Texas Hold'em? Omaha? What variants of poker must all players learn? Oddschecker reveals all...
Poker. It’s a simple yet rather complicated game. Perhaps you’re already a whizz, perhaps you’re a beginner; either way, with the nation house-bound for the foreseeable future, there’s a good chance somebody you know invites you onto an online poker table, and you don’t want to be caught cold if this happens.
However, what type of poker should you learn? What’s the best? What’s the most popular? In this article, Oddschecker reveal and explain the five most popular types of poker that you simply must learn.
1) Texas Hold’em
The most popular poker game in the world, learning Texas Hold’em is a must for any budding player.
All of the main poker tournaments, such as the World Series of Poker, use the Texas Hold’em variant of the game, as will most casual games amongst friends, either in-person or online.
After shuffling a standard 52-card deck, the dealer (who generally rotates clockwise amongst all the players on the table) deals out two ‘hole’ cards to each player.
Ultimately, the aim of the game is to create the best possible five-card hand, using a combination of the two cards you’re dealt and the five community cards which are dealt in three instalments.
The two players left of the dealer are normally required to post a couple of small starter bets – known as the big and small blind – before the action gets underway.
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The four stages of Texas Hold'em
- 1) Pre-Flop: once the cards are dealt, players can have a look at what they have and make a move before the community cards are unveiled. This is their chance to match the flops, fold, or even raise.
- 2)The Flop: the first three community cards, which are used in conjunction with your own two cards to form the best possible hand on the table. Once the flop is dealt the remaining players are required to make another more. Players can either check, bet/raise, or fold.
- 3)The Turn: the fourth community card. Those remaining must make their penultimate move.
- 4)The River: the fifth and final community card. This is the stage where the remaining players make their last play of the game before unveiling their hands.
Once the river is dealt and the remaining players’ cards are turned over, and whoever has the best five-card combination of the seven cards wins the pot. If identical hands are turned over the pot is split.
Not every hand has to be dealt to its conclusion. If all players fold their hands at any stage, the one person remaining wins the pot, regardless of their hole cards or the community cards.
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Omaha is generally seen as the second-most popular type of poker after Hold’em. In this game, players are dealt four hole cards instead of two.
The community card structure (a flop, turn and river) and betting rounds are the same as Hold’em’s.
The two main variants of Omaha
- Omaha High: like with Hold’em, the player with the best hand wins the pot.
- Omaha 8-or-better: the pot is split between the best high hand and the best low hand. To be the best low hand, you have to have five cards all ranked eight or lower, adding an extra twistto the game
3) Seven-Card Stud
While it’s not as popular as the aforementioned games, seven-card stud is still well worth learning.
Between two and eight players can play stud at any one time, and it’s a variant of poker with no community cards.
Each player starts with two cards face down and a third face up – the hole cards and the door card.
After then getting all seven cards dealt, - three face down and four face up – you choose the best five-card combination. The same hand rankings are used as in Hold’em or Omaha.
This is all about gauging what your opponents’ face up cards are and playing the odds – do you think your hand is better or not?
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4) 2-7 Triple Draw
2-7 Triple Draw is a little more advanced.
In this game, the aim is to make the lowest possible five-card hand possible – which is totally the opposite of any conventional type of poker.
There are four rounds in 2-7 Triple Draw, with three draws every game. Every round, players can choose to discard between zero and five of the five cards they’re dealt – with replacements given out by the dealer.
The dealer button determines the order of the final round of betting and discarding, which should be taken advantage of.
In this game, you want to avoid straights, flushes and pairs/trips/quads, so the best hand available is 23457 with no flush.
5) Open-Faced Chinese Poker
Last but not least is the little-known OFC poker.
In this form of poker, with a maximum of four players, cards are drawn from a single deck with the aim of making the best hand possible.
While conventional poker is played in rounds, Chinese poker is played with points.
Once all players have completed their card-replacements, they arrange 13 cards into three separate hands: the top (three cards), middle (five) and bottom (five).
These three hands are then compared to amongst each other, with a point awarded to player with the highest poker hand ranking.