Poker has recently made its way from a high-roller pastime to a worldwide spectator "sport", with the World Series of Poker and various other televised events introducing a whole new generation to the game. Poker has even started to produce its own league of global superstars, and the likes of Phil Ivey, Chris Moneymaker and Daniel Negreanu have built huge fortunes and equally large fan followings.
Although the majority of the poker shown on TV is the more mainstream Texas Hold'em Poker, there are a number of different forms of the game that pros like Ivey have perfected and profited from over the years. To help broaden your poker horizons, take a look at this rundown of the best types of online poker.
Texas Hold'em is the epitome of poker, attracting millions of online gamblers every day. Players are dealt two cards, and must then bet, check or bluff their way to victory using the five community cards. These are dealt over four betting rounds, with the Flop (three cards), Turn (one card) and River (one card) all contributing to the eventual outcome. There are now dozens of sites dedicated to the game, with 888 Poker offering a 24/7 online playing environment.
This is a great choice for beginners to Stud Poker, with each player dealt seven cards and tasked with creating the best five-card hand over six rounds of betting. Seven-Card Stud sees each player dealt two cards face down, followed by four face up and one final face down. Whereas players in Texas Hold'em use the same group of community cards, this variation gives each player their own set to deal with, making it even less predictable.
Omaha is similar to Texas Hold'em in many ways, except each player is dealt two extra cards. With four of their own cards, players then go through the same four rounds of betting during the Flop, Turn and River. The key difference between this and other forms of poker is the showdown - players can only use two of their own cards and three community cards, leaving the outcome of the game waiting until the very last minute.
This is a very old form of poker which is simple in design and gameplay, but offers more in terms of strategy and bluffing than first meets the eye. Each player is dealt five cards face-down and is given the opportunity to trade as many cards as they like with the remaining deck, followed by just one round of betting. Bluffing is the key to success in Five-Card Draw, with players able to trick each other based on the amount of cards they take - swapping just one card could either mean a person has a very strong hand, or they are trying to bluff their way to the win.
This is one of the more interesting forms of the game, and whilst the end result is almost identical to Texas Hold'em, the initial stages have earned it the title of "Crazy Pineapple Poker". Players are initially dealt three cards, followed by a round of betting and the Flop. This is followed by one more round of betting, before each player must pick one of their hole cards to burn. Once the players are down to two cards each, the normal Texas Hold'em rules kick in.
Badugi is very different to the other types of poker, and can be quite tricky to master. Players are initially dealt four cards face down, followed by the first round of betting. They can then choose to discard as many cards as they want and swap them with the remaining cards in the deck, before starting another round of betting. The discarding process repeats itself for one more round, as well as a final round of betting before the showdown.
Whilst Badugi betting sounds simple enough, it gets slightly harder when deciding on the winner. Unlike the majority of poker games, the winner here is the person with the lowest "four-hand" draw - to qualify, all four cards must be a different suit, making the ultimate winning hand an Ace of Clubs, Two of Diamonds, Three of Hearts and Four of Spades. If no one has achieved "Badugi", it goes to the lowest three-card, two-card and one-card hands.
This is a more simple form of poker, where each player is dealt five cards before five community cards are dealt face-down on the table. The dealer then turns over each community card one by one, with a round of betting in between each turn. The winner is the player with the highest five-card hand, which can be made up of any combination of hole and community cards.
As you can see there are plenty of different types of online poker to keep you entertained, and if you want to try some of them out before hitting the casino, head over to 888 Poker today!