em is the most famous poker variant because it is easy to understand and suits all poker players. In each round, every player on the table is dealt two cards.

Before a betting round begins, the dealer places five community cards face down. Afterwards, the dealer turns three of them faceup, called the flop, followed by a round of betting (it can be Fixed, Pot Limit, or No Limit). Then, the dealer turns the fourth community card, known as the turn, followed by another betting round, this time with a double stake. Finally, the dealer flips over the last community card, called the river. Each participant can either fold or participate in the showdown, and the one with the best hand wins the pot.

Seven Card Stud

Although it used to be the number one game, Seven Card Stud hasn’t lost its popularity, especially among the most talented players, because it has a certain level of difficulty. In this game, with no community cards or flops, every player gets seven cards (three face down and four face up). There is an ante bet that is obligatory for all players, while the lowest exposed card pays the bring-in.

Cards are dealt after every round of betting, calling, or raising. The winner is the one who succeeds at making the best five-card combination from the seven cards available or if all opponents fold their cards before the showdown.

Five Card Draw

Of all the different types of poker games, Five Card Draw has the most simple rules. Before the first round starts, every player puts an ante. After that, the dealer issues everyone five cards faced down, and there are no community cards.

After placing a bet, the player can exchange up to three cards before placing the next bet. The person with the strongest hand among the players is the winner.

A simple but effective strategy often used in a Five-Card Draw is bluffing. In other words, the players give the impression to others that they are holding a better hand than they have.

Five Card Omaha

Another poker variant that blends skills and strategy is Five Card Omaha, in which each player is dealt five hole cards. With five cards in hand, the players have more chances to construct the best possible five-card hand, but at the same time, they have to be more careful of the opponent’s actions.

Apart from the hidden cards, the dealer puts five community cards face-up on the table. The player who succeeds in making the best five-card poker hand by combining three of the community cards and two of the hole cards takes the prize.

Three Card Poker

Three Card Poker is a fast-paced game that is played between the player and the dealer. In every round of play, the dealer issues three cards face down to each player, but before the cards are dealt, the players must place an ante.

The players can raise, match their ante, or fold during each round. If a player puts a play wager, the cards will be turned over to check who has a better hand, whether it is the dealer or the player. If, on the other hand, the player decides to fold, the player’s ante wager goes to the dealer.

Omaha Hi

Omaha Hi, simply known as Omaha, is quite similar to Texas Hold’em. That means it is a community card game during which the betting occurs pre-flop, flop, turn, and river. Every player gets four hole cards, which is the main difference to Texas Hold’em. The player must also use two of their hold cards to get the best possible hand combination.

FAQs

What Is the Most Popular Variant of Poker?

Regarding how many different types of poker games there are, Texas Hold’em is right at the top when it comes to poker variants. It is a highly strategic and competitive game in which the player can implement various poker strategies to make a five-card combination, including two hold cards and three community cards. The opportunities are endless, for sure.

Probably the best advice you can get when it comes to choosing the best poker variant is to do some research first and, if possible, try them out. Considering how many different types of poker are there, it can take you a while, but it will be worth it in the end.

But don’t forget to ask yourself what kind of player you are to find the right type of poker that suits your preferences and playing style.

If you are new to the iGaming world, you may wonder where to start looking to play online poker. The good news is that you can find variations of Poker online here at Pink Casino.

Different variants of poker have typical betting formats and structures. Apart from the specific betting rules, there are three betting variants:

  • Fixed limit - the stakes determine the amount of the bet that each player puts on the table.
  • Pot limit - Each player is allowed to bet starting from the amount of the ante to the amount in the pot and no more.
  • No limit - the poker player can bet as much money as they want.
Take Time to Think | BeGambleAware.org | 18+

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