A Guide to the Top Three Poker Variants

With a history dating back to New Orleans in the late 1820s, it is fair to say that poker has truly stood the test of time as a popular pastime.

The game has enjoyed a massive surge of popularity since the turn of this century, with television broadcasts helping to promote the game to the masses.

Much of the TV coverage over the past couple of decades has focused on Texas Hold’em, which is widely viewed as one of the easiest poker games to learn.

Read on as we take a closer look at Texas Hold’em and identify a couple of other poker variants worth checking out if you want to expand your skillset.

Texas Hold’em

When it comes to prestigious events such as the World Poker Tour or World Series of Poker, Texas Hold’em is the game that tends to dominate the landscape.

The two players to the left of the dealer are required to post a small and big blind to start each hand before two hole cards are dealt with everyone at the table.

There can be up to four rounds of betting in Texas Hold’em – pre-flop, the flop, the turn, and the river – with the pot potentially getting progressively bigger the further each hand goes.

If the action reaches the river there will be five community cards in the middle of the table. Players must use these with their two-hole cards to make the best possible five-card combination.


Omaha is viewed as a more skilled game than Texas Hold’em and can be a quick road to the poor house if you do not know what you are doing.

In the Omaha variant, players initially receive four hole cards rather than two and can only use two cards from their hand.

Omaha has five community cards with a flop, turn and river, and each of the betting rounds are structured in the same way as Texas Hold’em.

With more cards dealt, Omaha produces high-ranking poker hands more often than Texas Hold’em. On that basis, table position becomes even more crucial if you want to succeed at Omaha.

Seven-card stud

This was THE poker game before Texas Hold’em became king. For poker traditionalists, seven-card stud is the only game that really matters.

Played with up to eight players, there is no flop or community cards. 7-card stud starts with two cards face down and a third dealt face up.

After a total of seven cards are eventually dealt – three face down and four face-up – you must make a hand containing the best five-card combination.

Unlike draw poker, stud players are able to use the information they get from the face-up cards to make more strategic decisions during the game.