Did you know there are many types of poker? When you talk to someone about poker today, it is kind of understood that you are talking about Texas Hold’em, a game that has increased in popularity over the last ten years due to such movies as Rounders and the World Series of Poker. Among other types, draw, stud and community card games are the most common. If you are playing at a “friendly” table, the dealer frequently gets to select the game for that hand. Tournaments that have more structure generally set the type at the beginning. Let’s take a look at four commonly played types of poker.

Terminology

First, let’s talk about some of the specific terminology that gets used in poker games. The ante is the minimum amount you have to put into the pot if you want to join the action. A blind is money (usually in chips) that goes on the table before the dealing of the cards. There are generally two blinds (the “small” and the “big”) and they make sure that each hand has some money on the table. Blinds rotate around the table at each deal. When you call at your turn, you show that you are willing to match the current bet level. You can check if there is no new bet and you do not want to raise, which means increasing the bet at the table.

So what are the types of poker? They basically fall into one of three categories. In a stud game, you receive either five or seven cards, and you have to get the best hand possible out of those cards. In a draw game, you can trade in some of the cards that you receive (usually up to three) to get a better hand. A community card game deals “hole cards” that are face down and belong to each player. Players use those cards, along with community cards, to put together a hand. All of the other players can also play off the community cards.

Texas Hold’em

Right now, this is America’s most commonly played poker game. Players each get two “hole cards” and, over four rounds, five community cards are put down. Betting happens after the initial hole card deal, after the first three community cards are dealt (the flop), after the fourth community card is dealt (the turn) and after the fifth community card is dealt (the river). Players make their strongest hands using any combo of the five community cards and their hole cards.

Omaha

This is another version of Hold’em, with games open to between two and ten players. There are also four betting rounds, but with Omaha, each player gets four hole cards, and the five community cards are all dealt at the same time. Players have to use two of their four hole cards and any three of the community cards to make their best hand.

Seven-Card Stud

Each player gets seven cards, with three face down and four up. Players put together their best five-card hand from the seven cards.

Five-Card Draw

Each player gets five cards. However, after the deal, players can trade in as many as three of their cards to see if they can improve their hands.

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