Online Poker Academy

It wasn't until the 1800s that the poker game we know and love today made its way to the USA and has come to be popular worldwide. Whether you play at an online casino or at home, here are some of the most popular variants you must play.

Three popular Poker games you need to learn

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1. Seven-Card Stud

Go back several decades and you'll find that Seven-Card Stud was the most popular variant of Poker. Of course, that crown now belongs to Texas Hold'em. If you've only ever played that, Stud might take some getting used to, though it's easy to learn. Unlike Hold'em, Stud doesn't use community cards and is almost always played with fixed limits.

The game starts with each player paying an ante (e.g. $1) and receiving three cards: two face-down and one face-up. The player with the lowest-value face-up card has to 'bring in', or 'complete'. The sums of money will vary but are often doubled in value (e.g. a $5 'bring in' and $10 'complete'). Gameplay continues clockwise, with players having the option to 'fold', 'call' or 'raise'.

Once every player has taken their turn, each receives a card (face-up), known as 'fourth street'. Betting begins with the player with the highest-value face-up card and continues clockwise. A fifth street card is then revealed face-up, followed by a sixth street card, again face-up. The seventh street card is dealt face-down. Anyone still in the hand after this final round must reveal their cards. The winner is the player with the highest-value five-card hand.

2. Razz

Razz is a favourite among old-school Poker players and is a variation played at the World Series of Poker. Like Stud, it's an easy game to learn - perfect for beginners. Unlike other variations, in Razz, the card and hand rankings are in reverse, so the lowest wins. With that in mind, the Ace is a low card and straights and flushes don't exist in the rankings. The best possible hand is A-2-3-4-5, known as a 'wheel'.

Gameplay works in much the same way as a hand of Stud. In the first round of a game of Razz, the player with the highest-value face-up card has to go first. The dealing of the cards is the same in the first few rounds. From the 'fourth street' onwards, the player with the lowest-value card goes first.

In the showdown, players reveal their hands, making the lowest five-card combination.

3. Chinese Poker

Chinese Poker uses hand rankings, but it's very different to any other variation you will ever play. It's so unique, which is why we included it in this list. If you've played Pai Gow before, you'll love this too. Played at the 1995 and 1996 editions of the World Series, it is no longer an event, but it's a fun variant and well worth trying your hand at.

Chinese Poker requires four players and each player receives 13 cards. Players must arrange their cards into three groups to create three Poker hands. The first, or top hand, must consist of three cards and should be the lowest ranking Poker hand of the three. The second, or middle hand, must consist of five cards and be of a higher ranking than the top hand. The third, or bottom hand, must also consist of five cards and be the highest-ranking hand of the three.

Before starting, players will agree on the monetary value of each hand. Players then share their hands, starting with the lowest. For every better hand a player has over their opponents, they receive a point. These points tally up across each hand and the three hands. The most points a player can win per hand is three. If a player has the biggest hand or wins all three hands in a game, they may receive a bonus.

If you fancy a change from Texas Hold'em, these three games will offer an alternative. There are many other variations of Poker out there, but which is your favourite?

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