What Are The Most Popular Forms of Poker?

Poker has been around for centuries, and the game has undergone a number of modifications in that time. The modern version of poker has remained relatively stable, however, allowing players to develop tactics and a skillset without constantly having to adapt to new rules.

In this article, we’ll look at the most popular types of poker currently available. Whether you’re playing online, at a land-based casino, or in your friend’s dining room, these are the games you can expect to find.

The Four Families

Poker games can be placed into four broad categories. While there are exceptions, this rule applies to most versions.

Community Games – Each player receives individual face-down cards, and then several face-up cards are dealt and shared by all players. The objective is to make the best possible hand using a combination of personal and community cards. The most popular example of this category is Texas hold’em.

Stud Poker – Cards alternate between being dealt face-down and face-up. Rounds of betting follow each card being dealt. Seven-card stud is a popular example.

Straight Poker – Players receive their cards and then a round of betting follows. Since this game is so straightforward and allows for little skill, it isn’t used as much as the other types of games.

Draw Poker – After each player receives their hand, they have the option of exchanging some or all of their cards for new ones. An example of this game is five-card draw.

Popular Poker Games

Texas Hold ‘em – Currently the most popular poker game around, Texas hold’em requires players to make the best possible hand by using their two hole cards and the five community cards. The no-limit version is the best known, but other versions also exist.

Omaha – The player receives a total of four cards, while the community pile is made up of five cards. Each player must create their best hand by using a combination of two of their own cards and three from the community pile. A number of variants exist, including Pot-limit Omaha and Omaha Hi-low Split-8 or Better.

Seven-card Stud – Players receive a total of four up cards and three down cards. Betting occurs between each round of cards being distributed. Seven-card stud is popular in both casino and home games, and it is most commonly played with two to nine players. One popular variant, Mississippi Stud, reduces the number of betting rounds by one.

Five-card Draw – One of the most basic types of poker, five-card draw is a popular option for home games. Players receive five cards, and then they can exchange one or more to improve their hand. If the initial hand is strong, players can also elect to keep these cards.

There are hundreds of other poker variations out there, but the games listed above are the ones you’re most likely to encounter. Some professionals master a number of these games, while others focus their attention on one. Whichever path you choose, rest assured that your hard work and patience will pay off over time.