There have been many attempts to cash in on the Poker craze with table games that use the word in their title, but are not in fact real poker. Many online casinos seem to offer dozens of exotic variations of the game – and whilst they’re all great fun, they are not Poker in the true sense of the word.
This is because real Poker involves pitting your cash and wits against other players, rather than the house. Typically played using the Texas Hold ‘Em variant, genuine poker also comes in the form of 7 or 5 Card Stud, Omaha, Razz and Horse. All of these involve successive betting rounds where you’ll either fold, raise, call or check – with no limit games offering huge potential gains or losses.
However, many people want some action at the tables that replicates the excitement of a real poker game without the years of practice needed to become proficient. If this sounds tempting then why not try the following games:
Draw poker comes in many forms, usually with 3 cards. Some games will let you play multiple hands, but the basics never change: You’ll put forward an ante (a compulsory amount to aid the flow of the game and discourage inactive play) and are dealt a hand face up, with the dealer’s face down. You decide whether to bet more or fold, and the dealer will reveal his cards if you decide to bet, with the winner taking double his stake.
In Caribbean Stud Poker you pay an ante and you’re then dealt a hand that you may look at - and the dealer gives himself 5 cards, all face down except one. You then choose whether to put a chip into the progressive jackpot box: This qualifies you for a jackpot that’ll be slowly increasing as you play, but has nothing to do with the rest of the game, which continues as you decide whether to bet or fold. If you bet, the dealer reveals his hand and winner takes all.
The last main variant is Pai Gow, in which after paying your ante you’re dealt 7 cards face up, with the dealer taking 7 face down. You can increase your bet if you wish, and will then rearrange your cards into a hand of 2 and a hand of 5, both of which must rank higher than those of the dealer to win. A win and a loss means bets are returned; a loss and a tied hand counts as a win for the dealer.
If you find videopoker a little antisocial or rudimentary but consider Hold ‘Em a little too serious, then these games might be ideal for you.
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