Poker is a game with an undoubtedly long history. In its modern form it probably appeared in the western United States in the first half of the nineteenth century. According to some historians, the game was brought to the United States by migrants from Europe and originated from another, now forgotten game. Others think its origins can be traced back to ancient China or Persia, to over a thousand years ago. But modern poker is not just one game, but several variations of it, with slightly different rules. Let’s a closer look at them!
Five Card Draw Poker – a classic, exciting game!
Five-card draw is considered to be the closest to traditional 19th century poker. At the start of the game the players are dealt five cards from the deck. They are then allowed to discard up to four cards (or not discard at all and stay with the cards they started with). Then the players draw enough cards from the deck to have five cards in their hand again.
This type of poker can be played with different decks. The most common is a full deck (no jokers), which consists of 52 cards. You can also play with a deck of 24 cards (starting with nines) or a deck of 32 cards (starting with sevens). Poker chips are usually used in the game to represent the bets. The winner is either the player with the strongest hand or the one who doesn’t fold. In the latter case, it doesn’t matter what the actual hand was.
Texas Hold’em – a true tournament poker!
Texas Hold’em is very different from traditional poker. A full deck of cards is always used. Players are first dealt two cards each and then there is a blind betting round. In the next round, three shared cards are dealt to the table face-up to be used by any player to complete a hand.
In the next two rounds, a fourth and a fifth shared card is put on the table. At the end of the round the cards are counted and the player who has the best hand (and has not previously folded) wins. A five card hand can be made up of any seven cards – two in the hand and five on the table.
Omaha – like Texas, but better!
This version is a bit like the one described above. The difference is that at the beginning each player receives four cards instead of two. The number of shared cards is only three in this case. What is more, the hand cannot be made from all the available cards here, but only from two player cards and three from the table.
An interesting version of Omaha poker is Omaha High-Low poker. In this case each player gets four cards and there are as many as five shared cards on the table. The hand is made up of two cards from the hand and three from the table. The winner is not the player with the highest hand, but the final pot is split between the players with the highest and lowest hands (it may be one and the same player). It is currently the most popular form of poker at all types of competitions.
7 card stud – an all-American traditional poker!
7 card stud was once the most played and popular poker game. The cards are dealt six times and after each hand there is betting. Each player is dealt two cards first. In the next hand there is an additional card dealt face up. The same goes for the next two hands. In the last hand the players are dealt one card face down.
Of course, that’s only the beginning – there are hundreds of varieties of poker out there, just waiting for you to get curious and start playing. What do you say? Up for a challenge?