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Into its second decade of ESPN- and cable TV-fueled popularity, poker shows no signs of easing its stranglehold on the collective consciousness over the world’s card tables. Further evidence of the craze is the recent proliferation of variations on the game at online casinos in the form of poker table games.
These are casino games in which player winnings are determined by the well-known rank of poker hands. As with most poker variants, poker table games are almost always about assembled the best five-card poker hand from the five or seven cards dealt. In some games, the player plays against the odds; in others, he/she tries to beat the dealer.
Available at basically every online casino is that holdover from among the classic Las Vegas offerings: Caribbean Stud. In this one, place your wager that your five-card poker hand can top the dealer’s; side-betting may be available to win long odds on the higher-ranked hands.
Similarly, Let It Ride is also based on five-card stud, but here the player’s hand stands alone with a dealer competing; the player essentially competes against an odds table (which is naturally stacked in the hourse’s favor).
Fairly standard too is Pai Gow, one of the most fun table games in general. From seven cards dealt, build the best five-card hand plus a two-card “hand” in attempting to beat the dealer twice. An additional caveat says that the player’s five-card hand must beat the two-card hand, i.e. one can’t simply ditch a sure-to-win pair while sacrificing a relatively useless five-card hand. The dealer is naturally going for the max in both hands.
With so little strategy involved and the odds-on likelihood that nearly every hand dealt will be a push, Pai Gow is a particularly good game at the “real-life” casinos – especially those serving free drinks. This writer can personally attest that one can get seriously messed up while playing Pai Gow and not lose more than, say, $5 after several hours of entertainment.
Rapidly becoming a must-host at any reputable online casinos among the poker table games is Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em, a game fashioned after the most popular variant in the high-stakes tournament set; the player makes a series of wagers against the dealer’s hand at the flop, turn and river stages.
Beyond variants of these general table poker variants, a few other titles may be found at the bigger online casinos such as three-card poker, based on a UK-styled game.
Finally, some weirdies. Among the more exotic varieties of poker table games: Russian Poker, a bit like Caribbean Stud but with more wagering possibilities; and Triple Action Hold ‘Em, a game with two wagers, one that compares the player's hand to the dealer's, and a second that is paid out against an odds table
For those looking to put a new spin on that worldwide obsession, i.e. poker, online casinos everywhere have the games for you. Try a more purist-gambling form of the game in poker table games such as Caribbean Stud, Pai Gow, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em and the like; a few examples in playable versions run below.