The origin of the game of poker is a matter of debate amongst historians of the game. Some contend that poker is derived from the Persian game as nas, while others trace it back to the French game poque. The game was first recorded and defined as Poker in the 19th century United States.
As the game spread from place to place around the world, it picked up new formats, rules, and options that molded it into official casino poker. With the advent of the internet, the game has begun another evolution as unique poker variations and combination poker games are springing up on various internet poker sites.
Amongst all of these variations, there are still considered to be three main variations of the classic poker game. These are the three branches of poker whose umbrella categories include a number of familiar poker styles within them. Each features a unique set of poker rules, a different game structure, and a game process unlike the others.
The first branch of poker is community card games. These are widely considered to be the most popular form of poker in play today. They were the first to be played on the internet as free poker, and have thus been promoted amongst online poker players around the world. The two most famous community card poker games are Texas Hold’Em poker and Omaha poker.
These games are defined by the use of community cards, cards shared by all players at the table. Players may select from these cards to help them make their poker hands. Community cards are revealed in games in three separate rounds, each followed by a round of betting. The first is called the Flop, revealing three community cards. The fourth community card is laid out in the Turn, and the final community card in the River. Players must use a combination of community cards and private pocket cards to win the game with the best 5-card hand.
The second branch of poker is known as Draw games. In Draw games, all cards are private and may be exchanged at least one time by a player. At the start, Draw games deal each player a minimum of five cards face down. Players must make their final hands from these cards, using limited opportunities to exchange their cards in the hope of receiving cards that will help them create better hands. A popular Draw game played on the internet is 5 Card Draw.
Stud games comprise the third branch of poker. In Stud games like 7 Card Stud, each of a player’s cards are dealt one at a time, most of them face up. These cards are called “streets” and cannot be hidden or exchanged at any point during the game.
Each of these poker branches feature different rules and thus requires a different poker strategy. Variations of these games, such as Video Poker or Hi-Lo combinations, are frequently offered in both casinos and on internet poker software.