The main poker variations
This article explains the three main poker variations: Texas Hold'em, Omaha High and 7-Card Stud. It is part of the evolution of a poker player to learn and master new poker variations.
Hold'em poker is one of the most popular if not the most popular poker game in the world. In the game of Texas Hold'em, players will be dealt two hole cards and five community cards. The community cards are dealt face-up on the middle of the table. Your hand is determined by using the best five of all seven cards. In case of a showdown, the best hand wins the pot.
There will be four rounds of betting in Hold'em. In the Limit Hold'em variant, one bet and three raises are allowed for each betting round. To continue playing, players must call all action to them on each betting round unless they are already all-in (in which case a side pot needs to be created). Below are the steps in playing Hold'em:
Before dealing the cards, two blinds the small and the big blind, are placed in the pot by the two players to the left of the dealer.
All players are dealt two face-down cards known as hole cards. The action starts with the player to the left of the big blind by either folding, calling, or raising and continues in a clockwise fashion. The dealer then turns over three board cards to be utilized as community cards. These 3 cards are called the flop. This is the second betting round. Beginning with this round of betting the player to the left of the dealer plays first.
The dealer then turns over another community card known as the turn (fourth street). He finally turns over the last card known as the river card (fifth Street). After the betting is over, the best hand wins the pot if more than one player is left in the hand.
Like with Texas Holdem Poker, the players share five community cards in Omaha Poker. These cards are dealt face-up on the center of the felt. But unlike Holdem, players begin with 4 hole cards (cards not shown). In addition they have to use exactly two of their hole cards along with 3 of the 5 board cards in order to make their hand. This is somehow confusing for Texas Holdem players who are used to take either 0, 1 or 2 of their hole cards to make their hand.
Like in Holdem though, there are four betting rounds in Omaha. Before dealing the cards, the small blind and big blind are put in the pot by the two players on the dealers' left. All new players sitting at a game must also post a big blind, or wait for their turn to be the big blind. Each player is dealt four hole cards. The player to the left of the big blind starts by folding, calling the big blind (limping), or raising. Betting continues clockwise. This is the first betting round.
Three cards are then dealt face-up, this is the flop. From this round of betting and throughout the remaining betting, the action starts with the player to the left of the dealer (the one with the button).
Then the turn and river cards are dealt, and the betting takes place like in Texas Holdem. After all betting is over and if there is a showdown (more than one player left), the strongest hand takes the pot.
Seven Card Stud
Seven Card Stud is also a very common form of poker (it used to be the most popular variant, but nowadays it is Holdem). In 7-Card Stud, players will be dealt seven cards, three face down cards and four face up cards. Your hand is determined by using the best five of your seven cards.
There are five betting rounds in Seven Card Stud, with one bet and three raises allowed at each betting round. To stay in the game, players must call all action to them on each streets (betting round). Below are the steps for playing Seven Card Stud.
In 7 Card Stud, position does not matter. That is why all players ante the same bet before the cards are dealt, and there no blinds. Each player is dealt three cards, two face down and one face up called third street. The first player to act is the one with the lowest third street, clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades being the order of suit strength in case of equal card value between two players. He must bet the bring-in bet in order to stay in the hand.
Then another card is dealt face-up, called fourth street. From then on, the highest hand showing will start the action by checking or betting. If a pair is showing on fourth street, players will have the option to make a single or double bet. If you wish to raise and your opponent makes a single bet, you may raise a single or double bet. Whenever your opponent gets into a double bet, you are only allowed to raise him by the same number of chips in case you decide to take that path.
Another card is dealt face-up. This is called fifth street, the third round of betting - which doubles - and continues at this amount for the remaining betting rounds. Another card is dealt face-up. This is sixth street. The final card is then dealt face down. This last card is also known as the river card or seventh street.
Upon completion of the final round of betting, the best hand wins the pot. The antes, bring-ins, and betting limits will be determined by the size of the particular game.
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