These days, everyone plays poker. From 3rd graders to the elderly, the poker bug seems to consume everyone in its path. One of the main reasons for poker's popularity is that it can cater to anyone. Each popular variation of poker offers something unique. Some are easy to learn, some are complicated, some are geared towards the risk-averse, and some are perfect for the risk-loving degenerate.
A poker game's characteristics are largely determined by the style of betting being used. There are four popular styles of betting in poker: No-Limit If you've seen poker on television, chances are it was a no-limit game. Playing poker with no-limit betting rules means that a player, at any time, can bet all of the money they have on the table (which is often referred to as "going all-in"). Since players can go broke on one single hand, no-limit poker makes for a high-intensity game.
This is why it's all over TV. Best For: Anyone looking to gamble and have some fun. Pot-Limit Poker games with pot-limit betting rules might be the sexiest, and most underrated style of poker. In pot-limit, the largest bet you can possibly make is to bet the size of the pot.
This style of betting is more conducive to action. Players are less willing to fold when the largest bet they'll ever face is just the size of the pot. Best For: Creating a poker environment with frequent difficult decisions.
Fixed-Limit Most novice poker players start out playing fixed-limit games. In no-limit or pot-limit, one must ask oneself two questions; "do I want to bet?" and if so, "how much do I want to bet?" In fixed-limit games, only the first question matters. A typical fixed limit game might be $5/$10.
This means in the early stages of the hand, the amount you can bet is $5, and at a certain point towards the end of the hand, the amount you can bet increases to $10. Risk-averse people like fixed-limit games since there is no possibility of losing one's pants on a single hand. Best For: Anyone learning a new variant of poker and anyone who finds no-limit and pot-limit to be too risky. Spread-Limit This style of betting isn't played too often, but some people like it since it offers the safety of fixed-limit with a flexibility similar to pot-limit. A typical small-stakes game offered in casinos is $1/$3 spread limit.
This means, if you want to bet, you have to bet at least $1, but you are permitted to bet as much as $3. Best For: Fixed-limit players wanting to incorporate some of the decision processes of a pot-limit game.
Cory is a writer for PokerTips.org, an online poker information website. PokerTips.org is one of the top German poker information websites as well.