Poker is one of the only card games that has distinct variations of play, but it still sticks to the traditional 5 Card hand ranking system with exception of Balugi. The growth of poker over the years and its global reach has meant the game has taken all kinds of twists and turns along the way to form what today is an assortment of options to play out one of the most widely enjoyed card games in the world.
5-Card Draw was one of the first versions of poker played today to have made it through and still get its own spot in the World Series of Poker and in the new Mixed Game events. Draw is played using two different styles in which both can be played on line. There is high card draw, which actually isn’t a WSOP game and there is 2-7 Triple Draw. 2-7 is the version played in the WSOP and mixed games. It uses Low Ball poker rules, so the lowest 5 card hand wins rather than in traditional draw where the high card ranking system counts.
Stud was the next game to survive the years of poker variations, and it is played all over the world. 5-Card Stud was the most popular version of Stud, and it can still be played online, but since its seventies appearances in the WSOP it has been phased out. However, it is still played in the WCOOP and SCOOP events online. 7-Card Stud is now the latest stud rage. Unlike 5-Card Stud it is only played using fixed limit. Also, 5-Card Stud has 4 up cards and 1 down whereas 7-Card Stud still has 4 up cards, but 3 down cards.
7-Card Stud can be played using 3 different variations of the game. There is RAZZ, which is the Low Ball version of the game although it is worth noting that the Low Ball rules of RAZZ are slightly different to the Low Ball rules of 2-7 Triple Draw. On top of this there is standard 7-Card Stud High game that goes by the usual 5 high card hand ranking system.
Finally, there is 7-Card Stud Split also known as Eight-or-Better. This is basically a split between Razz and Stud High. A player with the lowest 5-card hand gets the low pot, while the player with the best 5-card high card hand win the high pot.
Texas Hold’em and Omaha are the two most popular poker games out there right now. Hold’em is mostly played using No Limit rules, but it is also popular with Pot Limit, and Fixed Limit players. Hold’em and Omaha are both similar so far as they both have the same number of betting sessions, blinds, and they both consist of a flop, turn and river. The big difference between the games is that in Omaha players are dealt 4-cards cards, whereas in Texas Hold’em player receive only 2 cards.
In Omaha players have to use 2 cards out their 4 card hand, and 3 cards on the board to make their 5 card poker hand. In Texas Hold’em the player can use 3 or 4 cards from the board and 1 or both of the 2 cards dealt to them at the beginning of the hand.
Both Omaha and Hold’em can be changed to play different variants of the games. Omaha can use the same high/low split rules as in 7-Card Stud and this is a popular game. As for Hold’em a few new versions of the game such as ‘Run it Twice’, Double Hold’em and Double Flop Hold’em are starting to hit the felts.
As you can see there are so many styles in poker to choose from. Commonly people like to play Dealer’s choice for this reason, so they can choose their favorite style every time it is their deal. In the end different players like different games and some player are more profitable at one style than another. For about different poker styles out there check out Full Tilt Poker.