Why are there so many different versions of poker?

Poker vector chipOver the years, poker has grown to be one of the world’s most popular card games, seeping into our cultural consciousness in movies, books, and television.

It is a game that is not only played in casinos around the world, but also in private homes. It is also a game that is hugely popular online with enormous international tournaments now held frequently.

It is generally accepted that the game of poker evolved in the casinos of New Orleans in the United States in the 1820s. It spread throughout the rest of the United States through the riverboats that plied the Mississippi river – gambling was often the most popular pastime aboard. From the Mississippi, it was the gold-rush that saw poker players move west across the country where it became an integral part of the hard-bitten, pioneer ethos of the frontier.

Throughout the years the game continued to evolve – different scoring hands were added, such as the flush and the straight, and then variations such as stud poker, lowball, spit-pot poker, and community card poker were developed.

In this article we’re going to take a look at some of these different variations of the game of poker to help you know how to play whenever you take your seat at a poker table.

There are four main families of poker games, determined by the protocols relating to the dealing of the cards and the way that bets are placed.

Straight Poker

In Straight Poker each player is dealt a complete hand and then the players at the table all be in one complete round (although raising and re-raising is allowed during this round). This is the traditional form of the game from which other variations have since evolved.

Stud Poker

When playing Stud Poker, the cards are dealt in a combination of face-down and face-up rounds (also referred to as streets) with a round of betting following each round of dealing. Seven-card Stud is the popular form of poker played around the world and is generally the style of poker that you will see played in casinos. Seven-card Stud Poker sees an extra two cards being dealt to each player (which means you get three face-down and four face-up) and from the seven cards that have been dealt, each player must make-up the best possible five-card hand that they can.

Draw Poker

In this version of the game, a complete hand of cards is dealt to each player. All cards are dealt face-down. After betting, players attempt to improve their hand by discarding unwanted cards and being dealt new ones.

Community Card Poker

In this style of poker, which is a variation of Stud Poker, the players are dealt an incomplete hand of face-down cards. At the same time there are a number of face-up community cards placed in the centre of the table. Players then use the community cards to try and make the best hand possible. Texas Hold’em is a popular version of Community Card Poker.

Now you’re ready to take your seat at any poker table around the world.

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