How To Play Poker- Learn from 13 Beginner-Friendly Variants

By Amara Darboh
How To Play Poker

There are many card games, but poker has somehow beaten everyone. It is one of the most played card games at any casino, both land-based and online. Plus, with flexible rules, the thrill of getting the highest hand at the end of the play round, the total bet depositing in the pot, and the dealer offering the same challenge, poker is packed with surprising and exciting elements. 

Many people think poker is for experts who already know how card games are being played at the casinos. But that’s not true because the game is for everyone. Even if you don’t know how to play poker or raise your hand and deposit a bet in the pot, you can learn tips and tricks of poker and start play. But to make the game easier for you, we have explained here the top 13 variations of poker games that are suitable for beginners. With this guide, you can easily understand the differences in game play, the rules, and also the deck of cards used.

Captivating Poker Facts – Did you Know?

    • In early years, poker used to be played with four players and 20 cards. The first game where a complete card deck was involved was played in 1834.
    • According to history, the longest poker was played for around eight years and five months.
    • In 2007, the Texas State Legislature passed a law to make Robstown, a small town in South Texas, the birthplace of Texas Hold’em.
    • The first world series of Poker was aired on TV directly from Las Vegas in 1973.
    • During the initial years, the poker chips were made from wood and bone which is definitely a surprising fact.
    • In 2010, the International Mind Sports Association declared poker to be a mind game.
    • The champion never got the title of Pocket Aces in the World Series of Poker Main Event. Instead, it was the runner-up who bagged the title.
    • Ben Affleck won the state championship of Poker in California and even qualified for the World Poker Tour.
    • Over 2.5 million 5-card combinations are there for poker.
    • Alabama has banned Poker due to it being a chance game.
      How to play poker

      13 Variations of Poker Games

      1Texas Hold’em
      27-card stud
      3Omaha Hi
      42-7 Triple Draw
      5Omaha Hi-Lo
      65 Card Omaha
      85-Card Draw
      10Chinese Poker
      13Short Deck

      1. Texas Hold’em

      Poker is a card game that is played with the use of a 52 card deck and it has many variations. This is the best place to learn how to play popular poker Texas Hold’Em.

      I. Texas hold’em rules
      Each player is dealt two private and five community cards through different betting rounds. As a player, you need to have the highest hand to win the round unless all players fold and leave the game before Showdown.

      II. Texas hold’em hands
      Texas Hold’em allows different hands like Royal Flush, Four of a Kind, Straight Flush, Full House, Three of a Kind, Two Pair, One Pair, Flush, High Card, and Straight. This is the most popular version of poker in online and physical casinos. It is also a featured game on the selected list of many casinos. The game play is pretty straight forward.
      a. The first two players sitting on the left of the main button have to place forced bets, also known as blinds.
      b. After this, two hole cards are given, starting from the player sitting next to the bigger blind in the clockwise direction.
      III. After two rounds of dealing, the person with the hole cards and five other community cards will be the winner, provided the total hand value is maximum.

      2. 7-card stud

      Stud poker is perhaps the oldest variant since it was being played during times before Texas Hold’em held the market. In this game, seven rounds are there before the showdown round, where the best hand is declared the pot’s winner.

      I. 7-card stud rules
      Unlike the other versions, where hole and community cards are distributed, the Stud game consists of face-down and face-up cards. In other words, the first two cards dealt will be faced down, followed by face-up cards. The starting of the betting round will depend on the value of the exposed cards in each round. Once the face-down card is dealt at Seventh Street, players have to make the best hand to win the game.

      II. 7-card stud hands
      The winning hands in 7-card stud are straight flush, two pairs, three of a kind, four of a kind, full house, flush, and more. You will have better chances in winning if you manage to form the higher hands like straight flush or full house.

      3. Omaha Hi

      I. Omaha Hi rules
      The game consists of five card dealing rounds, each involving a bet. These are the Pre Flop, the Flop, the Turn, the River, and the Showdown. All these five community cards will be placed face-up. Players can fold, call, and raise till the fourth phase or the River face.

      II. Omaha Hi hands
      Other than straight and flush, all other hands are considered to be winning hands for Omaha Hi.

      Knowing how to play poker for beginners might not be easy, but it is not rocket science, especially when you have variants like Omaha Hi. It is the second most popular variation, where the term “Hi” refers to the player with the highest hand being the round winner. In this case, four-hole cards are presented to each player. To make the highest hand, they need to use five cards, of which two must be the hole card, and the other three should be community cards.

      4. 2-7 Triple Draw

      I. 2-7 Triple Draw rules
      It follows the usual rules of poker except the fact that players will have three betting rounds additionally and two draw rounds will follow them, allowing players to draw their hands.

      II. 2-7 Triple Draw hands
      In this game, the best part is that all the cards will be face-down. Therefore, no one can see the face value of the cards dealt to each player in the betting rounds. Each player will get three attempts to draw the card and make the best low hand. The most fantastic part of the 2-7 Triple Draw is the opportunity to use flush and straight to form the hand. Considering the deck of cards, the ace holds the highest value.

      5. Omaha Hi-Lo

      I. Omaha Hi-Lo rules
      From the name itself, you can understand it is almost similar to that of Omaha-Hi. But there is a difference. Here, the pot value, whatever it will be, gets divided between the players with the highest and lower hands in the entire round. However, there are some conditions to be kept in mind. The player with the low hand should have the five cards (hole cards + community cards) with a face value lower than equal to 8.

      II. Omaha Hi-Lo hands
      The lowest hand that can win the lower pot bet value is known as the Wheel and it consists of a card arrangement of 5, 4, 3, 2, and Ace. For higher hands, the best combination will be A, A, 2, and 3 in double suited arrangement.

      6. 5 Card Omaha

      If you want to know how to play poker with cards for beginners, start with 5-card Omaha.

      Types of 5 Card Omaha Poker Games
      There are two types of 5 Card Omaha- Pot limit where the player can bet according to the maximum pot value and No Limit where the players can go for all chips as the bet.

      I. 5-Card Omaha rules
      Each player will receive five hole cards to start with the hand. The winner will be decided based on the strongest hand made from five cards with three community and two hole cards. The best part is the presence of an additional hole card that flares up the chances of making the most substantial hand and winning the pot. Bets are added to the pot after every street, increasing the pot value by the time players reach the Showdown.

      II. 5-Card Omaha hands
      Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Full House, Four of a Kind, and Three of a Kind are the best winning hands for 5-Card Omaha version of Texas

      7. Razz

      I.Razz rules
      In the Ante round, players bet a nominal value for the game. This is followed by the Third Street round where two hole cards and one face-up community card are dealt to the players. In the Fourth Street, the player gets an exposed card and he can either check or bet at this stage. The two stages are Fifth and Sixth Streets. In both these phases, one exposed card will be dealt and the player will be allowed to bet on the Sixth Street. During the River or Seventh Street, the final card is dealt with face-down.

      II. Razz hands
      To win the game at an instant, players can form a hand of 5, 4, 3, 2, and Ace. It is better to avoid arrangements like 3, 3, 3, 5, 5 or A, A, T, 9, 8.

      With the aces counting the lowest and straights and flushes not counted, Razz is an alternate version of Stud Poker. In this, the player winning the bets should be the one with the lowest possible hand after Showdown. The rules and game play are similar to that of Stud Poker, with just the opposite happenings.

      8. 5-Card Draw

      I. 5-Card Draw rules
      Every player gets a different hand, with the card being faced down to hide the face value from others. Since all the cards dealt are hidden, you won’t know what others are having. So, at the Showdown, you will be on the receiving end of a surprise.

      II. 5-Card Draw hands
      It is quite a simple game; therefore, learning to play poker won’t be difficult. Perhaps it is one of the most played poker variations for beginners and experts. As the name suggests, players must make the best hand using five cards.

      9. Badugi

      One of the best versions of poker, ideal for beginners, is Badugi. It is known for its unique hand-ranking system that doesn’t follow traditional rules.

      I. Badugi rules
      In this case, the winner is the player with the lowest hand. Similar to Texas Hold’em, the
      small and big blind bets are added to the pot and the first dealing is done from the player sitting next to the big blind. It can be done with a raise, call, or fold. Three dealing rounds followed by betting rounds are involved. Ultimately, the person with the lowest hand gets the pot value.

      II. Badugi hands
      In Badugi, you are allowed to form all the major hands used in poker, from royal flush to straight flush, four of a kind, three of a kind, and so on.

      10. Chinese Poker

      Another popular variant that you can play to learn how to play poker online for beginners is Chinese poker. All you need to know is the list of basic hand rankings in poker. The maximum number of players is four, while the minimum is two.

      I. Chinese Poker rules
      Each player will be dealt 12 cards. Using them, they need to make three combinations- the highest hand with five cards, the lowest hand with three cards, and the middle hand with five cards. If a player wins in the highest-hand ranking category, they will take one unit from the losing player, and so on.

      II. Chinese Poker hands
      The best hands in Chinese Poker are Royal Flush and Straight Flush from the same suit. Flush and Straight are allowed but from different suits. Four of a kind and Three of a kind are also allowed.

      11. HORSE

      HORSE is a combination of the five most popular poker variants. There is no specific rule because players must play according to the particular variant’s terms and conditions. Therefore, brushing up on the skills and taking the knowledge to the next level easily is best.

      12. Pineapple

      Pineapple is a less popular poker variant, but it somehow draws inspiration from Texas Hold’em. The rules are almost identical, the only difference being the stake and the higher volatility.

      I. Pineapple rules
      First in the Pre Fold phase, the player will get three cards instead of the usual two as in Texas Hold’em. Once done, players are allowed to evaluate the hands and based on that, they can give away one card. this will commence before the first bet is placed in the pot.

      II. Pineapple hands
      The best hand one can have is two aces with a third card belong to the same suit. This will help you to fight against the Straight hands of other players.

      13. Short Deck

      I. Short Deck rules
      As the name says, this poker variant doesn’t use the full card deck. With the removal of the 2’s through 5’s, the dealer has to deal with only 36 cards. All the participating players must put forth an ante to make the pot value. Players are allowed to go all-in throughout the game. Each round starts with the player sitting to the left of the button, and it varies because any player can raise their hand and make themselves out of the game. When multiple players remain in the Showdown, the one with the highest hand wins.

      II. Short Deck hands
      In Short Deck, you can get the hands like Royal Flush, Four of a Kind, Flush, Straight Flush, Three of a Kind, Two Pair, and One Pair

      How to play poker


      Given the brief explanation of the significant variations, you won’t have any further problems understanding how to play poker as a beginner.

      You must understand the differences between the variations and their rules and regulations to play poker game online with real money. Once you get the hang of the same, you won’t have to worry about anything else. It’s a gambling game, so your money will be at stake. An in-depth knowledge, a playing strategy, and a deeper understanding of your competitors on the table will be enough to let you take the pot for yourself.

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