[toc]No Limit Hold’em is the most popular variant of poker in the world by a long way, thanks to the boom of televised poker and its simple rules.
There’s a reason that ESPN broadcasts the No Limit Hold’em Main Event of the World Series of Poker.
However, poker – and that includes online poker – is more than Hold’em. There are some great games out there waiting to be played. Here are some of our favourites.
In Rounders, Matt Damon’s character says that No Limit Hold’em is “the Cadillac of poker” and that people “can’t handle the swings” of the game.
If that’s true, then Omaha is the Bugatti Veyron of poker; the swings and action in Omaha make Hold’em look like your grandmother’s weekly bridge game.
Omaha plays exactly like Hold’em, just with a few key differences:
- The most you can bet or raise is the size of the pot.
- You are dealt four hole cards.
- You must use exactly two cards from your hand and three from the community cards.
In Omaha, it’s not uncommon to have a drawing hand with more than twenty outs to improve against the nuts. No other variant of poker has the dynamics of a hand change so much from card to card. If you like action and find yourself at Bet365 or another site looking for something new, Omaha is a must-play game well worth trying.
A twist on Omaha is Omaha Hi/Lo. It plays in the same action-packed way described above, but half the pot is awarded to the player with the best “low” hand, i.e. with five cards of an 8 or lower.
The ace is extra powerful in this game as it plays both high and low; an A-2-3-4-5 straight is a great hand as it can win both sides of the pot.
7 Card Stud was the most popular poker variant for most of the twentieth century until Hold’em usurped it. It is a simple game to play, but can be very complex and requires a lot of information and logical deductions to master.
Players are dealt two face-down cards and one face-up card. In subsequent rounds, players are dealt another three face-up cards and then a final face-down card.
They use their seven cards to make the best five-card hand.
Some major differences that Hold’em players will need to adjust to are:
- The first to act is not determined by the button, but by the highest card showing.
- Discarded hands and upcards can give huge clues about the hands of remaining players.
- The game is fixed limit, so $1/$2 games have $1 bets on the first betting rounds and $2 bets on the final betting rounds.
Stud, like Omaha, has a Hi/Lo variant where the low hand wins half the pot.
Draw poker is the classic variant of the game that you’ve seen cowboys playing on overturned barrels in Hollywood. You’re dealt five cards, have a round of betting, and then discard and replace as many cards as you like.
Different variants have different numbers of draws, but generally you will find that most draw games have either one or three drawing rounds.
2-7 Triple Draw
In this variant, your goal is to make the worst five-card hand!
In 2-7, aces are high and straights and flushes count against you. Therefore, the game is named for the best possible hand: 2-3-4-5-7, or a “seven-five low.”
It’s considered a great pure form of poker, as you have no information besides the cards in your hand and how your opponent is betting and acting.
1. Chinese Poker
Chinese Poker is currently huge amongst high stakes professional poker players because the rules are simple and there is a phenomenal amount of luck involved.
Players are dealt 13 cards (so there’s a four-player max using a 52-card deck) and must divide their cards into three hands; two of them have five cards each and one has three cards. The three card hand must be the lowest-ranking hand.
Players collect points whenever each of their three hands beats one of their opponents, and extra points for winning all three hands.