Navigating the world of poker might feel like walking on a bed of nails, but don’t fret. With the right guide, anyone can learn and appreciate the diverse selection of games within this realm. This write-up aims to be that guide, highlighting ten poker games particularly well-suited for those just dipping their toes into the fascinating pool of poker.
A common entry point for many poker enthusiasts, Texas Hold’em is known for its straightforwardness. Each player gets two private cards while five community cards are dealt face up on the “board.” The objective is to make the best five-card poker hand from the seven cards available. Understanding the hierarchy of hands and a bit of strategy can give you an enjoyable start, even if you are playing poker online.
Omaha, often referred to as Omaha Hold’em, is another popular variant. Similar to Texas Hold’em, each player is dealt four private cards instead of two. However, a player must use exactly two of their private cards and three of the five community cards to make the best hand. This game adds a layer of complexity to the Texas Hold’em structure, but remains accessible for beginners.
Before the rise of Texas Hold’em and Omaha, Seven-Card Stud reigned supreme. Each player is dealt seven cards throughout the hand, but only the best five-card hand counts. Unlike the previous games, Seven-Card Stud doesn’t involve community cards, which places more emphasis on remembering discarded cards and adapting strategies accordingly.
This is as traditional as poker gets. Each player gets five cards, and they have the opportunity to draw from the deck to replace cards in their hand. The simplicity of Five-Card Draw makes it a good option for beginners, while also teaching the importance of betting strategy.
Razz is a unique variant of Seven-Card Stud. Instead of aiming for the best high hand, players try to make the best low hand. This reversal of traditional poker goals offers beginners a fresh perspective on hand values and strategic approaches.
Pineapple Poker adds an exciting twist to Texas Hold’em. Players start with three hole cards, choosing one to discard after the flop. The additional card introduces more possibilities and a greater variety in hand outcomes, making the game even more engaging.
H.O.R.S.E is a mixed game, incorporating Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Razz, Seven-Card Stud, and Eight-or-Better (a type of Hi-Lo Split). It’s an excellent game for beginners looking to learn different poker styles in a single session.
2-7 Triple Draw
In this lowball game, the goal is to make the worst possible hand with five cards. Players have three chances to draw and four rounds of betting. 2-7 Triple Draw is a fantastic game to broaden your understanding of hand rankings and betting strategies.
Originating from Asia, Badugi is another fun and easy-to-learn poker game. Each player gets four cards, and the goal is to have the lowest hand with no two cards of the same rank or suit. It provides a fresh twist and helps enhance strategic thinking.
Also known as Omaha 8-or-Better, this game splits the pot between the highest and lowest hands. With two winning possibilities, it doubles the excitement and offers great learning opportunities for hand evaluations.
The Bottom Line
In the vast ocean of poker, these ten games serve as islands of knowledge and enjoyment. Each provides unique opportunities to learn and understand the game from various angles. Remember, the key to mastering poker lies not in the cards you’re dealt but in how you play them. Keep these tips and games in mind, and you’ll find the journey from beginner to seasoned player an enjoyable one.