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Exciting poker variants you should know

Poker is one of the most exciting and challenging casino games that will keep you at the edge of your seat! What makes it even more popular among casino players is that it offers different variants that give players options based on their skill and preference. 

Find out 6 different variants of this popular game that can fit every bettor’s tastes and learn how to play them below: 

Texas Hold’Em

The Texas Hold’Em variant is the most popular poker variant worldwide and is enjoyed by generations of bettors. In this variant, the goal is to form the best five-card poker hand out of all the players.

Game mechanics:

  • The game begins with everyone receiving two cards known as ‘hole cards’ that only them alone should be able to see. 
  • Then, the dealer will spread 5 cards across 3 betting rounds. The first three are laid out all out at once. Then one and another in the next two betting rounds. All the cards on the table dealt by the dealer can be used by the players to make the best hand combination, along with their hole cards. 
  • Before and after each of these cards are revealed, players get the chance to take turns and bet. 
  • To stay in the game and see the next card, all players must have put the same amount of chips in the pot as each other, and whoever builds the best hand will take home the pot. 

Omaha Hi 

If you’re already a master at Texas Hold’Em, then you should try your hand at the Omaha Hi variant of poker. In this variant, the goal is to form the best hand out of all the other players using four cards, instead of the usual two found in a game of Texas Hold’Em poker.

  • The game begins when you receive four hole cards. During this beginning stage of the game, two to ten players may join in one table. 
  • Everyone will wait for the dealer to reveal 5 community cards in the middle of the table so that everyone can start building their best possible hand with the cards dealt to them. 

Omaha Hi-Lo 

If you like Omaha Hi, then you might also want to try this variant. Unlike most variants of poker where everyone’s only competing for one pot, Omaha Hi-Lo makes everyone compete for both the “high” and “low” halves of the pot using the highest and lowest 5-card hand. 

Like in Omaha, everyone will be receiving four cards in Omaha Hi-Lo and must compete using two out of four cards combined with the three community cards to form a five-card poker hand.

The goal in Omaha Hi-Lo is to bet and make everyone fold before the last wager, so you will win even if they don’t show their cards. However, if another player places a bet during the final wager, both their hands will be examined to see who has the best ‘low hand’, and who has the ‘high’ one, with each of them winning one-half of the pot.

7-card Stud

Once the standard variant of poker, 7-card stud is a poker variant played by bettors of old before Texas Hold’Em took its place. Due to its challenging gameplay, 7-card Stud has been an unpopular option for some, but also considered an exciting challenge for many. So if you’re looking to play a game that’s more challenging than your usual games, then this would be perfect for you! 

  • At the beginning of the game, everyone receives two face-down cards, and another which is placed face-up for all your competitors to see. 
  • These two hands will be dealt one at a time in a continuous rotation. Later, three more upcards and a singular downcard will be given. 
  • Once everyone receives the last downcard, a final round of betting will begin among the players. To win the game, you must create the best 5-card hand and win the pot that contains all the bets placed by the players.

2-7 Triple Draw

The 2-7 Triple Draw is a beloved variant of poker because it allows players to discard any unwanted or ineffective cards, and try to replace them with ones that can help them build the best ‘low’ five-card hand. This poker variant is perfect for anyone who wants to have control over their odds in a poker game. 

At the start of the game, players receive five face-down cards. Then, each player, beginning with the one at the left of the dealer button, can choose to draw cards to improve their hand. Or, if they’re happy with their cards, they can choose to ‘stand pat’, and let the next player try to improve their hand. This cycle continues for four rounds. 

Once everyone has finished the cycle, the winner is dictated by being the player who has the best ‘low’ five-card hand. 

5-Card Draw

If you’re a brand new player and most of these variants sound pretty complicated for you to play, then you should consider starting with the 5-card draw because of its straightforward, no exposed cards gameplay.  

  • Once everyone pays their bet, each player would be receiving five cards that are placed down. 
  • Then a round of betting based on traditional poker hand rankings occurs.
  •  If more than one player is remaining after that first round of betting, there follows the first round of drawing.
  • In this stage, players would be able to specify how many cards they want to remove from their hands to replace new cards that would help them win the game. However, if the cards dealt with are good, they may choose to ‘stand pat’. 
  • Once the drawing is finished, another round of betting will commence, until a final wager begins that determines which player has the best 5-hand set of cards.

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