Poker variants: Shared Poker games
Hold’em Poker is one of the most popular shared poker games. Among the best known are probably the variants Texas Hold’em and Omaha Hold’em. “Shared” stands for “shared” in the sense of sharing. In shared poker games, community cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table and can be used by all players to put together their best poker hand. However, the basis for each poker hand is the face-down hole cards that the players hold in their own hand. The respective game variant determines how many community cards a player can use. In Texas Hold’em, players can use five hole cards in the river and four hole cards in Omaha Hold’em. But in Omaha Hold ’em, players may use two of their own cards and three community cards to form a poker hand. Omaha Hold ’em is also known as High or High-Low 8 or Better also called Omaha/8.
Chinese Poker is a very interesting variation of Hold’em Poker, as the maximum of four players are dealt 13 playing cards, with which they must make up three different poker hands called the front hand, middle hand and back hand. Two of the hands consist of five cards and one of three cards. Although the game is extremely popular in Southeast Asia under the name Lousong Pai Jiu, it is also occasionally played in the American state of Hawaii under the name Pepito. It is also known in Russia and Finland. There is another variation of Chinese Poker, Open Face Chinese Poker. Here the poker game begins with five cards for each player to be assigned and then the other cards are drawn in turn. Although Open Face indicates that there is a face up hand, this is not the case.
Pineapple is played according to the rules of Texas Hold’em, but before the first round of betting, one of the received playing cards must be discarded. There is a variant of this game called Crazy Pineapple. The difference is that players keep the first dealt playing cards until the end of the second round of betting. Then, just before the fourth playing card is dealt, the remaining players must discard one card. Other variations of Pineapple are Crazy Pineapple Hi-Lo 8 or higher and Pineapple Open Face Chinese Poker, which is played with a maximum of three players.
There are a number of Hold’em variations that are named after large cities. Cincinnati Poker is initially played with six betting rounds and five playing cards, which can all be combined with the five community cards at the end to create the best hand. Houston Hold’em Poker begins with three cards for each player and after each round of betting two community cards are dealt, then another and finally a fourth playing card before the final round of betting. Manila Hold’em is also known as Seven Up Poker and is a popular game in Australia. In this variant, all playing cards smaller than eight are discarded. Five betting rounds take place and at the end, players can use their two playing cards and three community cards to form their best hand. In London Bridges Poker, five community cards are dealt and there is one round of betting less. This variation is interesting because all Aces, Deuces and Trees count as wild cards.
Still other variants become known by country or region, which most probably indicate their origin. Yukon Hold’em is a younger variation and is popular in North America and Canada and is a mixture of Texas and Omaha Hold’em. Irish Hold’em Poker is also played according to this mix, but it starts with four playing cards for the players, two of which must be discarded after the flop. Mexican Hold ’em is played with 41 cards, as 8s, 9s and 10s are discarded and a joker is added. Best poker hand here consists of four aces and the joker. Mexican Hold ’em starts with Fixed Limit and then moves to No-Limit.
The next Hold’em variations each have a trick and show that Hold’em Poker is the most popular poker variation for game variations. In Double Flop Hold ’em, three community cards are dealt twice, in parallel, called the top and bottom boards. This results in double chances for players to form their hand with their two hand cards. There is a winner for each board, a split pot, but there is also the possibility that one player wins both boards. Elevator Poker can be played by two to ten players. They play with seven community cards face down that are laid out in the form of an H and four hand cards – two of which are face up. Gradually the community cards are revealed, with the middle card in the H being called the Elevator card. This can be moved up or down in the showdown to form the best hand. The Hold’em variant The Cross is also based on a form – the cross, in which the five community cards are laid out. One by one, the cards are turned over from the outside to the inside, with the middle card last. Players must make the best hand from these and their four hand cards and announce whether they are playing high or low pot. Royal Hold’em Poker, finally, is played with a maximum of six players and only 20 playing cards – the card values two to nine are sorted out.
Special Poker variants
In the following collection of special poker variants there are poker games that can be described as interesting to weird. Nevertheless, they are extremely entertaining for players who dare to play them. They are often and combinations of poker variations.
The best known of these is probably H.O.R.S.E, as it is even played in the World Series of Poker. This poker game is a mixture of the poker variants H – for Texas Hold’em, O – for Omaha, R – for Razz; S – for Seven Card Stud and E – for Seven Card Stud 8 or better. These poker variants are changed in a certain order and the blinds also increase after a certain time.
Badugi, also known as Padooki, has completely different values of the hands. It is played with four betting rounds and after the third round, players can exchange any number of playing cards. In the showdown all pairs or playing cards of the same suit are not counted. Badugi is played Lowball. Baduci is a mixture of Badugi and Deuce to 7 Triple Draw Poker. Two poker hands win – one from Badugi and one from Deuce to 7, but preferably both. Billabong Poker begins with three playing cards for each player, one of which is face up. Four community cards are placed on the table to form the best hand. Double Suck is slightly different from other poker games because players are only dealt three playing cards at a time. The community cards, however, consist of five pairs of two cards, with the first pair of cards face up and the other pairs are revealed after each subsequent betting round. The best hand is formed by your own and one of the pairs. But the weirdest is probably Indian Poker, sometimes called Blind Mans Bluff. Here you see your opponents’ cards, but not your own. After the single playing card is dealt, you must show it to your opponents and then bet. The highest card wins and in the next game the cards already used are not shuffled again. Thus the pile of cards becomes smaller and smaller. This simple poker variant should be especially funny in a social round.
This compilation is certainly not complete – there are certainly countless other variants and variations. It is certain that no other parlour game can show such a variety. The compilation gives however a good overview of how varied the Pokerspiel is today and that nobody needs to be afraid, times to begin with it. The fewest Poker variants are played by the way as tournament variants but most are simply pure pleasure for lovers of the Pokergame.