Five Popular Poker Games You NEED to Learn (and Play)
Maybe you already know how to play poker. Perhaps you don't.
Either way, this is the perfect time to keep your mind busy trying new things, like playing poker online for the first time or maybe even playing online poker for real money.
Whatever you fancy, whatever your resolution, you should try to find the poker games that suit you. What better way to find out than to learn these five popular poker games!
1. Texas Hold'em
Texas Hold'em is the most popular poker game in the world. If you want to learn to play online poker games, this is a great place to start.
This is especially true because most of the marquee tournaments worldwide (WSOP, WPT, EPT, etc.) use this variation.
In a poker game of Texas hold'em, the dealer will shuffle a standard 52-card deck (but will not play in casinos and card rooms).
In home games, the dealer duties are generally shared among all the players at the table (shifting each hand in a clockwise direction).
In poker games with a dealer, a round disc, or a dealer button, moves clockwise each hand, marking which player would be the dealer if the game was self-dealt.
Each player is dealt two hole cards to create the best five-card hand possible. The action moves clockwise but starts to the left of the dealer button.
The two players to the left of the dealer are generally required to post a small and big blind to start the betting and move into the rest of the action on:
- the pre-flop
- the flop
- the turn
- the river.
Five community cards are displayed in the middle of the table on the flop, the turn and the river and players must make the best five-card combination from their seven cards.
Use this step-by-step guide on how to play Texas' hold'em poker to figure out the blinds and betting rounds before you try your luck in the most popular poker game of all time.
Then, when your mind becomes all poker all the time, you can start looking into strategies based on skill level so that you can explain poker to your friends and rule the online poker rooms.
Some of the best readings to understand how the game works are:
- How to win at Texas hold'em
- Best poker training sites
- Poker online free: the best sites to practice
- Free poker site where you can win real money
- Poker Equity Calculator
- Free poker course online
Where to Play Texas Hold'em Online
Texas hold'em is the easiest poker game to find online. You can look at this list of the best mobile poker sites if you want to play from your smartphone, or pick one of our suggested networks.
If you've learned the Texas hold'em poker rules, buckle your seatbelt. Omaha could be the best poker game for you if you're ready for some bigger swings.
In Omaha poker, players receive four hole cards instead of two and can only use two cards from their hand.
Similarly to a Texas hold'em poker game, Omaha has five community cards with a flop, turn and river.
The betting rounds also play out the same way.
Omaha poker games usually play out in a limit or pot-limit (PLO Poker) format with the most common variations being Omaha High or Omaha 8-or-Better ([URL="https://www.pokernews.com/poker-rules/omaha-hi-lo.htm"]Omaha poker Hi/Lo[URL]).
- Omaha High is like Texas hold'em, with players hoping to win the pot with the best high hand.
- Omaha 8-or-Better splits the pot between the best high hand and the best low hand; qualifying for the low hand means have five different cards that are ranked eight or lower.
Omaha High is a fast-action poker game and players make the nuts more often than Texas hold'em. Position tends to be important in Omaha when looking at possible hand combinations.
The next step then is to check out the strategy section for all things Omaha. If you don't know where to start, check out these pages:
Where to Play PLO Poker Games Online
3. Seven-card stud
This is the hipster poker game for those not playing along. This is the game that was popular before Texas hold'em exploded.
Played with two to eight players and without a flop and community cards, 7-card stud is a poker game that starts with two cards face down and a third face up (the hole cards and the door card).
After getting seven cards dealt – three face down and four face-up – you choose the best five-card combination (with the same hand rankings in Texas hold'em or Omaha).
Seven-card stud is most often played as a limit game. Pay attention to the cards of your opponents in this game so as not to underestimate or incorrectly estimate the odds.
To know more about this poker game, have a look at these pages:
Where to Play 7-Card Stud Poker Games Online
4. 2-7 Triple Draw
Once you feel you've tackled the world's best online poker sites, or you're just ready for some advanced poker games, 2-7 Triple Draw will be waiting for you with inverse hand rankings and all.
The goal of a poker game like 2-7 Triple Draw is to make the lowest possible five-card hand as possible in a four-round betting game with three draws a game.
Each round, players choose cards to discard anywhere from zero to five cards, and the dealer will give out replacement cards.
There is one last round of betting after the third and final draw and then the dealer button determines the order of betting and discarding.
Aces play high, and deuces play low.
Straights and flushes play against you, so the best hand is 23457 with no flush.
This six-max player game uses a dealer button and the same betting structure as Texas hold'em.
Check out the five tips for success for draw poker or Justin Bonomo's strategy for this poker game once you're feeling comfortable.
Where to Play 2-7 Triple Draw Poker Games Online
5. Open-Faced Chinese Poker (OFC Poker)
There's a special rule in Chinese poker called "Fantasyland." Need we say more?
Well, I guess we do if you want to beast this new and exciting form of poker.
This newer poker game, open-faced Chinese poker (OFC Poker), was invented in 2011 and evolved from closed-face, "regular" Chinese poker.
Chinese poker has players drawing cards from a single deck while trying to make the best hand possible.
Instead of rounds, players play for points, similar to other card games like heart or gin rummy.
After all the card-replacement rounds are complete, players arrange 13 cards into three hands: the top, middle and bottom.
Once you see how your hand measures up in this game, poker aficionados compare their regular poker hands.
The top contains only three cards but is scored as a regular hand; the bottom and middle are regular five-card hands.
Max four players, this poker game is most commonly played heads up.
Intrigued? checkout the articled listed below and learn more about the rounds, the scoring, scoring bonuses, and yes, Fantasyland.
Where to Play OFC Poker Games Online
So take a chance! Try your hand at these basic mixed poker games that you can play online or in person.
The best poker online is the poker you spend the most time mastering.
Most online poker sites will give you a quick free lesson if you're looking to play poker live and understand the mechanics of the game and who knows?
You could win some of the best tournaments around!
This article was first published by Katie Callahan in January 2017. Last update, March 2020.