Types of poker

Types of poker

​Poker is a lifestyle, a way of thinking, ups and downs, success stories and stories of failures. It is intelligence and luck, psychology and mathematics.

Many people connected their lives with poker in some way. Dozens of sites are dedicated to this gaming industry. Tournaments and championships on different poker games are held worldwide and broadcast on television. Professional poker players write books with useful poker tips and tutorials.

On this page, we've presented materials on various forms of poker games and their rules. They will help you to learn the rules of different types of poker from scratch.

Texas Hold'em

Let's first discuss what is texas holdem poker. Today, Texas Hold'em is the best known and most popular type of poker. To play Hold'em, a standard 52-card deck is used; the deck is shuffled before each hand.

To start, each player is dealt two hole, or the so-called "pocket", cards. Then, players go through three rounds during which the community cards are laid on the board. They are dealt face up and can be used by all participants. Betting takes place after each round. The best five-card hand wins: this is any combination of five community cards and two pocket cards.

This game is usually played in a 6-max or 9-max format, but sometimes there may be fewer players at the table.

Texas Hold’em pros and cons:

  • It’s an easy-to-learn game that has tons of action.
  • There are a lot of holdem games of different limits available both online and live.
  • In Texas Hold’em, the level of play is much higher than in other lesser-popular poker games.


Omaha is another type of poker that has become very popular among players across the globe mainly due to a large number of possible combinations. It’s very similar to Texas Hold’em in terms of rules and structure, however has some distinctions. In Omaha, for example, players are dealt 4 hole cards, instead of 2 (as in traditional holdem). The game also requires a 52-card deck to play.

The winner is determined at showdown or during betting rounds (flop, turn, and river) where the best 5-card combination wins. When making hands, be sure to use two pocket cards and three community cards.

Omaha pros and cons:

  • Omaha offers a lot of action at the table. Players can make more combinations with 4 cards, which also gives them the opportunity to bluff more often.
  • Though Texas Hold’em is considered easier, Omaha can be more profitable (especially in the long run).
  • Most tables of low and medium limits are filled with poker players who make many mistakes, meaning that you can make money from them if having great game skills.
  • This poker game may be a bit difficult for newbies.
  • Omaha is a game that involves high variance, the biggest nightmare of all poker players.

Chinese poker

Chinese poker is a popular card game that has little similarity to the classic variations of poker (Omaha and Texas Hold'em). There are no betting rounds, community cards as well as a traditional pot to compete for. However, combinations and methods for making them have survived.

The goal of the game is to collect the strongest combinations in all three boxes, while the principle of seniority of the combinations must be observed. In the bottom box, you should place the strongest hand, in the middle box – the second strongest hand, and in the top – the weakest one.

After the boxes are complete, all combinations are compared so that there is no "dead hand". The dead hand is considered the one in which the seniority of combinations is violated. The winner is determined by calculating points that are then entered in a special table.

Chinese poker pros and cons:

  • It’s a recreational game if compared to other types of poker.

  • Learning the game rules may take a lot of time, as this discipline has many features.
  • Few poker rooms offer Chinese poker games.

Seven-Card Stud

Each participant starts the game with two cards they receive face down and 1 face-up. Then, 3 more visible cards and 1 hole card dealt in turn; after each card is dealt, a betting round takes place.

7-Card Stud features 5 rounds of betting. The bet sizes depend on the structure of the game. In total, everyone has 7 cards at his disposal: four cards dealt face up and three cards dealt face down.

The pot is won by the player who makes the strongest 5-card combination. If there are same-strength hands, then the pot is divided equally among the participants with the highest combinations. As in Texas Hold'em, aces can be either high or low cards.

Seven-Card Stud pros and cons:

  • Stud still retains popularity at both online and land-based poker rooms.
  • In stud games, people are able to earn solid money if their game skills are good enough.
  • If you keep track of the cards folded, then you will have a big advantage over those participants who don't pay attention to it.
  • 7-Card Stud is not that action-packed and exciting as Texas Hold'em (or Omaha).


Razz is a poker variation that is very similar to 7-Card Stud in terms of rules, except for the fact that the lowest combination wins. This game is aimed at collecting the weakest 5-card combination using the 7 cards dealt. In order to play Razz, a traditional deck of 52 cards is utilized.

The winner is considered the player who collects the worst possible hand. In Razz, aces are only taken as low cards; note that straights and flushes do not count. The weakest possible combination is 5-4-3-2-A (a so-called five-low).

Razz pros and cons:

  • The rules are easy-to-learn, so it will not take you a lot of time to understand the game.
  • Despite its relaxed pace, Razz is an exciting game.
  • Many poker rooms offer cash games and tournaments in Razz format.
  • You will not find that many Razz games (both cash and tourneys) at land-based casinos.


HORSE is probably the most popular mixed game. HORSE is an acronym for the 5 varieties of poker:

  • H – Holdem (fix-limit)
  • O – Omaha Hi-Lo
  • R – Razz (7 Card Stud Low)
  • S – 7-Card Stud (7 Card Stud High)
  • E – 7-Card Stud Hi-Lo (Eight or Better)

All the HORSE games have a fixed limit. The limits remain the same for all variations of poker.

HORSE gives you the opportunity to develop your skills in several poker types at once. Besides, this format brings diversity to your poker session. We suggest that you first get acquainted with each of the poker types before you start playing HORSE.

HORSE pros and cons:

  • Playing HORSE, you can improve your skills in five non-Hold'em fixed limit games at once.
  • As a rule, players are not that strong in all variations, meaning that you can get a big advantage over your opponents by applying solid strategy.
  • HORSE is not a beginner-friendly game, as players should know how to play all 5 poker formats.
  • This game is a bit boring due to fixed limits.


Badugi is considered to be one of the most extraordinary types of card games; it is also called "Korean poker". In Badugi, combinations are made up not of five, but of four cards that are dealt face down (hole cards).

This popular type of poker has non-standard rules; traditional combinations like flush, three of a kind, or full house do not work here.

Participants can exchange their pocket cards three times (any number of cards). If no one takes the pot during betting, then you need to have the best Low-combination (the hand that has the lowest rank) at the showdown to win.

Paired and suited cards decrease the strength of your hand, so you should strive to ensure that the hand is complete of cards of different denominations and suits, as low as possible. The best hand you can make is Ace-2-3-4 (all cards must be of different suits).

Badugi pros and cons:

  • It’s important to apply aggression as well as bluffing in Badugi, meaning that the game is very entertaining.
  • The game is played with fixed limit.
  • In Badugi, you will not find community (or visible) cards that can help you understand what your rivals have.
  • It’s almost impossible to find live Badugi games.
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