Major tournaments at world-famous casinos with millions of dollars in prizes, televised around the globe, have made Texas Hold’em Poker one of the most popular card games on the planet. But Texas Hold’em is itself just one variant in the hundreds of community card Poker games available to online gaming enthusiasts.
Poker itself boasts innumerable variations; some used in private home games and others common at land-based, online and mobile casinos. However, all the different versions can be broadly grouped into three categories: stud, draw or community card games. In stud games, players are dealt between 5 and 7 cards usually, and must play the best Poker hand from what they are dealt. In draw games, players are generally dealt only 5 cards, but they can discard some and draw others to replace them, hoping to improve their hand.
Community Card Poker Game Basics
In the third category, community card Poker games, players are dealt a certain number of individual cards, face down, and then a number of cards are dealt face up in the centre of the table, called the board. These are the community cards, which all the players can combine with their hole cards to make winning Poker combinations.
In Texas Hold’em, for example, players are dealt two hole cards face down, and then three community cards, called the flop, are dealt face up on the board. After a round of betting, the fourth community card, the turn, is dealt, followed by another betting round. The river is the fifth and final community card dealt, after which the last round of betting happens and the hole cards are turned over to reveal the winner.
Adjusting Bets along with the Odds
In private home games, all players place an ante before being dealt in, but land-based and online casinos prefer the big and small blind system. Only two players must bet before the hole cards are dealt, each one betting a specified amount that increases steadily throughout the game. Bets are then usually in multiples of the big blind, which is most often double the small blind.
From an experienced player’s perspective, however, the advantage of community card Poker games like Texas Hold’em is the ability to see some of your opponent’s cards, as they are playing with the same community cards as everyone else. Bluffing and betting are integral parts of the game, so players who can read their opponents’ responses to each communal card as it appears are in a better position to know when to raise big, or when to fold.
Plenty of Variations to Choose from
Texas Hold’em may be the most popular community card Poker game around, but it is by no means the only one. The number of hole cards a player receives can vary, as can the number of community cards dealt on the board. Players might be restricted as to the number of cards they can use from the board to make their hands, and the number and limits of the betting rounds can also vary.
Players who are prepared to try different games are sure to find a community card Poker variant to suit them. Versions that they should explore include Omaha Hold’em, Royal Hold’em, Irish Poker, Manila and Pineapple Hold’em, but the listings at their favourite online casinos will include many more.