Although initially it was considered a casino game – it still is by some – poker has taken a different path in the past. The game is much different from your usual casino game. Although it may seem to be a game of chance for the uninitiated, it is far from being only that. It is a game of strategy and skill (with luck still playing a significant role in it, of course), which doesn’t fit in the usual casino game template. Casinos still have some forms of poker in their offer. Let’s take a look at these and see if they are worth playing.
The two most common forms of poker you can meet in an online casino are Casino Hold’em (or Caribbean Hold’em) and video poker. These are both based on the original poker game – video poker is similar to the Five Card Draw, while Casino Hold’em was created with the rules of Texas Hold’em in mind. They are both different from a classic game of poker, though, as both times players are betting against the house, not against their opponents at the table. But there are many more differences between these games that are worth mentioning.
Casino Hold’em has a game structure similar to Texas Hold’em. Players are required to place an Ante bet, they have the chance to play on (similar to Call) or fold, and the cards are revealed on the table in a similar manner. The main difference between the casino and the classic version of Hold’em is that at a casino the betting rounds are skipped, and the players’ winnings are paid out based on a pay table. The game is fast paced, action packed, but it’s far from being poker – it’s a game of chance, where strategy and player decisions are scarce.
Video poker is much more similar to the game it was inspired by, Five Card Draw. The rules of the game were adapted to the game style: the hand rankings are the same and players can draw a variable number of cards (up to all five). This game has a pay table, though, meaning that players can win the multiples of their bet with various combinations instead of winning the amounts staked by others. Also, video poker routinely uses wild cards – either jokers, or deuces as wilds, and usually has a gamble feature that allows players to further multiply their winnings. Or lose them all. Video poker is considered one of the most lucrative casino games, with a relatively low house advantage.