Combining gambling, strategy and skill, poker is one of the most popular games on the planet. With a history stretching back hundreds of years, it’s now more popular than ever. Millions of people play poker every day online, and many enjoy playing face-to-face in casinos and card rooms too. We take a look at some of the most popular types of poker.
There’s no doubt about it, Texas Hold’em is the most popular form of poker online and in casinos. The game of choice in the World Series of Poker Main Event, it’s one of the simpler forms of poker but one that is immensely exciting to play.
Playing it is straightforward. Each player is dealt with two ‘hole’ cards face-down and these are part of their hand when combined with the five face-up community cards that are dealt in the middle of the table for everyone. The first three of these community cards are called the flop, the fourth is known as the turn and the fifth card is known as the river.
Betting rounds take place before the flop, turn and river and after the river has been dealt. The winning player is the one that has the best five-card hand made up of one or two of their hole cards and three of four community cards.
Closely following Texas Hold’em as the most popular form of poker is Omaha. Unlike Texas Hold’em where you are dealt two cards, in Omaha you get four cards of which you have to use exactly two along with three of the community cards to make the best hand. The betting rounds in Omaha poker are exactly the same as in Texas Hold’em but one important difference is that some of the best starting hands in Texas Hold’em (pair of Aces, pair of Kings) are not as strong a favourite in Omaha.
Seven Card Stud
Texas Hold’em may be the most popular form of poker today, but that wasn’t always the case. Up till 20 or 30 years ago, Seven Card Stud was the most popular form of the game, and it’s still one that is played by many people today. Unlike Texas Hold’em and Omaha where there are community cards, in Seven Card Stud each player is dealt two cards face-down and one face-up.
These are followed by rounds of betting after each card is dealt, the fourth, fifth and sixth cards being dealt face-up and the seventh face-down. The winner is the player with the best five-card hand. There are also other versions of Stud poker played with six cards and five cards, but these are not as popular as the seven-card version of the game.
Five Card Draw
Five Card Draw is one of the most simple versions of poker but is a lot of fun to play. The game begins with each player being dealt five cards face-down. The players are given the opportunity to ‘draw’ cards from the deck, putting one or more of their card at the bottom of the deck and replacing them with the same number from the top. With betting rounds before and after the draw, the player who has the best five-card hand wins.