Poker is a game that requires skill, strategy, and a bit of luck to succeed. It is one of the most popular card games in the world, with various types and styles available. If you play poker already, you may know about the variants of the game, but here you can learn how each variant works. Whether you’re looking for a quick game with friends or are interested in trying your hand at more competitive tournaments, there is sure to be a poker variant that’s right for you.
No limit hold ’em
No limit hold ’em is one of the most popular variants of the game and involves players trying to win by betting no more than all of their chips. This variant is played between two and ten people at a table and uses a standard deck of 52 cards with no jokers.
Players must make two mandatory bets at the start of each round – the “small blind” and the “big blind,” which are typically equal in size. After this point, players make bets on the hand, known as “raising” or “folding.” The winner is determined when all other players have folded or followed through with the last bet.
Omaha High is another popular game variant involving players trying to win based on their cards and the community cards revealed at the end of each hand. This variant uses between two and ten players in each hand and requires a standard deck of 52 cards with no jokers.
Each player gets four down-facing cards at the start of the round, which they must use along with up to five community cards to make their best possible 5-card poker hand. This variant is played like Texas Hold’em, with players making bets and raising or folding as the hand progresses.
Seven Card Stud is another popular poker game involving seven cards at the beginning of each round. This game uses between two and ten players in each hand and follows similar betting rules to other variants, with players attempting to make their best five-card hand from their seven cards.
Unlike other games where community cards are revealed at the end of the hand, in Seven Card Stud, a player’s seventh card is revealed at the end of each round to help determine who wins.
Razz is another popular variant of poker that is similar to 7-card stud but focuses more on low hands rather than high cards. This game involves two to ten players in each hand and uses a standard deck of 52 cards with no jokers.
Players are dealt seven individual cards at the start of each round and must make their best 5-card low poker hand using any combination of these cards and up to five community or “door” cards. Low hands use different rankings than higher ones, making this variant more challenging.
Five Card Draw is one of the oldest poker variants and uses a standard deck with no jokers. This game is played between two and ten players in each hand and follows simple betting rules. After the cards have been dealt, players can potentially discard any number of cards, keeping only their best five-card poker hand at the end.
Each player can also use these discarded cards to form their final hand, with up to five community or “door” cards revealed at the end.
Badugi is a relatively new variant of poker that involves players making low hands with four cards rather than five. This game uses between two and ten players in each hand and follows simple betting rules. Players must make the best possible 4-card Badugi hand, which ranks differently from regular 5-card hands.
This variant requires more strategy, as it takes more work to know what kinds of hands will give you the best chance of winning. Additional combinations can also be used for a bonus payout when forming your final hand. While this variant may take some practice, it can be pretty enjoyable once you get the hang of it.
How to make the most of your poker games
Choose an appropriate poker game
You can choose from many poker variants, so choosing one that fits your skill level and experience is crucial. Razz, Badugi, and Five Card Draw may be more complex than other options like Texas Hold’em or Omaha High, but they offer better payouts.
Practice the rules of your chosen variant
Before you sit down to play, make sure you are familiar with the rules of your chosen poker variant. It will help ensure that you can focus on playing rather than trying to remember how each hand is played.
Keep track of your hand rankings and odds
To make strategic decisions, you must keep track of your hand rankings and odds. Pay attention to discarded or revealed cards to predict the likelihood of winning based on what’s left in the deck.