Poker Variations

There are dozens of poker variations based on the general theme of poker, each using the same core rules.

Some poker games have very subtle differences to the original core rules and their are others with vast differences.

From seven card stud, to Iron Cross (criss-cross) to a version of poker called ‘Indian poker’ where you are all dealt one card, you stick that card, face out to your forehead without looking at it and then bet on who has the best hand, based on what you can see.

[Variations] [Five Card Draw] [Stud] [Texas Hold-em] [Omaha] [Horse]

Poker variations are important.

Depending on what variation of poker you’re playing in, you’ll find it easier to understand the way the game works if you’re familiar with that variant.

It’s easy to play basic poker, but Razz can be complicated if you’ve never played stud before.

Five card draw and triple draws of all varieties can be confusing if you’ve never encountered them before, and run completely differently in most cases than Texas Hold-em or Omaha poker games.

While most share the common core rules for poker games, and most share the common winning hands, some do have ‘special hands’ that you should pay attention to.

Learn Poker Variants.

While our articles in this section take a similar structure – introduction, betting milestones, key areas to watch for and any other notes, the single best way to get to know any poker variant is to get involved directly.

With the ever increasing online clubs, gaming areas and sites offering everything from software that teaches you… to live gaming, it’s even easier to get stuck in and enjoy yourself, while learning for relatively little outlay of time or money.

Starting with penny antes in any game will allow you to learn about them without spending a fortune, and if you find a poker variant you enjoy, you can then research deeper.

You can best do this by investing in books such as Poker for Dummies, or a book that talks about your favourite poker variation in depth.

The poker variant that works for you.

Ultimately, some people find that they have a special affinity, or an extra understanding of one or two version of poker games.

This is a good thing, because it allows you to concentrate on the areas where your skills are greatest and to learn about the strategies that really work for you in those games.

That focus can ultimately give you an edge other casual players may not have.

Poker Variation Feedback

When you learn how to play poker you will find there are several dozen variations of the basic poker theme that aren’t different enough to require long descriptions, but are worth mentioning nonetheless.

We’ve looked and gathered up what we feel are the best groups of these variation to give you a quick overview of them.

We welcome any feedback on the topics discussed, or if you have a good insight into a poker variation we have not covered, then please feel free to… Share it!


A great rule which me and my friends invented by accident! This variation works great with a group of players (6-8 is good).

How To Play Poker Variations – When you learn how to play poker you will find there are several dozen variations of the basic poker theme that aren’t different enough to require long descriptions, but are worth mentioning nonetheless…

What is Five Card Draw – Five card draw poker is the most common beginner game of poker. Play is simple, and is rarely played in casino or tournament poker games but generally gives players a chance to experience the thrill of a proper game of poker without some of the complexities of the harder games.

What is Stud Poker – Stud Poker over the years has developed a number of variants and is a game in which players receive a mix of face down and face up cards.

What is Texas Hold-em Poker – Texas Hold-em poker has become the most popular form of poker in recent years, with references, tournaments and strategy guides springing up left right and centre.

What is Omaha Poker – Omaha can refer to several poker games, however the original game is commonly known as ‘Omaha High’ (best hand wins). A high low split version of this game known as ‘Omaha High-Low’ (best hand and worst hands win), creating a shared pot for the winner’s, referred to as a split pot.

What is Horse Poker – HORSE Poker (Hold-em. Omaha. Razz. Seven Card Stud. Eights or Better Seven Card Stud High-Low) is a tournament type poker game, that is sets of hands from each of the five listed games: