Poker Game Variations Beyond Texas Holdem Exploring Exciting Alternatives

Poker Game Variations Beyond Texas Holdem Exploring Exciting Alternatives

Hold’em is very fun and can be challenging for even experienced players. But there are so many other poker games that can be equally as enjoyable.

These other games fall into the categories of draw, stud, community card, miscellaneous and mixed. Mixed games like Horse/H.O.R.S.E are often played in live settings in order to level the playing field.


While Texas Hold’em is the undisputed king of land-based and online casino poker games, Omaha and its many variants have gained in popularity over recent years. Some even suggest that the game is on a trajectory to surpass Hold’em.

In a typical Omaha hand, players are dealt four hole cards. They then combine these with the five community cards in a showdown. The highest-valued hand wins the pot.

Pot-limit Omaha is very popular in Europe and is also played in high-stakes “mixed games” at some American casinos. This version of the game allows for a wide range of combinations and, because of this, can be a very profitable game when bluffing is successful.

Kite tail is a variation of Omaha that deals each player 4 hole cards and a board consisting of 6 cards in the “kite” and 3 cards in the “tail”. Bets are placed during the round when each card is revealed. The best poker hand is a combination of 2 of the player’s hole cards and one of the 3 “tail” cards.

Seven-Card Stud

Before Texas Hold’em became the dominant game in tournament play, Seven Card Stud was one of the most popular games. It’s still a valuable part of a poker player’s arsenal.

Each player is dealt two cards face down and then a third card face up. These are the hole cards. The next round of betting is based on these three cards. Having the best starting hand is critical in Stud, like any other poker game.

The best starting hands in Stud are pairs of jacks or higher with a high card such as a Queen, King, or Ace. These hands are especially good in multiway pots where they can draw other players into the hand.

There are several variations of Seven Card Stud, including Razz and Seven Card Stud High-Low. In Razz, the lowest card wins the pot. In Seven Card Stud High-Low, the pot is split between the players with the highest and lowest hand.

Deuce-to-Seven Lowball

Deuce-to-Seven Lowball is a variation of Draw poker that’s popular among action junkies. In this game the player draws up to three cards after a round of betting. The player can then discard cards he doesn’t want or use to form his hand.

Like other lowball games the best hand wins. There are several ways to rank hands in this game so it can be confusing for new players. To help players understand the rankings we’ll take a look at the Kansas City Lowball variation of this game. This variant takes straights and flushes into account when ranking hands but considers aces high.

If two hands tie, kickers are used to break the tie. For example, 7-6-5-4-3 defeats 8-5-4-3-2.

Five Card Draw

As the name suggests, this poker game involves players drawing and discarding cards to improve their hands. The resulting hand is compared with the opponents and the player with the stronger hand wins the pot.

Five Card Draw has several variations, but most of them follow the same rules. The game may be played with blinds or antes, and the betting structure can vary. The game can also be played for a set number of hands or for a fixed amount of time.

In most games, players place their forced bets before the cards are dealt. The dealer button (a round disc that sits in front of one player) rotates clockwise after every hand. In most home games, the person with the button deals the cards. Players can call or raise the bets when they are in position to act. If they choose to call, they must make a wager equal to or greater than the last bet.


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