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different poker variations

When you step up to a poker table at a brick-and-mortar casino or open up the poker section at the Sloto Cash casino you’ll find numerous options from which to choose. You may have simply wanted a simple game of 5-card Draw but as you face the list of choices, you may feel overwhelmed.

There are similarities between the different selections but there are some core differences as well. Check out the pros and cons of each type of poker before you make your cash slots choice.

Texas Hold 'em

Texas Hold ‘em Poker is the most-often played poker variation both online and in-person. It’s the version played in the World Series of Poker so if you master it, you could be on your way to something big. At the beginning of the game each player receives two “down” cards and then receives five “open” cards which are placed face up in the middle of the table. Players aim to form the best five-card hand possible using their own two cards and the five "community cards" that sit in the middle of the table.

Players may raise, call or fold and after the first betting round, 3 more cards are placed on the table (the “flop”). Following a second betting round, another community card is placed on the table (the “turn”), another betting round ensues and a final betting round is followed by the final “river” community card. Round 4 of betting happens and players who haven’t folded until now show their cards. The player who has the best poker hand (5 cards made up of any combination of their 2 hole cards and 5 community cards) is the winner.

There are a lot of reasons that Texas Hold’em is the most popular.  It’s easy to learn and it’s relatively simple to find tutorials (books, articles and videos) that teach the basics of the game along with strategy and technique. It’s challenging yet has rules and gameplay that are accessible to anyone. You can bluff if you’re playing in-person and allows you to enjoy wins even if you’re not an expert.

On the downside, if you’re playing in person, you’ll find that that easy accessibility to tutorials that was a benefit to you is now a disadvantage because now, everyone has access to those same tutorials and has learned those same strategies. So unless you’re a true expert, you might be better off playing a Texas Hold’em video poker machine.

Omaha Hi

Omaha Hi is a relatively new addition to the poker line-up at the casino but it’s highly recommended by poker pros who suggest it as a pot-limit game that’s similar to Texas Hold ‘em but has the added element of 4 cards being dealt to each player instead of 2.

As with Texas Hold’em, players still try to make the best 5 card hand but when the showdown comes, they will be using only 2 of their 4 hole cards and 3 of the 5 community cards. It makes it easier to build a good hand because the player receives more cards at the beginning of each hand since the number of possible 2-hold card combinations increases by 6.

On the flip side, the variance is higher in Omaha Ha than it is in other poker variations because equities between hands often run closer together. It is possible to use different combinations of the hole cards to improve the strength of their hand.

5-Card Draw

5-Card Draw is probably one of the most uncomplicated poker variations but that may take some of the excitement out of the game for some people. Others, however, prefer the simplicity of simply building the highest-ranked 5 card poker hand possible. The game is played with each player receiving 5 cards which remain hidden from other players.

So, if you’re playing against other players in person, this is a great game for bluffing! Each player tries to build the strongest hand possible but has no idea of how that hand will fare against the hands of other players. There are 2 betting rounds in 5-Card Draw and many players enjoy it because it’s a fast-moving game that moves from one hand to the next quickly.

Added to the mix is the advantage that you have “one shot” to draw new cards and see if you can improve your hand.

5-Card Draw isn’t for everyone. Some poker enthusiasts don’t like 5-Card Draw because it’s so hard to deduce the strength of opponents’ hands since there’s nothing to go by except the number of cards drawn and bet sizings.

7-Card Stud

Stud poker was once the most popular form of poker and it’s still the preferred variation among many dedicated poker enthusiasts. As in 5-Care Draw, each player in Stud receives his/her own individual hand – some cards are face-up and others are face-down.

Like 5-Card Draw, in 7-Card Stud you aim to create the best 5-card hand but you have 7 cards with which to do it. Some players have trouble mastering 7 card Stud because they find it hard to gauge the strength of their own hand while others are looking at some of their cards, while trying to measure the strength of opponents’ hands.

The game starts when everyone puts in an ante and receives one face-up card and two face-down cards. Whoever has the lowest face-up card starts by either making a “complete” bet or a “bring-in” bet. After betting everyone receives a 2nd face-up card and new bets are made. A 3rd face-up card is dealt, everyone bets and everyone is dealt another face-down card. Betting, another card and all players receive their final card as a face up card.   The player with the best 5-card hand out of the 7 cards that they were dealt wins.

The game is a favorite among many players because they like being able to see 4 of their opponents’ 7 cards. However, the limit-betting structure of 7-Card Stud means that profits made are limited.


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