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Internet Poker Type Games

THE FIVE MOST COMMON INTERNET POKER GAMES

Whether played online or in a brick and mortar casino, the games of poker is the same. You'll find differences online, but they're attributable to the technology required to play poker in cyberspace, not to the games themselves. For example, since there's no live dealer to ensure that you play in turn, Internet games programming makes it impossible for you to do otherwise.

And you can forget about "making moves" like feigning a call or raise by reaching for your chips to intimidate those acting before you, or, alternatively, appearing ready to muck your hand to induce bold action when you already have a lock on the best hand. Since opponents can't see your physical movements, those ploys are moot online. Happily for newbie's, Internet poker precludes the slick feints of hand and theatrical maneuvers seen in movies.

But the games are the same as those played in real casinos. Online poker features two basic types of games: "flop" games, such as Texas hold'em and Omaha, and "board" games, such as seven-card stud. In flop games, five community cards dealt face up in the center of the table combine with private cards in each player's hand. In board games, each player receives his or her own cards and there are no community cards to be shared. Play-money games, cash games, and tournaments abound on the Internet, so you'll find no shortage of games, whatever your preference.

Recently, several of the most popular Internet card rooms have begun to spread "draw" games, like five-card draw. In draw games, a player typically receives cards before the first round of betting, and then has an option to discard some or all of those cards, replacing them by drawing the same number of new cards. Draw games are "old school," but appear to be making a comeback in the world of online poker.

Although the most common variants of poker look similar to the uninitiated - and they actually do share much common ground - substantial differences exist between them. Significant strategic adjustments are required when shifting, for example, from hold'em to Omaha. In poker, one size doesn't fit all: If you're a greenhorn, we recommend that you pick one form of poker and learn it thoroughly before moving on to another.

Texas hold'em is a good place to start. It's the most popular poker games played today, and it's the one used to determine the champion at the annual World Series of Poker. Not surprisingly, it's also the most common poker games online.

It's probably the easiest games to learn, too. Unlike seven-card stud, there's no need to memorize cards that appeared in your opponents' hands, but have now been folded. The only exposed cards in hold'em are five community cards turned face up in the center of the table for each player to use in concert with the two private cards in his or her own hand.

Omaha, whether played as a split-pot games in which the best high hand and best qualifying low hand share the spoils, or as a high-only games with a single pot, runs neck and neck with stud for second place in online popularity. At some sites you'll see more Omaha game than stud games, while at others the reverse is true. Both Omaha/8 and Omaha high are similar to Texas hold'em, but we recommend you learn the Texas variety before moving on to Omaha. Its mechanics are simpler to learn, and you'll find more hold'em games at low limits than any other poker type - online or off.

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