Monday, 20th May, 2024

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Why Are There So Many Variations of Poker?

Telling the Difference Between the Poker Games

If you log into a poker site and start to explore the different types of games, you’ll quickly spot the fact that there are many different varieties of games, and we’re not just talking about different developers creating different interfaces. With poker variations, the whole game can be pretty different, with a new set of rules and a new name, and if you’re new to the world of card games then you might feel a little confused by the games.

So, what’s with all those different types of poker, and can they really all be vastly different? You’d have to take a serious dive into some history books to work out the precise reasons for all of the different varieties, but the basic reason is a form of Chinese whispers. Before we had YouTube or social media to share the rules of the game, one person would share the rules with another, and they may forget some of them or choose to simply add their own twist.

In recent history variations of poker games have been a way to create a unique offering for casinos, and they like to create a way for customers to play something new and interesting to stand out from the competing sites.

Omaha Hi Lo

Omaha Hi Lo is a game where players get four cards dealt to them at the start of the game, and like in many forms of poker they’re trying to make the best five-card hand by the end of the game.

To do this in the Omaha varieties of the game, players have to use a maximum of three of the community cards to make their hand. More cards have been dealt right at the start of the game so you’ll probably see many more impressive and high-ranking hands at the end of this form of the game.

The showdown of Omaha Hi-Lo sees the pot divided between both the highest and lowest-ranked hands (hence the name of the game). The different Omaha High Low rules and ways to play can vary slightly, but most casinos play that all five cards in the “low” hand have to be ranked eight or below, plus straights and flushes aren’t counted, so an A-2-3-4-5 combo is a very low hand rather than being straight, as it would be in some other forms of Poker.

Omaha Hi-Lo can be seen at a lot of different online casinos and also in some tournament play.

Texas Hold’em

You’re going to find this on any list of poker varieties. It’s by far the most popular gamer and the superstar poker players mainly make their fortunes in the Texas Hold’em variety. This is thought to have sprung from a minor town in Texas, Robstown, before being integrated into some popular Vegas casinos. The first WSOP event was played in 1949 when the internet was still many decades from being invented and giving poker a gigantic boost.

Hold’em has rules that pretty much every poker fan and player has come across, involving each of the players being dealt two cards in their hand and then gradually a dealer places more cards on the table.

There are three turned over first which is known as the flop, then more betting on the outcome can start. The turn is next which is when another community card (the penultimate) is revealed to the players, and then we see the river which is the last community card. The betting carries on after each community hand is revealed to the poker players around the table.

Simply, after all the rounds have played out, the winner is whoever has the highest-ranked hand according to a hierarchy system.

5-Card Draw

Whether you’re at an online casino or walking down the strip, you’ll find that there are plenty of places offering games of 5-card-draw. You’ll also notice it is not named after a location, and this way of playing poker simply gets its name from the main playing mechanic, as five cards are given to each player to get the game underway. The same sort of naming convention has been used for 7-Card Stud, which is another really popular game for poker players.

There is an option for them to trade three of their cards for new ones from the dealer, taking a risk on trying to better the hand, but after those three it is time for the showdown and the player that has the top-ranked hand takes the pot.


There are even more types of poker out there and some of the more unusual types make variation lists like Chinese Poker and the weirdly-named Pineapple Poker, and everyone has their own particular brand and variety that clicks with them. The history books show that poker has had a crazy evolution, coming from Europe and being tweaked and altered by the US casinos and locations, meaning so many different choices for those wanting to play today.

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