At its core, poker is a card game where players compete to make the best hand possible, betting at various points throughout the round — usually based on the strength of their cards — until it’s time to show their hands. The winner is determined by the highest ranking hand, taking the pot for themselves.
There are countless variants of this classic card game, several of which are offered at the best poker sites. You can find the basics of each below.
One of the most popular variants played around the world is Texas hold’em. It’s usually what you’ll see the pros playing in poker tournaments, and is offered in brick-and-mortar casinos too. A community card game, Texas hold’em involves five ‘community’ cards dealt face up — players use these in combination with their own two ‘hole’ cards to make the best five-card hand they can.
Omaha plays out just like Texas hold’em, except players are dealt four hole cards each instead of two. Their hands must be made up of precisely two of their hole cards and three of the five community cards.
There’s also Omaha Hi-Lo, where the pot is shared between the best high hand and the best qualifying low hand.
Draw poker refers to any type of poker where players are dealt a complete hand before betting begins. They can then swap cards and ‘draw’ new ones, trying to create the best hand in time for the showdown. Five-card draw is the most popular type of draw poker, but there are many different variants to play, each with their own nuances.
The main thing that differentiates stud poker from other types is players are dealt a mix of face-up and face-down cards over a number of rounds, with betting following each. As with all variants, the goal is to hold the best hand at the end. A few stud poker games include five-, six-, and seven-card stud, Razz, and Caribbean stud, which is played against the house.