Most good card games have different variations that go in and out of fashion over the years, and poker undoubtedly has more than most. That’s nothing new. A number of poker variations were invented between the 1850s and the 1920s in the USA. It was in this period that games we know today such as seven-card stud, five-card draw and Texas Hold’em were developed.
These are still popular today, and Texas Hold’em remains the most common variation for tournament play. However, the rise of real money online casinos has seen poker take a new direction. The best online casinos that pay real money differentiate themselves through the range of games they offer. Casual real money casino players are often fascinated by, but a little fearful of, poker. The variations that are trending in casinos today are often aimed at this less experienced audience.
This is essentially Poker 101. It’s where the complete novice starts, and with no other players around and not even a dealer, he or she can make blunders without being embarrassed. The game was developed in the 1970s and has become a staple of both land-based and online casinos. Based on 5-card draw, it could not be simpler. But that doesn’t mean it’s not fun and it’s the ideal training ground for anyone who doesn’t know a full house from a straight flush.
Pai Gow Poker
In 1985, the owner of an LA card club had the idea of creating a poker version of the Chinese dice game Pai Gow. The object is to create a five-card hand and a two-card hand from seven cards dealt. To win, these need to beat the dealer’s hands. The game proved massively popular, and soon spread to the Las Vegas strip, although the inventor’s failure to patent it meant it did not make him rich. Numerous variations that incorporate different side bets have been developed over the past 20 years or so.
Arguably the most popular casino poker game of our time, 3-card poker tables are as common a sight in casinos as blackjack and roulette. You might be surprised to learn the game was invented as recently as the 1990s. With only three cards, there are fewer poker hands available, making the game attractive to novices. However, it is not as simple as it looks. Side bets that involve combining the player’s and dealer’s cards add an extra dimension for those who want it.
Invented as a training tool for Texas Hold’em players, this single player game is the most recent casino sensation. It introduces the concept of community cards and multiple rounds but still gives players the safety net of only having to beat the dealer’s hand rather than going up against other players.
Caribbean Stud Poker
Although this variation of five card stud has been around since the 1980s, it has enjoyed a sudden spike in popularity over the past couple of years. On paying the ante the player decides whether to double up and play or fold based on his hand and the dealer’s up card. The dealer needs at least Ace-King to qualify, or all play bets are returned.