If you are keen on Texas Hold’em, you may want to learn about other, less common community card poker games. Read on because I have assembled a list of such poker variants. Texas Hold’em may be the most popular one, but it is far from being the only one.
Different Community Card Poker Games
Community card poker games are all the poker variants that suggest using community cards. Those are the cards the dealer places face up on the table. You have certainly heard of Texas Hold’em and Omaha Hold’em, maybe even played them since they are representatives of the entire group of such games. However, there is a wide range of community card games, and some of them may suit you personally better than the two cited variants.
If you want to expand your knowledge on this topic, read this article. It regards some of the less commonly played variations of community card games. You will notice the differences and similarities amongst them, as well as the fact that the layout plays an important role in each one of them.
Community Card Poker Games: General Rules
Although there is a vast number of different community card games, they all resemble each other in certain aspects. The most important one regards the community cards, which are those cards left on the table face up for every player to see and use. Another name for the cards the players share is “the board.”
Furthermore, aside from the community cards, every game from the group implies the hole cards, which are dealt face-down to each player individually. The dealer distributes them prior to assembling the board. Your ultimate goal is to form a hand as strong as possible using community cards in addition to hole cards.
Since the players do not reveal their hole cards to each other, the order of the first betting round is not determined the way it is in stud poker games. Instead, the players place their blind bets prior to the initial dealing round. The small blind (the player to the dealer’s left) is the first to place their wager. They are followed by the big blind, who doubles the small blind’s wager. However, if you play a community card game as a home game, you may determine the betting order, so that every other round goes counterclockwise.
Among this group of games, there are certain variants that suggest only betting and folding, thus excluding the possibility for checking.
Community card games imply arranging the dealing process so that the cards form a certain geometric shape. Although there is a variety of different shapes, all of them can be organized into two categories. The first one implies converging rows of cards. The card that intersects with both a row and a column is the final one to get revealed. Moreover, it can assume the role of the wild card in certain variants.
A hi-lo community card game dictates that the lowest ranking card that matches the last one to be revealed by the suit wins one half of the pot.
The other geometric shape formed in the dealing process is the circle.
If a particular variant you are playing allows checking, you should check when making your initial wager. You can gain an advantage over your opponents and assume their hole cards by checking and then observing their moves.
In the remainder of the text, we will focus on elaborating on each of the nine community card games we have selected. Some entries on the list are popular and thus probably familiar to you, whereas others are less widely played and may strike you as somewhat obscure.
- Criss Cross
- Death Wheel
- Omaha Hold’em
- Red and Black
- Texas Hold’em
The dealer distributes cards as follows: five hole cards to every player and seven matching pairs of cards in two rows in the center of the table. Fourteen community cards can only be exposed as matching pairs.
As for assembling the strongest hand possible, there are two possibilities to choose from. You can keep your five hole cards or discard two of them and acquire a pair from the board, thus having three hole cards and two community cards.
Over the seven betting rounds, all the community cards get revealed, as the players get to turn one pair per each round.
Given a large number of cards in this variant, it is highly possible that you manage to form a flush or a full house. However, you should not disregard the psychological aspect of the game.
The concept of this community card game is probably the simplest one to grasp. The dealer distributes cards so that every player receives four and that there are four community cards on the table.
There are five betting rounds in this variant, in each of which players get to reveal one community card.
In the home version of this game, the dealer determines the wild card.
Cincinnati is an easily comprehensible variant of poker, combining simplicity with the thrill this game offers.
Criss Cross (Iron Cross)
In this variation, each player gets four cards, whereas there are five community cards that form the shape of a cross. The card that converges with both the column and the row is the one that gets revealed last.
Prior to the beginning of every betting round, a player gets to reveal one card from the board. The purpose of the game is to assemble a hand that ranks as high as possible, using all of your hole cards in addition to one card from the table. However, you have to choose from one row only, meaning that you cannot form one hand with a card from one row and another one with a card from another row.
Aside from the shape of a cross, the cards can form an L or a V, as long as there is one card that intersects with both rows.
Moreover, there is a more dynamic version of the game, which implies forming a cross with nine instead of five cards.
Death Wheel is a community card game that is always played hi-lo style. The dealer forms a circle using six community cards, aside from distributing four hole cards to every player. Your final goal is to form a hand with your own cards and three neighboring community ones.
The cards get revealed in a particular order, meaning that you can only turn over the one that is positioned across from the previously revealed one. The reveal of every card from the board is followed by one betting round.
Death Wheel provides a variety of possibilities for forming different combinations of cards, so it can turn out to be rather dynamic.
As the name itself suggests, community cards are arranged in the shape of an H in this poker variant. There are seven of them in total. The one in the middle is the card intersecting with both rows and thus the final one to be turned over.
This variant provides you with numerous combinations when it comes to forming your final hand. In addition to your four hole card, you get to acquire three community cards from any row. Note that there is a total of three rows — vertical, horizontal, and diagonal rows.
As you may assume, this variation provides you with an opportunity to assemble a high-ranking hand.
As the game commences, the dealer distributes cards as follows: four cards to every player and three cards face up on the table. The initial three community cards form the flop. Later in the game, they add the turn and the river, thus leaving you with five community cards. You can combine two hole cards with three cards from the board, thus seeking the strongest hand.
You can also play the game hi-lo style. Additionally, you can set a limit, or play Omaha Hold’em pot limit or no-limit.
Each player is dealt four cards which they can combine with the community cards from one of three lines they form. The dealer arranges the board so that it assumes the shape of a pyramid.
This variant also offers numerous options regarding card combinations, which is why your final hand may be a high-ranking one.
Red and Black
Every player receives four hole cards, and the board contains eight cards arranged in two rows of four.
Each row has to comprise solely cards of one color. Therefore, if a revealed card does not match the other ones from the row, you must dispose of it.
The cards get turned over in pairs, and the game can be played hi-lo style as well.
The dealer delivers two cards to everyone at the table, in addition to forming the board. They first place three cards on the table. Afterward, they add the turn and the river. Once the board is complete, the final betting round commences.
This variant does not imply any restrictions in terms of the way you form your final hand. You can use as many community cards as you find suitable.
Community card poker is a category of poker variants that includes a vast number of games. As you have seen, they have some common rules, but each game needs to be studied separately, as they differ amongst themselves in various ways. Overall, once you acquire basic knowledge about community card games, you need to upgrade it by observing the features of each variant separately.