When people talk about playing poker, the variation that they are most likely thinking of is Texas Hold’em. Although, there are many different game types that are played around the world, some being simpler than others.
The most popular version of poker is texas hold’em, widely used for online poker and most notably in the world series of poker. Each player is dealt two cards face down that are unknown to their opponents, called pocket cards. Each player must then use their two cards to make a hand out of the five community cards that are dealt face up in the centre of the table. The first three community cards are all laid at once, this is called the flop. The next card dealt is called the turn and the final card dealt is called the river. There are betting rounds before the flop, turn and river and after all cards have been dealt. The winner of the pot is the player that has the best hand after the final round of betting. A hand is made up of either one or two of their pocket cards and three or four of the community cards.
Omaha is similar to Texas Hold’em as the aim is still to make your hand out of five cards. Although, when playing Omaha, you are dealt four pocket cards and you must use two of these with three of the community cards to form the best hand possible.
Like regular Omaha, you are dealt four cards and must use two of these along with three of the community cards. However, when playing Hi-Lo, the pot is usually split between the players with the best high hand and best low hand. A low hand uses cards of rank eight or lower, and a high hand uses cards of rank nine or higher. A single player is also capable of winning the whole pot if there is no low hand or they have both the best high and low hands.
Five Card Draw
A game usually played for fun rather than money, Five Card Draw is one of the simpler variations of poker. Each player is dealt five cards face down and has the opportunity to take cards from the top of the deck, but then must put the same amount of cards from their pocket cards on the bottom of the deck.
An old favourite, Seven-card Stud once was known as the most popular form of poker around before being replaced by Texas Hold’em. Each player is dealt three cards, two face down and one up. The player with the lowest ranked face up card begins the betting round. Each player is then dealt a fourth, fifth and sixth card one at a time, all face up, and finally a seventh face down. Before each of these cards are dealt there is a betting round and the winner of the pot would be the player with the best five card hand.
Like Stud, when playing Razz, each player is dealt seven cards, the first two and the seventh all face down. Although, when playing Razz, the lowest hand wins, also known as lowball. The best possible hand is A-2-3-4-5, also known as “a wheel”.
2-7 Triple Draw
Also known as deuce-to-seven, this variation of poker begins with each player being dealt five cards. Players will then have three chances to swap their cards from the top of the deck, much like Five Card Draw. Aces are high in this game, meaning that the best possible hand is 7-5-4-3-2.
HORSE is a game that involved five different variations of poker that are played in a cycle. The H is for Texas Hold’em, the O stands for Omaha Hi-Lo, the R stands for Razz, S stands for Seven Card Stud, and finally E is for Stud Hi-Lo (Seven-Card Stud Eight or Better). The E in HORSE is a type of stud where players must make high and low hands. When playing HORSE, there is usually a pot limit applied meaning that players can only bet up to a certain amount.
When playing Irish Poker, each player is dealt four cards, but after the flop players must discard two of their four cards and continue playing the hand as if it were a Texas Hold’em game.
Another version of the draw type of poker, Badugi involves each player needing to make a four card hand. The lowest hand wins and aces are high, meaning that the best possible hand is A-2-3-4. Also, players must aim to avoid hitting pairs and try to get each of their cards to be of a different suit. If a player has more than one card of the same suit or value, then one of these is discarded and he/she is left with a three card hand.