Main Types of Poker You Need to Know About

Dennis  «Dennis_Stets» 
26 Jun 2024
Poker Basics
26 Jun 2024

Poker is a truly intelligent card game. Its key goal is to collect the strongest possible combination at the gaming table, or to encourage the opponent to drop his own cards, making various bets. That’s why, to no small extent, poker is also a game of psychology. 

In fact, poker is a unifying name for a bunch of different card games that have a unifying beginning, a similar purpose, but at the same time can be very impressively different from each other. 

There are a wide variety of different types of poker. Some of them are the most popular, while others are held only in certain circles, clubs and casinos. This article will tell you about the various types of poker, and will help you understand their basic differences. In general, if you’re still confused with such disciplines as Texas Hold'em, Omaha and Razz, then this material will definitely be useful for you.

Main poker games list:

Now let’s speak about different poker games in more detail.

Texas Hold’em

So, let’s start with Texas Hold'em, the most popular poker discipline in the world. More than 90% of poker players have chosen it. If you didn’t know, Hold'em was not always on the first place (we talk about 7-Card Stud), but for the last 30-40 years it has kept its leading position online and live. 

The popularity of Texas Hold'em is due to its simple rules — it only takes a few hours for a beginner to learn them. 

The game of Texas Hold'em includes 4 stages. According to the rules they are called streets, where cards are dealt and players make bets. But before the deal starts, two poker players are obliged to make blinds. These are mandatory bets, the size of which is regulated by the limits at the table. 

When blinds are made, the players get two cards each and start dealing, where the following actions are available: 

  • Bet — to set your own price for the continuation of the game. Such a move is possible if none of the players has bet before;
  • Call — to equalize your opponent's bet;
  • Fold — refuse to continue the game and fold cards; 
  • Raise — to raise the bet; 
  • Re-raise — to respond to a raise with an even bigger bet; 
  • All-in — to put all your chips on the line. 

The betting round ends when the highest bet is called by all participants. It can also happen that the players refuse to call the last raise. In this case, they fold and the pot goes to the player who raised it before. 

If there are two or more participants left in the game, the next stage of the game begins — the flop. Here three common cards are placed on the board (table) and the second round of bidding begins. In it, the same actions are available as in the first round. In addition to them, players can make one more move — a check. It gives the right to skip their turn, without having to bet or fold cards. 

At the end of the second round of bidding comes the turn, where another piece is dealt on the board. Next, the players start betting again, and then comes the river — the final street. Here the fifth common card is dealt and the last round of betting begins. 

The final part of the game is called the showdown. This is where the combinations are compared.

They are collected from 5 cards. The poker player who has collected the strongest combination wins. Their seniority is as follows:

As you can see, Hold'em includes 10 hand rankings in total. Each combination has its own name, rules of formation and seniority. The stronger the combination is, the more difficult it’s to collect it. 


Let's continue looking at the types of poker and their rules. Now let's focus on the second most popular discipline — Omaha. It is presented in poker rooms in the usual PLO format and Hi-Lo. 

Classic Omaha on the rules of the game is very similar to Texas Hold'em. The only difference is the number of pocket cards that players receive after the blinds are set. They are dealt four community cards at a time. 

In Omaha you can use only two hole cards to make a combination — no more and no less. 

Thus, classic Omaha has only two differences from Hold'em, but they dramatically affect the gameplay. If in Hold'em on the turn there is still a good chance to complete the draw, in Omaha you focus on the flop. If on this street the participant does not have a ready combination, he should continue playing with a draw hand only with a large number of outs.

However, due to the presence of four pocket cards, it is easier to get a higher combination in Omaha than in Hold'em. That's why you will rarely win with Pairs or Three of a Kind. Whereas in Hold'em such combinations often give nice chances to win. 

Now let's move on to Omaha Hi-Lo. Its main difference from the classic variation is that here the pot is divided between two players — with the best poker hand and the lowest hand. 

However, players need to take into account a number of rules when building a low combination: 

  1. The ranking of the cards must not be higher than an eight; 
  2. Straights and flushes are not taken into account; 
  3. Ace is the youngest piece and counts as one. 

Since all of these rules must be taken into account when making a low combination, in some hands players fail to get a weak hand. In this case, the participant with the strongest combination takes the pot.

Five Card Draw Poker

Before Hold’em and Stud, game like 5-Card Draw Poker was the most popular game. It’s notable because it provides an extremely simple gameplay with two rounds of bidding and one stage of action with cards. 

At the beginning of the game all participants of the deal make a mandatory bet. Then they receive 5 cards each and enter the trading round according to the classical rules. Then the players have an opportunity to exchange their five-card hand — from 1 to 5. It is possible to refuse to trade if the starting hand is already strong. 

After that comes the second round of dealing. When it is over, the participants of the deal show their cards. The winner is declared the player who has collected the strongest poker combination according to the classical game of poker rules.

Seven Card Stud

Let's look further at the different kinds of poker and their rules, and focus now on Stud. Like Omaha, it is presented in the classic variation and High-Lo. At the beginning of the game players make an ante — a mandatory bet. Its size is several times less than the minimum table limit. 

When the ante is made, the participants receive three cards. Two of them are dealt face down and another one is face-open card. It is the last card that determines the poker player who makes an additional mandatory bet — the bring-in. The one who has the lowest rank, he adds more money to the pot. He also has the right to make the first move at the table. 

Then goes to the next stages of the game, where the players get 4 more cards.

Three of them are dealt open, only one is closed. Each stage of card dealing is accompanied by a betting round. The main goal of seven cards Stud is to collect the highest combination. As for the High-Lo variation, here the gameplay proceeds according to the rules of the classic Stud. But the way of determining the winner changes. Here the pot is divided between the players with the strongest and weakest hands. 


Razz is another popular poker game, which also sometimes is called 7-Card Stud Low. The rules here are the same as in Stud. The difference lies in the principle of determining the winner.  Here, the best low combination (i.e., the lowest) wins at the showdown. During the betting rounds at the table, each player is dealt 7 cards — 5 of them may form the best hand.

Straights and flushes are not taken into account when forming the lowest-order combination.

That's why the unbeatable hand in Razz is the combination from Aces to Fives. When both poker players collect the same combinations, the winner is determined by the highest card. Whoever has a lower ranking wins the pot. 

It would seem that this variation is very similar to the seven-card stud High-Lo. However, there is a significant difference. It consists in the fact that here there is no need to form a combination up to 8. The winner in the end will be the one who can form the lowest combination of 5 poker cards.


Badugi is an even more exotic form of poker that came to us from Asia. The essence of this type is very similar to Lowball (the youngest hand wins here too), but at the same time there are some very important features.

Badugi differs from the other disciplines mentioned above by the fact that here the combination is made of four cards, instead of five. 

Following the button, before the start, players must place a small blind, as well as a big blind. Next, the participants are dealt four cards each in the blind and deal. Then comes the exchange of cards. It’s possible to exchange them all — or just a few. The most interesting thing is that a player can refuse to make an exchange in case, if he already has a strong hand. 

Then comes the next round of betting. After it ends, the players again have the opportunity to change any number of pocket cards. Then the final round of the betting begins. 

The winner in Badugi is the player with the lowest combination. 

When forming combinations in this variation of poker, it is important to take into account the following rules: 

  1. Cards of the same rank reduce the strength of the hand, since only one of them is taken when making a combination; 
  2. Flushes and Straights are not taken into consideration; 
  3. A 4-card combination is always stronger than any 3-card set, and also any 2-card combination, and so on.

Lowball 2-7

A type of poker called Lowball 2-7 is a fairly specific variant of poker. Its essence is that the best low-combination wins. The ideal hand in 2-7 is cards 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7. A Flush or Straight  here significantly reduces your chances of winning. The various pairs also worsen the strength of the hand, with the Ace being the biggest card.

In the Lowball 2-7 variation, players acquire 5 pocket cards per hand and following the round on the gaming table, have the opportunity to change up to 5 cards. The aim of such moves is usual — collect the best combination to win.


H.O.R.S.E. is a mixed discipline and includes 5 different types of poker games. Its peculiarity is that its’ participants have to play five types of poker hands at once: 

  • Holdem; 
  • Omaha; 
  • Razz; 
  • Stud; 
  • Eight or Better.

It is from the first letters of these disciplines that the name H.O.R.S.E. is derived. This mixed game has its own specifics: 

  1. When Hold'em and Omaha hands are played, the button stops; 
  2. Round change (the period during which the hands of all 5 disciplines are played) can be by time or by number of hands — depending on the tournament or cash table conditions; 
  3. The amount of mandatory bets does not change throughout the round. 

H.O.R.S.E. is the most difficult type of poker.

It is played only by professionals who are well versed in all 5 disciplines. It was first played at the WSOP in 2006 for an entry fee of $50,000. H.O.R.S.E. is included in the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) as well as the World Series of Poker and other major live series.

Final thoughts on poker variations

Here we have looked at the most popular types of poker and their rules. It's up to you to decide which discipline to master first. The majority of people stick to Texas Hold'em. Perhaps you will enjoy Omaha, Razz or Stud, who knows?

Any of the mentioned kinds of poker is exciting and available in online rooms. Don't miss the opportunity to master the most popular card game in the world, start studying the rules of your favourite discipline in detail. And if you want to get better with professional help, visit our section with available poker coaches right now!

There are no comments here yet, you can be the first!