About the time of World War II, many modern poker games used community cards (also called “shared cards” or “window cards”), which are cards dealt face up to the center of the table and shared by all players. In these games, each player is dealt privately an incomplete hand (“hole cards”), which is then combined with the community cards to make a complete hand. The set of community cards is called the “board”, and may be dealt in a simple line or arranged in a special pattern. Rules of each game determine how they may be combined with each player’s private hand. The most popular community card game today is Texas hold ’em, originating sometime in the 1920s.
In home games, it is typical to use antes, while casinos typically use only blinds for these games. Fixed limit games are most common in casinos, while spread limit games are more common in home games. No limit and pot limit games are less common. Later betting rounds often have a higher limit than earlier betting rounds. Each betting round begins with the player to the dealer’s left (when blinds are used, the first round begins with the player after the big blind), so community card games are generally positional games.
Most community card games do not play well with lowball hand values, though some do play very well at high-low split, especially with ace-to-five low values, making it possible to win both halves of a pot. When played high-low split, there is generally a minimum qualifying hand for low (often 8-high), and it is played cards speak.