Three Non-Hold’em Poker Games You Need To Try

There are dozens of poker games for you to try. Make sure you play thse three if you only have time to play a handful of them.

The vast majority of poker cash games and tournaments are played as No-Limit Hold’em. None of the other available poker games even come close to its popularity. Being easy to learn and improve at works in favor of Hold’em.

Poker players tend to specialize in one variant and format. It’s quite rare to find players who split their time between multiple poker games. How many Hold’em cash game players do you know who also play Stud tournaments?

Learning multiple poker games is not only fun, but it also keeps you interested in poker. Being adept at several poker games also improves your skills in your base game. This is because many skills learned playing other games can be transferred.

Having to watch all the cards in play in Stud, for example, improves your memory which certainly comes in handy in all other poker games.

Here are three poker games that you really need to give a go when you have the chance.

Pot-Limit Omaha Is The Second-Most Popular of All Poker Games

You’ll pick up Omaha games quickly if you have a background in Hold’em. Both are flop games with the exact same hand rankings, but there are some key differences.

Omaha plays with four hole cards instead of two in Hold’em. Exactly two of these hole cards have to be used to create the best five-card poker hand. You’re effectively playing two Hold’em hands in one when you play Omaha.

Pot-Limit Omaha, or PLO, is the most common of Omaha poker games. Omaha games can also be played in a high-low split format, adding a new dimension to them. Players can make traditional high hands and win with low hands. It’s great fun, but expect a lot of split pots.

Seven Card Stud is Becoming One of the Forgotten Poker Games

Seven Card Stud is fast becoming one of the forgotten poker games because of the continued rise in popularity of NLHE and PLO. Stud games are how many players were introduced to poker.

There are no community cards involved in Stud, although there are cards everyone can see. Games start with each player being dealt two face-down hole cards and one face-up door card. A round of betting takes place before fourth street is dealt face-up. Another round of betting occurs before fifth street is dealt face-up. Players bet again and sixth street is dealt face-up. More betting happens before the river is dealt face-down to each player.

The winner is the player who makes the best five-card poker hand from their seven cards. Play can also end on any street if only one player remains.

You can also play Stud Hi-Lo, which is a split pot game. It’s completely crazy and not for the faint-hearted!

Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw Is Something Completely Different

Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw is one of the many draw poker games. It is completely different to anything you’ve played because the aim is to make the worst hand!

Everyone is dealt five face-down cards and the goal is to make the worse five-card hand. There are four rounds of betting and three draws in these poker games. Players choose to discard none to five of their cards after each betting round and the dealer deals them replacement cards. There’s a final round of betting once the third draw round is completed.

Straights and flushes count against you and aces are high. This makes 23457 the best hand you can make, if there is no flush. 23467 is another strong hand. Basically, the game uses hand rankings that are inverse of traditional rankings.

Which Other Games Should I Try?

These are my personal three favorite non-hold’em games, but plenty more deserve your attention. H.O.R.S.E. is a mixed game where five games are played in rotation, all with a fixed-limit betting structure. You play Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo, Razz, Seven-card Stud, and Stud Hi-Lo!

You should also give Short Deck a try. This game is sometimes called Sixx-Plus Hold’em because all deuces, three, fours and five are removed from the deck. This alters the hand rankings and creates some crazy action!

Online poker sites make it possible to try these games at micro-stakes. Give them a try when you get the chance, you won’t be disappointed.

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.


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