Poker Variety Similar To Texas Hold’em
Poker Variety Similar To Texas Hold’em
Poker has been around since the early 19th century, and its popularity has been rising ever since. In this casino card game, players fight to make the best hand according to the specific hand ranking rules. Poker professionals have been famous for their bluffing skills. In fact, to call yourself a pro poker player, you should be able to bluff well. In other words, you should be able to place bets known as bluffs for your not-so-good hand and make other players fold or leave the game. The key here is that you must bluff according to the rules of the game.
Poker has many variants and Texas Hold’em is one of the most popular ones. Although its simple rules are easy to learn, it takes a lot of time and practice to master them. The game uses the same deck of cards and has the same objective as poker. However, Texas Hold’em gameplay differs in some areas that I will explain later in this article. The game’s popularity already boomed thanks to Hollywood and online casinos. For this reason, Hold’em is an inseparable part of international poker tournaments such as the WSP(World Series of Poker) and the WPT(World Poker Tour).
In this article, I introduce you to Hold’em and its siblings.
Main Poker Variants
Generally, poker has three main variants:
Community Card Poker Games- Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Pineapple, and Courchevel are the most common community card games. As the name suggests, players try to make a 5-card poker hand using the community cards and the defined number of hole cards that are dealt to them.
Draw Poker Games- Five-Card Draw, Seven-Card Draw, and Double Draw are the most popular draw games. Unlike community card games, players in draw poker do not share any cards. Instead, they are dealt a complete hand before the first betting round. Typically, every draw poker player can trade-in and draw between one and four new cards from the deck. After the draw, there will be another round of betting and in the end, there will be the showdown.
Stud Poker Games- Seven-Card Stud, Razz, Five-Card Stud, and Mississippi Stud are the most popular stud games. Unlike the previous two categories, in stud poker, players are dealt a fixed number of cards. Opposite to the other two poker variants, no community cards are used here and also no card is drawn. Also, players can only use the initial cards dealt to them to play the game. In this variant, each player is dealt a set number of down cards and then a defined number of face-up cards are dealt to each player and the last card dealt is again face down.
Is Texas Hold’em The Same As Poker?
From what I explained above, you already can tell that Poker and Texas Hold’em are not the same things. Texas Hold’em is a poker variant; it is one of the community card poker. Players in all poker games try to make the best possible poker hand using defined hand ranking rules.
Let us quickly go over things that all poker games have in common. All poker variants have:
- An Ante or the minimum amount of money each player must wager to play in the game. The key here is the word must. Because this is not an optional bet rather it is a forced bet player should place to start the game. Some poker variants require all the players to pay the same ante, while in other games, only some players should pay the ante or blind bet.
- Multiple rounds of betting where players have the option to bet, check, call, or raise.
- The same hand ranking system that includes all 10 possible hands of high-card, pair, two pair, three of a kind, straight, flush, full house, four of a kind, straight flush, and the super rare royal flush.
- Competition with at least two players required for the play. There is no solo poker.
Why Is Texas Hold’em Called That?
Basically, by Hold’em we mean you should keep your initial cards throughout the hand. In other words, you are not allowed to draw any more cards. The game is Texas Hold’em because Robstown Texas is known to be the origin of the game during the 1920s. The game has another name, too. Gamblers call it the Cadillac of poker because it is the only game involving the perfect balance between luck and skill.
What Game Is Similar To Texas Hold’em?
Before I talk about similar games to Hold’em, let me quickly explain the limits that Texas Hold’em and its variants can be played with. Each variant that I will list later can be played in any of the following three limits.
Typically, Texas Hold’em games come with a limit-betting structure. However, this is not as popular as no-limit games. As the name suggests, in limit play, each betting round has a set betting limit. This limit during the flop and immediately after the flop is different than the limit for turn and river betting rounds. For instance, if you play a limit Hold’em game with a 3 / 6 limit, bets of the first two betting rounds are $3 and $6 during the final two betting rounds. This means each bet and/or raise before and on the flop will be exactly $3. If you bet $3 and another player raises, they must put $6 in the pot, $3 to call the original bet, and $4 for the raise. Ante or blinds are typically determined based on the game limits. The small blind is half the big blind and the big blind is exactly equal to the lower betting limit. In the example that I just provided, the big blind is $3 but there is a trick about the small blind in this particular example. Most casinos do not provide a lot of $0.50 chips. For this reason, in most 3/6 limit Hold’em games, the small blind will be $1 or $2 depending on the table rules.
This category uses the same blind structure as limit games and usually has a minimum bet limit per hand. In a no-limit game, you may bet or raise over the minimum raise up to all the chips you have at the table. In other words, you can place an all-in bet. This is a bet that you place using all the chips you have on the table.
In this version, the minimum raise limit is exactly the same as the previous bet or raise and if you want re-raise, you must raise at least the same as the previous raise.
As mentioned earlier, a no-limit betting structure is the most common limit in Texas Hold’em games and its siblings, except Omaha Hold’em.
Non-poker players and beginners have a common misconception about all-in bets. They tend to believe that if a player has more money than another and places an all-in bet, the player with fewer chips will lose automatically or cannot continue playing. But what actually happens is the player with more chips gets back their chips above the other player’s total amount. Let me give you an example:
You have $250 and move all-in and if the other player has $200 and calls, you receive $50 back so each player has $200 in the pot.
However, things can get somewhat complicated if multiple players are in a pot with multiple different chip stacks. To avoid such complications, if multiple players with different stacks place all-in bets, the dealer creates different pots. The total amount of the player with the smallest stack will be considered the main pot and anyone remaining in the hand can win it.
The first side pot includes bets over the amount the smallest stack held, with only players who contribute to the second pot eligible to win it. The third, fourth, and the rest side pot can be built in large multi-way pots. Do not worry if it sounds complicated as the dealer takes care of it. But I suggest understanding the concept to ensure the dealer does not make any mistakes. Let’s practice using this example:
Your pot ends up with four of you placing all-in bets. The hand starts with the following chip counts:
- You have $700 in chips
- Player A has $800 in chips
- Player B has $900 in chips
- Player C has $1,000 in chips
The main pot has $2,800 in it and any of you can win it. The first side pot ends up with $300 and players A, B, and C are eligible to win it. The second side pot has $200 and only players B and C are eligible to win. As you have noticed, player C will only have $900 invested because she started with at least $100 more money than the rest of you. At the showdown, the player who is eligible to win each pot with the highest hand wins that pot. It is worth mentioning that different players may win each pot or the same player may win all of the pots. Kindly note that in this example, for instructional purposes I have ignored the small amount of the blinds and the fact that chips that often make a pot do not come out quite so evenly.
Although this betting structure is mostly seen in Omaha games, a few Texas Hold’em games are also played with a pot limit. One of the drawbacks of this structure is the need for an expert dealer who understands how the betting structure works and can quickly determine the pot size. In online games, the software will take care of all the calculations, but in live plays, the dealer must be trained, very quick, or both.
The house will set the blinds and minimum bets on each round similar to limit and no-limit betting structures. However, there is a difference here, and it is the maximum amount any player can bet at one time. It is the same as the amount of money in the pot. The pot size also includes the amount it takes to call an earlier bet. For this reason, a pot-sized bet can be much bigger than you think. Let us look at the following examples so things get more clear:
- After the flop, the pot has $125. The first player decides to raise the size of the pot. The player bets $125, and the round goes to the next player. This is example is pretty easy to understand because the player starts the betting round.
- Take the previous example as setup. Now, you are the next player to act. You decide to raise as much as possible. The pot now ends up with $250 but the maximum raise is higher than $250. Although you must state your intention to raise, the pot size is determined by first adding the call of $125 to the pot, and then the maximum raise amount is calculated. So, once the $125 call is added, the pot ends up having $375 and you can raise another $375. So, you put a total of $500 in the pot, which is the $125 call plus the $375 raise.
Sounds Chinese?!! This is the reason I said the dealer should be a pro dealer to understand how exactly the pot-limit structure works and stays ahead of the game.
However, do not panic. Because in real-life pot-limit games, it is not this complicated and most poker rooms allow players to play with bet maximums close to the pot size. For instance, if the pot ends up anywhere between $100 and $120 or somewhere close, you can bet 100 or $110. If players’ maximum bets stay close to the pot size, usually all players accept it, and the dealer should not keep an exact count on the pot.
Now that you know how Texas Hold’em limits work, let us move on to the similar games to Hold’em:
No one knows for sure why it has been named in honor of tropical fruit. But maybe they are similar in that both can sting you. One stings your mouth and the other can sting your bankroll if you are not cautious enough. It may help grow it, though. You should not feel discouraged before trying it.
But before you jump out to try the game, I need to give you some heads up.
Pineapple and Texas Hold’em are very much similar, except you start Pineapple with three hole cards instead of two, and before the flop, you will discard one card. Typically, the third card will be discarded after the pre-flop round. However, in some places, it can be discarded before the pre-flop. It does not really matter which way you play, though, as long as you can stay consistent.
Although Pineapple games are mostly played with no limit structure, they can be played with limit and pot limit formats. Pineapple hand values run a little higher than Texas Hold’em, not so much.
You are more likely to get three-of-a-kind hands and flushes while playing Pineapple. Because in this game it is easier to start with a pocket pair and having two cards of the same suit is more likely to happen.
In short, if you are a winning Hold’em player, you will have no problem winning at Pineapple. Similar to Texas Hold’em, tight and aggressive play strategies work well in Pineapple. Poor players play too many hands in Pineapple because they have a third starting card. This way, their hand looks better than it actually is.
Again, nobody knows why this is a crazy pineapple! Anyways, it does not matter who came with the name. It matters that the game is usually played with no limit structure and starts similar to regular Pineapple. The only difference is that the third hole card will not be discarded until after the betting round following the flop. This way, players will stay longer in the hand and this results in a relatively larger spot size than a Texas Hold’em game.
Moreover, the Crazy Pineapple average winning hand strength is better than a Texas Hold’em game. Because the game starts with an extra card. Also, in this variant, it is likely to see six total cards before the turn and river betting rounds. Just like regular Pineapple, if you can win Hold’em, you definitely can adjust your playing style to win Crazy Pineapple.
Tahoe Holdem or Lazy Pineapple
Do you know why they called it lazy? We don’t know, either!
Tahoe Hold’em or Lazy Pineapple starts with each player receiving three hole cards and keeping them throughout the hand. In fact, the game is a bridge between Texas Holdem and Omaha. Other than three hole cards the gameplay is exactly similar to Texas Holdem. Lazy pineapple can be played in a high/low version similar to high/low Omaha but you rarely see this happen.
The average winning hand value of Lazy Pineapple is only slightly better than Texas Hold’em.
The game is known as Omaha. This is the second most popular poker variant in online platforms and poker rooms all around the world. The games are played similarly. However, each player in Omaha gets four hole cards instead of two. Also, Omaha players must use exactly two hole cards plus three community cards to make their hands.
Similar to Texas Holdem, Omaha can be played as high only. However, you will find Omaha tables in high/low split, usually with an eight-high qualifier. Omaha is the only casino game you can find that is played for low. Razz poker is a low-only game, but you do not find the game everywhere.
If a qualifying low hand is shown down in a high/low Omaha game, the best high hand and the best low hand will get a half pot. A qualifying low hand is the one with five unpaired cards ranked eight or less.
Although Omaha high only and high/low can be played in no limit, pot limit, or limit, most casinos offer limit and pot-limit games.
This variant is also a bridge. But Aviation Hold’em is a bridge between Omaha and Pineapple. However, this Hold’em variant is rare and most players do not know about it. The game is not likely to surpass Omaha’s popularity because it is almost identical to Omaha high only. Except that in Aviation Hold’em players start the game with four hole cards and discard one before the flop and the other after it. Unlike Omaha where players keep all four cards during the entire hand.
The Aviation value of winning hands is very similar to Omaha high only. In other words, it is slightly better than average Texas Hold’em hand.
If you are a winning Texas Hold’em and Omaha player, you definitely can manage to win at Aviation Hold’em.
To Sum It Up…
Although Texas Hold’em is super fun and popular, it is easy to get bored playing regular Hold’em. If this is ever the case with you, just give yourself a break and try new variants. The best way to overcome boredom is by challenging your mind to learn and play with new stuff.
Now you know several popular Texas Hold’em variants and how to play them. So, the next time you get bored or just want to explore new stuff, look for one of the variations listed on this page and play at our recommended safe and licensed online casinos.
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