Types of Poker: Master Different Variants and Rules with Our Guide!
If you are a fan of poker, you will know that there are in fact, many different types of poker. Most of the different poker variants were created in the United States between the mid 1800s to the early 1900s. While the standard poker rules still apply to these games, each type of poker game will have additional details and specific rules.
Poker: Returning To The Basics
Before delving into the different variants of poker, it is worth taking a look into the basics of the original poker. The aim of poker is for players to place a bet on their hand in hopes that it is the best hand on the table. The game uses a standard 52-card deck but the number of cards each player gets will depend on the forms of poker. By the end of the round, the player with the best hand wins.
Poker Categories & Variants
As the most lucrative sport in the world, it should come as no surprise that there are many types of poker. In fact, no one really knows how many types of poker that truly exist since its invention. However, all the countless types of poker can be classified into the following categories:
Poker variants in this category allow players to improve their hands by replacing a certain number of cards. This means players are dealt a complete hand that is hidden, whereupon players pick out cards that they want to be replaced. Some of the popular variants of draw poker are:
Five Card Draw
The most popular variant out of all draw poker games, 5-card draw poker is common especially in home games and online poker games. Since it its fairly straightforward, it is a great option for beginners to poker. Depending on the game, players may need to pay an ante to start the game or use the small blind and big blind betting structure. Five cards are dealt to each player with players discarding cards in exchange for up to five new cards. At the end of the round, the best five card hand wins.
2-7 Triple Draw
In the 2-7 triple draw, each player is dealt five cards face down before the wagering round starts. As the rounds begin, each player is allowed to swap cards from their existing hand with the dealer. This continues for three rounds. In this variation, the best low ranking poker hand wins.
In this poker variant, the poker hand ranking structure in traditional poker remains, but instead of aces having a high card value, they now have a low value. Players are dealt four cards and the betting round begins. In all three betting rounds, players can draw up to four cards at a time. As the final betting round comes to a close, the player with the best poker hand out of four cards wins.
Other Draw Games
Other draw games include variations such as Gardena Jackpots, California Lowball, Kansas City Lowball, Q-ball, and many more.
Stud poker games are those where players receive a combination of cards that are faced up and faced down. This means that players are not allowed to replace any cards and the final hand will include all the original cards. Stud poker can be easier for beginners as there are less decisions that need to be made. Once a hand is dealt, all the player needs to do is whether to fold or play the hand, therefore requiring less skill compared to other types of poker games. Some of the most popular stud poker games are:
In this variant, the game is played with high-low split betting where the pot is split between the players with the highest and lowest hand. In the event that there is no qualifying low hand, the player with the highest hand wins the pot.
Seven Card Stud
One of the older stud poker variants, 7-card stud, has been around since the Civil War, making it especially popular among US military members. Each player is dealt seven cards and there is a maximum of eight players per game as the standard 52 card deck is unable to accommodate more players. Starting with an ante bet, each player is dealt two cards face-down and one face-up. As the dealer continues to deal a card to each player per round, the player with the strongest hand will be the first to bet each round. By the end of the seventh card, each player has four face up cards and three face down cards. The best five card combination wins the pot.
Razz is a stud poker variant where the lowest hand wins the pot. In the game of Razz poker, the versions may differ as well in terms of rules for treating straights and flushes as high or low. One popular Razz poker is the London Lowball where straights count against the player.
Other Stud Games
There are many other stud poker games such as Mexican Stud, Caribbean Stud, Kentrel or 48, English Stud, Scandinavian Stud, and more.
Community Card Poker
In community card poker, each player is dealt their own cards. As the name suggests, there are also additional cards dealt on the table which can be used by every player in the game. To get the best hand, players can combine their own cards with the public cards on the table. The most popular variations of community card poker include:
Undoubtedly one of the most popular poker games today, the popularity of Texas Hold’em can be attributed to online poker rooms and televised poker. It is also a poker variant that is surprisingly easy to learn, making it a great starting point for beginners. In this game, you have to appear to your opponents as if you have the best hand. Players are dealt two private cards known as hole cards. There are four rounds of betting: pre-flop, flop, turn, and river. In each round, players have a chance to bet or fold. The best hand at the end wins the entire pot.
Officially known as Omaha Hold’em, this poker variant is more commonly known as Omaha or Omaha High. Omaha poker is considered by some to be the hardest game of Poker to master as it is difficult to learn and bluff. In contrast to Texas Hold’em where players are dealt two cards, players in Omaha Hi are dealt four cards, allowing you to use two of the cards to make the best poker hand. Based on this little detail alone, it can change your entire poker game strategy.
Pineapple poker is similar to Texas Hold’em but with several changes. Players are dealt three cards and discards one. The first betting round then starts with rules that are the same as Texas Hold’em. There are other pineapple poker versions as well such as crazy pineapple poker where players hold onto all three cards until the round before the dealer deals the fourth card. The lazy pineapple poker version does not require the player to discard a card until the final card of five community cards appears.
Other Community Card Games
Besides the more popular community card variations, others include Manila poker and Pinatubo poker.
Mixed Poker Games
Mixed poker games can be exceedingly fun but can also be very confusing especially for new poker players. In these poker games, different poker variations are combined into the game. The most popular mixed poker game is known as HORSE or H.O.R.S.E. poker with rounds of play cycling among
· Texas Hold’em
· Omaha Hi-Low
· Seven card Stud
· Seven card stud hi-low split-Eight
HORSE poker is very popular, making its debut at the World Series of Poker in 2002 and has remained in many poker tournaments since. The HOSE variation drops Razz from the cycle while CHORSE adds Crazy Pineapple or Chowaha to the mix.
Specific Poker Variant Games
Although poker games can be broadly categorized into the groups above, there are some poker games that do not fit neatly into any of the categories. Most of these variants are often played at home or as part of the dealer’s choice format. They include:
High Chicago or Low Chicago
This poker variant tweaks the formula on seven card stud poker so the game can be about the high hand or low hand. The player with the highest or lowest spade face down card wins half the pot while the player with the best hand gets the rest of the pot. If the player has the best hand also has the highest or lowest spade face down, the player wins all.
The game begins with two to four players receiving thirteen cards. The cards are split into two hands with five cards and one with three cards. Each hand has a name: the three card hand is known as the front while the other two hands are called the middle and the back. The aim of the game is to have the lowest ranking hand for the front and highest ranking hand for the back. Each hand is revealed from front to back and points are earned based on the hands played.
Besides the more popular High Chicago, Low Chicago, and Chinese poker variants, others include Follow The Queen, Countdown, Guts, Five-O Poker, and Kuhn Poker.
Poker is one of the most popular games that has had a long and rich history throughout the years. Believed to have ancient roots that go back nearly a thousand years, it comes as no surprise that there are many different variations of poker available.