Popular Casino card games
Today, when someone asks if you play poker, they generally mean Texas Hold ‘Em – a game that’s become increasingly popular over the past decade thanks to the World Series of Poker and movies like “Rounders.”
But there are many versions and variations of poker, the main types being stud, draw and community card games. At “friendly” tables, the dealer often has the choice of deciding the type of game. More structured tournaments usually specify the format from the get-go.
Below are a few of the most popular versions of poker that you may encounter at your weekly dealer’s-choice poker game. If you don’t know these, you’ll be at a disadvantage when something wild (like FOLLOW THE QUEEN!) is called.
Common terms you should know
Before we dive in to the specific games, there are a few terms every player (and prospective player) needs to know.
Ante – the minimum amount you must gamble to get into the action of the game
Blinds – money (generally in chip form) put on the table before the cards are dealt; there are typically two blinds (called the “small” and the “big”) and ensure money is being wagered with each hand; blinds rotate from player to player with each new deal
Call – when a new wager has been placed, a “call” indicates that player’s willingness to match the raised amount
Check – if no new wager has been made and the player doesn’t wish to raise, they may “check”
Raise – the player wishes to increase the table bet
Popular poker games
In “stud” games, players are dealt a number of cards (typically 5 or 7) and must use those original cards to make their best hand.
In “draw” games, the players may decide to trade in some of their cards (generally up to 3) in an effort to improve their hand.
In “community card” games, the players are dealt “hole cards” face down (cards that are uniquely theirs) then play off the community cards to make their best hand. What makes them “community cards?” The other players at the table also may play off them.
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