Popular Poker Games—8 Fun Poker Variations You Need to Learn

If you are a fan of one of the most popular casino offerings, poker, here are 8 of the most popular variants that you absolutely must learn and try – especially if you like the idea of increasing your opportunity of winning loads of cash.

These different varieties of poker are each unique. Hence, these games come with their own set of rules which only add to the excitement of playing them. Trying them out will enable you to discover which poker games you prefer focusing on and spending your time and hard-earned cash on.

Below we have outlined eight of the most popular and fun poker games to play which are guaranteed to provide you with endless hours of excitement and enjoyment!

Texas Hold’em

One of the most popular poker games you will ever come across, Texas Hold’em is pretty easy and fun to learn. Fans of poker games who wish to play it at really skilled levels will however find that it takes loads of dedication in order to become really good at it.

It is considered as a high poker game since it is the player with the highest-ranking card, at the end of it who wins the pot. However, more than one player might end up with a similar card, resulting in a tie.

One of the characteristics which makes it different from other poker games is the fact that each player receives two hole cards at the very beginning. The game is also played clockwise around the table and five community cards are provided at the center. It’s up to the players to make use of them with their hole cards and come up with the best possible combination of a 5-card poker hand.

There are four rounds of betting in Texas Hold’em and the first of these is referred to as the pre-flop stage. Three cards are then dealt and the flop stage follows. Once players have each had the opportunity to make a decision, a fourth card appears introducing the next stage, referred to as Turn. The final stage is referred to as River which is initiated when the fifth card of the same name is dealt.

The most exciting part of the entire game comes last of all. It is referred to as the showdown and players reveal their cards. The luckiest and most skilled of them who has the highest combination gets to keep the pot.

Omaha, 7 Stud Poker

If there is one game which is pretty similar to the most popular and glamorous of poker games, known as Texas Hold’em, it is certainly Omaha.

Fans of this poker variant will find the game as easy to learn and fun to play as the more televised version. A few points, however, make Omaha fundamentally different from Texas Hold’em.

This poker game starts with four hole cards rather than the two in the latter. And only two of those four cards may be used for players’ five card poker hand. The other three cards required for the hand must come from the five community cards which are provided during the four stages of the game.

7 Stud Poker on the other hand was the poker game of choice until Texas Hold’em came along. However, it still enjoys considerable status in the world of online poker. The main difference between this poker veteran and comparative newcomers – Texas Hold’em and Omaha – is the fact that it is played as a limit game.

Players also start out with three cards which are dealt to them, with two being concealed hole cards and one which is visible. Following that, they receive three more exposed cards which must each be followed by a betting round before receiving a final seventh card which is hidden. This seventh card is also followed by a bet and then by showdown.

Players then sequentially expose their hands and the lucky one with the highest hand is awarded the jackpot.

2-7 Triple Draw

Like a few other popular poker games currently ruling the cyberspace, this game is also known by another name: Deuce to Seven Triple Draw. If you are fond of low games, i.e. games which require the lowest combination as opposed to the highest, you will love this game which comes with a set of rules which are all its own.

Each player starts out with five cards which are all hidden. Next, they all have to place bets and have the options of calling, raising or folding. And then it’s time to get rid of any cards they don’t want. This is known as drawing. Players who don’t want to get rid of any of their cards can opt out of doing so.

Alternatively, players also have the option of getting rid of all the cards in their possession. There are ultimately four betting rounds and three drawing rounds after which it’s time for showdown. The player with the lowest combination wins the pot.

A few points which make this variant different from other poker games is the fact that straights (five cards in numerical order) and flushes (five cards which all belong to the same suit but aren’t in numerical order), count against your hand.

Chinese Poker

One thing that certainly sets this version apart from other different poker games is the wide range of names it is known by. These include Pepito (Hawaii), Russian Poker (the United States) and Pusoy (the Philippines).

This variant which is also one of the world’s most popular poker games can only be played by four participants at the most. The reason for this is the fact that each of them is dealt a total of thirteen cards which is also another name this version of poker goes by.

Chinese poker comes with a whole different set of rules which makes it one of the most fun poker games to play.

It actually consists of three main sessions. The first of these is referred to as the deal during which players receive their cards. Depending on the number of participants involved in the game, they may receive one or two hands. However, in case of the latter, which would occur when just two players are involved, only the hand which is being played, may be viewed by each participant.

The 13-card hand must be divided into three cards of varying strengths ranging from the weakest, the Top, to the strongest, the Bottom, with the Middle falling between the two in terms of strength.
The weakest hand, the Top, must also only have three cards while the other two must have five. Next, the players compare their Top hands with stronger hands winning points and weaker hands losing points. The Middle and the Bottom are also played similarly although for the former, the hand with the lowest value wins.

The distribution of points depends on pre-set rules and additional options may be made available to players to lessen the effect of their losses.


One of Razz’s claims to fame is its similarity to Seven Stud Poker. However, unlike the highest five card hand required to win the former, it is the lowest five card hand which wins in this variant. Hence players must aim to get the lowest combination from the total of seven cards they will be dealt during the game.

Like most popular poker games, a number of hole cards are dealt at the beginning – two in this case. A third card which is visible and known as the door card is also dealt. The player with the highest value must then place a portion of the bet (bringing it in) or all of it (completing it) and then betting occurs clockwise round the table. This part of the game is referred to as Third Street.

It is followed by Fourth Street during which each player is dealt another card and the player with the lowest value must check or bet. Cards are dealt similarly to the Seventh Street, also known as river, which is followed by the showdown during which the player with the lowest hand is revealed. If there is a tie, the suits of the cards are used to select the winner. The value of the lowest suit to the highest runs from spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs.

Five Card Draw

This is probably the form of draw poker you are most likely to encounter. A fun fact: it’s one of the poker games video poker is based on. To play it, all you have to do is log on to your favorite casino and follow the guidelines provided. Another thing which is so great about it is the fact that it is actually considered one of the simplest variants to learn.

Five Card Draw Poker consists of just two rounds before showdown, unlike certain popular poker variants which may consist of as many as four rounds.

Another distinguishing feature of the game is the number of hole cards dealt at the start of the game. They are five in number and are all hidden. Play proceeds clockwise around the table completing the game’s first round.

After this part of the game, each player has to decide what card they want eliminated from their collection. This process is referred to as the draw and it is a decisive part of the game. It is then followed by the second round and then showdown. During this final stage of the game, the player with the best five card hand is revealed and they are subsequently awarded the pot, bringing the game to an end.

Omaha Hi-Lo

If there is one poker variant which does things with a twist, it’s certainly Omaha Hi-Lo. As opposed to other versions of poker which award the pot to the player with either the lowest or highest hand, Omaha Hi-Lo follows a more egalitarian set of rules and awards half to the player with the lowest, and half to the player who has the highest.

There are however, limits to such equitable conduct and players lucky enough to have the highest hand in the absence of a corresponding low hand champion have been known to have the whole pot all to themselves. That is because low hands are required to be unduplicated and eight or better. This requirement also gives the game another of its names, Eight or Better. High hands, however, simply have no such restrictions.

If you like the thought of sharing or rather the increased opportunity for walking away from an exciting game with your pockets filled, you will find Omaha Hi-Lo one of the most fun and unique poker games to play. Especially if you are really good at Omaha. In fact, it is a good idea to brush up your skills in the former before taking on Omaha Hi-Lo, to enhance your chances of winning.


Out of the variants of fun poker games to play, HORSE is one which is actually a combination of other versions. As a result, its name is an acronym: Hold’em, Omaha Hi, Razz, Stud and Eight-or-better.
Each of these games is played one after the other and is fixed limit.

If you are a fan of high stakes games which rely more on skill than luck, you will love this multi-tiered option which allows you to experience various versions of poker at one go. What’s more, it is also a great way of improving your poker skills since it involves so many fun variants. There is also the fact that you are likely to run into players who are skilled in certain games but struggle with other versions.

As is expected, once you are in, you would have to, in most cases, commit to playing each variant in each round. Picking and choosing those rounds which contain your favorite rounds is often disallowed.

Although it only came onto the scene in 2002 at the WSOP, HORSE is now a firm favorite. It is also a great opportunity for really skilled players to face off against each other and walk away with impressive sums of cash and a stellar reputation.