Poker is one of the most popular online games across the world today. Globally, there are more than 100 million poker players, which is more than that of popular sports like tennis.
So, what makes poker so popular, one might wonder. There are several reasons that make it one of the most widely played games today.
To begin with, the game of poker is different from other games of chance, such as slots. Unlike other casino games, poker involves skill and strategy and not chance alone.
This means poker is legal in most parts of the world and also easily accessible on multiple platforms. Also, poker is a social game that can be played with friends or strangers online.
The advent of online poker has introduced multiple variations of the game. This is good news for poker enthusiasts and poker canada fans who have plenty to choose from.
However, this can also be confusing for beginners. So, this article brings to you the key variations of poker, along with the respective rules and unique characteristics of each.
Categories of poker games
All the poker variations can be classified under the following 3 categories.
a] Community Card Poker
This category of poker games involve players creating their hand using hidden cards dealt to them, along with community/shared cards.
Examples: Texas Hold’em and Omaha
b] Draw Poker
Poker variations under Draw poker are the ones in which the hands dealt to the players remain hidden from the opponents. Also, players can replace a specific number of cards to build a stronger hand.
Examples: 5-Card Draw, Badugi
c] Stud Poker
When it comes to Stud poker games, players are dealt cards, some of which are hidden while others are not. This way, the opponents get a little idea about each other’s cards.
Examples: Razz and 7-Card Stud
Key variations of poker you should know
To begin with, there are multiple variations of poker available to players today, thanks to online casinos. What’s more, you have effective online tools to help you improve your poker game.
Here are some of the popular variations of poker.
1] Texas Hold’em
Texas Hold’em is a traditional variation of poker and also the most popular. This variation offers multiple choices when it comes to table selections and stakes.
This variation of poker can serve as a good starting point for beginners. The game is played in 4 stages – pre-flop, the flop, the turn and the river.
While the player is dealt two “hole” cards (face down) in the pre-flop stage, the other stages involve dealing of community cards. The player is dealt seven cards altogether and the goal is to make the best poker hand with five cards.
The game can either end with a show-down (multiple players reveal their cards) or a fold with the last player remaining. Both involve the player(s) revealing their cards to win.
2] Seven-Card Stud
The Seven-Card Stud is a variation of poker that enjoyed its popularity before Texas Hold’em emerged in the scene. This variation calls for more skills than Texas Hold’em and there is a difference in gameplay.
While Texas Hold’em has hole cards and community cards, this one has hole cards (face down) and door cards instead. However, the total number of cards in both the versions remains the same (seven).
The goal is to pick the best five cards (same as Texas Hold’em), but every player shows some cards during a hand. The winner is the one with the best 5-card combination at the end of the game.
Razz is considered a stud poker variation and is deemed to be complex for beginners. This variation has existed since early 1900 and the goal here is to create the weakest hand to win.
The variation has five betting rounds and each player is dealt two hole cards and one face-up card. The player with the strongest face-up card makes the first bet.
Players are dealt more hole cards after the second round. The goal to create the lowest hand distinguishes Razz from most other variations of poker.
4] Card Draw
One of the easiest variations of poker, the Five-Card Draw is recommended for beginners. The goal is to attain the strongest hand of five cards.
The game consists of three rounds – pre-draw, draw and showdown. The variation begins with small and big blinds and allows the players to switch between 0 and all 5 cards.
5] Card Omaha
Now, there are multiple variations of the Omaha but here we shall look into the Five-Card Omaha. This community card variation is different from the Five-Card Draw variation we have seen before.
It also requires players to create the strongest hand with 5 cards, making it similar to the Texas Hold’em. This is a poker variation with traditional blinds betting.
It consists of 4 rounds in all – pre-flop, turn, river and showdown. It is mandatory to choose two out of five hole cards and three community cards.
The winner is the one who creates the strongest hand and the ranking system is similar to Texas Hold’em.
If you’re a poker enthusiast or a gamer looking to flex your analytical and creative mind, there are many variations of the game for you to try. Every variation has its own set of characteristics that make it appealing to certain players.