There are a large number of popular poker variants available online, giving players the option to sample many types of the game before settling on their favourite or allowing them to carry on enjoying a mix of different styles. Each of these games shares a common theme, but varies in terms of betting procedures, how many cards are dealt and the number of cards which are shared or hidden.
Texas Hold'em is the biggest form of online poker. Each player receives two cards which only they can see (hole cards), followed by a round of betting, and a series of extra community cards are then dealt for everyone to see. Three shared cards (the flop) are dealt first, then a fourth (the turn) and finally a fifth (the river), with a round of betting preceding the reveal of each card. Players must bet throughout as they hope to make the best five-card hand or force their opponents to fold before a potential showdown, and they can use any combination of their own two cards and the five community cards. Find out in more detail about the rules of Texas Hold’em. Other major poker variants that can be found online include:
Omaha Poker: Each player receives four hole cards and a series of extra community cards are then dealt for everyone to see. Three shared cards are dealt first, then a fourth and finally a fifth. Players must bet throughout while attempting to create the best five-card hand, but their combination must consist of just two of their hole cards and three of the community cards.
Draw Poker: Each player receives a full hand before the first round of betting, and then has the option to replace cards in later rounds to try and improve their chances of winning. The most popular type of draw poker, known as Five-Card Draw, provides the basis for the Video Poker games which are popular in casinos around the world.
Stud Poker: Each player receives a mix of face-up and face-down cards, depending on the type of stud poker being played, and then attempts to create the best five-card hand, made up of any combination of the face-up and face-down cards. Stud poker is non-positional, meaning that the player who bets first can change from round to round, and includes variations such as Seven-Card and Five-Card Stud. Another form of stud poker, called Razz, is very common online, but the lowest hand wins rather than the highest.
Each variation of poker can be further sub-categorised by its betting limit. In fixed-limit games, the amount that a player can bet on is set at a certain value, meaning you cannot bet more or less, and if raising it must be by the same amount. In spread-limit games, the amount that a player can bet or raise must be within a certain range. In pot-limit games, the limit is the amount of money that is in the pot at the time of the bet. In no-limit games, the only cap is the amount of money that a player has in their stack.
High/low poker, such as Omaha Hi/Lo or Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo, gives players an additional way to win a share of the pot. As well as the “high” winner, who is the player with the best hand, there is a “low” winner, who has the lowest-value hand. For example, you will need five different cards below a 9, so if you had 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 of any suit, you would have a low hand. The lowest “low” hand is the winner, and the pot is split 50/50 between the “high” and “low” winners.
There are various mixed poker games, which are usually divided into segments so that players spend an equal amount of time on different types. H-O-R-S-E, for example, offers a combination of Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Seven-Card Stud and Seven-Card Stud Eight-or-Better.
Whether they prefer tournaments, cash games or a combination of the two depends on the individual. Most players are introduced to poker through cash games, where there is the option to cash in chips and take the money at any time. Other key aspects of cash games include a minimum and maximum buy-in amount and blinds staying the same for each hand, depending on the stakes.
Online poker players can also explore various exciting options such as speed poker or Twister poker. Find out more about the wide array of online poker tournaments available, including freerolls, satellites and Sit and Gos.
Blaze Poker is a new type of online cash game that seats players randomly at the beginning of each hand so they are always competing against different opponents at different tables. If you’re dealt a poor hand, you can quickly fold and be moved to another table. It is one of many innovative ideas to have emerged in online poker over the last few years and more exciting variations are sure to develop in the future.
Every top poker site already offers a range of games, and players can mull over all the options before choosing what variant suits them best.
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