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Poker 101: Your Guide to Poker Variations

Poker may seem complicated and hard to understand for outsiders. But once you familiarise yourself with the different poker variations, you'll be ready to play soon.

Every poker variation has its own set of rules that needs to be followed for a smooth game play. Great understanding of poker rules will determine your success, as it's the basis for developingstrategy. The strategy you choose to use, your hand selection, and your decision-making ability are the keys to win.

Texas Hold'em

Variation - Texas Hold'em

Let's start with the most popular variation, Texas Hold'em. This game may look simple on the surface but the vast number of possible game situations can make the game very complex when played at a high level.

Players have the option to bet, fold, raise, or check during each round. A check means to pass the action to the next player in hand.

When the last round of betting is completed, the remaining players in the hand with hole cards will engage in a "showdown." They will expose their cards and with the help of the dealer, a winning hand is determined.


Variation - Omaha

Omaha is a variation of Texas Hold'em but instead of two, players receive four hole cards. And like most poker games, Omaha uses a standard 52 deck of cards that is shuffled before every hand.


Variation - Razz

Razz is a version of Ace to Five Lowball Poker that uses the same format as 7 Card Stud. The goal is to make the best five card low hand out of the seven cards dealt. But unlike in 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo or Omaha Hi/Lo, there is no "eight or better" requirement in Razz to win the jackpot.

7 Card Stud

Variation - 7 Card Stud

Seven-card stud is one of the more traditional forms of poker. The game can be played with two eight players. Unlike Texas Hold'em or Omaha, 7-card stud does not involve a flop, and in most cases, no community cards are involved.


Variation - Badugi

Badugi is a variant of draw poker that originated in Asia. It's similar to Lowball in the sense that the lowest hand wins. However, it's significantly different from the most popular variant of poker when it comes to the hand ranking system. The strongest hands are those that have no pairs and four low cards, one of each suit.

Omaha Hi-Lo

Variation - Omaha Hi-Lo

Omaha Hi-Lo is very similar to regular Omaha; the only difference is that the pot is split between a high hand (same as in regular Omaha) and a low hand (based on the five cards, starting at eight or below).

While there are many varieties of poker, they all have their similarities. Once you understand the basic fundamental rules of poker, it'll be easier to get the hang of any poker game.

Experience is still the best teacher though. There's no better way to master the game than to actually play the game. So head on to your favourite online poker site and start playing.

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