A Quick Guide to the Most Popular Poker Variations

One thing that sets Poker apart from other classic casino games, is the level of skill you need to have as a player. Being able to read the other players’ expressions and actions, as well as being able to hide what you’re thinking, and knowing what move to make, are all part and parcel of the game.

Of course, if you’re playing online Poker somewhere like https://poker.paddypower.com/, a lot of this is lost behind a screen. But online casinos open your eyes to the other variations of the game that can be played, which you may not find at a land-based casino, or when playing in person. While beginners will be more familiar with the rules of Texas Hold’em, read on as we talk about other variations you should add to your repertoire.

Texas Hold’em

Let’s start with the most popular. Texas Hold’em is played around the world, and is the variation of choice on the World Series of Poker (WSOP) circuit. It was also this game which inspired the Poker Boom, over 15 years ago.

Hold’em is a community card game, meaning that in addition to the two cards that each player receives, there are also five cards which are shared between all players. These are known as the community cards, and these are revealed one-by-one, in each round. By using a combination of these seven cards, players must create the best possible five-card hand they can.

Winners are decided one of two ways – either by the player with the best hand, come the final round, or by a player having the ability to make all their opponents fold, or give up their hand. In the event of a tie, the pot is split.

Seven Card Stud

At a first glance, this variation may seem more complicated than Hold’em, but it’s a completely different type of Poker. First, there are no community cards, and players are all dealt their own, individual seven-card hand.

The game begins by each player being dealt three cards – two are face-down, and one is face-up. There are then five rounds of betting, with players receiving an additional card at every round – three of which are face-up, and one, face-down. If there are players left in the game after the final round of betting, the game will go to a showdown.

Like in Hold’em, the aim of the game is to make the best five-card hand possible from the selection of seven cards, using the traditional hand rankings – meaning that a royal flush is the best hand, and a high card is the worst.

Five Card Draw

Draw Poker is considered more difficult to master, because, as its name suggests, players have the ability to draw new cards. This adds a new dimension to the variation, making it all about decision-making. Players that are familiar with Video Poker machines at online casinos, will be at an advantage when choosing this variant, as it’s much the same.

To begin playing Five Card Draw, all players are dealt five cards, all face-down. Here’s where the fun happens – they can either choose to stick with the cards they have, or be dealt new ones, and can choose how many cards they wish to swap (ranging from just one card, to all five).

The game can be split into four different parts:

  1. The deal
  2. The draw
  3. Post-draw
  4. The showdown

Again, like the other variations, once the hand goes to showdown, the player with the highest-ranking traditional hand is the winner.


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