They say variety is the spice of life—and, interestingly, of poker too. One of the best things about this classic card game is the range of ways players can enjoy it. Texas Holdem is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to poker games. There are countless other variants for players to enjoy, many of which are available to play online.
Below, we explore 10 poker games to try on your next online poker session. There’s something new and exciting for every poker player here. So, clear the table and get ready for some variety!
The main classifications of poker
First, let’s quickly discuss the three major poker classifications. These are draw poker, stud poker, and community card poker.
In draw poker, all players are dealt their cards face-down. After a betting round, each player can discard and replace any of their cards by drawing from the deck. The goal is to make the best poker hand after exchanging cards.
In stud poker, there are no draws. Players receive a combination of face-up and face-down cards, which they must use to put together the best poker hand possible. The number of face-up cards varies between poker variants, but the goal across the board is to build the best poker hand after all cards are revealed.
Community card poker
Finally, community card poker is where players make their poker hands using a combination of shared cards on the table and their personal or hole cards. The most popular variant of this type is Texas Holdem.
Other poker variants to explore
Now, let’s look at some poker variants within the above categories that poker players can explore.
1) Seven-card stud
In Seven-card stud poker, players are dealt two cards face-down (downcards) and one face-up (upcard) before the primary betting round. Three more downcards and a final upcard are distributed per player, with a betting round after each card is dealt. The player with the best poker hand made of all seven cards at the end of the game wins the pot.
2) Five-card stud
Five-card poker is similar to seven-card stud but with fewer cards. At the beginning of the game, players are dealt one downcard and one upcard. Four more upcards are delivered per player, with a betting round after each card is dealt. The player with the highest five-card poker hand at the end wins.
Razz poker is essentially seven-card stud poker but in reverse. Instead of aiming for the highest poker hand possible, players aim for the lowest poker hand possible through all seven rounds. The Ace always counts as low in this game, and straights and flushes are ignored. The best poker hand possible in this poker variant is A-2-3-4-5, which is also known as the “wheel.”
4) Five-card draw
Five-card draw is a straightforward poker variant where players are dealt five cards face-down. A round of betting takes place after the five cards are dealt. After this, players can discard any of their cards and draw a new set from the deck before a second and final round of betting. As with other poker variants, the player with the best poker hand at the end of this game takes home the pot.
Omaha is a popular variant of community card poker, similar to Texas Holdem. The difference is that in Omaha poker, players are dealt four hole cards instead of two. The goal is to construct the best poker hand using two of the four hole cards and three of five shared community cards on the table.
6) Deuce-to-seven triple draw poker
Like razz, deuce-to-seven poker has players aim for the lowest poker hand possible, with the “wheel” being the best. The poker variant is played with five cards, each of which can be exchanged up to three times during the poker session. The cards are dealt face-down, and players can exchange any of their cards after each betting round.
7) Pineapple poker
Pineapple poker is a poker variant derived from Texas Holdem. Players are dealt three hole cards instead of two but must discard one after the flop. The rest of the game is played like Texas Holdem, with a round of betting after the flop, turn, and river.
Like deuce-to-seven, badugi is a draw poker variant with players aiming for the lowest poker hand possible. Players are dealt four cards and can discard and replace as much as all four after each of the four betting rounds.
9) Chinese poker
This is a unique poker variant, with players being dealt 13 cards from which to make poker hands. Players must then construct two five-card hands and one three-card hand. The ” front ” hand is the three-card hand and must be the lowest poker hand possible. The five-card hands are called the “middle” and “back” hands. The back hand must be the highest of the three card combinations.
The cards are revealed in a particular order, and players earn points based on the hands they construct. Winners collect royalty units, which are monetary payments in amounts players agree on before the poker session.
Looking beyond popular formats like Texas Holdem can help you gain a better understanding and appreciation for the game. Each of these variants offers different levels of challenge and provides exciting opportunities to expand your poker knowledge, sharpen your skills, test out different techniques, and solidify your poker strategy.
Whatever poker variant you choose, remember to familiarize yourself with the rules before you start playing to increase your chances of success. Have fun and good luck!