Types of Poker Games
While poker has been around for as long as we can remember, it was Chris Moneymaker’s 2003 WSOP Main Event win, after qualifying via online Texas Hold’em tournaments, that started a new poker revolution.
Hold’em is still the world’s most popular poker game, but the best Canadian poker sites offer an eclectic line-up of variants.
Texas Hold’em games see each player receive two private ‘hole’ cards. Players make their best hand of five from those cards and five community cards. Community cards are dealt face-up over several betting rounds. By raising, you can force out opponents without showing your hand, but if two players or more remain at the end, a showdown of the best hands decides the winner.
You can choose between fixed limit, pot limit and no-limit hold’em poker variants.
Omaha is similar to Texas Hold’em, in that players create their best poker hand from a combination of hole cards and community cards. In the case of Omaha, though, you’ll receive four hole cards and must create your best hand using exactly two of those cards, together with three of the five community cards.
Omaha Hi/Lo poker games work like regular Omaha games, with players crafting their best hand of five from four hole cards and five community cards. The difference here is, in the event of a showdown, the pot is split, with half going to the player with the best high hand, and the other half to the player with the best low hand.
If no player has a qualifying low hand (a hand of five cards ranked 8 or below), the player holding the best high hand wins the pot.
Five Card Draw
Five Card Draw poker is a simple variant that does away with community cards and gives you five private cards right from the off. There are two betting rounds, between which players can discard any unwanted cards which are replaced by the dealer. As with many online poker games, it’s possible to bluff your way to success, but the usual hand rankings decide the winner in a showdown.
Seven Card Stud
Before Texas Hold’em reigned supreme, Seven Card Stud was the go-to variant for many poker players the world over. This game sees participants receive three cards at the start, one of which the dealer places face-up. The player with the lowest face-up card kicks off the betting action, which continues until the round is complete.
Players receive another four cards, three face-up and one face-down. In the event of a showdown, the best five-card hand wins.
Razz plays out similarly to regular Seven Card Stud, except this is a lowball take on the variant. This means your aim is to create the lowest possible hand from the seven cards you’ve been dealt. In Razz, aces always play low, and the best hand in the game is A-2-3-4-5, known as a wheel.
HORSE is an acronym that describes a multi-game style of play encompassing five different poker variants: Hold’em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Stud and Eight-or-Better (Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo).
Always played with a fixed limit, a session of HORSE rotates through each of the five different variants. Playing HORSE is an excellent way to mix things up a bit and improve your poker strategy in various games, and you can try it without risking real money at the best free poker sites in Canada.