When playing poker, you will encounter a variety of variants. These include Hold’em, Five Card Draw, Badugi, and Stud. These variations are discussed later in this chapter. The game of poker can be played in any number of ways, depending on the number of players present. For more than 10 players, two separate games are organized.
Hold’em is a poker game in which players place bets to decide who is the dealer. Each player has a set number of cards that are arranged on a table. The first player to post a bet is called the small blind. After a round of betting, the dealer switches to the next player and the round continues. The next player to post a bet is called the big blind and is typically twice as big as the small blind.
Hold’em is played until one player wins the pot or most players fold. In most variants, the winner receives all the chips, and the remaining players split the pot proportionately. The best hand in a game of Hold’em is when a pair of nines beats a pair of fours, or an ace-high flush beats a King-high-flush.
Five Card Draw
The five-card draw is the simplest variant of poker. It is the basis for video poker and is often the first variation that new players learn. It is commonly played at home, but is rarely played in casinos or in tournament play. Despite its simplicity, five-card draw can be challenging to learn.
When playing this game, players should always play to their strengths. If they have a pair, then they should discard the unpaired card and draw the remaining three cards. Otherwise, players should discard all but one card. Likewise, players with two pair or a trip should discard their other two cards.
Badugi is a draw poker variant similar to lowball and triple draw. The rules of Badugi are similar to lowball, but the blinds are used. The blinds are used to determine how many cards are in the hand. The aim of the game is to win the pot with the best hand.
The low card in Badugi is considered the ace. When a player has a badugi hand, it must be the lowest one to four cards in the player’s hand. If no one else is holding a Badugi hand, then the player with the lowest one to four cards will win. As a general rule, a four-card Badugi hand is the best one, but other full hands can be strong too.
Stud poker is a variation on poker in which players place bets in multiple rounds. These games are generally non-positional, and the player who bets first may change from round to round. In addition to the player with the best hand, a player may also bet an ante. This gave rise to the phrase “ace in the hole”.
The basic rules of stud poker are similar to those of Hold’em and Omaha, but they differ in the betting structure. Hold’em and Omaha players may place bets based on the number of cards in their hand, while Stud players may only be aware of the ones on the board.