No matter which poker site you choose to play at, you’re going to find there are heaps of different types, each with unique rule sets. Here’s what you need to know about some of the most common kinds of poker.
Straight poker is probably what you think of when you think of poker. The oldest variety of poker sees every player dealt a complete hand at the beginning of the game. Every player bets in a single round, with raising and re-raising allowed, and the best hand wins. As its name may hint, straight poker is very straightforward compared to other types of poker, so strategy isn’t as important.
Stud poker has been enjoying a bit of a resurgence online; amongst Australian poker players, it remains a popular, if somewhat complex, variety of poker. While stud poker is not as common at poker sites as some of the other types on this list, it should still be fairly easy to find.
Before the game begins, each player places an ante. Players are then dealt a mix of face-down and face-up cards. What follows this is the “bring-in”, where the player with the weakest face-up card is meant to place a small bet, though they are not forced to. If players have a similar card, the player closest to the dealer places the bet.
Rounds of stud poker in which players get new cards from the dealer are called “streets”. On the third round, “Third Street”, each player receives a third face-up card. The betting round is initiated by the player with the strongest face-up card. The game players out similarly in the next round, the “Fourth Street”.
The last round, where a punter gets their last face-up card, is called “the river”. This round follows the same pattern as the others, but it can end up being a lot more exciting. Players can challenge each other on a showdown, with the winner being the player who remains with the strongest hand.
Texas Hold’em is the poster child of the poker boom, with every poker site offering multiple tables of what has been the most popular game variety for almost two decades.
In every round, each punter is dealt two “hole” cards fade-down, as well as five face-up “community” cards. The game progresses as follows: a series of three cards (“the flop”), an additional single card (“the turn” or “Fourth Street”), and a final card (“the river” or “Fifth Street”).
The first player seated to the left of the dealer – “the blind” – places a bet, half of the bet limit, before the other punters can look at their cards. The second player on the left – “the big blind” – does this as well, but their bet needs to meet the limit. There are typically only two blinds, but there can be as many as three. After this, the remaining players place their bets. Each must either check, fold, call, or match the bets placed by the blinds.
After betting, the community cards are placed on the center of the table, which each player using them to add to their hole cards and make a full hand. In order to win the pot, players must have the strongest hand.
Omaha is very similar to Texas Hold’em, with the key difference being that punters get four hole cards instead of two. However, as with Texas Hold’em, they’re only able to make use of two of those four cards to make their hand – they must use three of the community cards.
Many poker sites offer a version of Omaha called Omaha Hi-Lo, a version of Omaha where players compete for both the high and low ends of the pot. The high end of the pot follows the same rules as normal Omaha, while the low end of the pot challenges players to use the lowest cards possible. An ace can act as the lowest card in the game, so the best hand when going after the low pot is an ace, a two, a three, a four, and a five.