What are the Main Poker Variants?

Poker is more than just a single game. If you are interested in learning more about this card game, check out some of the most common variants here.

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Anyone who has played a hand of poker before knows that the game of “poker” itself does not exist. What it is instead is a card game with a collection of rule variants that is referred to as a whole as poker. If you want to learn how to play, you need to pick a variant to try. Many professionals like to dabble in multiple ones. Let’s take a quick look at some of the ones you could try.

Where to Play

The most important thing to establish is where you are going to learn to play this variant. Some people like nothing more than sitting down with their closest friends to enjoy some poker, while others prefer to pick up the rules at a casino – bet at an online or a land-based one.

If you are going to play at an online casino, make sure that you have found a trustworthy site to play at. There are many options offering even faster payouts with pay and play software and lots of different styles of games. For those who want to play online poker but also like to jump across and try games like blackjack or baccarat, finding the right casino is always going to be the first step to take.

Texas Hold’em

Arguably, the most famous variant of poker is Texas Hold’em. If you ever decide to enter a tournament like the World Series of Poker, chances are that you will play this variant – though most tournaments do offer you the chance to try other games too.

Texas Hold’em is one of the more straightforward games of poker to master. All players are dealt two cards. Over several courses of betting, five community cards are unveiled, with the first three being referred to as the flop, the fourth as the turn, and the fifth as the river.

Players who are left in at this point then have to make the best possible combination between the cards hidden in their hand and the ones on the table. Most of the time, only one card will result in a match and the other will be referred to as the kicker.

The best hand (and rarest) is the Royal Flush – A, K, Q, J, and 10 in matching suits. The worst winning hand is the player with the highest valued card. The winning hands of poker are the same across all variants, but most people associate them with Texas Hold’em due to the game’s popularity.


Omaha is another popular variant of poker that is very similar to Texas Hold’em. It is another community card game, so players will have some cards in their hand and can use ones on the table to create a winning hand overall.

In Omaha, players are dealt four cards. They must use two of these cards with three of the five community cards available to create a winning five-card hand. This game has multiple variations within it, so players who wish to master it should familiarise themselves with some of them before they start to play. Omaha is an interesting poker variant, but you do need to understand which variant you are playing to be able to get the most out of it.

Seven-Card Stud

Seven-card stud is another poker variant that has multiple versions within it that players might encounter. One of the most popular and easiest to get to grips with is called “Down the River,” and this is the variation on offer at many casinos that have seven-card stud. Players are dealt two cards, one up and one down. After a round of betting, another upcard is dealt to them. Alternating rounds of betting and deal commence until players have three down cards and four upcards in front of them. They then have to make the best five-card hand out of what they have.


If you are playing at a tournament, you might have the chance to mix all of the above games together in a game of HOSE. This style of poker sees the rules switch with every round. In addition to making your best plays, you need to make sure that you are keeping the rules of the game straight so you don’t lose your place!

HOSE is made up of a round of Hold’em, a round of Omaha Eight or Better, a round of seven-card stud, and a round of seven-card stud Eight or Better. It can be a great option for those who want to put their poker knowledge to the test across several games. Poker is a varied game, and you will often find that some players only want to stick to one variation. However, trying out more can give you a wider appreciation for the game as a whole. Branch out and try a different type of poker compared to what you usually play now – there is so much out there for you to try!