As one of the world’s most popular card games, poker is played worldwide. Whether looking for an online qualifier tournament, sitting down to spend time with friends, or heading to a brick-and-mortar casino, you’re likely going to find multiple poker variations to choose from.
Along with being one of the world’s most popular card games, poker is also one of the oldest. In fact, some scholars think the game has its roots in As-Nas, a medieval Persian card game. Others point to Germany’s Pochen as the possible ancestor of poker, which was a favorite amongst those who moved west.
Regardless of where the game came from, it evolved slowly over time to cover different styles, lengths of play, and levels of complexity. In fact, new poker variants continue to emerge based on player interest, such as Caribbean Stud Poker, first played in 1982.
Not sure which style of poker you should dive into first? Check out the most popular variants below and what they’re famous for.
Texas Hold’em Poker: Global Ambitions
Whether you’re looking to qualify for a major tournament or simply find a site to play poker Canada, Texas Hold’em is likely to be the focus of your search. In fact, the world’s biggest marquee tournaments are all Texas Hold’em events, which means there’s plenty of glory on the line.
A player is dealt two ‘hole’ cards, then rounds of betting begin where you can bet or fold based on the cards you have. Betting rounds continue until a fifth card is shared, at which point players have one last chance to bet or fold. With these two hole cards and five shared cards, a player can either enter a ‘showdown’ to see whose hand wins or shake the competition with a large bet.
Omaha: For the Big Showdown
Typically, Texas Hold’em ends with one single player left at the table. This player reveals their cards after taking home the pot—but sometimes there’s a showdown between two players who compare their hands, as mentioned above. This is the basis of Omaha.
Players are dealt four cards rather than two, like in Texas Hold’em. This means they have nine total cards to make a winning hand from. Unlike Texas Hold’em, all players show their cards at the end of the game for a big reveal.
Seven-Card Stud: All About Strategy
Seven-card stud is considered one of the more difficult variations of poker—and it’s clear why. Players are dealt two cards (hole cards) and a third card face up (a door card) to start with. This door card lets players take a peek into other players’ hands, which enlivens the action.
Like Omaha, it all comes to a head during the last round. At that time, players reveal their five-card hands in a showdown.
High or Low Chicago: Splitting the Pot… or Not
In high or low Chicago, the game revolves around either the highest or the lowest spade. On top of that, there can be two winners who split the pot at the end of the game. Whichever player has the highest or lowest spade nabs half the pot, while the rest goes to the best hand… unless one player has both, in which case they will walk away with the whole pot.