Have you ever wondered what’s the difference between poker and Texas Hold’em online? Many people are likely to be familiar with Texas Hold’em, the most popular version of poker, but did you know it’s just one of the many different types of online poker you can play? Join us as we take a look at various types of poker versus Texas Hold’em and how these variants are played.
The Most Common Basic Poker Rules
Before we get into the difference between Texas Hold’em and poker in other forms, it’s important to look at the rules most of these games have in common.
In order to play any poker variant, you need a standard deck of 52 cards, minus the jokers, as well as at least two players. You also need poker chips, or some other substitute, to keep track of the bets you make when you play. In all versions of poker, the aim is to build a stronger hand than your opponents by the end of each round.
The strength of each winning hand, from weakest to strongest, is as follows:
10 – High Card
When a player has a single card that has the highest value out of all the players. In most poker variants, aces are highest, followed by the picture cards K, Q, J and then 10, down to 2 in number order.
9 – One Pair
When a player has the highest-value matching pair of cards in their hand out of all the players.
8 – Two Pair
When a player has two pairs of matching cards in their hand with the highest value out of all the players.
7 – Three-of-a-kind
When a player has three matching cards in their hand with the highest value out of all the players.
6 – Straight
When a player has five cards that are in order of value, but not of the same suit, and it is the highest-value hand out of all players.
5 – Flush
When a player has five cards that are of the same suit but not in order of value, and it’s the highest-value hand out of all the players.
4 – Full House
When a player has three-of-a-kind as well as a pair and it’s the highest-value hand out of all the players.
3 – Four of a Kind
When a player has four cards of matching value from all the suits and it’s the highest-value hand out of all the players.
2 – Straight Flush
When a player has a combination of a straight and a flush. This means not only does the player have five cards in order of value, but they’re also all of the same suit and it’s the highest-value hand out of all the players.
1 – Royal Flush
When a player has an ace, king, queen, jack and 10 from a single suit, this is a royal flush, which is the highest-possible-value hand in poker.
Important Note Regarding Suits, Card Values and Ties
It’s important for players to note that the card suit never affects the value of a card. For example, an ace of diamonds carries the same value as an ace of hearts, clubs or spades. If this ends in a scenario in which players have the exact same hand, it’s a tie (or push,) and the pot is split. If two players have a straight, the player with the highest-value top card wins the round.
The Different Kinds of Poker Games
Most historians agree that poker originated in 1829 in New Orleans, when it was invented and enjoyed by French settlers. It’s believed to be loosely inspired by another game called Poque, a game of chance that was commonly played among groups of three to six people.
Today, it’s impossible to say how many poker variants there are as there are many variants from all around the globe – some of which are significantly more popular than others.
That said, there are three main categories of poker games:
- Community card poker – In this variant, once players have received their own hidden cards, a certain number of shared cards or “community cards” are dealt onto the table, facing upward. Players are allowed to use these cards to help them build their best winning hand. Two examples of community card poker games are Texas Hold’em and Omaha Hold’em.
- Draw poker – In this variant, players receive their initial hidden cards after which they can exchange a chosen number of cards in the hope of improving their hand. One example of a draw poker game is Five Card Draw.
- Stud poker – In this variant, some of each player’s cards are hidden while some are visible for all to see. This allows other players to make decisions based on incomplete but important information. One example of a stud poker game is Seven Card Stud.
There’s also such a thing as mixed poker games. This is an approach to poker that certainly keeps players on their toes as it involves participating in multiple poker variants at the table on rotation and in one sitting.
HORSE poker is the most popular type of mixed poker game and comprises Texas Hold ’em, Omaha High-Low, Razz, Seven Card Stud and Seven Card Stud Eight-or-Better.
8-Game Mix is another go-to for die-hard poker players, this time comprising a whopping eight poker variants. It features the same variants as HORSE, along with No Limit Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha and 2-7 Triple Draw.
If you’re still learning the rules of the many different poker games, it’s a good idea to start slow. Here’s what you need to know about a few of the most common variants.
Undoubtedly the most popular version of poker, Texas Hold’em exploded onto the scene in the early 2000s due to its popularity across various media, including TV, movies, books and, of course, the internet. It is also one of the easiest versions of poker to play, which has undoubtedly helped it become the most played version of the game today. In fact, it’s estimated that up to 70% of all poker games played in casinos around the globe are Texas Hold’em games.
Texas Hold’em poker rules are fairly simple. At the start of the game, each player is dealt two cards, otherwise known as hole cards, by the dealer. Several rounds of betting occur, with community cards being revealed as the game progresses. Players combine these community cards with the cards they have in their hands to create the highest-value winning combination.
As the game progresses, players decide whether to check, fold or raise during each betting round. If there’s more than one player left in the final round of play, they must each reveal their cards and compare their hands’ relative strengths in order to determine the winner.
Five Card Draw
In Five Card Draw, two players begin by paying an ante – a compulsory action to ensure there’s money in the pot. Players are then dealt five cards. They have one opportunity to decide which cards they want to keep and which cards they want to exchange, which can be anything from none to all five. Once they’ve received their new cards, additional betting rounds occur, with players checking, folding or raising as their turn to act comes around in a clockwise direction. As with Texas Hold’em, players must reveal their cards in the final round in order to determine the winner.
Are you looking for a poker game similar to Texas Hold’em but with a fresh twist? Also known among many players simply as Omaha, Omaha Hold’em is a poker variant that has much in common with Texas Hold’em. Where Omaha Hold’em differs from Texas Hold’em is that players have a hand of four cards instead of two, but they must still combine two of these cards with the community cards, which total five by the final betting round. This larger hand size means players often have more valuable combinations of cards, with pairs rarely being a deciding factor in the game.
Seven Card Stud
Before the massive increase in Texas Hold’em’s popularity, Seven Card Stud was the most popular version of poker in the US. This is another variant in which some of the players’ cards are revealed while others are kept hidden. More specifically, the player receives two cards which are face down, four that are face up and a final seventh card that’s face down. This makes it more like community card poker in the sense that players have access to more information than they do with draw poker, where no cards are revealed.
Betting is also rather different than in other poker games, with the value of upcards dictating who has to make a bet called a bring-in (a type of ante) and who bets first in the following rounds of betting.
This is a fun poker variant with a unique twist. Players are allowed to trade out a decreasing number of cards with each round of betting in this draw-style poker game. However, they must pay for each card that they decide to replace and the cost of replacing cards doubles with each round of bets! In the first round of betting, players may replace a maximum of three cards; the second round of betting, two cards, and only one card in the final round of bets. All the money that is spent on replacing cards goes into the pot.
Also, unlike other poker variants such as Texas Hold’em, this game has a maximum limit of four players to stop players running out of cards before the game ends.
How To Choose the Best Poker Variant for You
Most experts agree that there are three poker variants best suited to beginners and intermediate players: Texas Hold’em, Three Card Poker and Five Card Draw. If you’re new to the game, the first step is to familiarize yourself with the basic rules and play as much as you can – preferably with friends or relatives who can help you build some confidence without having to worry about losing any money.
Once you’ve perfected your poker face and you know your royal flush from your straight, it’s time to put your skills to the test at a traditional or online casino. Ultimately, the only way to figure out the best poker variant for you is to go for it and play them all. Have fun and remember that you don’t have to choose a single variant as your specialty. You can enjoy any variant whenever you feel like it, particularly when playing online.
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