The 6 Best Ever Poker Variations You Need to Try

Around 100 million people around the world play poker, which is a pretty impressive figure!

So why is it so popular?

There are many reasons. It allows people to socialise with others and, thanks to online poker sites and casinos, has never been more accessible.

It’s also somewhat a crucial part of our culture, with words and phrases like ‘wild card’, ‘folded’ and ‘up the ante’ regularly used day to day.

What are the Most Popular Poker Variations at the Moment?

The 6 Best Ever Poker Variations You Need to Try

There’s no doubt that Texas Hold ‘Em comes in at number one. But why is this?

Firstly, it’s easy to learn, and there are loads of different resources online for this purpose. It was also popularised back in the early millennium when in 2003, Chris Moneymaker won $2.5 million from an initial $86 stake.

This led many poker fans to aspire to win this kind of money. Considering all this, it’s now a game that’s featured heavily on many different online casinos and card rooms, with various tables and stakes to choose from.

There are downsides to this popularity, though. The amount of information online about the game has exploded, closing the gap between amateurs and professionals.

Other variations of poker include:


This acronym covers five different kinds of poker- Hold’em, Omaha hi/lo, razz, stud and eight-or-better. It’s usually played as hi-stakes live games or tournament series like the WSOP.

It’s the ultimate test of poker ability, combining many different game types and requiring players to have many kinds of skills. It is pretty complex to learn.

On the upside, horse poker takes away the boredom of just playing the same game over and over, making for a more enjoyable experience. Players also have the chance to experience different kinds of poker in one game.

To be successful, they must develop lots of different types of poker skills.

Omaha Hi

‘Hi’ refers to the largest amount a player could win in the whole pot by showdown. As its most commonly played as a pot-limit game, it can also be called ‘Pot Limit Omaha’.

Being the same as Hold’em, it uses four-hole cards instead of two-hole cards, and these are dealt to each player.

Players still have to make the best five-card hand they can, but by using two of the four-hole cards, and three of the five community cards.

It’s easier to make a decent hand from the start, as players are dealt more hands, plus the number two-hole cards increase by six.

It’s common as a second variation of poker for many casinos but Hold ‘Em still remains the most popular. Just like Hold ‘Em, it’s simple to make a good hand.

Despite the many blockers in this game, it’s still possible to compile a strong hand, albeit with higher variance. Although hands run closer together, different combinations of hole cards can be used to boost the hand’s strength.

Omaha Hi-Lo

Like Omaha Hi, the showdown pot is divided equally between the highest ranked five-card poker hand and the lowest. Different high and low hands can be made thanks to different hole-card combinations, but certain conditions need to be met, so the lower half of the pot is awarded.

Each card making the low hand must be ranked eight or lower, while straights or flushes don’t count against hands in variant. The lowest hand is organised from the highest card downwards.

While this form of poker isn’t as popular as Omaha Hi, it’s still available in certain poker rooms, series, and events. High and low combinations must be considered carefully, and players need to be aware of how hands are ranked, plus what actually makes a low hand.

As the pot is divided in two, covering both high and low hands, the game is easier to win. Also, bluffing isn’t particularly important, as the aim is to try and make the highest or lowest hand.

Compared to other poker types, it’s more common for players to continue until the showdown with this variation. Therefore, choosing the right hands is paramount.

The 6 Best Ever Poker Variations You Need to Try

7-Card Stud

While this used to be one of the most popular types of poker, it’s now restricted to just certain tournament types, particularly stud or multi-variation. Each player is dealt their own individual hand, some being faced up and visible to players, others hidden.

It’s not difficult to learn, but it can be challenging to master. Players must make the best five hands while reading the strength of their opponents’ hands.

It’s a fun game, mainly because players need to learn how to read the strength of their opponents’ hands. However, there are a couple of drawbacks. The betting structure is limited, profits can be capped, and the game relies on big bets.

2-7 Triple Draw

Another exciting form of poker, each player is dealt five hands that aren’t visible to opponents. Players have three attempts to draw and make the best low hand they can.

Straights and flushes are usually best for this, while aces tend to be too high. In mixed games, the 2-7 triple draw is most commonly found.

The game is relatively easy to understand and learn, while the gameplay is easy to follow and uncomplicated. Its vital players understand what straights and flushes are so they’re not confused with having a low hand.

Luckily, it’s pretty easy to understand how to make low, unpaired five-card hands. To make the lowest rank hand, players have three chances of drawing.

This makes it easier to determine a hand’s strength. Opponents’ cards can’t be seen, so it’s impossible to work out the strength of players lowball hands.

The game is also not very fun for particular players because they have to compile their lowest five-card ranked hand.

Many Different Types of Poker Exist – the One You Choose Depends on your Skill Level

Texas Hold ‘Em is best for complete beginners. It’s easy to learn, and hand rankings can be picked up quickly.

Other games, like HORSE, are a better choice for the more experienced players seeking a challenge. This game actually combines five poker variations, including Hold ‘Em, Omaha hi/lo, razz, stud and eight-or-better.

It enables more experienced players to use a variety of skills they’ve learned.

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