6 Most Popular Poker Variations You Should Learn How to Play
Are you sick and tired of playing the same poker game?
Do you want a new challenge and a game that will make poker exciting for you once again?
If the answer is yes, this is the right article for you.
A Few Types of Poker Games To Give A Try
Here, I will tell you all you need to know about the six most popular poker variations. We’ll talk about the following games:
I know you are probably very excited to learn how to play these games, so let’s just get down to business straight away. Enjoy!
#1 Texas Hold’em
Texas Hold’em is by far the most popular poker game in the world. Moreover, it is the most common poker game available online. So if you want to play poker online, you should learn the rules and start practising.
This game is played with a dealer, a big blind, and a small blind. If you play online or in a land-based casino, the dealer will not participate in the game.
However, if you play at home with your friends, all of the players will take turns to be the dealer.
Texas Hold’em is played with a single deck of 52 cards. The gameplay is simple but it has four betting rounds. The dealer will first serve each player two cards face-down and three community cards face-down in the middle of the table. After the first betting round, the three community cards will be revealed and two more will be added face-up after each consecutive round of betting, followed by a final betting round.
Texas Hold’em uses the standard hand ranking, which means the royal flush is the strongest hand and a high card the weakest.
#2 Pot-Limit Omaha
Texas Hold’em is popular all over the world, but as you can guess from the name of the game, it is the most popular among the players from the US.
On the other hand, Pot-Limit Omaha is the favourite game of European players. It has many similarities with Texas Hold’em, but there are some crucial differences as well that you should be aware of.
Due to the betting style and the amount of action in the gameplay, Pot-Limit Omaha is very popular among high rollers. In this game, each player gets four hole cards and the maximum bet is equal to the number of chips in the pot.
As we have mentioned, there are some similarities with Hold’em. The betting structure is the same. There are five community cards and four rounds of betting, including the flop, the turn and the river.
However, in Omaha, each player gets four community cards but can only use two of them and combine them with three community cards to make a winning combination.
This is not an easy poker game for beginners, but if you know how to play Texas Hold’em, you’ll have no issues playing Omaha.
#3 Omaha Hi-Lo
If you’ve been wondering why players get four cards in Omaha, things will become a lot clearer after you learn about Omaha Hi-Lo. In regular Omaha, you only use two of your four hole cards. However, in Omaha Hi-Lo, you need to use all four of them.
The goal in Omaha Hi-Lo is to have both the highest and the lowest hand, as both of them are winning hands.
At the end of each round, the player with the highest and the player with the lowest hand split the pot. If you have both, you win the entire pot.
The ranking of high hands is the same as in Texas Hold’em. To qualify for the low hand, all of the cards in your low hand must be 8 or below. Also, you must not have any pairs, as they do not count toward the low hand.
For example, 9,8,7,6,5 is not a low hand because of the 9. Also, 8,7,7,6,5 is not a low hand because there is a pair of 7’s. An example of a good low hand is a 5, 4, 3, 2, A in which Ace is counted as 1.
The gameplay in Omaha Hi-Lo is the same as in regular Omaha. The only difference is in the objective of the game. This is not the best game for beginners, but you can learn the ropes with a little bit of practice.
#4 Seven-Card Stud
If you have been alive long enough to remember the times before Texas Hold’em conquered the poker world, you know that Seven-Card Stud used to be the king of poker rooms.
Seven-Card Stud is a limit game, which means it is a slow game that demands patience and a good strategy. Unfortunately, nowadays, people prefer the excitement no-limit and pot-limit games offer.
Don’t get us wrong, we like them as well, but limit games should not be frowned upon.
As you can guess from the name, this game is played with seven cards. However, unlike in Texas Hold’em, there are no community cards. Therefore, you might need some time to get used to the gameplay.
At the beginning of the round, each player is dealt three cards (two face-down and one face-up) after they pay an ante. After the first round of betting is finished, all players receive the fourth card face-up (a.k.a. the fourth street). Another round of betting ensues, after which players receive another face-up card and another one after that. Finally, after another round of betting, players receive the last, seventh, card face-down.
Anyone who has not folded by this point needs to show all of their cards and the winner is chosen using standard poker hand rankings.
#5 2-7 Triple Draw
Now that you’ve learned about the existence of games that use low hands, it’s time to learn about the best of them. 2-7 Triple Draw has no community cards, just like Seven-Card Stud, but uses blinds like Texas Hold’em.
The objective of the game is to make the strongest possible low hand. To do that, you need to know the basic rules and understand how each card is valued.
Straights and flushes in this game count and Aces count as high cards. Therefore, the best winning hand you can make is an unsuited 2,3,4,5,7. That explains the first part of the name of this game.
At the beginning of each round, the players are dealt five cards. There are no community cards on the table. After the first round of betting, they can draw up to five new cards. They can do this a maximum of three times, hence the “triple draw.”
After the final, fourth, betting round, the players who are still in the game must show their cards and the winner is determined.
Playing this game is quite fun and players usually bluff a lot. However, they are hard to come across online, which is a problem if you like playing on the Internet.
H.O.R.S.E. is a game where real professionals are separated from the amateurs. The name of this game is an acronym made from the first letters of five popular poker games: Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo, Razz, Seven-Card Stud and Seven-Card Stud Eight or Better.
To play this game, you must know the rules and gameplay of all the five poker games that shape it.
Each of these games is played for one orbit (the dealer button makes one rotation around the table). After one orbit is complete, the dealer will announce that the game will switch to a different type of poker. Therefore, it’s very important to stay focused and not mix the games up, or you will have a bad time.
This game demands a strong strategy if you wish to win. Most players are not good at all five of these games, so that’s your chance to shine. If you’re moderately good at these games, you can use your opponents’ weaknesses to your advantage.
#7 5-Card Draw
Although 5-Card Draw is very entertaining and straightforward to learn, it is one of the least played poker variations professionally. It involves only two rounds of betting, and you must make the strongest hand possible with those five cards dealt. Betting can be fixed or pot-limit.
The game starts with a small and big blind put forward before players receive any cards. After each player is dealt 5 cards face down (no community cards), the betting starts with the player sitting to the left of the big blind. Before drawing the first card, players can either raise, fold, or call. Then, they can draw anywhere between 0 and 5 cards. If more than one player remains after the first round of betting, another round of drawing and betting follows. A showdown occurs if there is more than one player after this round, and whoever has the strongest hand scoops the pot.
5-Card Draw is the perfect poker variation for beginners because it is easy to learn; plus, you can play many more hands in this game than in any other, giving you more opportunities to practice. However, some players don’t like it because they can’t see their opponents’ cards and deduce the strength of their hands.
And there you go! If you want to start playing poker or you’re tired of only playing Texas Hold’em, you should give these popular poker variants a try.If Hold’em is the first game you learned how to play, we recommend learning Omaha next and then one of the lowball games. That way, you’ll get a good range of games under your belt.
After you’re moderately happy with your skills, you should give H.O.R.S.E. a try as well. There are plenty of online tournaments you can enter to test your skills.
Have you ever played any of these games? Have you tried to master them? And do you have a favourite one? We’d love to hear what you think so leave a comment or two!