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Draw Poker by Software Providers

By: Joan Peppin, Sunday December 12th 2010
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Poker has more variants than any other card game. The modern game of poker evolved in the early 19th century in America. Draw poker variants were developed in the middle of the 19th century. In draw poker games each player is dealt a complete hand before the first betting round. During subsequent betting rounds the player can develop the hand by discarding some cards and drawing fresh ones as replacement. Stud poker variants were developed during the American Civil War. In stud poker games players are dealt the hand in stages followed by betting rounds in between. One of the most popular variants is Texas Hold'em, which is a stud poker game. Following its popularity draw poker games have been all but relegated to the dust bin. Therefore most online gaming software providers offer stud poker based casino games like Caribbean Stud Poker and Texas Hold'em, but very few offer draw poker based casino games. Till recently Realtime Gaming was the only one among the major software developers to offer Caribbean Draw Poker. Now Microgaming has introduced a similar game. It must be pointed out that casino based poker games are different from the actual poker games. In the casino games the players bet against the casino whereas in the actual games players bet against each other.

Caribbean Draw Poker by both Microgaming and Realtime Gaming has similar rules. The game is played with a standard deck of 52 playing cards. Players first place the Ante bet, and if they want to they can place the optional side bet as well. Then on clicking the Deal button the player is dealt five cards face up and the dealer is dealt one card face up and four cards face down. In the Microgaming game the player has three options. By clicking the Stand button a Play bet equal to double the Ante is placed and the dealer's cards are revealed. Players can select up to two cards for replacement by clicking on them. Then clicking the Draw button replaces the selected cards with new ones and simultaneously places the additional wager as above. By clicking the Fold button the player concedes his hand without seeing the dealer's full hand and loses his Ante wager. In the Realtime Gaming version there is no separate Stand move. Players who want to stick with their dealt hand should click the Draw button without selecting any cards.

The payout rules are the same in the draw poker games from both software providers. If the player's hand is lower ranking than the dealer's hand then he loses both the Ante and Play bets. If the player's hand is higher ranked, but the dealer does not qualify then the Ante bet pays even money and the Play bet pushes. If the player's hand is higher ranked, and the dealer qualifies then the Ante bet pays even money and the Play bet pays as per a payout table. The dealer requires a pair of eights or better to qualify. The payout table for the main bet is the same for games from both software providers.

The optional side bet pays out according to another payout table based on the original dealt hand before drawing. This table is different for the Realtime Gaming and Microgaming games. The Microgaming table starts with a 4 to 1 payout for a two pair and goes to a 2,500 to 1 payout for a straight flush with the progressive jackpot for a royal flush. The Realtime Gaming table starts with a 75 to 1 payout for a flush and goes to 10% of the progressive jackpot for a straight flush with the full progressive jackpot for a royal flush.

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