While poker may not be as popular as it was during the halcyon days of the noughties, it continues to account for around 5% of the online GGY in the UK. It certainly retains a cult following of players on these shores, while there are numerous iterations available at the leading poker sites nationwide. You can find the very best US online casino sites at bestonlinecasino.com, but here’s a brief list of the most popular poker variations.
Popular Poker Variations You Should Try:
1. Texas Hold ‘em
We’ll start with Texas Hold ‘em, which is undoubtedly the most iconic and popular poker iteration in the world.
This trend has persisted ever since the early noughties when online poker first became a globally popular pastime (amongst pros and amateurs alike) thanks largely to the iconic ‘No Limit Texas Hold ‘em’ title.
Central to this game’s popularity is the relative ease with which it can be learned and played, with the initial gameplay seeing the two players to the left of the button place forced bets called ‘blinds’. After two hole cards have subsequently been drawn to each player, the action starts for real, continuing clockwise as participants choose whether to call, raise or fold.
Upon the commencement of this betting round, three more cards are dealt onto the table, with this process called the ‘flop’. These community cards help players to forge the best possible hand, with a further community card drawn at the turn. Two more betting rounds the sandwich a final ‘river’ card, at which point hands must be shown and a winner unveiled.
Ultimately, this poker iteration has just the right meld of skill and accessibility, while the plethora of informational sources available (across books, articles and even video tutorials) also make it incredibly easy to learn.
Because of its innate popularity, you’re also sure to find a version of Texas Hold ‘em at your chosen casino or online poker room.
A word of caution; however, as the growing popularity of the game and its underlying simplicity means that most tables feature a relatively high level of skill, so it may be hard to win hands even as an experienced player.
2. Omaha Hi
Next up is the incredibly popular Omaha Hi, which is similar to Texas Hold ‘em and has been built on mirroring the structure of the world’s most popular poker iteration.
In fact, Omaha Hi plays exactly the same as its predecessor, albeit with one small difference: four hole cards are dealt to each player instead of two. In practical terms, this means that players must build their best hands using two of their hole cards and just three of the community cards, with this arguably offering an advantage to participants.
More specifically, because players are dealt more hole cards at the start of each hand, the number of potential two-hole card combinations increases by six. This makes it somewhat easier to build a good hand and compete for the final prize!
As for the pot, this is awarded in its entirety to the highest possible hand at showdown, while the iteration is usually played as a pot-limit game (which is why it’s commonly referred to as Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO).
Obviously, the game is relatively easy to learn too, not least because it follows a similar model to Texas Hold ‘em and is perhaps even simpler due to the drawing of fewer community cards during your hand.
However, it’s fair to say that PLO tables aren’t as widely accessible as Texas Hold ‘em alternatives, so you may find it a little hard to find versions of this particular game online.
3. 7-Card Stud
We’ll close with seven-card stud, which was historically the most popular of all poker variations prior to the explosion of Texas Hold ‘em.
This game is also considerably different than the first two mentioned on our list, with each participating player receiving their own individual hand in full.
Some of these will be face-down and hidden from players, while the remainder will be face-up for your rivals to see. To begin with, all players are asked to put forward an ante, after which each participant receives two face-down cards along with a single face-up alternative.
The player with the lowest face-up card will act first, by either making a small ‘bring-in’ bet or a complete bet of the smaller increment of the game. Wagering then continues in a clockwise direction.
Betting rounds continue to sandwich the drawing of additional, face-up cards for players, who have the autonomy to create their best possible hand and are afforded an advantage if they’re particularly skilled or able to capitalize on the weakness of their opponents.
Once again, however, this game isn’t as readily available online as it once was, so you may be a little restricted when choosing your preferred poker network.