Poker Poker was invented in North America during the 1700s and the earliest forms of poker are quite similar to card games known from Europe and the Middle East. The earliest forms of poker where variants where each player was dealt a complete hand and had no opportunity to improve that hand by replacing any cards. Also, no community cards were used. Today, this type of poker is known as straight poker. It is not common in casinos online or offline since it offers very little in the way of strategic decisions.
Stud poker variants, such as the famous Seven Card Stud, make use of a combination of face-down and face-up cards. As a player you will therefore know at least a few of the cards belonging to your opponents and can use this information to make decisions regarding your play. In Seven Card stud, each player receives two face-down cards and five face-up cards. In draw poker variants, you have a chance to improve your hand by replacing unwanted cards with new ones from the deck. Normally, a round of betting will take place before you are allowed to replace any cards.
The most commonly played draw poker game is probably Five Card Draw, where each players receives five cards face-down. Five Card Draw is quite unusual in casino card rooms (online as well as offline), but remains a popular choice for home games. Community card poker variants use community cards, i.e. cards that all players are allowed to use to form their hand. Texas Hold’em and Omaha Hold’em, two poker variants that have become extremely popular in recent years, are both examples of community card poker games.
In Texas Hold’em, you will get two hole cards (face-down cards) and can chose to use as many or few of the five (face-up) community cards on the table as you wish. If you don’t want to use any of the community cards, that’s fine. In Omaha Hold’em, your choices are more limited since you must use exactly two of your hole cards and exactly three of the community cards to form your hand. Another major difference between the two games is that an Omaha player gets four hole cards, not two. Poker used to be a ring game only, i.e. a game where you bought in to a table and played for as long as you wanted – or until you ran out of assets to refill your stack with. During the 20th century however, poker tournaments began to appear.
Today, poker tournaments like World Series of Poker Main Event attracts thousands of players from around the globe and plenty of poker rooms online give you a chance to win a trip and buy-in money to popular poker tournaments such as European Poker Tour, Latin American Poker Tour and Asian Poker Tour. In 2010, World Series of Poker Main Event had 7,319 participants who created a total prize pool of $68,798,600. The $8,944,310 first price went to Jonathan Duhamel from Quebec. Poker tournaments are also held online, such as World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) and Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP).