Different Poker Games - Poker Variations and Variants

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Poker Games and Variations

There are a variety of other poker games besides Texas Holdem which you can play online or in your home. Besides the money you can make in other poker games, you can improve your current Texas Holdem game by playing other forms. In this link, Howard Lederer describes the virtues of playing a multitude of poker games. Below are different types of poker games, where you can play them online, and their respective rules.

  • Omaha
  • 7-card stud
  • 5-card stud
  • Triple Draw
  • Crazy Pineapple
  • Draw
  • Razz

Omaha Poker Games

Omaha is a different poker game from Texas Holdem and offered at almost all online poker rooms. At first glance, Omaha seems very similar to Texas Holdem. The only rule differences are that players get 4 cards instead of 2 and players must use 2 cards from their hand.

However, these seemingly minor rule changes make Omaha a very different poker game from Texas Holdem due to the multitude of drawing possibilities.

Omaha is played in a high only or in a hi/low format. In the hi/low version of the game the highest hand splits the pot with the lowest hand. See Poker Hand Rankings for more details on the winning poker hand in a low game.

Since you have 4 cards to make a hand in Omaha instead of the 2 in Texas Holdem there will often be times when you actually have nothing but multiple draws to make a hand and you will still have the better odds to win the pot. Many professional poker players consider Omaha a better game than Texas Holdem since usually a player with the better hand wins the pot.

You can find out more about Omaha Poker, and play online, at PokerStars.

Seven Card Stud Poker Variations

7-card stud poker was a very popular poker game until Texas Holdem took over. Stud is a completely different poker game from Holdem except for the hand rankings, which stay consistent in most poker variants. 7-card stud poker can be played high only or hi/low split.

Each player posts an ante and is dealt 2 cards face down and one card face up. The lowest up card must open the hand with either a bet or a check. If a player bets then naturally the other players must either call, raise or fold. There is a maximum of 4 bets (1 bet and 3 raises) in each round.

After this initial round is completed each player still in the hand is dealt another face up card. The betting round begins again but is now started by the player with the strongest poker hand showing. For example, if a player has a pair of 2's showing then he opens the betting round but he would not have opened the betting in the prior round since he only had a 2 showing before his 2nd card.

(Note how this is a different poker game from Texas Holdem. Each player has his own cards and there are no community cards. Additionally, the same player does not start the beginning of each round.)

Once this round is complete the hand continues in the same manner with each round played in the same way until each player has 6 cards. The final, 7th card is dealt face down and now there is another betting round. As you can see, another key difference in this game is that there are many more betting rounds.

You can learn more about 7 card stud at PokerStars.

5 Card Stud Versus 7 Card Stud

5-card stud poker is similar to 7-card stud in that the first player to act is still the lowest card showing in the first round and the highest hand showing thereafter. There is also a betting round after each new card is dealt to each player.

However, 5-card stud poker differs from 7-card in a few ways:

2 cards are dealt to each player, one up and one down.

Then there is a betting round. After this round there is another card dealt face up proceeding with another betting round. The 4th card is dealt face up and again there is a betting round. Finally, the 5th card is dealt face down and there is a final round of betting.

Razz

Razz is similar to 7-card stud in almost every respect. The only difference is that you're trying to get the lowest possible hand.  Straights and flushed usually don't count against you. The lowest possible poker hand is A-2-3-4-5. Ace counts as a low card in Razz.

You can learn more about Razz at PokerStars.

Crazy Pineapple - A Holdem Variation

The Crazy Pineapple poker game is slightly different form of Texas Holdem.

In Crazy Pineapple, each player receives 3 cards and then there is a betting round. After the betting round is complete, the flop is seen (no different from Texas Holdem). There is then another betting round.

Once the betting round on the flop is complete but before the turn or fourth card is shown each player must discard one of their hole cards. This changes the game completely. Since you have to discard one of your hole cards you may find yourself losing a card that gives you a made hand in order to draw for a straight or flush. The game may seem similar but in reality it's a completely different poker game.

Draw Poker Games

Draw poker is perhaps the most basic form of poker that everyone seems to know how to play. Similar to Holdem, there is a dealer button which marks the theatrical dealer. The player to the left of the dealer must post the small blind (1/2 of the small bet) and the 2nd to the left of the dealer posts the big blind (the small bet). Each player is dealt 5 cards and then there is a betting round. After the betting round each player can choose to discard 0 to 5 cards, drawing to a new poker hand. There is one more betting round and then the player who's bet is called shows his hand. The betting structure in draw poker is no different from Texas Holdem. For example, in a $4-8 game, the bet pre-draw is $4 and after the draw it is $8.

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