How to play poker? What are the different types of poker?
No casino is complete without offering some or the other type of poker. Texas Hold’em is the most popular form of poker played today. But we also have omaha-hi, five-card draw, 7-card stud, pai gow, Chinese poker and some lesser-known forms of poker on the platter.
To save you some time and trouble, we have compiled a quick guide to 10 different forms of poker!
Common Poker Games Terms
If you’re interested in playing popular poker and eventually make your way into the big leagues, you need to learn the basic poker terms. While there are plenty from A-Z, we’ve listed a few standard poker terms to get you started with playing.
Basic player action terminologies include:
Bet: It means to place the 1st wager
Call: When you pay the previous bet’s amount to stay in hand.
Raise: The second bet, i.e., doubling your wager after another player has bet.
Check: Passing the action to the next players without placing a bet if none has raised or bet before.
Fold: This is applicable before and after investing. It means getting out of the hand.
Re-raise: A 3rd wager that can be made after at least one bet and raise.
Check Raise: An excellent popular poker tactic to narrow the field of players. You can check and then raise when someone behind you bets.
Other Popular Card Poker jargons
Ante: Before a hand commences, all players must make a small bet to seed the pot. It is similar to a Blind.
Dealer: It is the person who distributes the card.
Pot: The winning money when the hand ends.
Muck: Muck your hand means to fold. It also signifies the pile of folded or burned number of cards not in play.
Bluff: Betting while holding a lousy hand with bleak chances of winning. It’s done to force out players from the game by appearing strong.
All-in: It means to put all the chips in the pot.
Action: One’s turn to bet during a hand. It also describes a game where lots of raising and betting are happening.
Blind: Amount of chips added in the pot before the game begins. One who is in the immediate left of the dealer button is the small blind, and the big blind is one position to the small blind’s left.
Cold Call: If the pot is already bet and raised before your turn comes, you are cold calling.
Cut-off: Position at the immediate right of the dealer button.
Dealer Button: It indicates the dealer and is passed in a clockwise direction at every hand.
Flush: Having hand rankings comprising of 5 cards of the same suit.
Heads-up: Playing a match against one player only.
Open-Handed: A game category when every player’s hand is exposed.
Chronological History of Poker
Poker had become a staple diet in the array of table card games in Australia by the 1960s. The game hadn’t yet taken off in the country, meaning it was still a private affair. Not until 1973, when a casino began in Hobart, Tasmania—following it, in the 1980s and 1990s casinos started cropping up in other Australian states offering casual gaming and popular poker tournaments leagues. More and more pubs started opening cumulative competitions for regular players.
By the late 90s, online poker rooms also started getting visible. Planet Poker launched the first big one in January 1998, and in five months Crown Casino, Melbourne hosted the first Australasian Poker Championship in June 1998. Amidst all this, in mid-2001, the Australian government passed the Interactive Gambling Act.
In another two years, the country saw its first prize pool at the Australian Poker Championship, which was over $1 million. In 2005, Joe Hachem became the first Australian World Champion in the WOSP Main event. He won record-breaking prize money of $7.5M.
The WOSP APAC ran for the first time in April 2013 at the Crown Casino and for the last time in October 2014. Since then, online poker has gained massive popularity in the 21st century. It was then that several online gambling sites like PokerStars were being introduced. Even after the ban of online poker in 2017 under the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill and the following years of strict and shifting gambling regulations, Australia still ranks as one of the biggest poker-playing countries.
1. Texas Hold’em
If you decide to play Texas Hold’em, then there would be no dearth of casino options. All the casinos offer different variants of Hold’em as it is popular with players. If you have been gambling for a decade or so, then you will remember that this popular poker game gained the limelight due to TV.
The rules are easy to follow, the hands are simple to rank, and the gameplay is quite exciting. The rise of online casinos further boosted the popularity of poker games. Texas Hold’em rules are quite simple.
How to Play Texas Hold’em
Texas Hold’em is simple to play, and due to its widespread fame, it has many instructional videos, guides, how-to blogs, and other materials online. The “strategies” are quite simple too. Follow the steps below to get started –
- Texas Hold'em game towards the left of the button. The first two players have to place a forced bet, and these are called ‘blinds.’
- Two cards that are ‘hole cards are dealt, and these are visible only to the player’s eyes. After this, the game starts towards the left of the big blind (and goes in the clockwise direction).
- The players can call, raise, or fold, depending on their strategy. After the betting, three cards are placed on the table. This action in Texas Hold'em is called ‘flop.’
- The river (community cards) can be used by all the active players and attempt to make the best poker hand possible.
- Yet another round of betting takes place, and one more card poker is put into the river. This stage in Texas Hold'em is called ‘turn.’ The last community card is dealt with after one more round of betting occurs.
- After the last round of betting, all the active players should display their cards. The player with the best five-card hand wins Texas Hold'em.
The best thing about Hold’em is that you can play it online anytime. You can play Hold’em at Bao Casino.
2. Omaha Hi
Omaha Hi is the second most popular poker games. The ‘Hi’ here means that you have to create the highest hand to take the pot home. PLO or pot-limit Omaha is the most popular form played.
The gameplay is very similar to Texas Hold’em, except here, you are given four hole cards. Again, you try to make the best five-card hand. In Omaha Hi, you have to use only two cards of the four hole cards given to you. From the river of five cards, you can use only three cards. As you might figure out, making a good hand is easier in this game.
However, not all casinos offer this variant of poker games. But you will find it easily online as its popularity has been increasing.
How to Play
If you know how to play Texas Hold’em, you will quickly get Omaha Hi's hang. There is a good chance that there will be more active players than in Hold’em by the showdown. The blockers are more relevant in this game.
- The entire process is very similar to Hold’em. Except here, you will have four hole cards instead of two.
- All the stages are the same, i.e., you have pre-flop, flop, turn, and other stages that a Hold’em game has.
- The bet sizes have a pot-limit.
3. Omaha Hi-Lo
Omaha Hi-Lo, also referred to as Omaha 8-or-Better, belongs to the family of Omahas. In the Hi-Lo variant, the pot is halved between the two players – the one with the highest hand and one with the lowest.
Once the players are dealt with the hole cards, they can try and make a high hand or a low hand. However, the “low” hand has to fulfil certain conditions to win the pot-limit game. The lower hand must consist of new cards that rank lower than 8. So, the lowest possible hand could be Ace, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Meanwhile, the highest best low hand would be 4,5,6,7, 8. The hands are always ranked starting from the highest card.
This variant of Omaha is not as well-known as Omaha Hi. You can find this at popular poker game tournaments and online poker games rooms. Considering the complications involved, it's easy to learn, but you will need to practice playing a few times before getting the hang of it.
How to Play Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo
Playing this could be tricky. The basic gameplay happens exactly like Omaha Hi and Texas Hold’em. The betting rounds, along with the community cards in the river, are just like Omaha. Here too, the stages go pre-flop, flop, turn, river, and showdown.
However, at the showdown stage, the pot is halved among the two winners. The highest hand takes the entire pot if no low hands qualify for it.
Unlike other forms of poker games, bluffing is not a significant part of this game. The players are likely to stick around till the end, as it is possible to win at least a portion of the pot.
4. Seven Card Stud
Before Hold’em came along and stole the show, the Seven Card Stud poker game was the hero. And the gameplay is quite different from the types of poker games that we saw earlier.
In Seven Card Stud, all the players are dealt their own hands. From these cards, some will be placed face-up, while others are hole cards. Learning to play Stud is relatively easy. You have to make the best five-card hand from the cards dealt with you. At the same time, it is difficult to master as you have to guess the strength of your opponent’s hand.
How to Play Seven Card Stud
Here is a quick rundown of how a Seven Card Stud goes.
- All the players are dealt with having to put an ante after they are dealt with their hands. The players receive their two hole cards and a face-up card right after the ante.
- The player with the lowest face-up card starts the game with a small bet (also known as bring-in).
- The betting then continues in the clockwise direction.
- After this, everyone receives another face-up card. At this point, the player whose exposed cards sum up to the highest value must make a small bet (if they wish to).
- For the fifth and sixth street, too, the player with the highest exposed cards makes a move. And for each street, one face-up card is dealt. However, the bets placed here are larger than in previous rounds.
- For the seventh street, the active players receive one face-down card. Here, they are supposed to make the best five-card hand possible with the available seven cards.
- After the final bets are placed, the player with the best poker hand gains the showdown and takes it.
The only problem you will probably encounter is a place that offers Seven Card Stud. As we mentioned earlier, Seven Card Stud has lived past its days of glory. You will find Stud in special Stud tournaments or the tournaments that have all types of poker games.
5. 2-7 Triple Draw
2-7 Triple Draw is a unique form of poker games where the players are dealt try to make a triumphant five-card low hand. Unlike other poker games type that we saw until now, 2-7 Triple Draw has no face-up cards. This means you won’t be able to see other’s cards and nobody can see yours. You get three chances to draw cards and make the best poker hand.
In 2-7 Triple Draw, straights and flushes count against a lowhand. Ace is always a high hand card here. This means that 7,5,4,3,2 is the best hand.
Learning this form of poker game is quite easy once you know what the straights and flushes are. Most probably, you will come across poker games at mixed tournaments.
How to Play
- The game begins to the left of the dealer. The two players must place small or big blinds that are forced bets.
- Five cards are dealt with each player. There are no common cards or face-up cards.
- A betting round takes place, and then players can pick cards that they don’t want (you can discard all five cards or none).
- You can draw new cards to replace the discarded ones.
- In this manner, you get three chances to draw cards and make a good hand. After each draw, a betting round follows.
Some players may not find such poker games as exciting as the other types. They might prefer the games that have higher hands as the winning hands.
6. Five Card Draw
Five Card Draw is a fun and easy type of poker games to play. It is quite easy to learn and play. In this, you get your own hand, and no face-up cards are given. So, you cannot see other players’ cards, and they cannot see yours. This adds fun to the game, as you cannot determine how strong your opponent’s hand is.
You might have probably seen this poker game being played in the movies, TV serials, or you might have played it yourself with friends or family. The easiness of the game makes it ideal for playing anytime, anywhere.
The gameplay is simple. You have to go through only one round of drawing and two betting rounds. The game follows a basic poker game ranking system. The Five Card Draw Poker game rules are quite straightforward.
How to Play Five Card Draw
Go through the steps below, and you will learn to play Five Card Draw poker game in no time!
- Like other poker game types, the game starts from the players to the dealer's left and continues in the clockwise direction. The game kicks off with a small blind and big blind before the players receive any cards.
- After the bets, players are given five-card each.
- Before drawing (during the pre-draw betting), players can call, raise, or fold.
- Other players can draw five-card to replace the discarded ones or choose to keep their original 5 card hand.
- One more betting round happens after the draw. All the active players go for the showdown. The player that has the best five-card hand triumphs.
As you might have observed, this is a very straightforward game. Video pokers at online casinos are based on the same gameplay.
7. 5-Card Omaha
If you love the variants of Omaha, then you will surely love 5-Card Omaha. This is a more thrilling version where you are given five cards to start the hand. However, you have to use two hole card and three community cards to get that victorious pot-grabbing hand. This is more fun than Omaha because here you stand more chances of making the best hand.
Just like the regular Omaha, this game is also played in a pot-limit format. However, you will also come across a no-limit game. Additionally, you will usually find 5-Card Omaha online, where it is quite action-packed and fast-paced.
How to Play
This game is characterized by sudden jerks that might make or mar the chances for you. You need to know the basic poker rankings and rankings of various hands as well. You also need to be cautious while selecting the initial hand and build some amazing post-flop skills.
For the basic gameplay, here are the steps –
- The game is quite similar to Texas Hold’em and Omaha.
- All the players receive five hole cards after the small or big blinds are placed.
- This game, too, starts with the players on the left of the dealer.
- The game goes – flop, turn, and river. And the five cards are dealt as three, one, and one as per the sequence of the streets. Betting rounds take place after each street.
- The active players make it to the showdown. All the active players at this stage reveal their cards, and the best hand wins.
Note that the hand must have exactly two hole cards and three community cards. If you want more action at the table, then this is the one you should go for!
Badugi is quite a unique poker when you compare it to the types of poker we discussed. The uniqueness lies in the ranking that it uses. Learning Badugi can be difficult. The game originated around the 1980s, so it is quite new.
You are likely to find Badugi in mixed poker tournaments and online poker rooms. It does not enjoy the same popularity as Hold’em or Omaha, but it is still fun to play.
Badugi is nothing like your regular poker. In Badugi, you have to make a four-card hand, and the suits are important to the game. The Aces are low cards, and the straights do not go against the low hand. The game aims to make the best hand of four cards of different suits (also make sure you don’t have pairs). This lowest possible hand is called ‘Badugi.’
The hands are ranked from highest to lowest. If players have a common high hand card, then the lowest hand is determined by the second card. If you hold multiple cards of the same suit or a pair, it will count only one of those cards (the higher cards are discounted).
As you might have guessed, a three-card hand would never beat a Badugi, but it can beat a two-card and one-card hand.
How to Play
Here is a quick rundown of a Badugi game-
- The game starts with the players to the left of the dealer. The game starts when the left-side players place the small and big blinds.
- All the players are given four cards. And the players to the left of big blind can call, raise, or fold.
- Other players can draw (there are 3 rounds of draws, a betting round follows each round).
- You can discard all four cards or none at all.
- When a showdown is reached, the player with the lowest hand succeeds.
If you know how to play 2-7 Triple Draw poker, you would have little difficulty understanding Badugi.
HORSE stands for the poker variants Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo, Razz (Stud Lo), Stud, and Eight-or-Better. You will find HORSE in high stakes events and even in WSOP (World Series of Poker). Like you might have figured out, HORSE tests a player’s poker skills.
Getting the hang of this game can be a little difficult as it blends five different poker types. To master a game like HORSE, you must know how the five variants of poker are played.
How to Play
- All the variants are played according to their rules. All the games are fixed pot limit, so the stakes are uniform across the variants.
- The games follow the acronym's sequence: you play Hold’em first, followed by Omaha, then Razz, and so on.
- The game changes after each orbit of the game.
HORSE is an exciting deviation from the mundane regular types of poker.
Razz is a type of Stud Poker, except here in Razz, you try to make the low hand. For Razz, the flushes and straights do not matter. The Ace is a low card, so Razz's best hand would be A, 2, 3, 4, 5.
You will undoubtedly find Razz at a mixed games event, and occasionally, it is played as a separate game.
In terms of learning Razz, this is a simple game. You can easily make the best possible hand from the seven cards given to you. You just have to pick the low, unpaired card and make the lowest hand possible.
How to Play
If you know how to play 7-Card Stud, then you will quickly learn Razz. Here’s how a Razz game goes –
- All the players have to put an ante, and then they receive their two-hole cards and a face-up card.
- Unlike Stud, the player with the highest face-up card goes first and places a small bring-in bet or a whole bet of small increment. The betting is carried on in a clockwise direction.
- The active players receive a second face-up card. Here, the player that has the lowest combo of face-up card goes first. They can place a bet of a smaller increment in the game or check.
- For the fifth and sixth street, a face-up card is given per street. Here too, the players that hold the lowest up cards go first.
- The bets placed during the fifth and sixth streets are bigger than the previous ones.
- For the seventh street, the active players receive final face-down cards. Here, they can make the lowest hand possible. A betting round happens.
- At the showdown, the player that holds the lowest hand wins.
If you are ever bored with the regular Stud, you can always have some fun with Razz.
These were the 10 most popular types of poker that you can try out yourself. For more casino games, you can glance at our guide on Different Types of Casino Games.