The Ultimate Guide to the Different Types of Poker: Discover the Variants and Find Your Perfect Game

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Written by: Matt E.

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Poker is one of the most popular and engaging card games in the world. It has evolved over the centuries, giving rise to various types of poker, each with its unique rules, strategies, and appeal. In this comprehensive blog post, we'll explore the different types of poker and offer a brief overview of each variant, helping you discover your perfect poker game.

Texas Hold'em

Texas Hold'em is undoubtedly the most popular type of poker worldwide. It is the primary game played in many major poker tournaments, including the World Series of Poker (WSOP).

Players: 2-10

Objective: Make the best five-card hand using a combination of two hole cards and five community cards.

Texas Hold'em features four betting rounds:

  1. Pre-flop: After the blinds are posted, each player receives two private hole cards.
  2. Flop: Three community cards are dealt face-up on the board.
  3. Turn: A fourth community card is added.
  4. River: The fifth and final community card is dealt.

After each round, players have the option to check, bet, call, raise, or fold. The remaining players reveal their hole cards during the showdown, and the player with the best hand wins the pot.

Omaha

Omaha, often referred to as Omaha Hold'em or simply Omaha is a popular poker variant that is similar to Texas Hold'em but with a few key differences.

Players: 2-10

Objective: Make the best five-card hand using exactly two hole cards and three community cards.

In Omaha, each player receives four hole cards instead of two. The betting rounds and hand rankings are identical to those in Texas Hold'em. However, in Omaha, players must use precisely two of their hole cards and three of the community cards to create their best five-card hand.

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Seven Card Stud

Once the most popular form of poker, Seven Card Stud has taken a backseat to community card games like Texas Hold'em and Omaha but still enjoys a dedicated following.

Players: 2-8

Objective: Make the best five-card hand using seven dealt cards.

Seven Card Stud is a non-community card game that features five betting rounds. Each player receives seven cards throughout the game: three face-down (hole cards) and four face-up (door cards). Players must use their cards to create the best five-card hand possible.

Razz

Razz is a lowball variant of Seven Card Stud in which the lowest hand wins the pot.

Players: 2-8

Objective: Make the best low five-card hand using seven dealt cards.

Razz follows the same structure and betting rounds as Seven Card Stud. However, the hand rankings are different, as the lowest hand wins the pot. Aces are low in Razz, and straights and flushes don't count against the low value of a hand. The best possible hand in Razz is A-2-3-4-5, known as the “wheel.”

Five Card Draw

One of the simplest types of poker, Five Card Draw is an excellent choice for beginners or casual players.

Players: 2-6

Objective: Make the best five-card hand after a single draw.

Each player receives five face-down cards, and there is a single betting round. After the betting, players may choose to discard and draw up to three new cards (four if holding an ace) in an attempt to improve their hand. After the draw, there is a final betting round, followed by a showdown where the best hand wins.

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Triple Draw Lowball (2-7)

Triple Draw Lowball, also known as 2-7 Triple Draw or Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, is another popular lowball poker variant where the lowest hand wins the pot.

Players: 2-6

Objective: Make the best low five-card hand after three draws.

Triple Draw Lowball features four betting rounds and three drawing rounds. Players receive five face-down cards, and the aim is to make the lowest possible hand without straights or flushes. Aces are high, and the best hand is 2-3-4-5-7 (hence the name Deuce-to-Seven).

Pineapple and Crazy Pineapple

Pineapple and Crazy Pineapple are entertaining Texas Hold'em variants with slight rule modifications.

Players: 2-10

Objective: Make the best five-card hand using a combination of hole cards and community cards.

In Pineapple, each player receives three hole cards instead of two. After the pre-flop betting round, players discard one of their hole cards and continue to play the remaining rounds like Texas Hold'em.

Crazy Pineapple follows the same structure as Pineapple, but players discard one of their hole cards after the flop betting round instead of the pre-flop round.

Badugi

Badugi is a unique, lowball poker variant that uses a different hand ranking system than other poker games.

Players: 2-6

Objective: Make the best low four-card hand with no cards of the same rank or suit.

Badugi features four betting rounds and three drawing rounds. Players receive four face-down cards and can draw up to four cards in each drawing round. A “badugi” is a hand with four different suits and no pairs. The best possible badugi is A-2-3-4, with each card of a different suit.

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Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo

Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo, or PLO8, is a variant of Omaha that is played with a split pot, where the highest and lowest hands share the winnings.

Players: 2-10

Objective: Make the best high and/or low five-card hand using two hole cards and three community cards.

PLO8 follows the same rules as Omaha, with a few differences. The pot is split between the best high hand and the best low hand (if one qualifies). To qualify for the low hand, a player must have five unpaired cards of rank 8 or lower. Aces can be used for both high and low hands.

Chinese Poker

Chinese Poker is a unique type of poker that requires players to arrange their cards into three separate hands.

Players: 2-4

Objective: Make three poker hands (two five-card hands and one three-card hand) that outrank your opponents'.

In Chinese Poker, each player receives 13 cards and must arrange them into three hands: two five-card hands (called the “back” and “middle” hands) and one three-card hand (called the “front” hand). The back hand must be stronger than or equal to the middle hand, and the middle hand must be stronger than or equal to the front hand.

Players compare their hands with their opponents' hands, and points are awarded for winning hands. The game is often played for a fixed number of rounds or a set point target.

Conclusion

With so many exciting types of poker to choose from, it's no wonder the game continues to captivate players around the world. Whether you're a seasoned poker pro or a casual player looking for a new challenge, there's a poker variant out there for you. So, why not explore the different types of poker and find your perfect game today? Happy playing!

Written by

Matt E.

I've been immersed in the world of poker since 2003. Poker is hard. It has undoubtedly been a roller coaster of experiences for me over the years. My poker journey spans from playing at .01/.02 NL tables to engaging in intense sessions at $5/$10. Poker isn't just a game to me—it's a passion. Outmaneuvering opponents in this test of mental strength and strategy offers an unparalleled thrill. To deepen my understanding of the game and to assist others, I initiated this blog. It aims to elucidate the ever-evolving technologies, strategies, and legal landscapes of poker, especially in the online realm. We're now in the age of solvers, but both online and live poker continue to thrive. A quick visit to a local $1/3 game would be ample evidence of its vitality. Regardless of your proficiency level, from novice to expert, I hope my blog posts offer you valuable insights. Feel free to engage with me through messages or by commenting on my posts. Cheers!

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