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Popular types of poker and rules of the game in Poker

How to play different types of poker? Novice poker players are aware of Texas Hold’em and some other variations of poker. In reality, there…

How to play different types of poker?

Novice poker players are aware of Texas Hold’em and some other variations of poker. In reality, there are several dozen poker disciplines that differ in dynamics, dispersion, intellectual approach, and chance. In some games, there are auctions. Other disciplines involve bets and card exchange. An exotic form of poker (Chinese Pineapple) doesn’t even have streets; it only involves the successful placement of cards in boxes. Pokerdom will tell you about the most popular types of poker.

Most popular types of poker and their differences

NamePocket CardsFinal CombinationFeatures
Texas Hold’em25 any cards
  • No limit on the maximum bet;
  • Low probability of forming combinations;
  • 2 pocket cards dealt pre-flop;
  • Final combination: any 5 cards.
Short Deck25 any cards
  • Aggressive play among participants due to the high probability of forming combinations;
  • No blinds;
  • Flush beats a full house;
  • The presence of a “wheel” – the lowest straight “A-6-7-8-9”;
  • Sometimes a set (three of a kind) is ranked higher than a straight.
Omaha42 pocket + 3 community cards
  • High probability of forming combinations due to 4 pocket cards;
  • The game is unpredictable and dynamic;
  • The maximum bet is limited by the pot.
Omaha 552 pocket + 3 community cards
  • Players receive 5 pocket cards, of which 2 will be chosen to use in revealing hands.
Courchevel52 pocket + 3 community cards
  • Pre-flop: after receiving 5 pocket cards, the dealer places 1 community card on the board.
Omaha Hi-Lo42 pocket + 3 community cards
  • The pot is divided between the strong and weak hands.
Lowball55 pocket cards
  • A combo consists of 5 pocket cards, with no community cards;
  • The winner is the one with the weakest hand (low);
  • Ace is not considered the lowest-ranking card;
  • The weakest hands are a straight and a flush;
  • The winning hand is the one without pairs, and the highest card is lower in rank.
Razz75 cards in a low combination
  • The winnings go to the weak hand – from Ace to “7”;
  • There is no requirement for “8” or better to win the pot;
  • All players at the table make mandatory bets – antes;
  • The player in the bring-in position goes first.
Stud75 cards in a high combination
  • All players at the table make mandatory bets – antes;
  • The player in the bring-in position goes first;
  • The strongest hand wins – high.
Badugi44 cards in a low combination
  • Aces are considered low, and a straight is not considered a winning combo;
  • Card exchange is available at each stage of the game;
  • The best combination is Badugi – “4-3-2-A”
  • 2-A
Draw Poker55 cards in a high combination
  • No common board;
  • The highest hand wins;
  • Ability to exchange any number of cards;
  • Only 3 trading stages.
  • Games of hold’em, Omaha hi-lo, Razz, 7-card stud, and 7-card stud hi-lo played alternately
Pineapple (Chinese Poker)1313 cards in boxes
  • Absence of a betting round;
  • Winnings are determined using points (cushions) and bonuses (royalties);
  • The player must correctly place cards in the bottom, middle, and top boxes while observing the rank hierarchy;
  • There is a special “fantasy” mode.

Texas Hold’em is recognized as the most popular type of poker, followed by Omaha and Stud. New types of games include Chinese Pineapple and Lowball. Mixed poker games like HORSE are often played in tournaments.

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Texas Hold’em: Rules of the Game

Texas Hold’em is considered a classic poker variant. Around 95% of online tournaments are organized in this discipline. The proportion of Texas Hold’em in live series also exceeds the percentage of all other poker variants combined.

Some nuances of playing Texas Hold’em

To play, you will need a deck of 52 cards, ranging from “2” to “Ace” (“A”). The “Ace” is the highest-ranking card, although in the “low straight” combination, it takes the lowest value (“A-2-3-4-5”).

Texas Hold’em features 10 combinations, including:

  1. High card.
  2. Pair.
  3. Two pairs.
  4. Three of a kind.
  5. Straight.
  6. Flush.
  7. Full house.
  8. Four of a kind.
  9. Straight flush.
  10. Royal flush.

The first two players to the left of the dealer occupy the positions of the “small” and “big” blinds. The small blind makes the first mandatory bet. The big blind must bet twice as much. For example, in the Pokerdom online poker room at NL2 limit, the small blind must bet $0.01, and the big blind – $0.02.

Note! In cash games, the blinds are always the same. In tournaments, their size is often increased.

Stages of Texas Hold’em game:

  1. The dealer deals 2 cards face down to each participant. After assessing the situation, players place bets, starting with the small blind.
  2. Dealing 3 community cards on the flop (cards visible to all players). Subsequent betting. The first move is made by the player sitting to the left of the dealer.
  3. The appearance of the 4th community card (turn). Betting is organized similarly.
  4. Revealing the 5th community card (river). Final betting round.

The very first poker player to make a non-compulsory bet “bet” is the player to the left of the big blind. He can take several actions:

  • Check: skip the turn;
  • Call: match the previous bet;
  • Raise: increase the bet;
  • Fold: give up the bet, leaving the game.

After passing through four streets from pre-flop to river, the showdown is announced. Players show their hands. The formed combinations are evaluated, after which the winner is declared.

It is not uncommon for the winner to be announced prematurely. The entire pot is taken by the player who remains in the game when all other table participants fold.

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Short Deck

Short Deck (6+ Hold’em) is a variation of no-limit hold’em that involves playing with a 36-card deck. This discipline has gained popularity among both amateurs and professionals.

Unlike Texas Hold’em, Short Deck:

  • Does not have small and big blinds – all participants post a 1 ante, and the button posts 2;
  • Flush beats a full house;
  • The lower straight looks like “A-6-7-8-9”;
  • In some poker rooms, a set is stronger than a straight.

The rules of the game are similar to Texas Hold’em.

Classic Omaha

Omaha Poker appeared more than 40 years ago. This poker variant is sometimes called Omaha Hold’em.

In terms of popularity, this poker discipline ranks second after Texas Hold’em. It is ideal for those who have already mastered Hold’em. It is considered more dynamic, complex, and aggressive compared to the poker king.

The rules of the game in Omaha are as close as possible to Texas Hold’em. The player’s task is to collect the best combination of 5 cards (2 pocket and 3 community). It is important to remember that each new street can turn all your positive expectations upside down.

Rules of the classic Omaha game:

  1. After accepting mandatory bets, the dealer deals each player 4 cards. Clockwise, players take actions: bet, call, check, raise, re-raise, fold. The minimum bet in the game is commensurate with the big blind. The minimum raise size corresponds to the previous raise, and the maximum raise – the current pot.
  2. The dealer deals 3 community cards on the flop. The player to the left of the button makes a decision: check, call, raise, fold.
  3. Dealing one more card and players’ decisions.
  4. The appearance of the 5th community card, players’ actions, and transition to showing hands.

At the showdown, the player independently selects 2 out of 4 pocket cards or lays out all of them, asking the dealer to choose the best ones. The winner is the one with the stronger combination. In case of equally strong combos, the pot is divided equally among the players.

Interesting! In Omaha, due to 4 pocket cards, combinations are much easier to form than in Hold’em. That’s why beginners with a pair or a set can easily lose to opponents.

Omaha 5

5-card Omaha is practically no different from classic 4-card Omaha. As in the previous version of the game, the “2+3” scheme works. The difference lies only in the fact that at the start, the player receives as many as 5 pocket cards.

To determine the winners, the “aggressive” poker player or the one who made the last bet is the first to reveal his hand.

Important! To play hands in Omaha 5+, adhere to the rule: pocket cards at the start must be stronger than the cards in the pre-flop in 4 PLO. Hands like AAxxx in the first three positions are better to fold.

Omaha 6+

6-card Omaha is even more unpredictable than 4 PLO. This is because players’ starting hands are formed from 6 pocket cards. This significantly increases the chances of getting a combination.

In Omaha 6+, as in all other versions of the discipline, 5 cards are taken into account – two pocket cards and 3 community cards. During the progression of streets, 5 community cards will appear on the board.

If there are several active players at the showdown, the one who last placed a bet or raised reveals the cards first. In the absence of bets on the river, the priority right to show cards is given to the player to the left of the button. In the event of equivalent combinations, the pot is divided among such poker players.

Note! The minimum bet in pot-limit Omaha 6 is equal to the big blind. The maximum bet is limited by the size of the pot. The minimum raise must correspond to the previous bet or raise made on the current street. For example, if the first poker player bet $2, then to raise, you will need to contribute $2 or more to the pot.


Courchevel is another variation of Omaha, which is practically no different from Omaha 5+. Players receive the same 5 pocket cards, and at the end of the game, combinations are made according to the “2 pocket + 3 community” scheme.

The difference between Courchevel and 5 PLO is only that one community card is known before the preflop.

Distinctive Features of Omaha 5 and Courchevel

Beginning of the game (preflop)FlopTurnRiverFinal Scheme
Omaha 55 pocket cards3 community1 community1 community2+3
Courchevel5 pocket cards + 1 community2 community1 community1 community2+3

Courchevel tables can be pot-limit, no-limit, or fixed-limit.

Omaha Hi-Lo

Omaha Hi-Lo (PLO 8) holds many online and offline tournaments. The pot will be divided between 2 participants: those who have collected the best strong combination (high) and those who have demonstrated the worst hand (low).

Note! The low hand does not include cards higher than “7”. The ace is considered the “lowest” card. Straights and flushes are not taken into account when forming low combinations. There are deals where low combinations are absent. In this case, the entire pot goes to the poker player with the best high hand.

In Omaha Hi-Lo, it is advantageous to collect the “wheel” (A-2-3-4-5). Such a combination will allow you to win both parts of the pot. It is also recommended to play hands like A-K-Q-J, K-Q-J-T, Q-J-T-9, which allow you to form a strong combo.


Lowball (Triple Draw 2-7) is organized according to the rules of hold’em or Omaha. Victory in this poker variant is achieved by the player who has the worst hand. Thus, cards from “2” to “7” are used to form the strongest combination.

Another key difference of the game from other popular poker types is that there are no community cards on the board. Each player receives 5 pocket cards, which they can subsequently exchange to form the desired combo.

Rules of lowball poker:

  • Participants place bets in the positions of the small and big blinds. In some games, all players contribute an ante to the pot. Players receive 5 pocket cards.
  • Players take actions: check, call, raise, fold, after which an exchange is made. Exchange of 0 to 5 cards is available.
  • Another round of betting is conducted. There are no mandatory bets. If at least 2 participants remain in the game, the next exchange takes place.
  • Betting is conducted again, at the end of which the final card exchange is organized.

Victory is awarded to the hand that has no pairs, and the card with the highest denomination is lower than that of the opponents. If there are pairs and other classic poker combos, the win goes to the player with the weaker hand.

Today, this poker variant is not as popular as hold’em and Omaha. The game is characterized by dynamics and unpredictability. That is why it is occasionally included in live tournament series and the client lobby of online poker rooms.

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Stud is a classic variant of poker that you can spend a long time studying. Throughout the game, players receive 7 pocket cards (some are hidden, others are exposed). The pot is awarded to the player with the best combination.

Stages of the game and rules of Stud poker:

  1. Mandatory antes.
  2. Each player receives 3 cards – 2 hidden and 1 exposed. Determination of the bring-in – the player with the lowest card to make another mandatory bet. Betting.
  3. Each player receives another exposed card. The bring-in bet is determined based on the strongest exposed pair. Betting.
  4. Another card is dealt face up. Bring-in is determined in a similar way. Betting again.
  5. Similar to the previous stage.
  6. On the seventh street or river, all players receive their final hidden card. The bring-in bet and final betting take place.

At the showdown, the player who last placed a bet or raised reveals their cards first. If all table participants have checked, card revelation proceeds clockwise, starting with the player in the 1st position.

Razz Poker

Razz closely resembles Stud. Essentially, this game is 7-card stud low, where the winning hand is the weakest hand from Ace to “7”. Unlike Stud hi-lo or Omaha hi-lo, there is no “8 or better” requirement to win the pot in this game.

The “California system” is used to evaluate combinations. The best combination is considered the “wheel” – “5, 4, 3, 2, A”.

Ranking of the weakest combinations:

1«3, 3, 3, 5, 5»
2«K, K, 4, 3, 2»
3«2, 2, 7, 6, 5»
4«A, A, T, 9, 8»
5«K, Q, J, T, 9»
6«K, Q, J, T, 7»
7«9, 8, 7, 6, 5»
8«9, 7, 6, 5, 3»
9«9, 7, 6, 5, A»
10«6, 5, 4, 3, 2»
11«6, 4, 3, 2, A»
12«5, 4, 3, 2, A»

Rules of Razz poker:

  1. All players make a mandatory ante bet.
  2. On the third street, each player receives 3 cards (1 exposed and 2 hidden). The player with the highest exposed card (bring-in position) acts first. They must bet. Betting begins.
  3. Each player receives another exposed card. The first to act is the player with the lowest exposed cards. Betting proceeds.
  4. Another exposed card is dealt on the fifth street. The bring-in bet is made first. Betting continues.
  5. On the sixth street, betting proceeds in a similar manner.
  6. On the seventh street (river), players receive a hidden card (the seventh in sequence). Bets are placed, and the results are determined.

At the showdown, the best low combination is determined. The player who last bet or raised reveals their cards first. A low combination consists of 5 cards. In case of equivalent combinations between two table participants, according to the rules of Razz poker, the pot is split evenly.

Interestingly, at the showdown, the suits of the cards do not matter. In Razz, they are considered only to determine the bring-in. The principle applied is: spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs. For example, if one player has an exposed queen of diamonds, and another has a queen of clubs, the player with the queen of diamonds acts first.

Draw Poker

Five-card draw poker appeared as early as 1820 when a 20-card deck was used for the game. Later, this discipline became actively implemented in many Las Vegas casinos. It was believed that the outcome of the game in draw poker largely depended on luck rather than the poker player’s intellect. Today, however, this opinion has been dispelled. Analysts assure that the advantage of an experienced poker player over a novice in draw poker is much higher than in hold’em.

Stages of Draw Poker:

  1. Mandatory bets from players in the small and big blind positions.
  2. Dealing 5 pocket (hidden) cards.
  3. Betting, after which any number of cards can be exchanged.
  4. Another round of betting with the option to exchange cards.
  5. Showdown.

In 5-card draw poker, a 52-card deck is used. The strongest combination in this case is a suited “A, K, Q, J, T”. In 32 Card Draw, the winning combination is similar. The only difference in the rules of poker is the use of a 32-card deck (without “6”).

Badugi Poker Rules

Badugi came to us from Asia. The game is considered a variant of draw poker, involving mandatory bets from the small and big blind positions (the first and subsequent positions at the table after the button). It has something in common with lowball, namely – winning the weakest hand.

The winning combination in Badugi is “badugi” – 4 unmatched low-ranking cards of different suits. The best combination in this game is “4-3-2-A”, with cards being of different suits.

Game stages:

  1. Dealing 4 pocket cards and betting.
  2. Bets from players after the big blind.
  3. After the round, remaining players may exchange any number of cards to improve their hand.
  4. Another round of betting with the option to exchange any number of cards.
  5. Another round of betting.
  6. Showdown of hands, if at least 2 players remain in the game.

There are cases where no player has a badugi at showdown. In that case, the hand with the strongest combination of three or two cards wins.

Note! In Badugi, the player’s position at the table plays a special role. The player who bets last receives the most information to make the right decision.

H.O.R.S.E Poker

H.O.R.S.E. is a mixed discipline where each round is played according to the rules of the most popular poker variants. Mixed game tournaments are regularly included in the WCOOP.

Stages of H.O.R.S.E. Poker:

StageAbbreviationGame NameGame Type
1stH.Holdemwith fixed limit
2ndO.Omaha hi-lowith fixed limit
3rdR.Razz (7-card stud low)with fixed limit
4stS.Stud (7-card stud hi)with fixed limit
5stE.7-card stud hi-lowith fixed limit

Each round of the game is a specific variant of poker. When transitioning from Omaha to Razz, the button freezes.

H.O.R.S.E. game is perfect for those familiar with most popular poker disciplines and plan to escape from the monotony of the gameplay.

Interesting fact! There are also mixed games with 8 disciplines – to H.O.R.S.E., no-limit hold’em, limit lowball, and pot-limit Omaha are added. Experts assure that the two new no-limit disciplines make the game unpredictable. Everything a poker player accumulated in fixed-limit games can be quickly lost in pot-limit Omaha and no-limit hold’em.

Chinese Poker

In Chinese Pineapple Poker online, players participate at tables and in MTT tournaments. Since this discipline is less popular than hold’em and Omaha, huge fields are not recorded in major series, which is attractive to many poker players. After a few rounds of Chinese poker, you can master the rules of the game and even develop your own strategy.

In pineapple, 2 to 4 players participate. There are 3 boxes, each consisting of a set number of cards. The bottom (back) and middle rows contain 5 cards each. The top box (front) consists of 3 cards. Players take turns making moves. The goal of the game is to arrange the cards in the boxes.

Note! The bottom box is the strongest. The middle one is slightly weaker than the bottom, and the front box is the weakest.

Game stages and rules:

  1. The first player (starter) receives 5 cards face up, then places them in 3 rows. The round ends when all participants make their arrangement.
  2. On the second street, players receive another 3 cards, two of which must occupy positions in the rows. One card is discarded.
  3. Players receive cards again, which must be placed in the rows. Thus, during the game, 13 cards must occupy their positions on the board.
  4. After all cards are placed, a comparison occurs. The mandatory condition is to demonstrate the seniority of the rows from top to bottom, although equal rows are allowed. To win, you must show the highest combination in at least 2 rows.

If the combination conditions are not met at the showdown stage, the hand becomes “dead”. The loser pays 6 points to opponents and also pays bonuses (royalties) to opponents (if any!).

In case of identical cards, players’ bonuses are reset. Victory is awarded taking into account the decisive card – the kicker.

In exotic pineapple, there is a unique “fantasy” mode. If a player collects a pair of “Queens” in the top row and a pair of higher-ranked cards, they will be entitled to 13 cards in the next game.

Note! During the game, discarded cards always remain face down. Additionally, after completing a turn, a player cannot move cards from one box to another.

Points in pineapple are calculated in one of two ways. The “2-4” option involves earning 1 point for each winning line. An additional point is awarded if the player wins 2 or 3 hands.

Points according to the “1-6” scheme are calculated as follows: 1 point for each winning line and an additional 3 points for all 3 lines.

Additionally, all players receive royalties according to the rules of American or Russian poker.

It’s worth knowing! The variance in Chinese poker is high. You can swing in the range of 500-1000 chips plus or minus.

Thus, we have told you about the most popular variants of poker and compiled manuals for beginners. Don’t be afraid to try something new, and you will discover the exciting and dynamic world of the best card game – poker. Play Poker online at Pokerdom!