Types of Texas Hold'em Poker
Texas Hold'em poker games come in all shapes and sizes, and with different styles, rules of play and betting limits, there's plenty to choose from. All of the following games use the same rules for hand rankings, with full houses, straight flushes and highest cards all standing in the same spots, but there are some key differences you'll need to know if you plan on hitting the tables.
We've already run through all the basics of Texas Hold'em, including hand rankings, betting on community cards and much more. Today we're going to look at all the things you need to know when it comes to each type of poker you can play at a Hold'em table.
Each game of Texas Hold'em will come with its own betting limit and depending on which limit is chosen, the way the game is played will drastically vary.
Betting progressions are fundamental to poker, so it comes as no surprise that a change in the betting limit has such a large effect on the game.
There are three different betting limits that are used for Texas Hold'em:
Limit games have predetermined increments that players must adhere to when they bet. At a casino or poker room, the limit will be chosen by the host, but at a friendly game between friends you can of course set whatever limit you like.
Texas Hold'em contains four rounds of betting. Most limit games will make the limit for the final two rounds double that of the initial two - this encourages more excitement in betting action as the hand progresses.
Here's an example:
Say you're playing in a $10/$20 limit Texas Hold'em game.
Bets on the deal and the flop must be made in $10 increments. For bets made on the turn and the river, players must bet in $20 increments.
This type of betting limit encourages a slower, less risky style of play. You won't tend to find limit Hold'em games at the high roller tables, so this is perhaps the best option for newbies.
Pot Limit Hold'em
Pot limit games will limit betting amounts to the size of the pot. This simply means you can bet or raise by the size of the pot, but no more than that.
Here's an example:
Let's say it's your turn to bet. There's $50 in the pot. This means if you want to raise, you can only raise by $50. Otherwise, you can simply call the previous bet, which could be considerably smaller.
This style of play provides a midpoint between the beginner stages of limit Hold'em and the high-roller action of a no limit game. If you're an intermediate poker player, pot limit may be best for you.
No Limit Hold'em
A no limit game is just like it sounds - there is no limit to what you can bet, other than the size of the chip stack in front of you. The only limit on your ability to raise the stakes is the amount you have on the table, sadly you can't wager more than your chip count.
Here's an example:
The current pot is $500 and the current bet is $50. You have $250 in chips left in your stack. There are no rules on the increments you must bet with, so you can bet any amount between $0 and $250. Let's say you believe you're the player with the highest hand, so you move all-in. This means all other players must call $250 or raise, otherwise they must fold their cards out of the round.
Though there is no maximum bet limit, there is a minimum to the amount you must bet or raise. In most poker tournaments, this is usually the size of the big blind but it could be more. If there has already been a raise, you must raise by the size of the previous bet at a minimum. If you cannot reach the minimum bet, you can still move all-in, and the extra chips go into a side-pot.
First up is Pineapple Hold'em, which has one major difference to most other games - the discarding of one of the hole cards. This variation will be much less common at tournament cash games, but you may be able to find it at a few select casinos.
The game also has three variations itself:
- Pineapple Hold'em
- Crazy Pineapple
- Lazy Pineapple
All Pineapple Hold'em games deal 3 hole cards instead of 2 or 4. The difference lies in what the players must do with the hole cards once they are dealt.
Regular Pineapple requires players to discard one of those 3 cards before the flop, while Crazy Pineapple only requires this after the flop. Lazy Pineapple on the other hand, doesn't require you to discard the card until after all community cards are dealt.
Super 8: Similar to Pineapple Hold'em, this version deals three hole cards, but none are discarded.
Irish Hold'em: A mixture of Omaha and Pineapple - players are dealt 4 hole cards, but must discard two of them prior to the flop.
Speed Hold'em: Like Irish Hold'em, with four hole cards and two discarded, but the flop is the dealer turning all five community cards at once.
Two-Handed Hold'em: Sometimes referred to as two-time hold'em, you get 4 hole cards, but split them into two separate hands. When the time comes to show your hand, you choose which one of the two you'd like to use.
River of Blood: All the rules are the same as regular Texas Hold'em, except if the river card is a red, there's another round of betting. Extra rounds continue to be added until the river card is black.
Double-flop Hold'em: In this style of play, there are 2 flops, 2 turns and 2 rivers. This gives each player two separate hands to play with. Unlike Two Handed Hold'em, you don't choose your best hand, instead there are two showdowns. The pot is then split between the winners of each hands, which could be the same player.
So, that concludes our rundown of all the variations of Texas Hold'em you'll encounter at the tables. Now, you know what you're dealing with, why not try out your expertise at any one of the great sites we work with!