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That Ain't Poker - Poker Game Variations

By Edited Dec 26, 2015 2 1

For Those Who Like Different Types of Poker Games

Pair of Aces
There are only a handful of different types of standard poker games but as many poker game variations as there are players. Hold’em is now considered “The Game,” but it is only with the emergence of online poker and the astounding popularity of the World Series of Poker that Texas Hold’Em has ascended to the lofty position of “World’s Best & Most Difficult Poker Game.”

Prior to Hold’em’s renewed  popularity, draw and stud served admirably as the main games of any poker evening. Still, there were always players who looking to liven up this game of cards.  As the chips flew, they introduced wild cards, secondary antes and a host of other variations that enlivened the game.

Below, you will find some different types of poker games. Each of these games requires a different set of skills and calculations, they all still embody the heart of poker; read your opponent property, bluffing him when necessary and always outplay him. Here are some of the best poker game variations around.


Mexican Sweat

The Play: Seven cards are dealt, face down to each player. Anyone caught looking matches the pot. The first player turns over a card and a betting round occurs. The next uncovers cards until he has a better hand than the preceding one. Every time anew winning hand is uncovered, a new betting round ensues. This continues until no one is left or the final cards are revealed.

Strategy:Be lucky early and bet if you are in the lead.




The Play: Just like seven card stud with two down, four up and the final card down. There ar some wrinkles, however. Threes (outs) and nines (innings) are wild and any four (walks) allows the purchase of an extra card.

Strategy: Really high hands are common. Don’t be surprised when your Royal Flush is beaten by Five-of-a-Kind. Also, be sure to hold your hand over your heart during the National Anthem.



Seven Card Hi-Lo with a Concealed Declare

The Play: A combination of low ball and seven card stud. The high and the low hand split the pot. After the seventh card is dealt, each remaining player takes two chips and hides them behind his back with both hands. The players then bring one hand forward and simultaneously reveal the contents. No chip declares for “LOW”, one chip means “HIGH” and two chips means both.  A HIGH-LOW declaration must win both pots outright or he player loses everything.

Strategy: A fascinating game of bluff and aggression where seemingly worthless hands can win the whole pot by driving out the other side.



Follow the Queen

The Play: Standard seven card stud until a Queen is dealt face up. The next card dealt and all like it are wild. A Queen as the final card negates all wild cards. There is plenty of back and for the in this wild and crazy game of poker.

Strategy: Be lucky. Not much else to speak of other than be aggressive if in the lead.




The Play: Deal seven cards to each player. Each player then passes three cards to the player on his left, then two and then one. Each player then trashes two cards and puts the remaining five cards in the order he would like to see them played. Play and betting are then usual as each player reveals one card simultaneously. This game can get exceedingly expensive and is even better when played as a hi-lo game.

Strategy: Deception is the name of the game in Anaconda. Never underestimate what a player may have. If you do not have the “nuts,” you can be and will be regularly beaten.



Roll Your Own

The Play: Each player is dealt three cards. The player determines which card will be turned face-up as the lowest card in the hole of each player is wild for that individual player. Play continues like this with a betting round in between. On the last card, the dealer asks if the player would like the last card u or down. If  up, the player must pay a designated premium. Another round of betting ensues and the cards are revealed.

Strategy: A remarkably strategic poker game with much information revealed at every stage. Again, high hands are abundant and a player rarely can be sure that he has the nuts.



The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Play: Deal two down and one up to every player and lay three community cards in the

middle. Bets are made between each deal. Next deal one card to every player and flip the first community card. This is the “good” card and the three that match it are wild. The community card itself cannot be used. Deal another card to every player and flip the “bad” card. Any cards matching it must be discarded by every player. Deal one more card to every player and then reveal the “ugly” card. Anyone who has a matching up card must fold. Play is then resolved normally.

Strategy: Are you kidding?



Guts - Two Card with No Drop

The Play: One of the most exhilarating and gut-wrenching poker variations around. Anyone can be taught the rules in thirty seconds but it takes a keen insight into your opponents psyche to be successful. Two cards are dealt face down to each player. Starting on the dealer’s left, each player declares whether they are in or out. If only the last player stays in, then everyone gets another chance to declare.

High hand wins the pot but each loser matches the pot for the hand. Play continues in this manner but the first person to declare moving one place to the left each hand. Best hand is the highest pair or the best ranked cards. There is no suit rank so ties split the pot.

Strategy: Definitely abrave man’s game with most of the strategy belonging to the last two to three players to declare. Pairs are very strong but, as usual in poker, almost anything can happen.



Dec 4, 2014 12:16pm
Great article about the different poker variants.
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