Over time, many different poker variants have been invented and some of them have receded into the background after a few decades. Others, such as the game of Texas Hold’em Poker, are now considered mainstream poker variants. Just over 100 years ago, in the days of the American Wild West, draw poker was the most widely played variation. Other currently popular variations are 7-Card Stud Poker, Omaha Poker, Razz Poker and Five-Card Draw Poker.

The more than 1,000 different poker variations are divided into classes including Draw, Shared, Stud and other special variations. We have explained them for you in our blog post Poker Classification.

Poker variations: Gladly played Draw Poker games

There are many variations of the well-known 5-Card Draw Poker, often called Jacks or Better, such as 5-Card Draw Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better, Jacks Back, Trips to Win, California Draw Poker. Of most of them, there are also low or highball variations. Here is a small overview of other interesting Draw Poker variations.

Chinese poker is less known, but it is very common and is played for points. In addition, there are 13 playing cards for each of the maximum four players, each of which has to be split into three hands.

Triple Draw Poker is also a very popular variant, also called Deuce to Seven Triple Draw. The objective of this poker game is to hold the worst possible poker hand. Straights and flushes are therefore less enjoyable than usual.

5-Card Draw Deuces Wild is a variation of Jacks or Better. The Deuces are used as Wild Cards. A five-card draw deuce beats a flush and a straight. A variant of this is Wild Widow Poker. The wild card is determined after the cards are dealt.

7-Card-Drew Roll your own Poker: Starts with seven cards and has nine rounds of betting. Any number of cards can be swapped. Then the cards are turned face up and bet in a specific order. The limits also double after the fourth card. Altogether a very exciting variation.

Ace to Five Triple Draw: A variation of Deuce to Seven Triple Draw Poker, where Aces count low and no Straits or Flushes count.

Anaconda Poker, also known as Switcheroo or Pass the Trash, is exciting because cards are dealt to the side player.

All for one and one for all: As many bets and card swaps as you want.

Kansas City Lowball is played after the Deuce to Seven lowball and is similar to 5-Card Draw.

Ace to Six Lowball: The Ace to Six rankings count here, and Aces can count high or low.

Don Juan Poker: With only three cards, the lowest hand must be formed in two betting rounds.

Jacks or Better Poker is like 5-Card Draw Poker and is played with two draw rounds and antes.

Italian Poker: A maximum of four cards can be dealt. A flush beats a full house here

Poker variants: Stud Poker games

There are also several variations of the Stud games. The most popular ones are currently 5-Card and 7-Card Stud. Both are the basis of most other variations and also high-low games. A popular Low Stud game with five cards is Low Ball. The best known Low Stud game with seven cards is Razz. However, there are quite a few variations of Stud Poker and it is worth trying them.

5-Card Stud High-Low with a Buy builds on 5-Card High-Low. However, players can buy another card after the fifth card, but they must discard another card to do so. The new card remains either face down or face up as it was before the exchange. The purchase price, usually the Big Bet, goes into the pot.

7-Card Stud with Wild Cards allows players to select certain cards as wild cards.

California Stud is especially popular in Finland and is called Sökö there. This 5-Card Stud variant only has a different card sequence. This variation has two additional hands that are lower than a pair. The 4-straight is four consecutive card values plus one additional card. The 4-flush has four cards of the same suit. The fifth card is of a different suit.

Englisch Stud with seven playing cards can only be played by a maximum of six players. Cards can be replaced.

London Lowball begins with seven cards and a low ranking of cards from ace to six. As the game progresses, all players initially have five cards. The new cards remain either face down or face up as they were before the exchange. Towards the end, players are dealt a sixth card. There are also variants of this where players must pay for the exchange of cards into the pot.

Low Hole is also known as Late Show and is also played with seven cards. The lowest face-down card in a player’s hand is considered a wild card. Low Hole is often played as a high-low game, but then the rules are slightly different.

Black Maria Poker is a variant of the 7-card stud game where the winner only wins half the pot at the end. The other half of the pot goes to the player holding the highest spade playing card. If no one has this card, the first player wins the entire pot.

Cold Petroleum Poker is a very different version of the 7-Card Stud Poker game, and is played as High/Low. First, the dealer places two cards – one face up on the table and one face down on the deck. The first player has two options: He can take the place card without paying for it, or he pays an ante for the card in the deck. If he wants the lowest playing card of the deck, he has to pay double for it. If the two cards face up make a pair, the player can buy both at three times the ante value. Then two new cards are revealed for the next player. There are rules for when the player takes or buys only one card. In the end, each player has four cards face up in front of him.

Jackdraw can be played as 5-, 6- or 7-Card Stud and can be played as High or High-Low variant. In 6-Card Jackdraw each player receives one face down and four face up playing cards and then one last face down card. At the end of the game, the pot goes to the best low hand and the best high hand.

Poker variations: Part 2

In the second part of our series of poker variants we will look at the so-called shared poker games and other interesting variants.