Welcome to the sport of Poker. We'll start by learning about several different ways to play the sport. We will learn about the variations of game modes, scoring, and betting. Here's a picture of one example of a game of poker (Texas Hold'em, currently the most popular version).
There are four main categories of poker: draw games, stud games, community card games, and a miscellaneous category which includes creative games that fall into none of the previous three categories.
Below are some of the most popular poker games:
A draw game involves a player being allowed to trade in or "draw" several cards to get the best hand possible. The most commonly played draw games are five card and seven card draw.
In both versions, a player is dealt either five or seven cards and then is allowed to exchange up to three of them to the dealer to get a fresh three cards.
Stud games differ from draw games in that you are not allowed to trade in any cards and your final hand will include all of your original cards.
A stud game can be easier for someone who does not know poker very well because not as many choices need to be made. When dealt a hand, a player just has to worry about whether or not to fold or play the hand. That differs from a draw game, where it is necessary to strategize which cards to keep and trade in.
The skill required in this type of poker game is considerably less than ones where more choices are needed.
In a community card game, there are two different types of cards that are used. Each player is dealt their own cards which only they can use (hole cards) as well as cards that are dealt which are usable by every player in the game.
The most commonly played game of poker, Texas Hold'em is a community card game and has two hole cards and three community cards.
The previous three categories cover most of all poker games, but there are several that fall outside that realm and are creative games that generally would not be played in a casino.
An example is the game "in between", where two cards are placed down and a player is allowed to make a bet if they think the third card will be numerically in between the previous two.
Another potential part of such games is wild cards, which are cards that are agreed upon to be allowed to be played as any card.
When you play more than one type of poker game in one sitting, it is called a mixed game. The most commonly played mixed game is H.O.R.S.E, which consists of: Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Seven Card Stud (low hand wins), Seven Card Stud (high hand wins), and Seven Card Stud (hi/low split).
On top of the four main categories, each poker game mode can be differentiated by the scoring of the game as well. While most poker games are played with a high hand winning the round, there can also be a low hand winner and a high/low split. Each version is clearly established at the start of every poker game. Below is an image showing the best poker hands (high hand), with the low hand scoring just being the reverse order.
A high hand is the most common way to score a poker game. The best poker hand wins the round.
Rather than the best poker hand winning the round, it is the worst hand that wins and players will strive to have the weakest possible hand.
A combination of the above two scoring types, it involves a split of the pot between the player with the best poker hand and the player with the worst poker hand.
Poker games also differ by how you can bet on them. There are different structures within each game mode.
An ante is how much you have to pay in order to play the game of poker. There is no fixed ante for all of poker, it varies game by game.
Pot limit refers to putting a limit on how much one can bet - as much as what is currently in the pot. The alternatives to pot limit are either no limit or a custom limit.