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Poker Variations for Beginners

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Poker is one of the most popular card games in the world. There are multiple variations of this comparing card game played across the globe.

The poker game has three main types of poker variations - stud, draw, and community card games. Despite different poker rules and play patterns, most poker variations use the same poker hand rankings.

There are mainly 11 variations of poker that are played worldwide: Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Omaha High, 5-card Omaha, 2-7 triple draw, 5-card draw, 7-card stud, Razz, Badugi, Chinese poker, Horse Poker and Short-deck Poker.The two most popular types of poker variations in India are Hold 'em Poker and Omaha Poker. Texas Hold 'em, one of the most popular poker game variations, offers several variations based on the blinds and betting amounts. Omaha Poker is similar to Texas Hold 'em, with the main difference being that there are four-hole cards instead of two.

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Different Types of Poker

  • Texas hold 'em Poker
  • Omaha hold 'em
  • Omaha Hi/Lo
  • 7-Card Stud
  • 5-Card Draw
  • 2-7 Triple Draw Poker
  • Chinese Poker
  • Badugi
  • Horse Poker
  • Short Deck Poker

1. Texas Hold ‘em

Texas Holdem is a community card poker game. In the texas holdem poker game, you get 2 cards face down, and 5 cards are placed face up in the middle of the table. You try to create the best possible 5-card poker hand by combining these cards. The player who has the best hand at the end wins the money in the pot.

How to Play Texas Hold’em Poker?

In Poker, Texas Hold'em is the most popular poker variant globally, captivating players with its blend of strategy, chance, and psychological tactics.
  • Blinds: Two players post mandatory bets (blinds) to start the pot.
  • Deal: Each player receives two hole cards face down.
  • Preflop Betting: Starting with the player to the left of the big blind, players can fold, call (match the big blind), or raise (increase the bet).
  • The Flop: Three community cards are dealt face up in the center of the table, shared by all players. Another round of betting ensues.
  • The Turn: One more community card is dealt face up. Another round of betting.
  • The River: The final community card is dealt face up. One last round of betting.
  • Showdown: The remaining players reveal their hole cards. The player with the best five-card poker hand wins the pot.

2. Omaha Hold ’em

In Omaha Hold ’em, each player is dealt 4 cards and they must make the best hand using any 2 of them plus any 3 of the five community cards.

3. Omaha Hi/Lo

Omaha Hi/Lo is very similar to Omaha Hold ’em. In this variant, players have to create 2 hands with their hole cards and the community cards: a high hand and a low hand. The objective is to have the highest high hand and the lowest low hand.

a. 5-Card Omaha

In 5-Card Omaha poker, each player is dealt 5 hole cards. Players need to make the best possible hand using two hole cards and three community cards. It is played in a pot-limit format.

4. 7-Card Stud

In a 7-card stud game, each player receives 2 cards face down and then 1 card face up, dealt one at a time. After the initial deal, each active player receives 3 more cards face up and 1 more card face down. In the showdown, each player turns up all their hole cards and selects 5 of their 7 cards as their hand. The player has to separate these cards from the other two, which they need to discard.

5. 5-Card Draw

In a 5-card draw poker game, the objective is to make the highest-ranking 5-card hand. All the players have their cards hidden from the opponents. The player with the best hand wins the round.

6. 2-7 Triple Draw Poker

Each player is dealt 5 cards face up and there are three rounds. Players’ objective is to create the lowest hand. In each round, there is wagering and each player may exchange cards with those dealt by the dealer.

7. Chinese Poker

Chinese poker is different from traditional poker. It is a relatively new game. In Chinese poker, players draw cards from a deck and attempt to make the best hand. It is played on a points basis with no bets. At the end of the game, points are used to determine the winner. Pineapple poker, Double-check, Backhand, Turbo, Front Hand, and Middle Hand are the different types of poker games in the Chinese variant.

8. Razz

Razz is a type of stud poker similar to 7-card stud. The only difference is that in razz, the lowest 5-card hand wins.

9. Badugi

Badugi poker is quite similar to conventional poker, but uses a high-ranking system to determine the best hand. Badugi is not very popular and is played in select online poker rooms. It is also played in mixed poker tournaments with other forms of poker.

10. Horse Poker

Horse Poker incorporates the rules for five different poker variations: Hold 'em, Omaha hi/lo, Razz, Stud, and Eight-or-better variants. Horse Poker can be a little complex and is usually played with high stakes.

11. Short Deck Poker

Short-deck is another variant of Texas Hold ’em. It is played with a deck of 36 cards. The rating system of Short-deck poker is a little different from the typical poker ranking method. The full house loses to flushes, as the 2s and 5s are omitted from the deck.

Poker Categories

The most common poker variations can be divided into three broad categories:

1. Draw poker: In the games of this category, players are dealt a complete hand (hidden) and they then improve it by replacing cards. The most common of these variants is 5-card draw.

2. Stud poker: Each player receives a combination of face-up cards and face-down cards in multiple rounds. The most common of these variations are 5-card stud and 7-card stud. These two variants further have different formats.

3. Community card poker:In the variants of this category, each player's incomplete hidden hand is combined with shared face-up cards. The most common of these variations are Texas hold 'em and Omaha hold 'em.


With so many variants of poker available, it is hard for players to restrict themselves to just one variant. The different types of poker games make poker immensely popular worldwide. Explore and try out new game variants today. Most variants have the same poker hand rankings, so they help you deepen and broaden your understanding of the game.

Poker Variants FAQ

How many different types of poker are there?

There are three main types or categories of poker games: community card poker, draw poker, and stud poker. There are many variants of poker played worldwide but all of them fall in these three categories.

What are the most popular poker variants?

The most popular poker variants are Texas Hold’em, Omaha Poker and Chinese Poker.

What are the different variants of poker?

2-7 triple draw, 5-card draw, 7-card stud, Badugi, Chinese poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Omaha High, 5-card Omaha, Razz, Horse Poker and Short-deck Poker are some of the variants of poker played worldwide.

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