Poker has always been a very popular game, and remains so today. According to Statista, there are roughly 30,000 public tables in the world today –– not to mention countless apps and online platforms where players can indulge their love for the game digitally.
Many people have also turned to poker in one form or another to pass the time and enjoy some fun during the pandemic. But of course, in order to do so you have to know your way around a table and a deck of cards. So with that in mind, let’s have a look at some fun and popular varieties of the game to learn.
1. Five-Card Draw
Five-Card Draw is a classic, and one of the most common versions of poker. In Five-Card Draw, each player is dealt five cards, at which point they an either stick with what they’ve got, or exchange any number of cards for fresh ones from the deck. Betting rounds occur after initial dealing and exchange, after which players lay down their cards to reveal their hands. As with most of the other varieties of poker here, the hand rankings (from highest to lowest) are as follows: royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind, full house, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pair, one pair, high card. Whoever has the strongest hand within these rankings in any given round wins the pot.
2. Seven-Card Stud
Before the other variations came about, Seven-Card Stud was the traditional poker game played everywhere. In this game, each player is dealt seven cards over the course of a few rounds of dealing –– with some cards (third through sixth) face-up for everyone to see, and some (the first two and the seventh) face down for only the respective player to see. Betting occurs between dealing rounds, such that players only have partial pictures of opponents’ hands. Once each player has seven cards and all bets have been made, each remaining player produces the strongest five-card combination they can make out of their seven cards.
3. Texas Hold’em
As you may be aware already, No-Limit Texas Hold’em is recognized as the most popular of all poker varieties, and has been for many years. In Hold’em, each player is dealt two cards, and five more cards are laid out as community cards. Each player tries to form the best five-card combination they can using their two cards and three of the community cards. The goal is to bet carefully through the rounds, and either get out without suffering major losses, stay in until everyone else has folded, or boast the best hand at the end.
4. Omaha Poker
This exciting game was derived from Texas Hold’em, but in this variation each player is dealt four cards, and five more cards are laid out as community cards. Each player then tries to form the best five-card combination –– the catch being that they can only use two of their own four cards, plus three of the community cards. As with Hold’em, the goal of Omaha Poker is to bet strategically in between rounds of dealing and wind up with the strongest hand of the players who remain at the end.
5. Three-Card Poker
This fast-paced variation has gained popularity in recent years, essentially as a simpler alternative to games like Omaha or Seven-Card Stud. Many people also use it as a sort of point of entry to poker in general. In Three-Card Poker, each player is dealt three cards and tries to form the best poker hand possible against the dealer. The thing that stands out is that how the cards rank is different. The hands rank from highest to lowest as follows: straight flush, three of a kind, straight, flush, pair, and then high card.
Poker is an exciting game that can be enjoyed by people of all different levels of experience and from all walks of life. And with these different varieties all on the table, you’re bound to find a style that suits you! We hope this has been illuminating, and please feel free to check out our Gaming Archives for more tips and suggestions on all things gaming!
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