Exploring the Exciting World of Poker Variants

Poker Variants

Poker, a game renowned for its storied past and a wide array of versions, has truly captivated players on a global scale. For those who are passionate about poker and seek an exhilarating gaming venture, KingGame stands as the gateway to an electrifying realm of poker variants.

Poker variants, as adaptations of the classic poker game, bring forth unique rules, strategies, and twists, ensuring the game remains fresh and engaging, while still upholding the fundamental principles of poker, such as hand rankings and the goal of securing chips or money. These distinctive variations introduce layers of complexity, imbuing each poker variant with a distinct and captivating challenge.

Dive into the Poker Universe: A Guide to Different Poker Games

Dive into the Poker Universe A Guide to Different Poker Games

One common misunderstanding associated with “poker” is that individuals who aren’t poker enthusiasts often confuse it exclusively with the Texas Hold’em variant. However, poker extends far beyond this particular style of play, encompassing a wide array of variants, each with its own distinct set of rules, structures, and gameplay formats.

Beneath these differences, poker can be categorized into three primary groups, serving as the foundational categories from which the twelve most popular variants of the game originate. Each of these variants possesses its unique style and characteristics, enhancing the overall enjoyment and excitement of the game.

Stud Poker

Stud Poker is a broad term used to describe a card game where players are dealt a combination of face-down and face-up cards. In this type of poker, players can only enhance their hands by receiving better cards, but a significant portion of their cards remains visible to opponents. The challenge lies in creating the best possible hand using all the cards dealt. Variations of stud poker, such as seven-card stud and five-card stud, have gained popularity, attracting attention from regular Texas Hold’em players.

Because some cards are exposed, stud poker demands a unique strategy tailored to its particular dynamics. Depending on the variant being played, executing “bluffs” or other deceptive maneuvers can be challenging due to the abundance of information available through the face-up cards.

Draw poker

Draw poker stands as one of the oldest poker variants. In this game, players receive concealed cards that remain hidden from others. What sets it apart is the option for a player to enhance their hand by getting rid of cards they consider weak and replacing them with potentially better ones. The game proceeds with players competing using their modified hands.

As there are no cards shown to opponents, players assess each other based on the number of cards discarded and their behavior during the game. One notable aspect is the challenge of building strong hands due to the limited information available.

Community Card Poker

Community card poker is a type of poker game where everyone at the table shares certain face-up cards. Initially, players are dealt cards that they keep hidden, but then a set of cards is placed face-up for everyone to use. These shared cards are known as the “community” cards. Players combine their hidden cards with these community cards to create their best possible hand. The two most popular variants of this style are Texas Hold’em and Omaha.

In community card poker, because some cards are visible to all players, there’s a lot of information available for assessing the strength of others’ hands. However, it’s important to note that these shared cards can impact players differently. For instance, a community card like the Ace of Spades might create a pair for one player but help another player form a flush.

Exploring Poker Variants

Exploring Poker Variants

Poker comes in twelve common variations, each having enough similarities to feel like poker but distinct enough to stand out. Most of these variants originated in the mid-1900s in the USA. While the core gameplay remains the same across all variants, differences arise in aspects like betting rounds, hand rankings, dealing, and specific actions.

2-7 Triple Draw Poker

The name “2-7 Triple Draw Poker” comes from the fact that the best hand you can have includes unsuited cards 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7. In this game, players can exchange and replace their cards up to three times before the final showdown.

This poker variant gained popularity when it was introduced on an online poker website in the early 2000s. It even had a WSOP tournament dedicated to it in 2004. While it remains well-liked in online poker rooms today, you won’t often find it in live poker rooms or casinos.

The main reason it’s not as common in live settings is because it has a unique learning curve. In 2-7 Triple Draw, having the lowest high card is what you want for a winning hand. Surprisingly, pairs, flushes, and straights are considered weak hands and can be disadvantageous.

Caribbean Stud Poker

Caribbean Stud Poker is well-liked for its simplicity. In this game, both the dealer and the player get five cards each, with one of the dealer’s cards shown. There’s just one round of betting, and then the cards are revealed to find the winner.

Most stories suggest that this variant originated on the island of Aruba in the Caribbean, hence the name.

Caribbean Stud is typically found in casinos because players are up against the “house,” where the dealer represents the casino. Players don’t compete with each other, and the game doesn’t involve complex strategies that might attract seasoned poker players. However, it does catch the attention of new players because rare hands like royal flushes can win a jackpot worth about 100 times the initial bet.

Casino Hold’em Poker

As the name suggests, Casino Hold’em is much like Texas Hold’em, but you’re playing against the “house” or the casino. The dealer and players get hole cards, followed by three community cards. After a round of betting, two more community cards are added before the final showdown. To qualify for the showdown, the dealer needs to have a decent hand, not just a high card. And, like many casino games, you can win big for rare hands like straight flushes and quads.

This variant is quite popular among casino beginners because it’s straightforward. There aren’t any complicated strategies, and the game moves quickly. However, intermediate or professional players tend to avoid it because, over the long run, the house has a slight edge, meaning players typically lose a small percentage (around 1 to 2%) of their money to the casino.

Chinese Poker

Chinese poker is a bit different from the usual poker games, but it’s great for beginners. It might not be as famous as other versions, but it did make an appearance at WSOP in 1995 and 1996.

In this game, luck plays a significant role, and there are 4 players, each with 13 cards. These 13 cards are split into 3 hands:

  • A strong five-card hand
  • A medium-strength five-card hand
  • A three-card hand with the weakest cards

After arranging these hands, they’re compared among all four players to see who wins. What’s unique here is that you can win in individual rounds, and you get bonuses for winning multiple rounds or having certain combinations like straights or flushes.

Texas Hold’em Poker

Texas Hold’em is the most popular poker game, known to almost everyone. You can play it online or at card rooms, and there are tables for all skill levels. It’s pretty easy to pick up, and you can get better by learning strategies and analyzing your play.

The game’s huge success got a major boost when Chris Moneymaker turned $86 into $2.5 million by winning the 2003 WSOP main event. That put Texas Hold’em in the spotlight, and it became incredibly popular, with lots of players and online platforms to play on.

Here’s how it works: 

  • Players try to make the best hand using their hole cards and the 5 community cards on the table. 
  • The community cards are revealed in stages, with 3 flop cards first, then one turn card, and finally the river card.

At each stage, there’s a round of betting where players try to take each other’s chips. To win a round, a player needs to have the highest possible hand and not “fold” during the game. This means considering both their hole cards and the community cards on the table.

Badugi Poker

Badugi is a poker game that’s not as well-known as others but still has a following. You can find it in some online poker rooms and among enthusiasts playing at home or in mixed events at tournaments.

In Badugi, your hand’s strength is determined by the highest card and goes down from there. If two players have the same highest card, they look at the next highest one to decide the winner. If there’s a pair, it’s counted as one card. If you have multiple cards in the same suit, only the highest one matters.

The game starts with everyone getting 4 cards, and there are 3 drawing phases with betting in between. You aim to have the lowest hand possible. You can discard cards between 0-4 in each drawing phase. The player with the lowest hand wins when the final betting round comes.

Five Card Draw Poker

Five Card Draw Poker is a fast and simple poker game. Each player gets 5 cards, and it’s easy to see who has the best hand since you have all your cards at once.

Here’s how it goes: 

  • Everyone gets 5 cards, there’s a round of betting, then you can exchange some of your cards for new ones in the draw phase. 
  • After another betting round, there’s a showdown to decide the winner. 
  • The player with the highest hand wins.

Omaha Hi-Lo Poker

Omaha Hi-Lo Poker combines elements of traditional Omaha with a unique twist. In this game, the pot is split between the player with the highest hand and the one with the lowest hand, but for a hand to qualify as low, it must consist of cards with values of 8 or lower.

Although not as popular as some other poker versions, Omaha Hi-Lo introduces the challenge of considering both high and low hands, which can be a bit intimidating for newcomers. The gameplay is somewhat similar to Texas Hold’em, with community cards revealed in stages (flop, turn, and river) and betting rounds in between. During the showdown, both the highest and lowest hands can win a share of the pot, unless there’s no qualifying low hand, in which case the highest hand takes it all.

Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow Poker is a game inspired by the Chinese Pai Gow, but it uses playing cards instead of dominoes. It’s a relatively slow-paced game where each player competes against the dealer.

In this game, all 53 cards in the deck, including the Joker, are used. The Joker acts as a semi-wild card, substituting as an ace or completing a straight or flush. Players start by placing a bet before receiving seven cards. With these cards, they create a five-card high hand and a two-card low hand. In most casinos offering Pai Gow Poker, the “wheel,” which is a 5-high straight or A♣2♦3♦4♥5♠, ranks as the second-highest straight after an Ace-high straight (e.g., 10♥J♠Q♠K♥A♥).

The goal is to have both the player’s high and low hands beat the dealer’s hands to win the pot. If only one hand wins, the bet results in a tie.

Razz Poker

Razz poker is a type of stud poker where the goal is to have the lowest possible hand to win. It’s a bit more complex than other poker games because straights and flushes don’t count, and aces are considered low cards. While it’s not as popular as some variants, it’s often included in mixed game events because it’s not too hard to learn.

In Razz, players start by putting in an ante and receiving one face-up card and two face-down cards. The player with the highest face-up card goes first in the betting round. This cycle repeats for one round. Then, players get another face-up card, and the one with the lowest pair of face-up cards starts the next betting round.

This pattern continues for the fifth and sixth rounds, with the player having the lowest face-up cards leading the betting. In the seventh and final round, another face-down card is dealt, and players have a chance to form the lowest possible five-card hand.

Pineapple Poker

Pineapple Poker is a simpler version of Texas Hold’em that hasn’t gained as much attention as it should. Some enthusiasts enjoy playing it because it adds an extra twist to the regular Texas Hold’em game.

In Pineapple Poker, the basic rules are the same as in Texas Hold’em, but there’s a small change. Players start with three hole cards instead of two before the flop. This means they often have stronger starting hands, which can make the game more exciting and competitive as it goes on.

Seven Card Stud Poker

Seven Card Stud Poker was a popular poker variation before Texas Hold’em took over. What makes it exciting is that players receive a combination of face-up and face-down cards, creating suspense while providing some hints about what might happen next.

Learning the game is relatively straightforward because the goal is to have the highest 5-card hand. It begins with an ante, and each player receives 2 face-down cards and 1 face-up card. The player with the lowest-value face-up card starts the betting. As the game progresses, more face-up cards are dealt, but the player with the highest-value face-up card begins the betting rounds.

The game concludes on the seventh and final street, where a face-down card is dealt. Players then use these cards to create their best 5-card hand to win the pot.

The Advantages of Exploring Poker Variants

The Advantages of Exploring Poker Variants
  • Poker variants offer exciting gameplay and strategies, providing variety and entertainment.
  • Playing various poker games helps develop different skills and keeps the game less predictable.
  • It’s a social activity, great for gatherings and events.
  • Trying different variants is a learning opportunity, expanding your poker knowledge.
  • Poker games suit various skill levels and preferences, offering versatility.
  • Adapting to different variants teaches valuable skills for poker.
  • Tournaments often feature multiple variants, giving players more chances to win.
  • Different games cater to different playstyles, ensuring enjoyment for all.
  • Exploring variants allows for testing and refining different strategies.


Poker variants are adaptations of the traditional poker game, each with its own set of rules, hand rankings, and unique gameplay features.

No, hand rankings can vary between poker variants. While some variants share similar hand rankings, others have entirely different ranking systems.

Many beginners find Texas Hold’em to be the most accessible poker variant due to its simplicity and widespread popularity.

Yes, most online poker platforms provide a wide range of poker variants, allowing players to choose from multiple options.

Yes, some variants have unique betting structures, such as pot-limit or no-limit betting, which can significantly impact gameplay.


In summary, KingGame Live Casino offer a wide range of poker variants that cater to players of all skill levels. These games provide a fresh take on traditional poker with different rules and strategies. Whether you’re new to poker and prefer games like Texas Hold’em or an experienced player looking for more complex options like Razz or Badugi, live casinos have you covered. The convenience, accessibility, and the ability to play at various stakes make live casinos an attractive choice. Players can switch between variants, improve their skills, and even participate in tournaments. Additionally, live casinos often provide helpful resources for learning new games. These poker variants create a vibrant and inclusive poker community, offering something for everyone, whether you want to practice, socialize, or simply have a good time.

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