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5 Top Games for Poker Lovers

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Poker has a long history, with roots going back almost a thousand years across different continents and cultures. The game has evolved over that time, and today it’s one of the most popular card games in the world. There are a lot of reasons to love poker. Whether you play poker online or in person, it’s a social game that allows you to interact with people from across the globe. It’s also a game of skill, and strategy is essential to success at the poker table.

No matter how much you love poker, you may want to try your hand at a new game from time to time. There are a lot of games that offer exciting and compelling gameplay which are worth checking out if you’re a poker enthusiast. Keep reading to learn about the top games for poker players, so you can keep the good times rolling, even when playing poker isn’t on the agenda.

1. Backgammon

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With sites like GlobalPoker offering a wide variety of games and tournaments, there’s nothing quite like playing poker online. However, backgammon is worth trying if you’re looking to add something new to your gaming repertoire. Backgammon and poker have a lot in common, including skill and strategy being essential to success in both games. As a poker player, backgammon lets you relax while testing your skills against a different type of opponent. Backgammon’s rules aren’t difficult to learn; however, mastering the strategic element can be challenging. Once you understand the basic rules, you’ll realize the game is about more than luck and rolling the dice.

While poker is a multiplayer game, you typically only play against one opponent in backgammon. A backgammon game usually lasts for more than 30 minutes; on the other hand, even a complex game of poker can end in less than five minutes. If you decide to learn backgammon, you’ll be learning the oldest board game on record. That’s not all; many of the world’s top poker players, including Gus Hansen and Erik Seidel, participated in backgammon tournaments before poker exploded in popularity, so you’ll be in good company.

2. Chess

Much like poker, chess is a game of skill rather than luck. With the advent of the internet, learning the rules of chess has become a lot easier, although mastering those rules requires time and patience. Before getting started, you’ll want to be sure you have the right gaming accessories so you have everything you need to succeed from the start.

The best way to win at chess is to become a better player. On the surface, chess and poker may seem fundamentally different. However, both games require strategic thinking, planning, and the ability to respond to an opponent’s moves. Successful chess and poker players have the uncanny ability to think about what could happen several moves ahead and plan for various scenarios. Strategic planning isn’t an easy skill to master but, with practice, you’ll improve.

It’s a good idea to learn about the history of chess and study the great players as a way to improve your game. Jennifer Shahade, a two-time winner of the US Women’s Championship and FIDE grandmaster, is one of many famous chess players who’ve made their mark in the poker world. So, if you love poker, you may find chess becomes one of your favorite games too.

3. Baccarat

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Unlike the other games on our list, besides being card-based, poker and baccarat don’t have a lot in common. Strategy doesn’t play a significant role in baccarat; instead, luck has a lot to do with how successful you are when playing this game. This difference makes baccarat an excellent choice for poker players hoping to relax in their downtime.

There are times when you simply want to play a game without worrying about the outcome, and baccarat allows you to do just that. In baccarat, the dealer gives you your cards, you place a bet, and the game unfolds. The house edge isn’t bad in baccarat and, like any game, you’ll win some and lose some. So, if you’re looking for a change of pace, baccarat is worth adding to your list.

4. Crazy Eights

If you want a game that’s fast-paced, easy to learn and a lot of fun, crazy eights is worth playing. Since there are no complex rules, you can learn how to play in minutes and start right away. All you need to play this game is a deck of standard playing cards and a pen and paper to keep track of the score. If you’re playing with more than five people, you’ll need an extra deck of cards for a total of 104 playing cards.

At the beginning of the game, the dealer gives each player five cards face down and places the remaining cards in a deck at the center of the table. Next, the dealer takes one card from the top of the deck and places it face up next to the deck. The player sitting to the dealer’s left begins by placing a card on the pile. The card must be the same suit or denomination as the card set down before it.

Cards with the number eight are an exception; you can place them on the deck even if it doesn’t match the card that’s face up in the pile. If a player doesn’t have a card to place on the deck of face-up cards, they have to draw cards from the deck until they encounter a suitable card or the deck runs out of cards. The first player to reach 100 points wins the game.

5. Blackjack

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Besides poker, blackjack is one of the world’s most popular card games. The goal of blackjack is to beat the dealer by reaching 21 or getting as close as possible without going over. You’re always competing against the house in blackjack, so it’s not a competition against other players. Each player and the banker receive two cards to start the game. You can choose to stand, which ends your turn, or take another card. The rules are simple and the game is entertaining; plus, there’s room to employ strategy while playing this game.