Poker Variations

The card game of poker has a great diversity of variations, most of which were created in the United States in the mid Twentieth Century.

Some of the more popular poker variations include community poker, stud poker, and draw poker.

Each poker game has different rules, but they draw similarities in that they all use the same poker hand ranking hierarchy. If you are new to this game, it is advisable that you learn the basics before taking the plunge.

Community Poker

Texas Hold'em is by far the most popular community poker game today. The game is played in brick and mortar casinos, online, and in home games. The game is played with a maximum of ten players and each player is dealt two hole cards face down.

Each player can use any cards from the 5 community cards plus any of his 2 hole cards to make the best possible hand.

There is betting pre-flop, on the flop, turn, and river. If players call a bet on the last betting round, it gets to showdown and the best five card hand is determined.

Omaha is another very popular community poker game which can also be found in casinos. Similarly, the game is played with a maximum of ten players and each player is dealt four hole cards face down. The betting rounds are the same in Omaha but players are required to use two of their own pocket cards and three of the community cards to form the best five card hand.

Stud Poker

While the popularity of Stud Poker has fallen in recent times, before the decade this classic card game was actually more popular then Texas Hold'em.

Seven Card Stud Poker is the most popular version of stud poker. The game is played between two and eight players and each player is dealt cards which are face down and face up and there are several betting rounds to follow. The player with the best exposed poker hand is usually the one to start the betting, but unlike community poker games like Hold'em and Omaha, there are no community cards, players do not share any cards.

Draw Poker

Even though Draw poker is rarely found in casinos and online poker sites as you would expect with Texas Hold'em, it is still one of the favorite variations played in households worldwide.

Some of the most famous draw poker games include Five Card draw and triple-draw lowball. In draw poker games, each players is dealt five hole cards face down before any betting occurs.

The betting starts with the player to the left of the big blind and the action continues in a clockwise manner until the betting is completed. After the first betting round, there is a "draw" and players can throw away unwanted cards and draw new ones from the deck.

After the first draw, the second betting round occurs, and the betting starts with the player to the left of the button this time. After the second betting round, it goes to showdown where the best five card hand is determined.

Mixed Poker Games

On most online poker sites you will be able to find community poker and stud poker games. Most of the traffic is concentrated at the low stakes No Limit Hold'em tables.

However, some sites offer mixed games so you can play a variety of poker games without ever changing tables. The leading online poker rooms like Full Tilt offer mixed games in this format: HORSE (Hold 'em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Stud Hi, Stud Hi/Lo), HOSE (Hold 'em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Stud Hi, Stud Hi/Lo) and HA (Hold 'em, Omaha Hi).

The bottom line is you should start with Fixed Limit Texas Holdem and then explore other poker variations if you are serious about the game of poker.


We have prepared a number of articles to help you play the games better. Regarding poker, we have an article about Poker tournament tips which will put you in the right direction if you play in the world series of poker or any other tournament. For example one tough situation is when you need to be playing with a short stack in a tournament and knowing the correct strategy will certainly help. Scared Poker mistakes shows errors that maany beginners make. Poker Variations explains the various poker formats while poker tells explains one of the crucial weapon of poker, reading poker tells.

We also have room reviews such as the PokerStars review, the Full Tilt review, the Bodog Poker review and a bio of Sara Scott who is a sponsored pro at Party Poker. These three online poker rooms are our top recommended rooms.

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