Poker Variations: Which one should you play?

Poker nights are great fun – getting a group of friends together, staking a small fee, and clashing heads to see who the ultimate level-headed poker player is – all while chatting and snacking through the night.

If you have never held or joined a poker party, choosing the right variation to play can be tricky.

‘There are more than one?’ I hear the poker debutants say: the answer is yes! There are many variations to the famous card game which can be played both in real-life and online, so let’s take a look at a few of the most common ones.

Free People Playing Poker Stock Photo

Texas Holdem

  • 2 to 10 players
  • Shared community cards make the game thrilling
  • Available to play in almost every in-person and online casino
  • It’s easy to pick up!

Thought to have been created in the 1820s, people really love this version of poker even 200 years later. It’s commonly available as a tabletop version in land-based casinos. It is also usually found when you head to an online establishment like the casino at Paddy’s. These sites are usually home to a whole range of casino games – roulette, slots, blackjack – just like their land-based counterparts. Among these titles, it’s not uncommon to find Texas Holdem.

The game is played over four rounds/hands. Every player gets two face-down cards, in addition to the five, community face-up cards that the dealer lays in the middle of the table. Players are free to make any combinations with these 7 cards, and the player that has the best hand in the showdown will win the round. Players who don’t know the heirarchy can always consult guide from Upswing while playing.


  • 2 to 10 players
  • Less common variation so experience pays off
  • Larger range of hands makes the game exciting
  • Can be played as a pot limit game or a fixed limit game

Omaha poker has a few unique rules compared to Texas Holdem. The first game of Omaha was played in the 1970s, when it was still called Twice Three.

Omaha is largely similar to Texas Holdem, but every player gets four face-down cards (hole cards). Subsequently, there are just three face-up cards on the table (community cards) that can be used by all players. On top of this, players receive two additional face-up cards across two turns. Players must use two hole cards and three community cards to form their combination.

Free Deck of Playing Cards With Poker Chips Stock Photo

Seven-card Stud

  • 2 to 8 players
  • Players have a chance to memorize the cards of other players
  • There is no initial, positional advantage

This type of poker was actually the most popular variation before Texas Holdem took the leading position. It’s super fun and relatively easy to play, detailed step-by-step on the guide at THM.

Two cards are dealt face down to each player, one card is dealt face up to each player. The 4th-6th cards are dealt face-up and the 7th is face-down. Building a combination from these cards while trying to remember what other players were dealt, players then showdown in an epic reveal.

So, there are many different ways to play the game of poker, whether online or face-to-face. Whether you opt for the common Texas Holdem or a more niche variation, get the snacks and sodas in, and have a cracking night!

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