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22 June 2010
By Gayle Mitchell
The universal appeal of Texas Holdem poker online and on TV has been enormous, but I discovered that there is much more to the game called poker.
I was doing research into other poker versions in order to add some lessons to our Learn Poker Program and I concluded that as players, we have a lot to learn.
It reminded me of the quote from Michael Pertwee, "How long does it take to learn poker, Dad?" The reply, "All your life, son."
Besides the poker versions that are familiar--Omaha, 7-card stud, Caribbean stud, baccarat, 3-Card Poker, Let it Ride and Pai Gow Poker, there are several other versions to explore.
Let's take a look at a few. You may have played some of these games while other versions have been forgotten or some poker games will lead you to say, "I did not know about that one".
Ok, everyone has played 7-card stud poker, but did you know there at least 7 other versions?
The exciting challenge of stud poker vs. draw poker is that with some cards shown, each player's goal is to determine their opponents' hands and bet and/or bluff accordingly.
Stud is played more than draw poker because increased betting rounds in turn increases the pot size. Thus, big money will always attract more poker players online and off.
The 7 versions are 5-card stud, last card down, last card optionally down, Mexican stud, 6-card stud, 7-card flip and 8-card stud. Descriptions for 2 of these games follows:
Last Card Down: Comparable to 5-Card Stud, but the 5th card dealt is face down instead of face up.
Last Card Optionally Down: Comparable to 5-Card Stud, but a player can turn up their hole card before the final round is dealt and request that the 5th card be dealt face down.
Next up is one of my favorite types of poker versions, Wild Card games.
Wild Card Poker Games are exciting because the wild possibilities can bring an entirely different hand. These versions present an adventure for card players.
Deuces Wild is arguably the most popular of these poker games.
Other 'wild' games are wild widow, spit in the ocean, baseball, football, Heinz, Woolworth and Cincinnati Liz. Descriptions for 2 of these games follows:
Heinz: This wild card poker game rules state—you guessed it—5's and 7's are wild.
The difference is that players dealt any of these wild cards must decide to match the pot or drop out.
Woolworth: Another easy guess for this poker game is that 5's and 10's are wild. Players receiving a 5 face up pay 5 chips to the pot or drop out, while those receiving a 10 pay 10 chips or drop out.
Lastly, there is the 'other' type of game or miscellaneous, if you will that includes standard poker.
Standard Poker: Every player receives 5 cards face down in this original version of poker. There is no draw, therefore a winner is declared after a single betting round.
Let's not forget these poker versions of knock, whiskey, bull, double draw, cold hands, 2-card, Indian poker, red dog, round the world, 3-card Monte and shotgun.
Descriptions for 3 of these versions follow:
Cold Hands: Comparable to standard poker, but players place an established ante. 5 cards face up are then dealt to each player, one at a time with no draw and no further betting. This poker version is a 'winner takes all' game.
2-Card Poker: As the name implies, two cards are dealt to each player and there is no draw. The best possible hand is a pair of aces.
I saved the best for last. I used to love playing Indian poker with my family before learning the serious game of poker. Ahh, fond memories, indeed.
Indian Poker: Each player is dealt 1 card face down and in unison; all players pick up their card and hold it on their forehead. At this stage, the player can see all other players' cards, but not their own. One betting round completes the game and a winner is declared.
If the same card rank is held by more than 1 player, 2 options are the pot is split or the winner is declared as follows: spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs with the spades being the best hand in order.
It was not possible to cover all of the newly discovered versions, but enough to heed the call of "Shuffle up and Deal".
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