Everybody knows poker. Poker is one of the most popular games worldwide, a battle closely disputed with blackjack. It’s been the theme of movies, novels, academic studies, and countless articles. There are more poker versions today than one can count, but some are more popular than others and influence the rest.
This article will explain the basics of the five most common types you’ll find online and how to tell one from another.
The origins of poker are uncertain, and its DNA points to several directions. While some historians claim that the game as we know it was developed in the United States during the 19th century. Still, similar names and rules appear in Ireland, with Poca, France, and Poque. The German version of the word “pochen” means “to brag”, while in Britain, the game was literally called “brag”.
One of the earliest references to the matter comes from the 1837’s edition of Foster’s Complete. Foster claims that American poker derives from a Persian game called As Nas. However, poker rules are common to countless other card games. The combinations are rather obvious, like pairs, sequences, and suits. They’re arranged, as anyone would expect, by how likely that combination is to appear. The rarest ones are also the highest.
In this section, you’ll read about the most common types of poker you’ll find around. There are many free platforms online where you can practice and master each version. Here are their basic rules and major differences.
Texas Hold’em is the most traditional variant, hands down. In this version, players start with two cards each and a round of blind bets. After this round, three cards are laid face up, and two others follow in the following turns. Every turn starts with a round of bets. The cards facing up are called “community cards”, and they also appear in other variants.
Up to ten players can play Omaha. Here, players start with four cards in their hands, called “hole cards”, although only two of them can be combined with the ones on the table. Community cards come in three turns, like in Texas Hold’em. Omaha has its own variants, like Omaha Hi/Lo and Omaha/8.
In stud games, players get either five or seven cards, with which they must make their combinations. The Seven-card Stud is arguably the most popular of the type. There’s no community card here. Instead, the game starts with one card facing up and two facing down, called the “door card” and the “hole cards”. Players receive seven cards, three of them facing down.
In draw poker, players have the chance to trade cards to improve their game. Typically, players can trade up to three cards. The most prevalent version is played with five cards.
Unlike more traditional types, players must get the lowest hand to pocket the prize in this variant. Aiming to the lowest hand changes the gameplay entirely. It isn’t as popular as the other variants, but it’s still common on online platforms.