In the first part of this series, Jackpot Capital Casino spoke about poker in the most basic of terms. In part two, we will venture farther afield and talk about variations of poker. There are many variations of poker. One is video poker which is perfectly suited to online casino gaming.
Pai Gow poker online is fast becoming very popular because it is so different from the "standard" variations of poker!
Later in the article, we will explain a bit about how to play Pai Gow.
How to Play Poker
This was the title of part one! We spoke about playing poker, online poker, and we began to touch on the subject of poker knowledge. We asked the question: Is online poker different in any way than poker at a land-based casino?
Answer number one is that poker players at land-based poker rooms may very well be different than online poker players. Online players are often just starting out, getting their poker feet wet so to speak.
At land-based casinos, the players tend to be more experienced, wizened.
Learn How to Play by Playing
Every poker game and every poker hand are different. The players are different and the hands that you can bet on sometimes come at opportune times while at other times they come at an inopportune time!
A Great Hand That Never Was
There may be a hand where you could get a Royal Flush. You are in early position in Texas Holdem and you get ace-ten suited in the hole. Can you call the big blind in early position? Perhaps you decide NO!
You fold and then the jack, queen, and king of the same suit come out in the community cards!
The Great Hand That Was
On the other hand, if you were dealt ace-king suited, you would certainly call the big blind from early position.
The First Betting Round Has Been the Ruin of Many a Poor Player
In many poker games, there is a player or players who often call the big blind "just to see the flop". In terms of common sense not to mention poker strategy, this is possibly the worst bet a poker player can make! We need to appreciate and value the odds of improving a poor hand with the flop!
Don't the Pros Call from Early Position with a Poor Hand?
To be direct, the answer is a resounding NO!
If you watch poker on YouTube, you will see that the pros in those clips fold at least 70% of their hands before the flop!
What some pros do is call with a weak hand that still has something going for it such as suited or connected cards. A top pro will take several parameters into account such as his or her stack, the identity of the blinds: top pros or amateurs, and the nature of the game at that particular poker table at that particular moment!
There are a Lot of Poker Variations.
Why is that?
Poker is a game that is made for variation. Whatever variation players can come up with, poker rules are basically the same for most poker variants. When a joker or wild card is introduced, the basic rules are changed to allow for five of a kind. That is the only real change in the basic poker rules.
Stud Poker and Draw Poker
We spoke about these variants in part one. Most players enjoy seven card stud more than the five card variant because more top hands are available with the two extra cards. This also means that any poker variation that uses seven cards will result in more high ranking hands.
So, let's take a look at three poker variants that use seven cards. Each has a unique aspect to it and Texas Hold'em has emerged as the variant of choice for a great number of players, possibly a majority.
As popular as Texas Hold'em is, Omaha and Pai Gow Poker has devoted followings!
Each is a popular poker game in its own right!
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Texas Hold'em Shines in the Modern Poker World
Texas Hold'em came out of the West Texas oilfields. We forget how far removed from everyday American society the West Texas oilfields were around 1900 when the rules for Hold'em were developed!
Hold'em became popular in Las Vegas only after Doyle Brunson, Amarillo Slim, Crandall Addington, and Johnny Moss brought it to Las Vegas.
Nowadays, when people say "let's play poker" they often mean Texas Hold'em!
What are the Basic Rules of Hold'em?
In Hold'em, each player receives two cards down and then the first round of betting takes place. The next deal is called the flop in which three cards are dealt face up for all to use.
A lot of inexperienced Hold'em players stay in the hand before the flop in order to "see the flop". This is a mistake as it is always considered better strategy to stay until the flop only with a hand that is worth playing which means a hand that can be improved dramatically by the flop.
Texas Hold'em Has Blinds
These are the only players that put up money before the dealer deals the cards. The small blind sits to the right of the big blind and they bet last before the flop. In order to see the flop a player has to at least call the big blind.
If another opponent raises the big blind, everyone has to at least call the raise.
The upshot of this is that a player can fold before the flop at no cost at all! That is the best tactic in Hold'em for most players on most hands.
There are Five Community Cards in Hold'em
Each player can use all of the community cards (very rare) or three or four of them. Since on most hands, all of the players left at the end will use at least three of the community cards, it is the identity of the hole cards that gives all of the mystery to Hold'em!
Omaha is Similar and Vastly Different from Hold'em
In Omaha, each player gets four hole cards. Then there is the first round of betting. As in Hold’em, there are four betting rounds. The flop follows, more betting as in Hold'em, and two more community cards dealt individually.
The big difference between Hold'em and Omaha is that in Omaha each player has to use at least two of their hole cards. A player might have a powerful hand on the board but by playing two hole cards he or she will end up with a much weaker hand.
Some players learn how to play Hold'em before they learn how to play Omaha and the rules about hole cards confuses them terribly at first.
Pai Gow Poker is the Most Confusing Poker Variant of All!
One of the most satisfying games for people who like to play online poker is Pai Gow Poker. To some extent Pai Gow is a lot like Omaha but it does turn poker rules on their head!
In Pai Gow Poker, each player receives seven cards. They have to make two hands, one with five cards and one with just two cards. In this game, players break up very strong poker hands in order to fashion two strong poker hands.
The hand with two cards has to be weaker than the five card hand.
It is not unusual for a player to break up a full house in order to have three of a kind and a pair for their two hands. What is basic strategy in all other poker games goes out the window in Pai Gow! There are many examples of players breaking up great hands to help out the two card hand!
As we said, Pai Gow can be confusing but it can also be the most popular poker game at some casinos!
Which Game is Most Suited to Weaker Players?
By far Pai Gow is the best game for weaker players because there is no bluffing! Players don't have the tension in Pai Gow that is a permanent element in Omaha or Hold'em.
Come to Jackpot Capital for Great Online Gaming
We have spent quite a bit of time talking about poker that we don't even offer, to wit Texas Hold'em and Omaha. We do offer Pai Gow Poker! In addition, we offer video poker which is a different brand of poker and helps players of standard table poker a great way to practice quick recognition of poker hands at very little risk.
The return to player rate in video poker is almost 100%!
Jackpot Capital also offers about 300 casino games online!
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