To the uninitiated, online Poker can seem pretty bewildering – 3 Card Draw, Russian Poker, Video Poker, Texas Hold ‘Em, Pai Gow and many others all vie for your attention. This short piece aims to add some clarity to the issue to help you decide which type is right for you.
First off, what all types of Poker have in common is the scoring system, from a Royal Flush as the highest-scoring hand, through to a High Card as the lowest.
The other facet common to all types of Poker is that they are scored from 5 cards. Yes, there are popular versions which use more than 5, for example Russian Poker carries the option of a 6th card, but players of these variants will still make their hand(s) from their best 5 cards.
The first actual distinction can be made between those types of Poker where you play against other players, and those variants where you simply play against the house. Russian Poker is a good example of the latter (you can play multiple hands in Russian Poker, but all are against the dealer always and not other players).
Poker variants where you’re actually playing against others may be divided into four ‘families’ as follows:
A complete hand is dealt in one round with all the calling and raising/re-raising done in that one round. This includes 3 Card Brag.
Stud variants of Poker such as Caribbean Stud involve cards dealt both face up and face down in a series of rounds called ‘streets’, each of which you can bet on.
A hand is dealt face down, after which you can ‘draw’ or exchange, cards you don’t want. Russian Poker has elements of this because you can ‘buy’ extra cards.
Community Card of ‘Flop’ Poker
Like Stud Poker, you are dealt an incomplete hand, but the ‘upcards’ are dealt in the center and all players can use them simultaneously to make up hand. Texas Hold ‘em and Omaha Poker are popular examples of this. In general these types of Poker are more suitable when you have some experience in other types of Poker.
Be sure to check out our articles on the Rules of Poker, as well as Video Poker, Pai Gow, Caribbean Stud and Russian Poker, not to mention our Poker Strategies where you’ll find useful hints and tips on all these varieties.