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Popular Online Poker Games Explained

Online poker is one of the most popular pastimes these days. With hundreds of poker websites from which to choose, players can take their pick of where to place their online bets.

Just as there are numerous sites on which to play online poker, there also are several different types of poker that can be played. Each style has its own rules for play, as well as different payouts for winners.

Let's discuss a few of the more popular styles of poker, as well as how to play each of them.

Texas Hold'em
This style of poker is by far the most popular among poker players, both online and offline. Because of its popularity every online poker website offers this type of poker. There are three varieties of this style of poker: Limit Texas Hold'em, Pot Limit and No Limit.

In each variation, five community cards are dealt. Those cards are left face-up and are available to every player in the game and are refreshed during every hand of the game. Every player is also dealt two cards, which are left face down. In a traditional game of poker, the two players to the left of the dealer will put out blind bets - bets made prior to seeing any of the cards. Online poker games assign players an order, so the general rules of this game apply.

The player "seated" next to the blind better makes the first move of the game. This player is allowed to call the bet, raise it or fold. Betting will then continue clockwise around the table.

Following the first round of betting, three cards are dealt into the community pile face up in the center of the table. From this point on, play continues starting with the player to the dealer's immediate left. Rounds and betting continue until a player can compile the best five-card hand.

Texas Hold'em is not for amateur poker players. Those who are inexperienced should not start out by playing this version of poker.

Five-Card Draw
This version of poker is very easy to play and often is recommended to those who are just learning to play poker. The game begins with all players placing their bets. Each player will receive five cards and then play begins. Players are able to trade one to three cards from their hand. Rounds will continue until one player assembles the best hand and calls the game.

Five or Seven Card Stud
Another easy version of poker, this style can be played with either five or seven cards. While this game isn't as popular as other styles, it is worth learning because it provides the basic skills that can be used in other styles of poker. It also is good for beginners. Each player in the game is dealt two cards, one face down and one face up. The first bet of the game happens either when the player with the lowest upward facing card is forced to make it, or the first opportunity to place a bet goes to the player holding the highest face-up card. From that point on, the player with the highest face-up card always gets the first play of each round. The game ends when each player has four cards face-up. Final bets are then placed and all players reveal the cards in their face-down pile. The winner is the one who holds the highest hand.

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