Poker Games Variations

Today, one of the most commonly played and recognised version of poker is Texas Hold’em, which is played in the World Series of Poker and has been featured in a number of movies. Before Texas Hold’em gained popularity, the five-card draw poker was the version of poker that was played most commonly because of its simplicity and penny candy was used instead of chips.

Considering the countless developments that it has undergone over the years, it is not surprising that poker has become increasingly complex and online websites now offer numerous variations of poker games like the ones below.

Poker Games Variations


Badugi is another draw poker variation. Unlike five-card draw, only four cards are dealt to each player, and the player needs to have the lowest hand in order to win. A single hand of Badugi includes three betting rounds, and players must avoid hitting a pair and having multiple cards of the same suit. The lowest cards in Badugi are the aces, so a hand consisting of an ace, the 2, 3 and 4 cards of different suits is the best. Players who have two cards of the same suit or value have to discard one of them.


HORSE is a more complex of variation of poker that revolves around five different other variations of the game. Typically, the game begins with Texas Hold’em (H), then switches to Omaha Hi-Lo (O) in the next orbit, then to Razz (R), then to Seven-Card Stud (S) and finally to Eight or Better (E). However, the variation that is played after each orbit can change. When playing HORSE, the size of bet that can be made is determined beforehand since the five variations it cycles through are all limit.


Much like Badugi, four cards are dealt to each player when playing Omaha, but only two of those four cards have to be used along with three community cards. Omaha has the same betting rounds as those in Texas Hold’em, but the best and strong starting hands in the two variations tend to vary. A majority of live poker tours and online poker rooms offer Omaha cash games and tournaments, but they have a pot limit. So, players can only bet depending on the amount in the pot.

Omaha Hi-Lo

Omaha Hi-Lo or Omaha/8 itself is another variation of Omaha and like Omaha; four cards are dealt to each player, two of which can be used along with three community cards. However, the pot is divided between both the best “high” and “low” hands. The goal of this variation is to try to use any two out of the four cards to get both the best “high” hand and the best “low” hand, i.e. cards lower than 8. Even though pots are split, even a single player can win the entire pot.

Seven-card Stud

It was not until the early 21st-century that poker became significantly popular, and before the widespread popularity of Texas Hold’em, seve-card stud used was the most preferred variation. This variation is still played, where two face-down and one face-up cards are dealt to each player, and the player with the lowest face-up cards is the first to place a bet. Every time each card is dealt, a round of betting takes place. The aim is to get the best five-card hand, much like Texas Hold’em.