Poker Guide: Top Four Poker Variants

Poker lends its name to several card games in which players try to get the best card combination possible. You are not yet a real gambler if you have never played Poker. This article describes some variants of Poker for the novice.

First, a few words about general Poker principles: Your goal in Poker is to get the best hand (combination of cards) as laid down in fixed hand rankings. Often you have to combine your own cards with open cards shared by all players to make your hand. In other Poker games, you are dealt cards and get to choose which to keep and which to discard so that you can get other cards. There are also different betting systems. Some have no limit and others have fixed limits.



This is a game played by up to nine players. Forced bets are made at the start. Each player first gets two cards face down. This is followed by several betting rounds in which a total of five open cards (shared or community cards) are dealt face up. Players must combine their two starting cards with the five open cards in any way to make the best hand they can. At each round of betting, players must choose whether to keep playing (and betting) or to quit the game. If there is more than one player left after the final round of betting, the remaining players show their cards. The one with the highest ranking card wins the pot.

Texas Holdem is undoubtedly the most popular Poker game of all. The game is played with no-limit betting in the World Poker Championships.


This Poker variant, Omaha, is almost identical with Texas. The main differences are players get four starting cards, not two, and they are obligated to use precisely two of their cards and three of the open cards to make the best hands. Typically, the hands in Omaha are stronger than those in Holdem.


In this Poker variant, each player is dealt two cards facing down and one card facing up. After a round of betting, each player gets one more card face up. This is repeated until each player has received six cards. The seventh and last card is given face down. After on more betting round, there is a showdown.


There are several kinds of Video Poker, the most basic being Jacks or Better. It is a single-player game played on machines. When money or credit is put on the machine, it deals five cards to the player. The player may discard one or more of those cards to draw again and (hopefully) get a better hand. For example, if the five cards are three Fives, a King and a Seven, the player may discard the last two and hope for the last Five to complete a Four of a Kind. Payout schedules are indicated on the machine itself.

All these Poker variants can be played conveniently online. We recommend going to a free Poker site to play Poker for fun. Later when your skills have developed, you can deposit money in a real online casino and play real Poker.