Different Types of Poker Games
There are a plethora of different version of poker. Some of these are very well known and played all over the world, while some are far less common. Naturally, it’s the more popular ones that are typically offered on online poker sites. These games are also generally the ones played in land based casinos and poker rooms. Texas Hold’em is the most played version, with other popular variants including the following.
- 7 Card Stud
- Five Card Draw
In addition to the versions mentioned above, a game of poker can also be played in different formats. The biggest distinction is between cash games, where money is won and lost on each hand, and tournaments, where players all start with a certain amount of chips and the aim is to win them all. Then there’s a speed poker, a relatively new format which is played at a much faster pace.
Games can also be categorized based on the betting limit used. The betting limit basically dictates how much players can bet at various stages and has a big impact on the strategy involved. The main limits used are fixed limit and no limit, but there are others out there to choose from.
In this section on poker games we’ve provided information on all the main versions and formats. You can find details of everything we cover below.
The betting limit of any particular game dictates how much a player may bet or raise relative to the stakes (when playing cash) or the current blind level (when playing tournaments). It’s important to be aware of the different limits and how they work, as they change the way a game is played quite significantly.
The following are the most commonly used betting limits and we have written an article explaining how they all work.
- Fixed Limit
- No Limit
- Pot Limit
- Spread Limit
- Cap Limit
Cash Game & Tournament Formats
The main way to classify a game of poker, apart from which variant is being played, is identifying whether it’s a cash game or a tournament. The fundamental rules of whichever variant you’re playing are the same regardless of the format, but there are some key differences to the way you win (or lose) money.
In a cash game you buy in for a certain amount of money and the winner of each hand wins however much money has gone into the pot. You can leave the table at any point and take any winnings you’ve made. You can also buy in for more money if you lose.
In a tournament, you pay an entry fee and receive a fixed number of chips that is the same amount as all of the other competitors. The winner of each hand wins however many chips have gone into the pot and players are eliminated after they have lost all of their chips. The goal is to be the last remaining player or in other words to win all the chips on the table. There are several different types of tournaments with each one having a slightly different set of rules.
We’ve provided more detailed information on how cash games and tournaments work on the following two pages.
Speed poker is a relatively new format of the game that has been introduced at a number of online poker sites. It’s played primarily using Texas Hold’em or Omaha and be played using either the cash game or tournament format. All the standard rules are basically the same but it’s played at a significantly faster pace.
Whenever you fold a hand you’re automatically dealt into another one. This works by using a pool of players that are constantly moving tables rather than seating players at a specific table. It’s not as complicated as it might sound and it’s one of the most exciting ways to play poker online.
Texas Hold’em has earned its title as the world’s favorite form of poker. It’s easily the most played and featured version played at every online poker site. The majority of the time it’s the game of choice for large live tournaments and the biggest cash games too.
A significant reason for the popularity of Texas Hold’em is the simplicity of that are reasonably easy to learn. Mastering the game is much more difficult though, and its challenging nature is also a big part of its appeal too. For more details on Texas Hold’em, including its history, the best places to play online, and an overview of the rules – please see the following pages.
Omaha shares a number of similarities with Texas Hold’em. It’s the second most popular online game and it’s often favored by players that like the fact it generates a lot of action. There are a few different variations of Omaha with the two most common being Omaha High and Omaha Hi-Lo. It’s a good idea to learn the High version before Hi-Lo, because it’s definitely the simpler of the two.
You can find more details on these poker variants on the following pages.
Seven Card Stud
Before the popularity of Texas Hold’em spread, Seven Card Stud used to be the most widely played version of poker among serious players and professionals. In this variant you have more information to work with than you do in others and many argue that this means there’s more strategy and skill involved, and less left up to chance.
For additional details on Seven Card Stud, please see the following pages.
Although not as popular or as well-known as most of the other poker versions we’ve covered here, Razz is still enjoyed by many players. It can be confusing when you first play because it’s a low-ball game, meaning you want the lowest value hand rather than the highest. Outside of that, though, the rules aren’t really too complicated.
You can read the full rules of Razz, along with more information on the game and some additional advice on where to play it, on the following pages.
Five Card Draw
Five Card Draw is less strategy oriented than many other poker games and it also has very simple rules. These reasons are probably why Five Card Draw is often the first type of poker that people learn how to play. It’s still a very popular game to play at home and it can be found at most online poker sites too.
Please see the following pages for more on Five Card Draw.
Mixed Game Formats
In mixed game formats you play multiple poker variants at the same time. The version played rotates every few hands and many consider this format to represent the ultimate test of poker playing skill. You obviously need to be competent in several different forms of poker to be successful and they aren’t really suitable for beginners or relatively inexperienced players.