Online Poker

Poker Types

Are you keen to try your hand at a few common poker variations? If so, you have three different forms of poker to choose from; draw poker, stud poker and community poker. While the games that fall into these categories each require knowledge of specific poker rules, objectives and strategies, poker does have several attributes that all games share.

Most poker games are played with five or seven cards. The rankings of the poker hand remains the same regardless of the version being played. Therefore the highest ranking poker hand a player strives for in every poker game is a royal flush, consisting of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10 of the same suit. Even if you find yourself playing a version of poker where the lowest ranking hand wins the pot, the poker hands will remain the same.

The number of betting rounds in a game varies depending on the game being played. In each round, players have the option to remain in the game without betting (check) or put an amount of money into the pot (bet). Players make bets based on the strength of their poker hands and also as a way to encourage their opponents to fold without a good hand, Pretending a hand is favorable is known as bluffing. Once a bet is made, other players can match it (call) to remain in the game or they can increase it (raise) to force others to contribute more to the pot.

Draw poker is the purest form of poker and can be thought of as the game from which all other poker variations have been developed from. While it is not often played online and rarely in casinos, draw poker remains a favorite amongst those players that like to play in home tournaments.

A game of draw poker involves each player being dealt five cards. These cards can be discarded if they are considered unfavorable. When this occurs, the dealer replaces the cards so that at all times each player has five cards in his hand. Two rounds of betting occur in draw poker and players must contribute an "ante" bet at the beginning of each round to signify their participation.

Stud poker is a popular form of poker that has provided several widely played variations including 7 card stud, 5 card stud, Caribbean Stud, Hi/Lo stud and more. The main difference between stud poker and common community card poker games like Texas Holdem and Omaha Holdem is that some cards in stud are dealt face up and some are dealt face down.

Players must make up their poker hand using the cards they are dealt individually plus the community cards dealt. Most stud games have a minimum betting structure and players are required to make a lower bet for the first few rounds before betting a higher minimum bet in the final stages of the game. They also have an "ante" round where players contribute to the pot before the first hand is played.

A popular variation of both 7 card stud and 5 card stud is the hi low variety where each player not only tries to obtain a hand with the highest value but also plays a low valued hand as well.

Community card games such as Texas Holdem are arguably the most popular games found at online poker sites today. These games feature the dealing of one or more community cards in the center of the table. These cards can be used by all players to make up their poker hands. Sometimes a game will have a fixed rule on how many community cards must be used in a poker hand such as in Omaha Holdem. Community card games can be played using a minimum and maximum betting structure and also with a no limit structure. No limit tournaments, where there is no limit to how much the pot can hold, have become particularly popular in recent years amongst Texas Holdem fans.

Naturally, the types of poker tips and strategies a player needs to incorporate into his game plan is highly dependent on the type of game being played. However, some poker skills are necessary to win regardless of the variation. At a basic level, an understanding of poker hands and how they rank is a pre-requisite along with a knowledge of the options a player has in relation to betting.

Bluffing is a popular aspect of poker also and much has been written about the need to adopt a successful "poker face." Individuals will develop their own bluffing techniques based on tone of voice, facial expression and body language. Experienced players advise newcomers to bluff in moderation and to refrain from continuous bluffing in order to avoid developing a reputation as a serial bluffer.

At a higher level, learning how to calculate the likelihood of making specific poker hands as well as calculating the pot odds helps players make crucial decisions in poker games. Often these odds will help to determine the value of staying in a game based on an existing hand and the chance of improving that hand throughout the game. The way most players decide whether a game is worth staying in involves comparing the number of outs relating to a hand (the desirable cards still in the deck) with the ratio of the pot size to the bet. If there is only a slim chance a player will obtain a desired card or combination of cards, he should fold.

To master detailed poker strategies, it is worthwhile studying your chosen game in depth to find out the most recommended courses of action based on specific circumstances.