Poker is one of the all-time favorite card games that has evolved dramatically over the last 20 years. Hardcore fans of the genre still consider the live version as the real thing. They argue that seeing the reactions of players sitting across the table adds an intrinsic psychological element to the game.
However, online Poker brings a level of convenience that’s too great to resist.The reality is that today, the vast majority of players enjoy this classic from the comfort of their own home or on the go through a portable device.
Online Poker can be divided into two main categories. You can play the game in dedicated cardrooms like PokerStars or try one of the many titles available in online casinos. These two types differ in one fundamental way — “cardroom” Poker pits you against other players, while online casino Poker is played against the house. In this article, we’ll focus on the latter and highlight the most popular variants available in gaming sites.
Texas Hold’Em and Casino Hold’Em Poker
The most popular iteration of Poker is Texas Hold’Em, so it’s no wonder that most online operators offer it in some form. Additionally, you can see “Casino Hold’Em,” a spin-off with slightly adjusted rules. Your task is to have a better five-card combination than the house from a total of seven dealt.
Compulsory “Ante” wagers are required to start playing in all “Hold’Em” games at online casinos. However, the subsequent betting requirements are what sets the different versions apart. For example, in “Casino Hold’Em” from Play’n GO, you need to place a “Call” bet worth double the “Ante” to see all five community cards and the dealer’s hand. Meanwhile, the live dealer “Ultimate Texas Hold’Em” from Evolution Gaming requires an additional “Blind” bet equal to the “Ante” and allows you to raise between the different rounds.
Side bets add another layer of richness. They come with greater payouts but lower RTP rates than the base game. For example, the “Trips” bet pays when you score a three-of-a-kind or better, even if the dealer beats you. Additionally, you might encounter progressive jackpot wagers with prize pools worth several million dollars.
Caribbean Stud Poker
This Poker variant is even more straightforward than its “Hold’Em” counterparts. Put money down on the “Ante” to get a five-card hand that’s face up. On the side of the dealer, there are four face-down cards plus one that’s visible.
From here, you need to decide whether to fold and lose your money or reveal the house’s hand by putting down a bet that’s worth twice the “Ante.” The best combination wins. Keep in mind that the dealer must “qualify” by having an Ace + King or better in their hand. If they don’t, you’ll get a 1:1 payout for the “Ante,” and the other wager will be returned to your bankroll.
Many software developers and live studios have “Caribbean Stud” products. Some examples include:
- Realtime Gaming
- Evolution Gaming
- Vivo Gaming
Side bets are also a thing here, with the “5+1” and progressive jackpot options being the most prevalent.
If you’re new to gaming, we highly recommend that you start with “Three-card” (sometimes Tri-card) Poker. It’s essentially a simplified iteration of the “Caribbean Stud” game we discussed above. After the initial compulsory wager, three cards are dealt to the house (face down) and the player (face up).
If you like your hand, continue with a “play bet” that’s equal in value to the “Ante” to reveal who has the better hand. Since you’re playing with a trio of cards instead of the typical five, the paytable and combinations are slightly different. Here, the strongest combo is a Straight Flush with a 40:1 payout. On that note, check if your casino has “Three-card Brag.” It’s almost the same at “3-card Poker,” but its rules increase the return rates for players.
Don’t Be Afraid to Browse and Experiment
Although we’ve covered the main types of Poker available at online casinos, you shouldn’t forget that the industry improves at a rapid pace. New versions with exciting rules and side bets are developed all the time. They may provide you with better return rates or new ways to increase volatility.
A prime example of this innovational drive is Evolution Gaming’s “Side Bet City” — a themed live stream with a simple ruleset and payouts of up to 1,000:1. With that, we’ll leave the exploration to you and wish you good luck!