Poker Variants

Discover all the poker variations and their RTP!

When a game becomes popular, it’s only a matter of time until players come up with ingenious ways of playing it. Poker has experienced a revolution in terms of its available versions. Poker variants are widely available at online casinos, so any player has a shot. But first, you should learn about the types of poker.

Poker Variations, RTP And Other Special Features

Poker is the most diverse casino game. There are hundreds of different types of poker games available, although some poker variants are more popular than others. Meet the most played poker variations in online casinos and learn everything about them, from special features to their RTP rate.

Poker Variants
Variation Name RTPSpecial features
Texas Hold’EmN/AThe classic poker experience.
Omaha PokerN/APlayers get four hole cards.
7-Card StudN/APlayers receive seven cards and must create a hand with five.
5-Card DrawN/APlayers receive five cards, which they can discard.
3-Card Poker97.51%Players receive three cards and can bet against the dealer.
Caribbean Stud Poker94.78%Players receive five cards and can bet against the dealer.
Ultimate Texas Hold’Em97.81%A complex poker variant with additional bets.

Texas Hold’Em

Texas Hold’Em is the poker variant that nearly everyone learns to play first. It’s the most popular variant and is played by millions every day. Texas Hold’Em tournaments are the ultimate challenge for professional players all around the globe. 

In Texas Hold’Em poker, the game starts by assigning the small and big blinds to the two players following the dealer button. The small blind equals half the minimum bet, while the big blind corresponds to the minimum bet. 

Then, players receive two cards. A round is split into three phases – flop, turn, and river, each with a betting round. Players can perform five main actions:

  • Check – Skip their bet for the current phase.
  • Call – Equal the highest bet placed so far.
  • Raise – Bet more than the highest bet.
  • All in – Bet their entire stack.
  • Fold – Quit the current round.

The goal of Texas Hold’Em is to have the best hand. A hand consists of two hole cards plus three community cards. The blinds move to the next player every new round.

Omaha Poker

Omaha Poker is one of the most popular poker versions. It’s played similarly to Texas Hold’Em, albeit with a twist. Instead of receiving two hole cards, players get four. Players must choose two out of their four hole cards to create a combination with three other community cards. 

Contrary to Texas Hold’Em, players must use two hole cards to create a combination. Additionally, the maximum bet in Omaha is always equal to the size of the pot. This poker variant is typically played for high stakes. 

7-Card Stud

In 7-Card Stud, there are no community cards. Players are given seven cards throughout the different phases, from which they must pick five to create a hand in the showdown. Here’s how each phase plays out:

  • Each player receives two cards face down and one card face up.
  • A betting round takes place.
  • Then, players receive three more cards face up and one more face down.
  • Another betting round takes place.
  • Each player turns all their cards up and selects five to create a hand.

5-Card Draw

If you know how to play video poker, you can easily play 5-Card Draw. Before the game starts, each player must place an ante bet. Alternatively, regular blinds can be used. Then, each player is given five cards face down, and a betting round takes place.

After the bets are placed, players can choose if they want to discard any cards. Then, another betting round takes place. At the end of the round, the remaining players compare their cards, and the best hand takes the pot.

3-Card Poker

Although it differs from regular poker variants, 3-Card Poker is highly popular among casino fans. The main difference is that players face the dealer, not other players. In this type of poker, players start by placing one or two bets – an “ante” or “pair plus”. The former is a mandatory bet, while the latter is an additional bet players can place if they think they will obtain pair or better.

Then, each player receives three cards face down. Players look at their cards and place a “play” bet if they want to proceed and face the dealer. If they decide to fold, the dealer collects the “ante” and the “pair plus” bets previously placed. 

If the dealer fails to qualify, meaning he doesn’t have a jack-high or better, the “play” bet is returned to players. In the case of a queen-higher or better, “play” and “ante” bets are paid 1:1 if the players have a better combination. If the dealer’s hand is better, all bets are collected.

Caribbean Stud Poker

Caribbean Stud Poker games are top-rated in the US. Similarly to 3-Card Poker, it’s a poker variation where players go against the dealer instead of other players. The game begins with players betting an “ante”. Then, each player gets five cards, while the dealer deals himself four cards and a fifth card facing up.

Before proceeding, players can look at their hand and make one of two decisions – fold or place an additional bet, usually equal to two times the ante. After all players have made their decision, the dealer shows his cards. 

The dealer can qualify by having an ace-king or higher. In case the player gets a better hand, the ante is paid 1:1, and the extra bet is paid according to the paytable. If the dealer fails to qualify, the ante bet is paid 1:1, and the extra bet is returned to the players.

Ultimate Texas Hold’Em

Many players consider Ultimate Texas Hold’Em one of the most challenging poker variations. Like 3-Card Stud and Caribbean Stud Poker, players face the dealer. Players must place an “ante” bet to join the round, as with other poker variants

Players have a chance to place more bets during the round, usually between one and five times the ante. Ultimate Texas Hold’Em has a few side bets available to players, including blinds and trips. These are paid if the player obtains a straight or better or a three-of-a-kind or better.

Similarly to other poker versions, the dealer must qualify, otherwise, the ante is returned. To qualify, the dealer must have a pair or better.


What’s The Best Poker Variation For You?

Poker Variants

If you’re new to the world of poker variants, there are a few things you should be aware of before choosing the best poker variation for you – rules, odds, bets, and payouts. Knowing these aspects about each variant can help you devise a winning strategy to manage your bankroll and potentially minimize losses.

Let’s start with the rules. Different types of poker games have different rules. If you’re more comfortable with the classic rules, stick to Texas Hold’Em Poker or similar poker variants. Consider a more complex game if you’re looking for an innovative twist.

Knowing how to calculate odds is also extremely important. It’ll help you determine if a hand is worth chasing and if your bet is high enough for the pot. Keep in mind that different poker variations will have different odds, though.

Bets will depend on the poker variant you’re playing. Some games require an “ante” bet, while others let players bet whenever they want. You should also pay attention to the payouts. In classic types of poker, payouts depend on the pot’s size. However, in some variations, the payouts vary according to the hand obtained.

Best poker variations in terms of profitability

Profitability in poker can result from two situations– games with a low house edge, resulting in a higher chance of winning, or games with high payouts, where the stakes are usually higher. Learn about the more profitable poker variations below:

Poker variants with the lowest house edge

Poker Variants

Luckily, most poker variants don’t have a house edge, as players face each other, not the casino. However, if you’re looking to play against the dealer, consider the following options:

  • 3-Card Stud – This is a relatively simple game with one of the lowest house edges in poker, at 2.49%. You may have a higher chance of beating the dealer.
  • Ultimate Texas Hold’Em – Although it’s a highly complex variant, this poker game has the lowest house edge if you’re not placing side bets at 2.19%.

Poker variants with the highest payouts

As expected, the highest payouts in poker are obtained in the most popular games. This is because they have large player bases and regular tournaments hosted daily. Check out the types of poker that payout the most:

  • Texas Hold’Em – Nearly all significant competitions are played with this variant. Therefore, it has the largest prizes of all poker games, especially when engaging in No Limit Texas Hold’Em Poker.
  • Omaha Poker – This variation is extremely popular among high-rollers. For this reason, it can have huge payouts if you know what you’re doing.

Best poker variations based on your skill level

Alternatively, you can choose a poker variation based on your skill. Beginners will benefit from games with simple gameplay and straightforward bets. On the other hand, experienced players may prefer complexity and high stakes. Learn about the best types of poker for each skill level below:

Poker variants for beginners

If you’re a beginner, you should opt for one of the following poker variants:

  • Texas Hold’Em – Easy to learn and available with a wide range of bets, making it perfect for beginners. 
  • 3-Card Stud – Playing this variant is simple, as players only need to place an “ante” or “pair plus” bet.

Poker variants for experienced players

If you’re an experienced player, you may prefer complex variants, such as:

  • Omaha Poker – Playing this variation requires wise decisions, as only two hole cards can be used to create a hand.
  • Ultimate Texas Hold’Em – As one of the most complex variants, Ultimate Texas Hold’Em is also known for its high stakes.

Poker Variations You Shouldn’t Play

We suggest avoiding these types of poker if you want to improve your chances of winning:

  • Sevens Take All – A pair of sevens is the highest hand, making this poker variant unpredictable.
  • Caribbean Stud – This game has the highest house edge of all poker versions, which means you have a lower chance of winning.

Frequently Asked Questions

The house edge is only present in variants where players face the dealer. Ultimate Texas Hold’Em has the lowest house edge of all poker games where players can go against the dealer.
The most complex variants are Omaha and Ultimate Texas Hold’Em. Omaha Poker is complex because players must pick two out of four hole cards to create a hand. Ultimate Texas Hold’Em is challenging to play due to its high stakes and various bets.
If you’re a beginner, we recommend playing Texas Hold’Em Poker or 3-Card Stud.