Theres More to Poker than Texas Holdem!
Texas holdem is taking over the world, but believe it or not there are many other poker games you can play. Most of them fall into one of three categories:
- Stud Games (for example 7 card stud)
- Draw Games (for example 5 card draw)
- Shared Hand Games (for example Texas Holdem)
There are also some other obscure games that don't fit into these categories, some of the more popular of which are high/low pig, bid poker and guts. In almost all types of poker game the hand rankings are the same, with a very few minor exceptions which have become more or less "home-made" rules.
Here are brief descriptions of some different poker games:
5 Card Draw Poker
Played by 3 - 7 players. Each is dealt five cards and there is a round of betting based on the hands. After the betting players can now put up to three cards back in exchange for new ones. (There's one exception where a player can exchange four cards if he shows the fifth to be an ace).There's a further round of betting and the best hand wins. Draw poker was once the standard way to play but it has of course been overtaken by Texas Holdem.
7 Card Stud Poker
Played by 3 - 10 players. Players are dealt two cards face down and one face up and there is a round of betting. Cards 4, 5 and six are then dealt face up with betting on each round. The final card is dealt face down and there is another round of betting before the showdown. 7 Card Stud Poker is still a popular game and is probably second at the moment to Texas Holdem.
This is a poker game played in a casino between the player and the dealer. Each gets five cards and the player has to decide whether his card is worth betting on after seeing the dealer's first card. If the player has a better hand than the dealer he is paid out in a fixed odds system depending on the strength of his hand. The fixed odds range from evens for a pair or high card to 100-1 for a royal flush.
Pai Gow Poker
Pai Gow is a fairly complicated casino game played between the dealer and up to seven players. It is played with a joker which counts as either an ace or any card required to complete a flush or straight. There are two variations in hand ranks compared to standard poker rankings, the highest hand is five Aces and the straight A2345 is ranked second to AKQJT. The players and dealer are dealt seven cards each which they split into two hands of five and two. The five card hand must be better than the two card hand. The dealer then shows his cards and plays against each player, the dealer's five card hand against the player's five card hand and the dealer's two card hand against the player's two card hand.
If the dealer wins both hands he wins.
If the player wins both hands he wins.
If each player wins one hand there's a "push" which means no money changes hands.
If any hand is tied the dealer wins it, so:
Dealer/Tie - dealer wins.
Player/Tie - push.
Tie/Tie - dealer wins.
By far the most popular poker game in the world today, probably because it is very simple to learn but extremely difficult to master. Two cards are dealt to each player, then three face up on the table (the flop), another face up on the table (the turn), then a final card face up on the table known as the river. Players use their own two (hole) cards and any three from the table to make the best five card hand. There is a round of betting before the flop then before the turn and river, and finally after the river card is dealt.
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