As you explore the world of online poker in search of a good payoff and a great time, you’ll come across many different types of poker games. At first, all the names may seem confusing- 7 Card Hi/Lo, Omaha, H.O.R.S.E., Razz… There are many different rule variations for the world’s favorite card game, but the good news is that if you know the basic poker hands, you can quickly learn everything else you need to know about each unique poker game. Here’s a quick overview of the most popular variations so that you know what you’re getting into when you sit down to play!
The most popular game of poker is undoubtedly Texas Hold’em. Each player is dealt two cards and then, after a few rounds of betting, five more cards are eventually dealt face up on the table. Each player still “in” combines these cards with the cards they were dealt to create their 5 card hand. There are two types of Hold’em poker- “Limit” and “No-limit.” In limit, the amount you can bet is restricted, while in no-limit, you can bet any amount above the minimum- including your entire stack of chips!
Also known as “Omaha Hold’em,” Omaha is similar to Texas Hold’em in that both variations use a community pool of cards. However, instead of being dealt two cards at the start, Omaha gives you four. The catch is that you must use two of the four cards you were dealt and three of the five community cards in order to create your five card hand. One popular variation to Omaha is known is “Omaha Hi/Lo,” which is when the pot is split evenly between the player with the high hand and the player with the low hand.
5 Card Stud
The oldest game of Stud Poker, 5 Card sees each player getting one card face down and four cards face up throughout the rounds of betting. 5 card isn’t as common as the other games on this list, but it is still beloved by many as it’s easy to keep track of what potential hands your opponents have. The downside of this is that it’s not really as exciting as other poker variations, and betting rounds commonly end early.
7 Card Stud
7 Card Stud is much more exciting than its 5 Card cousin. Each player will be dealt 7 cards total throughout the betting rounds, but the difference is that only four of them will be face up, while the other three of them will be dealt face down. Whoever makes the best five card hand from their seven cards wins the pot! You will also come across Hi/Lo games (called Eight-or-Better) which follow the same rules as the Omaha Hi/Lo variation.
Razz is a fun and unique poker variation where instead of trying to get the best possible 5 card hand, you’re trying to get the worst. Flushes and Straights don’t count against you and the Ace is always low, so the best hand you can get in Razz is 5-4-3-2-A. Cards are dealt like in 7 Card Stud, with three cards being dealt face down and four face up.
H.O.R.S.E. is a complicated but incredibly fun variation of poker which actually combines five other variations and makes them one game. Each betting round corresponds to one of the variations, and at the completion of the fifth, the game is over. It’s easy to remember which variations are played, as H.O.R.S.E. is actually an acronym, standing for:
H- Texas Hold’em
O- Omaha Hi/Lo
S- Seven Card Stud
H.O.R.S.E. is obviously best left to the professionals due to the amount of poker knowledge and skill involved, but once you learn how to play, it’s hard to go back to any of the individual variations by themselves!