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The poker games form the family of the poker card game. Poker variants have the hand to 52 cards in common and the ranking of the poker hands, which consist of five cards. The individual poker variants differ in the type of play, the structure of the stakes and blinds, and possibly in the scoring and special rules.
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The oldest game Draw Poker has evolved over time into other types of poker, which will enjoy varying popularity and distribution in 2019. We will explain the details of the most important poker games and give you an overview of the top poker variations as they can be found at online poker providers.
Texas Hold’em Poker
Texas Hold’em is currently the most popular poker variation and is therefore widely used. Online poker rooms offer a comprehensive Texas Hold’em offering. The game is quick to learn and offers a lot of fun, but is also difficult to master. It’s a long way from advanced player to pro or master. Important for success is not only a good understanding of the different probabilities for poker hands, but also a strategy that depends on the game type, situation and position at the table as well as budget and stack. Texas Hold’em Freeroll tournaments without buy-ins are extremely popular and therefore see a large field of participants, which is associated with a long duration. Many players see No Limit Texas Hold’em as the purest form of poker. In the World Series of Poker (WSOP), the main event is played in this type of poker.
Texas Hold’em is played with two hand cards and five community cards, also called hole cards and community cards or flop cards. The four rounds are Preflop, Flop, Turn and River: First each game receives its hole cards, then three community cards are dealt face up, followed by the fourth and fifth cards. In the rounds, players can bet or fold. At the showdown, the highest poker hand wins. Texas Hold’em is played with Big Blind and Small Blind as the minimum bets, which change each round and can increase as the game progresses. The betting is determined by the limits: There are the Texas Hold’em Poker variants No Limit, Pot Limit and Fixed Limit.
Omaha is a Hold’em variant and is therefore completely called Omaha Hold’em. The game was developed from Texas Hold’em. The gameplay is almost identical and Omaha is played at the limits commonly used in Texas Hold’em. Pot Limit is the most common type of Omaha poker. Omaha is widely used internationally and is part of the World Series of Poker with several variations. In online poker, almost every provider has at least one variant in its program. Professionals prefer Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) because there is a lot of action in the game and decision making is required.
The Omaha rules follow those of Texas Hold’em, but you get four cards instead of two. A poker hand must contain two hole cards and three community cards. In Omaha Hi, as in Texas Hold’em, the best poker hand wins. Omaha Hi-Lo is a game where the pot is split between the best high hand and the best low hand. A low hand has five different cards, depending on the variant, counted down from 8, with the ace as the lowest card. Players can use different cards for high hand and low hand, but must each use two hand cards. If you win Hi and Lo, it’s called a scoop.
Stud are poker variations where you are dealt hand cards as well as open cards. The position of the first betting player changes very often during a hand. Seven Card Stud has evolved from Five Card Stud, as seen in the Poker FilmCincinnati Kid. This type of poker has almost completely superseded its predecessor. Seven Card Stud is also sometimes played as Hi-Lo. In the Tropical or Caribbean Stud and Oasis poker modes, players compete individually against the dealer, who must hold at least one specific hand in each round.
Seven Card Stud is played with seven cards by name. You are dealt four cards face up and three cards face down. The hole cards are dealt two face down, one face up. Then follows 4th, 5th and 7th Street as face up cards and 7th Street as the last face down card. In each round you can bet or fold, followed by a showdown. Seven Card Stud is usually played with a fixed limit. In Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo, the highest hand shares the pot with the lowest hand. A low hand consists of five cards with a value less than 8.
Draw Poker variations give players the opportunity to swap hand cards. Five Card Draw is probably the oldest form of poker and is well known. In Wild West movies, it is the typical saloon poker type. The formerly widespread poker game is rarely seen in 2019 and is played more among friends than online poker. Five Card Draw Poker can be played as No Limit or Fixed Limit with Ante. Triple Draw can be found from time to time at online poker providers and is also played at the World Series of Poker. There are three betting rounds and a low hand option.
Five Card Draw is played by two to seven players. Each player receives five hand cards, followed by the first betting round. Usually it is not possible to raise twice in a row and a betting round has a maximum of three raises. The first betting round is followed by a draw. Depending on the exact rules, players may now swap cards, either one, two or three. Some variations also allow for the swap of four or all cards. After the cards have been exchanged, there is another round of betting and a showdown. Some Draw variations are played with a Joker or Jackpot.
HORSE Poker stands for Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hold’em Hi-Lo, Razz, Seven Card Stud and Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo. Players must master all five poker variations. After each round, the variant changes to create more variety. In the HOSE Poker game, the Razz mode is omitted. Since 2002, HORSE Poker has also been represented at the World Series of Poker. The poker game can be a lot of fun, but requires a lot of skill and strategy. If you don’t master all five variations, you shouldn’t play in a HORSE Poker tournament.
A HORSE Poker tournament is usually played with 8 players at the table. After each completed round, indicated by the dealer button, the game changes. When you switch to Razz Poker, the button remains in the same position so that the order of the blinds does not change when you return to Hold’em. Usually a fixed limit is chosen, but other betting structures are also possible.
Razz as a poker game is identical to Seven Card Stud, but players aim for the lowest poker hand. Razz is part of HORSE Poker and is played at the World Series of Poker. Fixed Limit and Ante are common in Razz. The game does not have a qualifier like “8 or better” for the pot. Flushes or straights do not count. The so-called California ranking of poker hands is “Ace to Five”, so Aces are always low. The best possible hand is called a “wheel”: 5-4-3-2-A. A low hand is ranked from the highest card down and named after the highest card, a little “Six Low” or “Six Five Low”.
Each player wins the minimum bet and receives two cards face down and one card face up. The player with the highest card face up begins the round. As 4th, 5th, and 6th Street, each player receives an open card and the player with the lowest open combination starts the betting round. The last 7th Street or River card is dealt face down. The fifth and final betting round is followed by the showdown.
Open Face Poker
Open Face Poker, also called Open Face Chinese Poker, is a variation of Chinese Poker and still relatively young. The game originated in Finland and spread to Russia. Since the year 2012 OFCP is also known in the USA, and 2014 took place the first world championship. Open Face Chinese Poker is often played on the sidelines of big tournaments like the World Series of Poker. The poker game is designed for two to four players and has many variations like Pineapple, Double Deck, Turbo, Pineapple 2-7 or Progressive Pineapple.
Open Face Chinese Poker is played with a 52-card French hand and each player is dealt a total of 13 cards to form three hands. The front hand contains three cards and the middle and rear hands each contain five cards. The two rear hands must be stronger or at least equal to each front hand. The aim is to win points or so-called units by beating the opponents in each row. A wrong order of hand formation is called a foul. Each player first receives five cards and then one card each until thirteen cards are reached. The players place the cards in any row in front of them, but are not allowed to flip the cards. Open Face Chinese Poker knows various bonuses such as “Fantasyland” and “Shoot the Moon” when certain card combinations are reached in a front or back hand. The stakes are counted as points and a player receives one unit from the opponent for each hand that beats the opponent’s hands. Particularly high hands are additionally rewarded.