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According to multiple statistics, the number of online poker players exceeds 100 million around the world. It’s more challenging to calculate the number of offline poker players, but it is assumed that the figures match.

In the US alone, 15 million people play Poker for real money. UK statistics indicate that between 35% and 40% of poker players participated in tournaments in 2021, both online and physically.

Such numbers emphasize the game’s popularity, and that is no surprise. Poker contains enough variations to cater to an ample palette of tastes. It includes elements of both skill and chance, and engages the competitive side of players, making it widely popular.

What are the most preferred types of Poker, and what makes them so enjoyable? We’ll go through the most popular variants and briefly explain how they work.

Texas Hold’em

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Hold’em has been the number one style of Poker worldwide since the beginning of the game. A classic game in all salons, it is one of the first game suggestions on online casino websites.

Classic Hold’em rules

There are four phases of a traditional Texas Hold’em game:

Pre-flop

The game begins with a pre-flop when every player around the table receives two cards that face down. These are called ‘hole’ cards and are only accessible to the player.

Flop

Afterward, the dealer turns three cards face-up. These are called community cards and are usually placed in the center of the table.

Turn

Bets are placed before and after the flop, and the dealer turns another card face-up. At this point, players can again place bets or fold.

River

The dealer reveals the fifth and last community card, and players get to discover who has the best five-card hand.

The appeal

Texas Hold’em can be spectacular because it can unfold in many different ways, as all players can raise, fold, or call after each phase.

While sometimes, all players fold, leaving the last player standing to collect the chips, other times it can end up in a showdown. That’s the case when two players are still in the game and reveal their cards to see who won.

Texas Hold’em requires skill

You need to master all the five-card combinations to assess your chances correctly. At the same time, reading your adversaries’ facial expressions can help you guess how sure they are of their hand.

Seven-Card Stud

An all-time favorite, the Seven-Card Stud is a close second to Texas Hold’em for many reasons:

It’s exciting to play

As the name suggests, this poker variant requires each player to have seven cards, but these are not all dealt at once.

Firstly, players receive two cards face-down and one card face-up. The two cards are hole cards, and the third is called the door card.

Then, the betting commences, and everyone receives another card. Eventually, each player has three cards facing down and four face-up.

Players show their cards after the last round of betting

So, you must also make the best five-card combination.

The setting is tenser

The Seven-Card Stud is played at smaller tables. Usually, there is a maximum of eight players, but the game can even be played between two people.

It makes the setting much more personal and heightens the tension between opponents.

High Low Chicago

This game is played similarly to Seven-Card Stud. Still, with a surprising twist: players can win either the highest or the lowest hand.

How to play it

Like in the Seven-Card Stud, players have hole cards and door cards in High Low Chicago. But there is a significant difference:

Players are first dealt one card, facing up. The first wager, a bring-in bet, is placed by the player who has the lowest card.

Then, the rest of the players raise, call, or fold. Betting takes place after each round of card-dealing.

You can split the pot

For instance, you get half the pot if you have the lowest or highest spade as part of your hole cards. The player with the next-best hand receives the rest!

Criss Cross

Criss Cross Poker is played with eight cards, meaning that it generally involves six to eight players to maintain fairness.

It’s much different from other Poker variants

Players first receive five cards each, all facing down after placing the ante bets. They can look at their own set of cards but must ensure that other players cannot see their sets.

After inspecting the cards, betting takes place once more, starting with the player who sits on the dealer’s left side.

When the wagering is completed, the dealer places five community cards face-down, in the form of a cross and in the following order:

  • Top
  • Bottom
  • Right
  • Left
  • Centre

Then, the dealer flips over the cards one by one.

Any card can go first apart from the middle one, always turning over last. After turning over each card, betting occurs in the same manner, starting from the dealer’s left side.

The middle card is called Wild

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Players who have the same ranking card in their hand can use the Wild card to complete their hand, in combination with cards that are both in their hands and on the table.

When it comes to the other cards on the board, players may only use three cards from the vertical or the horizontal rows.

Double Cross

The game is a variation of Criss Cross Poker, played as a high-low split. Essentially, the rules are the same as in Criss Cross, apart from the split rules:

Split rules

The pot is always divided in half. There are two winners: the player who has the highest hand and the player who forms the lowest hand. Establishing who wins the pot can be done in two ways:

As a declaration game

Players must declare out loud or use poker chips if they bet on having the highest or the lowest hand.

You cannot win the highest hand or the lowest if you do not previously declare it, even if you make the best or lowest five-card combination.

As a cards-speak game

It is a less strict version: all players reveal their cards at once in a showdown, and the pot splits between the highest and lowest hands.

Going pig

Going pig, scooping, or hogging happens when a player makes both the highest and lowest combinations, thus winning the entire pot.

This is straightforward in a cards-speak game. However, it becomes more complicated in the declaration game, where the player must bet on both lower and higher hands. To win the pot, their hands must be tied to the lower and highest hands present in the game or be higher/lower than these.

If a player bets on making both hands and loses one of them, they will lose the whole bet.

How to choose your perfect Poker variant

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First, base your decision on what you like most about Poker. Is it the skill, the card combinations, or playing your adversaries? These are only a few reasons why Poker is so popular. Once you are sure about your preferences, pick the game that suits your style.

Secondly, find out the different protocols employed at the table or casino you are playing. As described previously, a game of Poker can be played in different ways, and you want to be prepared before you place your bet!

Finally, make sure you are up-to-date about the many Poker variants out there, as the best choices are made in full possession of the facts.

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