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A Breakdown of The Three Most Popular Poker Variations

A Breakdown of The Three Most Popular Poker Variations
Image by David from Pixabay

Poker is among the most popular casino game online and in traditional land-based casinos. This game’s popularity has given rise to many variations that players can choose and have fun with. Here are the three most popular poker variations in most casinos today. But first, is online poker legal in the United States, and is it worth a try?

Is Online Poker Legal in the US?

Currently, the only legal online poker betting markets in the United States are Delaware, Nevada, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan, and West Virginia. However, people living in other states can wager on poker online through websites based in other jurisdictions. In 2012, a federal judge based in New York said that poker isn’t gambling as it’s primarily a skill-based game.

Texas Hold ’em

Texas Hold ’em is the most popular poker variation, available in every card room and online poker site. Most players exposed to poker from the early 2000s will likely be acquainted with the No Limit Texas Hold ’em.

Texas Hold ’em is the most popularized and heavily televised poker variant of this century, as it’s easy to understand the hand rankings and follow the rules. Its sheer popularity ex-plains the availability of many information sources like books, articles, and videos, which gives you strategic insights into the game.

The all-time classic poker game plays in these stages:

  • Pre-flop – Every player gets dealt two-hole cards facing down.
  • Flop – Players get three community cards dealt face up.
  • Turn – Players get the fourth community card.
  • River  players receive their fifth community card.


If you understand the Texas Hold ’em rules, Omaha is another poker variation worth playing if you’re ready for bigger swings. With Omaha poker, the players get four-hole cards and can use only two cards from the hand. Similar to Texas Hold ’em, this poker variation features five community cards, with a river, turn and flop. The betting rounds are also very similar.

Omaha poker is usually played in a pot limit format, with two of the most popular variations including Omaha 8-or-better or Omaha High:

  1. Omaha High – It’s similar to Texas Hold-em, with bettors trying to win the prize pool using the best high hand.
  2. Omaha 8-or-Better – It splits the pot between the player with the best low hand and the best high hand. However, players must have five different cards ranking eight or lower to qualify for a low hand.

Seven-Card Stud Poker

This hipster poker game became quite popular before the rise of Texas Hold ’em. The game involves two to eight players without community cards and a flop. It starts with two cards facing down, with the third facing up.

After dealing seven cards (four face-up and three face-down), you can choose your best five-card combination, and the hand ranking will be the same as Omaha and Texas Hold ’em. Most players choose seven-card stud poker as a limit game, so pay attention to your opponent’s cards.  

Featured Image by David from Pixabay