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Poker Variations

Poker is a diverse and captivating card game that has spawned numerous variations, each with its own unique set of rules and gameplay dynamics. From the classic Texas Hold'em and Omaha to lesser-known types of Poker games like Seven-Card Stud and Razz, these poker variations offer players a wide range of strategic challenges and thrilling experiences.

Whether you're drawn to the excitement of community cards, the complexity of high-low split pots, or the simplicity of draw poker, there's a poker variation to suit every player's preference and skill level.

That said, let’s explore the most different types of poker variations you can explore and delve thoroughly into the world of poker.

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Different Types of Poker Variations

Texas Hold’em Poker

The most popular poker variation is Texas Hold'em poker. It is relatively easy to learn compared to other poker variations. The rules are straightforward and the gameplay revolves around creating the best hand using a combination of private and community cards.

It gained significant popularity in the late 20th century and has since become the dominant form of poker in both live and online settings.

In this poker variation, players are dealt two private cards and use five community cards to make the best possible hand. The game features multiple betting rounds, including a pre-flop, flop, turn, and river. The objective is to make the best five-card hand using any combination of the private and community cards.

Omaha Poker Variations

Omaha Poker is also known as Pot limit Omaha poker. Among different poker games, this is the second most popular variation of Poker after Hold’em.

Omaha Poker shares similarities with Texas Hold'em, which has helped contribute to its popularity. Both games involve community cards and players aiming to create the best possible hand. If you have played Hold’em before, the transition to Omaha becomes easier since the basic concepts and hand rankings are similar.

Different poker games of Omaha bring their own unique elements and challenges, offering players a range of options to enjoy the game. Here are the most popular poker types.

  • Omaha Hi
  • Omaha Hi/Lo
  • 5-Card Omaha

All these poker variants follow the same omaha poker rules as Texas Hold’em poker. The two significant differences between Hold’em and Omaha are that in Omaha, players get four hole cards rather than two. And finally, players must try to make the best hand with two of their hole cards and three community cards.

Omaha Hi

In the Omaha poker games list, Omaha Hi is the second most popular poker variant in the poker community. The 'Hi' in Omaha poker refers to the highest best hand being rewarded the entire pot at each segment's end. Omaha Hi is otherwise called Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO) because it has a pot-limit that poker players cannot exceed.

In simple terms, these poker game variations are similar to Texas Hold’em poker with just one small difference. The four-hole cards are handed to each player instead of two at the start of each hand. These players still have to try to make the poker hands with five cards, the same as before. They will have to use two of their four hole cards and three of their five community cards to win the hand. Since players are given more cards at the start of each round, one needs to strategize their betting accordingly.

Omaha Hi-Lo

Omaha Hi-Lo is a poker game that is similar to the Omaha Hi poker type. The main difference between these two poker types is that the pot gets equally divided into two at the end of each hand, showing the highest and lowest five-card variations.

It is possible to use various combinations of hole cards to bring out the highest and lowest poker card rankings. Nonetheless, certain conditions are to be met for achieving the lowest hand in the pot.

This poker type is also called Omaha 8-or-Better. Its name comes from the five cards making up the lowest hand to be ranked eight or less. Also, note that the flushes and straights do not have any value in this type of poker game. The lower hand poker probability are A-2-3-4-5 combo, whereas the high hand possibilities are 8-7-6-5-4. Notice that the lowest hand is always ranked from the highest order.

5-Card Omaha

If you like playing Omaha Hi, the five-card Omaha is the game for you. In this poker type, players are dealt with five-hole cards instead of the standard four. Nonetheless, they will still have to use precisely two of the hole cards and three of their community cards to create the best possible hand.

And due to the addition of one more card to the game, it becomes easier to build and create chances in forging strong playable hands. However, the game is to be played in the Pot-limit format. But, in some cases, there are chances for a no-limit tournament.

Open Face Chinese Poker (OFC Poker)

Chinese poker is unique from other kinds in the poker games list. It is a variant of poker that has gained popularity in recent years, particularly among recreational and high-stakes players. It is a unique and strategic game that differs significantly from traditional poker variations. Here's an overview of the game.

Open-Face Chinese (OFC) Poker is a card game played with 2 to 4 players using a standard deck of 52 cards. In OFC Poker, each player is dealt 13 cards, which they arrange into three separate hands: the front, middle, and back hand.

The back hand consists of five cards, the middle hand consists of five cards, and the front hand consists of three cards. The hands are arranged in descending order of strength, with the back hand being the strongest, followed by the middle hand, and the front hand being the weakest.

Once players have set their hands, they place them face-down on the table. No changes can be made to the hands once they have been placed. After all players have set their hands, scoring takes place. The hands are revealed, and points are awarded based on hand rankings. A winning hand in the back, middle, or front hand receives one point. Bonus points may be awarded for specific combinations.

OFC Poker offers a refreshing twist on traditional poker. The process of setting three separate hands and strategically arranging the cards adds a new layer of decision-making and excitement. It requires players to carefully balance hand strength and placement, making each hand a strategic puzzle to solve.

Stud Poker Variations

Next in the poker games list is Stud Poker. It is the most popular type of poker to be played. The game even now has a fan base where players join to compete in poker tournaments. In Stud poker games, the cards are shuffled in a predetermined order of face-up and face-down cards with betting rounds at the end of each round.

Players are dealt a combination of face-up and face-down cards over several betting rounds in these types of poker games. Unlike community card games like Texas Hold'em, where players share community cards, in Stud poker, each player's hand is comprised of only their own individual cards. Five-card Stud and the Seven-card Stud are perfect examples of this kind of game.

That said, here are two of the most well-known variations of Stud poker:

Five-Card Stud

This is the earliest form of Stud poker and one of the simplest variations. Each player is dealt five cards, with the first card face-down and the remaining four cards face-up. Betting rounds occur between each deal.

Seven-Card Stud

In this more popular variation, each player is dealt a total of seven cards. Three cards are dealt face-down, followed by four face-up cards. The betting rounds in this game are interspersed between each deal, and the player with the best Five-card poker hand at the end wins.

This specific type of poker is quite different from the typical types. In this game, hole cards and community cards are not used. Players only use their own individual cards. There are certain instances in the this card game online where some cards are faced down and hidden from players, while other cards are faced up for the opponents to see.

Draw Poker Variations

Next in the different poker games list is a bunch of Draw Poker variations. Draw poker is a classic form of poker where players are dealt a complete hand of cards, typically five, and then have the option to discard some or all of their cards to receive new ones from the dealer in an attempt to improve their hand. After the drawing round, there is a final round of betting, and the player with the best hand at the end wins the pot.

Here are some well-known variations of Draw poker:

Five-Card Draw

This is the most traditional and widely recognized form of Draw poker. Each player is dealt five cards, and there is a single round of betting. After that, players have the opportunity to exchange any number of their cards for new ones. After the draw, there is another betting round, and the best hand at the showdown wins.

Triple Draw Lowball

In this poker variation, players aim for the lowest hand possible. There are three drawing rounds, allowing players to replace some or all of their cards to achieve the lowest-ranking hand. The most common variant of Triple Draw lowball is 2-7 Triple Draw, where straights and flushes are not considered, and the best hand is 2-3-4-5-7.

Horse Poker

Among other different poker games, the game of HORSE stands for five different types of poker games. Namely, the Hold’em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Stud, and Eight-or-Better. This game is often played with high stakes in live games. Horse Poker is also one of the few games to be featured in the World Series of Poker. Having to play the five types of poker games in one-go, the players will have to keep in mind the rules involved in each part of this game.

Razz Poker

Razz poker is a variation of Seven-Card Stud, and it is considered a lowball game. In Razz, players aim to make the lowest possible hand from seven cards. It is often referred to as 'Razz Seven-Card Stud,' highlighting its close connection to the traditional stud game.

The objective of Razz Poker is to have the best low hand, and in this context, the best hand is the one with the lowest poker value. Straights and flushes are ignored in this poker variation, and the best possible hand is known as the 'Wheel': A-2-3-4-5.

Short Deck Poker

Short-deck Poker is a variant form of the Texas Hold’em poker type. Now, short deck poker game has become the staple in most high-stake cash games and tournaments. The ranking system is slightly different from the average poker rankings. Here, flushes beat full house poker, and the two's and five's are removed from the deck. Hence, the game is played with just 36 cards, giving it the name Short-deck poker.

Lesser cards mean that the players have better chances of making a strong hand faster. But, do not forget that your poker opponent also has the same advantage. Note that with fewer cards involved in the game, your chances of getting higher variant cards are boundless.


This type of poker game is similar to the draw and lowball poker variations. Badugi is played differently from the other poker types because it uses a high-ranking system to achieve the best hand. Even if you are a skilled Badugi player, there will be new areas to explore each time you play the game.

The name 'Badugi' is believed to come from a Korean word, 'Baduk,' which refers to a traditional board game similar to Go. Badugi poker is a unique and interesting lowball poker variant that originated in Asia but has gained popularity worldwide. It is a draw poker game where players aim to create the best four-card hand possible, with the goal of having different suits and the lowest card values.

Super Hold’em

Super Hold'Em is an exhilarating variation of the poker game. In this variation, each player receives three hole cards and can use any number of hole cards, from one to three, to make the best five-card combination and win the pot money.

The key difference between Texas Hold’Em and Super Hold’Em is that you may or may not use hole cards in Texas Hold’em. However, you must use one out of three hole cards to make the best five-card hand combination in the Super Hold’Em variation.

All-In or Fold

All-In or Fold is a new and exciting Poker variation in which you decide to go all-in or fold. However, it is played differently in Texas Hold’Em and PLO (Pot Limit Omaha).

In Texas Hold’Em, you showcase your pre-flop skills and decide to go all-in or fold after seeing your hole cards and before the flop cards (three out of five community cards) open on the table.

On the contrary, in Pot Limit Omaha, the flop (three community cards) is distributed immediately after each player receives the hole cards. As a result, the player decides post-flop if they have to go All-In or Fold. Moreover, each player’s stack gets updated automatically as per the minimum buy-in for the game after each hand.

If the updated stack is lower than the minimum balance, the remaining amount gets automatically transferred from the wallet to your stack on the table. Similarly, your profits get transferred to your wallets automatically and your stack gets updated as per the minimum buy-in for the table.

The rest of the rules for this exhilarating game variation remain the same. In Texas Hold’Em, you can use zero, one or two hole cards to make the best five-card hand combination. However, players have to use two out of 4, 5 or 6 hole cards in the PLO poker game.


It is a unique and fast-paced variation of the poker game, in which you get transferred to another table as soon as you fold your hand on your current table. As a result, you won’t have to wait for the whole table to finish that hand and can play a new one on a new table without waiting for a second, uninterruptedly, when you’re not playing the hand.

Final Words

All types of Poker games variations are about reading your opponents and trying to figure out whether they are bluffing or not in context of how to play poker. A traditional poker game is mostly played at hotel-casinos where there are many visual clues available for you to deal with your opponents.

However, poker these days are played online. In online poker games, the cards are distributed in the same manner as the Texas Hold’em poker. You are given cards at the start of each round. The player with the best possible poker winning hands the pot. As for the pot's limits, it all depends on the players whether to have a Pot-limit or Po-limit structure.

Poker Variations - FAQs

Q. How many type of poker variations are there?

There are three top poker variations: stud poker,draw poker and community card poker, Examples for this type of variant are the Texas Hold'Em poker, omaha poker etc.

Q. What is the best version of poker?

The 'best' version of poker is subjective to your choice, preference and playing styles. Different poker variants appeal to different players based on their skill level, interests, and what they find enjoyable in a poker game. Each version of poker has its unique set of rules and strategies, offering a diverse range of experiences. That said, Texas Hold 'em is easier to learn compared to its counterparts and is the most popular poker variations of poker played worldwide.

Q. How many different kinds of poker games are there?

There are numerous different types of poker games, and the number and types of poker games can be quite extensive due to the variations and regional adaptations that have evolved over time. The most popular and well-known poker games includes Texas Hold'em, Pot Limit Omaha, Seven-Card Stud, Razz Poker, Pineapple Poker, Badugi and Five-Card Draw.

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