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Most common poker variants explained

Winning Hand

There are many big poker families. They all contain many variations and are practiced at different levels (structure of betting rounds). There is sometimes added additional games modes. Poker has also spawned casino and society games that abandon its original auction structure.

Poker is played in many variations but there are three large families. They differ firstly by the way of distribution of playing cards. Cards can be shared by all players or private for each player. They can also be closed (visible only by the owner of cards) or open (visible to all). There are also differences in the game base on stakes. The winning hands can be high, low or both (high/low). In some embodiments where poker is played high and low hands, certain conditions are imposed on low hands. For example, a player’s hand can not contain card over eight (eight or better), or aces can count only as high card (deuce to seven).

Draw poker

In these variants, each player is dealt five cards systematically. They are all private and closed.

  • Five Card Draw: the historical variation of poker, one that beginners often learn first.
  • Lowball, or ace-to-five, or California lowball: is played like five card draw poker but low ace to five.
  • Deuce to Seven or Kansas City lowball: is played like five card draw poker but low deuce to seven.
  • Badugi: is the only poker game played with four cards, you have to have low cards that are not of the same color.
  • Baducey: is a mixture between badugi and 2 to 7. The final pot will be split in two, one half for the best badugi game and the other half for the best 2 to 7 game. Unlike badugi where ace is the best card, in the baducey ace is the worst. So the best possible combination is 23457 with 2345 different colors.

Variants of community cards

In these variants, a portion of the cards is common and therefore open (visible) and one is private and closed (hidden).

  • Texas Hold’em, Hold’em or Vegas (two hole cards, five community cards).
  • Double Hold’em, or Double Flop Hold’em (two private cards, two five community cards).
  • Omaha (four private cards, five community cards, available in high or high/low modes).
  • Aviation (four private cards, five community cards).
  • Courchevel (five private cards, five community cards, available in high or high/low modes).
  • Irish (four private cards, five community cards).
  • Pineapple (three private cards, five community cards).
  • Crazy Pineapple (three private cards, five community cards).
  • Royal Hold’em (two hole cards, five community cards).

Studs

All cards are private but some are open and others closed.

  • Five-card stud, or Cincinnati Kid (one hole card, four open cards).
  • Seven-card stud (three hole cards, four open cards, available in high, low or high/low mode) .In case 8 players would still be present to receive the seventh card is 8×7 = 56 more than the number of the card package, the latest card is not private but common.
  • Stud eight-or-better is the name given to the seven-card stud played high/low.
  • Razz or lowball is the name given to the seven-card stud played low.
  • Queen and follow is played like seven-card stud, but the Q are joker as well as the card that is given after the Q. This card is given after the Q is joker only until another Q is given, in this case it is the card that is given after the last Q which is joker (available in high or high/low modes).
  • Mambo stud poker, fun variant of stud poker game.

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