Top 12 Poker Variations (A-Z)
It is time to present the most popular and interesting forms of poker for you. This short poker games list takes us into the world of poker and demonstrates the commonly played variations of the famous card game.
2-7 Single Draw: A Simple Lowball Variation
Probably the simplest version of lowball poker, Deuce to Seven Single Draw is a game in which all players are dealt five cards and the objective is to make the lowest possible hand without making a straight or a flush. The best possible hand is 2-3-4-5-7 and players get to discard their cards and get new once only once.
2-7 Single Draw is usually played as a no limit game, which means players can bet as much as they want, as long as they have the chips on the table. The game is not played that commonly at low stakes tables, but is a popular part of the high stakes mixed games in Las Vegas and other parts of the world.
2-7 Triple Draw: Triple the Fun
The game of Deuce to Seven Triple Draw is similar to the single draw version in objective, as low hands are the winners in this one as well. However, unlike the single draw, triple draw allows players to switch out their cards three times, making it much more likely that a strong hand will be made by one of the players.
This is the reason why 2-7 Triple Draw is often played as a limit or pot limit game, since a no limit version would see too much action. This game is also very popular in high stakes circles and is sometimes played in tournament format as well.
Badugi: A New Kind of Poker
Of all the different poker card games, Badugi is one of the most unusual ones, as the common hand rankings do not apply in Badugi. Instead, all players are dealt a hand of four cards and draws are made to try and get a good hand.
However, in order to beat their opponents, players must make a Badugi, which is a hand that contains cards of four different suits. Furthermore, the lower the Badugi, the better, which makes it another lowball poker game. Badugi is probably one of the least popular poker games and is only played among professional poker players who often look for new ways to mix things up.
Five Card Draw: Old but Gold
Five Card Draw is a game that used to be very popular back in the day and is not played much anymore. This poker version is often portrayed in cowboy movies and was one of the original ways to play cards in America.
In Five Card Draw, all players are dealt five cards and they get a single draw. The game is usually played in a no limit format and players can bet on two occasions, before and after the draw. The best hands are determined according to the common poker hand rankings, with hands between high card and royal flush are all available. Five Card Draw is usually only seen in home games and occasionally online nowadays.
Five Card Stud: A Dying Game
Much like Five Card Draw, Five Card Stud is a game that is not played very commonly anymore and few players have even had a chance to play it in an official environment in recent years. The game is a stud poker version in which every player is dealt five cards in four different rounds and a betting round is introduced between each new card.
Five Card Stud is a classic form of limit poker that was popular throughout the 1900s and before games like Texas Hold’em took over as the kings of the poker world. Older gamblers still remember the game with fondness, but no Five Card Stud tournaments are hosted in any major series anymore.
H.O.R.S.E: Let’s Mix It Up
The most popular poker mixed game, H.O.R.S.E stands for Hold’em – Omaha – Razz- Stud – Stud Eight or Better. The game contains five various poker games and is usually played in a way that one round of every game is played in sequence.
Like most mixed poker versions, H.O.R.S.E is usually played at high stakes cash game tables or in tournaments. Players can play this poker variant online and in live tournaments at major series like the World Series of Poker. The game is considered to be very difficult to master as it takes proficiency in five different poker games to be really good at H.O.R.S.E, which makes it perfect for professionals looking to gain an edge over the competitions.
No Limit Hold’em: The Cadillac of Poker
Sometimes referred to as the Cadillac of poker, No Limit Hold’em is the most widespread and popular poker version in the world. The game was truly propelled to greatness when Chris Moneymaker won the WSOP Main Event and became the first amateur player to do so, leading millions of fans around the world to start dreaming of greatness.
No Limit Hold’em is a game played with two hole cards and five community cards, with four betting rounds and no limit on the betting size. The game is popular in both cash game and tournament format in almost all corners of the world and is by far the most widespread online poker game.
Players who are just looking to get started with poker and learn a game usually go with No Limit Hold’em, simply because the game is so widespread in casinos and online poker sites around the world.
No Limit Omaha: Gambling it Up
Omaha poker is usually played in pot limit variation but it can also be played as no limit game. The main reason why No Limit Omaha is not very common is because it makes the game a bit too gamblish and takes away some of the skill factor.
Omaha poker in general is played with four hole cards and five community cards, of which players get to use two hole cards and three community. Standard hand rankings are applied, ranging from high card to royal flush. The characteristic of Omaha poker is that many big hands are made due to the fact players get to combine nine different cards to get to a final five card hand.
Pai Gow Poker: Beating the Dealer
Unlike the other most popular poker games we listed here, Pai Gow Poker is not played among players, but rather against the house. This makes it a casino game and thanks to the rules that were invented by the casinos, the game gives the house a slight edge, making it less interesting to play than other poker games.
Still, those who enjoy a simpler form of poker can enjoy Pai Gow Poker quite a bit. The game is played with each player dealt seven cards, which can be used to form a five card and a two card hand. The five card hand is high and two card hand is low, and the objective of the game is to beat the dealer’s hands and win a double bet.
Pot Limit Omaha: The Nordic Game
Pot Limit Omaha is quickly becoming one of the most popular poker online games. The game has been quite popular in both online rooms and live casinos around the world over the last decade and is probably the second most popular form of poker today, behind Texas Hold’em.
Pot Limit Omaha is played with four hole cards, five community cards and all bets limited to the current size of the pot. Pot Limit Omaha, often referred to as PLO is extremely popular in Northern Europe and many champions of the game come from that region. The version is commonly played in tournaments around the world as well, including many tournaments at the World Series of Poker.
Razz: Lowball Razz
Of all the lowball poker variations, Razz has probably been around the longest. Very popular among the older generations of poker players and gamblers, Razz is a form of stud poker, in which players are dealt seven cards in five rounds, with one betting round between them.
Razz is always played as a limit game and the objective of the game is to make the lowest possible hand that does not contain any pairs. The best possible hand in Razz is called the wheel, and this is in fact a straight from Ace to a Five.
Seven Card Stud: The Game of the Old Days
Historically speaking, Seven Card Stud is one of the most important versions of poker. The game was played at the WSOP and other tournaments for decades and many professional poker players of the past generations like Doyle Brunson grew playing mostly this game.
Seven Card Stud is played in the same way as Razz, with the difference being in the fact that players are trying to make high hands, according to the classic hand rankings applied to most poker games.
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FAQOnline Poker Variations FAQ
There are literally dozens of poker variations out there. Some of them we have described on this page, but there are many other cool poker variations to discover as you play.
Most commonly, players learn poker by learning how to play Texas Hold’em or Pot Limit Omaha. We suggest you do the same, as these games offer the most tables and most variety in stakes both online and live.
This is hard to answer as it depends heavily on who you are playing against. Our best tip is to find players who are bad at a version of the game and play that version against them for biggest edge possible.
No! Most people assume that all poker games use the same hand rankings systems, but there are lowball games and games like Badugi in which hand rankings are completely different and should be learned from scratch.
There are some really crazy poker variations out there, such as Chinese Poker. These new versions of the game can be extremely fun to play and add some interesting elements to the game that never used to exist.
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