Which Of These Poker Variants Have You Played?

Playing several different poker variants can massively improve your skillset and your win rate

There are many different poker variants available to play online and live. Most poker players tend to stick with one type and specialise in it. That’s not a bad idea because it’s important to find a game you enjoy and are profitable in.

Learning different poker variants is also important to your development as a poker player. You can apply skills acquired from other formats into your usual game. Being a better all-round player is good for your bankroll and win rate. Do you want to improve these two things? Learn these different poker variants then!

Hold’em Games Are The Most-Popular Poker Variants

No-Limit Hold’em is the most popular of all poker variants. It took the poker world by storm when it launched and now the majority of online poker cash games and tournaments are played in this format.

The legendary Doyle Brunson called No-Limit Hold’em the “Cadillac of Poker”. The late Mike Sexton said it takes minutes to learn but a lifetime to master.

No-Limit Hold’em is simple on the surface but extremely complex when you dig deep. It’s what keeps players coming back for more. They say the best way to improve at poker is to play more of it. You won’t ever have any trouble finding a No-Limit Hold’em game.

Pot-Limit and Fixed-Limit Hold’em are the lesser-played poker variants. Pot-Limit Hold’em was quite popular in the United Kingdom. Fixed-Limit Hold’em has died a death somewhat but is still quite popular in some older Vegas casinos.

Omaha Games Are The Poker Variants With The Most Action

Which poker variants create the most action and juiciest pots? That’ll be Omaha games. Pot-Limit Omaha is the most popular Omaha variant and the most commonly played online. Almost all of the biggest online poker cash games took place at the PLO tables.

Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo, or PLO8, is another popular variant. It plays with a split-pot format that takes some getting used to, but is great fun.

You can even play No-Limit Omaha but that is not a game for the faint-hearted.

Stud Games Are Becoming The Forgotten Man of Poker Variants

Stud games are among the oldest poker variants and are in danger of disappearing. Playing stud games improves your memory because it’s vital to remember all the up-cards.

The game is much slower than No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha so younger players aren’t fans. It’s also much more difficult to play several tables at once, which doesn’t work in its favor.

Stud games are still found in live casinos and the WSOP usually has a couple of major stud tournaments.

Try 2-7 Draw For Something Different

There are several poker variants under the draw umbrella, but 2-7 is most common. 2-7 is played with either a fixed or no-limit betting structure and as single or triple draw.

Many consider No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw as the purest form of poker, period. It combined hand reading skills with pure aggressive and bluffing. NL 2-7 single draw is a high variance game, perhaps try triple draw to lessen your exposure. This format doesn’t play too dissimilar to No-Limit Hold’em in its structure.

Combine Many Skills In 8-Game

Play 8-game if you want to combine several poker variants in one game. 8-game is played as a cash game or tournament and it hugely popular. It’s taken over H.O.R.S.E. as the mixed game of choice.

8-Game consists of the following eight poker variants:

  • Limit 2-7 Triple Draw
  • Limit Hold’em
  • Limit Omaha Hi/Lo
  • Razz
  • Limit Seven Card Stud
  • Limit Stud Hi/Lo
  • No-Limit Hold’em
  • Pot-Limit Omaha

This is a fantastic format that puts players to the ultimate test. It’s difficult to specialise in eight poker variants at once, extremely difficult. Some players jump into 8-game hoping to win big on the NLHE and PLO rounds. Other for the more niche games. It makes for a mix of players who tend to be good at one format and terrible at another. That is until you reach the higher stakes where poker’s elite lay in weight.

Matthew Pitt

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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