Poker is an immensely popular card game that has its origins in North America. It is played across the world today in traditional casinos, homes and on the Internet.
The game has been around for ages and can be traced back to the 17th century or even earlier. Many believe that the game as we see it today, was derived from Poque, a French parlour game.
It was brought to the American shores by French sailors and traders at the port of New Orleans. It was played with a 20-card deck that gradually evolved into the 52-card deck that we have today.
There are various forms of poker but all of them require players to make bets against one another. Players call the bet, raise the bet, or concede, depending upon the value of their poker hand.
Ever since the advent of online poker in the 1990s, the popularity of the game has been on the rise. According to Gammastack, there has been a 30% increase in traffic witnessed by online poker sites in the last two years.
Poker games are so popular because they are entertaining and do not call for advanced skills. They offer the players the perfect opportunity to try their luck to win big money.
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With so many forms of the game available for online poker enthusiasts, it can be confusing. However, the many poker games can be classified on the basis of game variations and scoring variations.
When classified on the basis of game variations, there are four different forms, as mentioned below.
a] Draw Poker
A popular type of poker, draw poker allows players to draw a set of cards at the beginning of the game. The goal is to draw either 5 or 7 cards (five card or seven card draw) to get the best possible hand.
Poker games under this category allow players to exchange a maximum of three cards to get fresh cards from the dealer. A Draw game calls for strategizing in order to take a call on the cards to exchange (if any).
Examples: Badugi, California High/Low Split, Kansas City Lowball, Seven-Card Draw
b] Stud Games
A Stud game of poker eliminates the provision to exchange cards. The player must play with the initial hand of cards they are dealt.
Stud games are relatively easier to play as there is no room for strategies and it is based on sheer luck alone.
Examples: Wild Cards, Canadian Stud, New York Stud, Five-Card Stud
c] Community Card Games
Community card games involve two sets of cards – hole cards and community cards. Hole cards can be used only by the respective players while community cards can be used by others in the game.
Examples: Texas Hold’em Poker, Irish Poker, Omaha Hold’em
You can also have Miscellaneous games that do not fall into any of these types. Then there are Mixed games that bring together more than one draw type, and H.O.R.S.E. is a good example.
The method of scoring defines the winner of the game. Based on the scoring variations, poker games can be classified as follows:
a] High Hand Games
Based on the standard ranking of poker hands, a High Hand game is one in which the players with the best hand wins. This is the most common method of scoring used in poker games.
Examples: Texas Hold’em, Seven-Card Stud,
b] Low Hand Games
This is exactly the opposite of High Hand poker, and the player with the weakest hand wins. It is also referred to as Lowball poker.
Examples: California Lowball, Deuce-to-Seven Lowball, Razz
c] Hi/Lo Split Games
As the name suggests, the Hi/Lo Split game is a combination of High Hand and Low Hand variations. It involves the prize money being equally divided between the players with the highest and lowest hand.
Examples: Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo, Omaha High-Low
Popular Online Poker Games
The most popular poker games available online today fall under one or more of the types of poker mentioned above. The future of online poker looks bright with advanced technology like Virtual Reality (VR) coming into the picture.
Poker live streams will be the norm in the future along with enhanced gaming experience for mobile poker. This will ensure that poker enthusiasts can have an unparalleled gaming experience from the comfort of their homes.