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Poker comes in many varieties and variants; some can be quickly learned while others require intense concentration and strategy to master.

Other than their structure, games also differ by how they score. For instance, Razz counts only the lowest hand as winning, while other scoring systems acknowledge both high and low hands that win.

Draw games

Draw games are a type of poker variant in which players receive what could be an initial full hand and then discard and replace cards to form an improved hand. Rules vary by game type; typically these rules include an initial betting round, draw phase and showdown phase; these games also use traditional poker hand rankings and can be played either limited or pot-limit betting structures.

Draws typically involve holding pairs, three of a kind, four of a kind or straights in their hand. Certain draw games such as Badugi have special rankings that enable players to hold four different suits at the same time in one hand.

Some draw games utilize lowball rules, inverting standard hand rankings so that the worse hand wins. This style is popularly employed in Deuce to Seven Triple Draw and Ace to Five Lowball; these can be extremely difficult games to win; even top grandmasters may find themselves stuck.

Stud games

Stud Games encompass all poker variants wherein a hand consisting of hidden and exposed cards is dealt to a player, including Five Card Draw, Razz and Badugi. Here players may improve their hand by replacing certain number of cards in this way.

These variations differ significantly from community card poker in terms of how information about each player’s cards is shared among participants, and also possess distinctive rules requiring close observation and reading from opponents.

Seven card stud is the classic variant of poker and was widely played before Texas Hold’em became more widespread. Players who create the highest-ranking hand with seven cards win.

Razz, another variant of Stud Poker, differs significantly from Seven-Card Stud by having players attempt to form the lowest five card hand possible using seven cards from their hand. A popular lowball variation known as Badugi also exists.

Texas Hold’em

Many people think of Texas Hold’em first when thinking of poker, but other forms should not be forgotten: draw games, stud games, community card games and mixed versions should not be overlooked either.

Hold’em requires players to receive two pocket cards, five community cards are dealt out on the table, and those cards combined with their own are used to form their hand; then, whoever possesses the best combination wins the pot.

Hold’em is a game where players have three main choices for action – to fold, call, raise or check. Checking passes the action clockwise. Importantly, position is also an integral component of strategy. Late positions have more information available to them so can make better decisions than early positions, making bluffing harder; but these players could increase their winnings by raising bets later in play.

Mixed games

No-Limit Hold’em may be the most renowned form of poker, yet more experienced players often want a new challenge and to add variety and flair to their gameplay. Mixed games provide such opportunities and may boost your performance considerably.

Mixed games of poker involve playing multiple variants within one session or tournament. You’ll find these sessions at most major poker sites online; popular variations include 2-7 Triple Draw and Omaha-8 or Better (O8).

Mixed games tend to feature higher stakes than other types of poker due to specialists having an edge in non-specialist games – this explains why mixed poker, like HORSE, has become such a hit in tournaments and cash games with higher stakes stakes.

Albie Oconnell