Dealer Choice Poker

One of the things about the poker world is that, while the basic rules of how hand rankings work stay the same, and while most of the basic strategic principles and idea stay the same, there can be vast differences in how the betting is handled and how the cards are dealt. This is how we can end up with several variations of poker like no-limit hold'em, pot-limit Omaha, seven-card stud, five-card draw, etc. While some players really prefer one type of poker over another, one way to even things out is to play dealer choice poker instead.

In a dealer choice or dealer's choice game, the dealer position rotates clockwise around the table after each hand. When it's your turn to deal, you get to decide the game that you're going to play. Sometimes this has to be kept to a specific list of games that everyone can choose from, and other times you're allowed to play anything as long as you can quickly explain it. A good example of an atypical game that's popular in dealer choice poker games is Chicago, a seven-card stud game where the player with the highest spade as a hole card takes down half the pot, and the best poker hand wins the other half of the pot. As you can see, this game isn't common, but it's easy to explain.

Other Types of Mixed Games

A poker format that's similar to dealer choice poker is called a mixed game. Instead of having the dealer decide on the game each time, you play in a rotation of games that everyone agrees on ahead of time. Typically you'll play one round all the way around the table of one game before switching to the next. This is a popular format for players who want to play half of one type of poker and half of another, which is common when some players are specialists at one format but not the other.

Playing Dealer Choice Poker Online

You can sometimes find dealer choice poker games online, but mixed games are a bit more popular because it's easier to compensate at the table for players who get disconnected or have to leave in the middle of a game. This isn't normally something that you have to worry about when playing live, and it's really only something specific to the online environment. If you really want to play these types of games on the Internet, we have a number of great poker rooms that we can recommend that will give you options to play within a pre-set selection of games, many of which are mixed in this way.