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Poker is without question, the most
popular card game in the world. On the internet, poker
accounts for nearly half of the annual revenue brought
in from online gambling sites, sportsbooks and casinos.
Although there are several versions of the game, all of
the poker varieties generally operate under similar
conditions. The game itself consists of several betting
rounds and card substitution rounds, after which, the
best ranked hand wins the pot. It is this component of
poker (betting rounds and card substitutions) which
differs amongst the poker game varieties. The structure
of the game, in turn, is affected by the number of
betting rounds. Poker games with less than five betting
rounds, like Texas Holdem fare will with several
structures, such as a no limit pot. Games with more
than four betting rounds, like seven-card stud, operate
more smoothly with fixed pot limits. Some things do not
change from game to game. One is the lingo; The other
is the hand rankings.Before going over the different
poker game varieties, including the most played online
poker games, I shall go over the commonalities from game
to game. Here are a few action terms all poker players
Ante - Also called a blind
bet, an ante is a small wager made by all players before
seeing their cards.
- This is where all wagers are
collected; That which the winner takes.
- When a player matches another
- When a player declines to put a
bet down, thereby passing the action to another player.
Raise - One step up from a call, a raise
occurs when a player makes a bet exceeding the amount of
another players bet.
Here are some other terms players will
Small Blind - A wager used
to initiate betting in a pot. Players are selected in
rotation to make this wager usually in the amount of
half the minimum betting limit before a game begins.
Big Blind - A wager used to initiate
betting in a pot before a game begins. A player will
make this wager immediately after the small blind. It
is usually in the amount of the minimum betting limit.
Dealer Button - A small disk that sits in
front of a player, designating them as the dealer.
Although this is just a title, and does not entail any
duties, it plays a large factor in the game. Therefore,
it is rotated in a clockwise fashion to a new player
Community Cards - Upturned cards resting
in the center of the poker table. These cards do not go
directly to any one player, but rather serve can be used
at a players discretion.
Flop - Refers to the first round of
dealing cards after the initial hand.
Turn - Refers to the second round of
River - Refers to the last and final round
of dealing cards.
Street - Many times a betting round will
be referred to as a Street designated by a number, such
as Fifth Street. Each numbered street refers to how many
cards a player has to potentially form their hand at any
given betting round.
As for the names of the betting rounds,
these are explained in the individual game rules. The
other important factor common to all poker games,
however, are the hands themselves. The following lists
the standard poker hands ranked from lowest to highest.
High Card - In the case in
which no player has a legitimate poker hand, the hand
with the highest ranking card wins. (In all tie
hands, the one with the high card wins)
One Pair - Two matching
cards of rank.
Two Pair - Two sets of
matching ranked cards. In a five-card poker hand this
might be two seven's, two Queens, and an Ace.
Three of a Kind - Three
matching cards of rank.
- Five cards in
consecutive order of rank. The suits of each card can
be dissimilar, and the hand can not go "around the
corner", such as a Queen, King, Ace, 2, 3.
Flush - Five cards of the
same suit, in no particular order.
Full House - Three
matching cards of rank in conjunction with two matching
cards of rank.
Four of a Kind - Four
matching cards of rank.
Straight Flush - Five
cards of the same suit in consecutive order of rank.
Royal Flush - The five
highest ranked cards - Ten, Jack, Queen, King and Ace -
all of the same suit.
As I said, there are numerous versions of online
poker. The most ubiquitous on the internet, however, is
Texas Holdem, Omaha (Hi/Lo) and Seven Card Strud
(Hi/Lo). The largest online poker rooms usually
stick to these varieties, with Texas Holdem
unquestionably being the most popular. The game rules
and strategies for these versions are explained on
separate pages, while the less common forms are briefly
explained here. Let it Ride Poker, Pai Gow and Caribbean
Stud are the most popular of the rest of the lot, and
are available at most of the larger online casinos.
Click below for Complete Rules of these Popular Poker Games:
Let it Ride Poker is quite
simple, and can payout some very large jackpots. The
format of the game is slightly different than other
poker games in that the game is started with each player
putting down three bets of equal size (depending on the
stake of the game). Each player is dealt three cards,
with two face-down community cards in the center of the
table (A community card is one which stays on the table
and which all players can use to form their individual
hand). If a player is happy with their three cards, and
thinks it could be the start of a good hand, they will
signal the dealer to "Let it Ride" in regards to the
first of three bets. If not, the player can take the
first bet back. When all players have gone through this
motion, the dealer will reveal one of the community
cards. The players will then go through the same
process as the first round, but with the second wager in
question. Again, after all players are done, the dealer
will reveal the second and last community card. At this
point, all players are in the game with at least one
bet, and hands are revealed to determine winners. Any
hand greater than a pair of 10's is a winner, and is
paid according to a payout scale taking into
consideration the exact hand ranking and how many of the
three bets were left on the table.
Caribbean Stud Poker is
another simple game of poker that doesn't pose elaborate
betting rounds like some other games. In some ways it
resembles blackjack - And with a large progressive
jackpot attached to the regular pot, players have the
option of putting down an additional wager to vie for
it. Games begin with the players putting in a
predetermined ante, after which, both the dealer and
players are dealt five cards. The dealer will then
reveal one card and the player must decide whether to
fold their hand and forfeit the ante, or stay in the
game by placing a call bet the same size as the ante.
If such is the case, the dealer and player will reveal
their hands. If the dealer does not have at least an
Ace and King, they do not qualify, and all players who
called bets win the amount of their ante back. If the
dealer does qualify with an Ace and King, the two hands
are weighed in accordance to standard poker hand
rankings. If the players hand is higher, it will win
the amounts of both the ante and the call bet. If the
dealer's hand is higher, the player loses all bets. In
order to play for the progressive jackpot, the player
must bet an additional fee at the start of the game.
Whether the dealer qualifies or not, does not affect the
player's claim at the jackpot. If the player's hand is
a Flush, Full House, Four of a Kind, Straight Flush or
Royal Flush, the hand will win a portion or all (Royal
Flush) of the progressive jackpot.
Pai Gow Poker is an
interesting combination between the Chinese game of
dominoes and Seven Card Stud Poker. With only one
betting round, the game begins with initial bets
followed by dealing of the hands. After the player is
dealt seven cards from the start, he or she must split
their hand into one five-card hand and one two-card
hand. If each hand outranks each of the banks split
hands respectively, the player wins. If both hands are
beat by the banks, the player loses. If one hand wins
and the other loses, the game is considered a push. All
ties go to the bank - and there is a 5% commission on
The other less common forms of poker
that are playable online are Five Card Draw, Crazy
Pineapple, Big 2 Poker, Guts, and Triple Draw Poker (and
many other varieties of stud poker). Although you will
not find these poker varieties in large poker rooms,
they are still available at smaller sites - and fun to
Click below for Specific Tips on these Popular Poker Games:
Tips, Rules and Pointers: