How to play poker
Poker games: popular games & variants to play
There are multiple poker games that you can learn quickly and play online or in live tournaments.Whether you are playing poker for the first time, you need to upgrade your poker skills or learn other types of games, find out more about the most popular of the poker games.
Texas Holdem (or Texas Hold'em) is the most popular poker game. Exciting, dramatic and with a format that is perfect for TV, it has not only become the format of choice when it is time to shuffle up and deal but it is probably the easiest and quickest game to learn when you are new to poker.
Find out more about the texas holdem rules.
Omaha is a another popular and exciting poker variant. It is an action game similar to Texas Holdem with the main difference being that players are dealt four hole cards (vs two for texas holdem). Learn more about Omaha poker.
7 Card Stud
7 Card Stud offers a drastic change of pace and format from both Texas Hold'em and Omaha and requires a certain amount of patience. However, it's an exciting game that can be very rewarding! Find out more about stud poker here.
Other poker games and variations
Texas holdem or Omaha are not the only versions of poker out there. Here’s our handy guide for when you want try something new at partypoker.
Limit Hold’em plays exactly like No Limit Hold’em except the amount you can bet is limited to predefined bets.
This is the old school game of choice for poker players. It plays out the same as Texas Hold’em, with two hole cards, a flop, a turn and a river – the only difference is the way you bet.
Limit poker is mainly played on cash games and you’ll normally find the specific betting limits in the table name. A $2/4 table will have betting increments of $2 and $4. The first figure is used for the first two betting rounds and the second amount is used for the final two rounds.
Blinds for this table would be $1 and $2 as the big blind on a limit table is always the same size of the small bet.
Here’s a quick example:
On a $2/4 table, if you were the first to bet, you can only bet $2. The next person to act can fold, call or raise to a total of $4. If a third player wanted to re-raise their total bet would be $6. This $2 limit applies to pre-flop and post-flop betting.
On the turn and river the bet limit moves up to the higher bet limit, which would be $4 on this table.
In limit, the number of raises per round is limited as well, usually at four but you need to make sure you find out what the limit is on your table when you sit down. With its two specified betting limits, this is a very subtle version of poker. You won’t find any maverick bets of ‘all in’ here, that’s for sure.
Like limit, your betting is curbed. But here, your maximum bet is capped to however much is in the pot at the time of making your bet.
In between no-limit and limit is where you'll find pot limit. Like limit, your betting is curbed but on these tables, rather than fixed, pre-specified limits, your maximum bet is capped to whatever is in the pot at the time of making your bet (this includes all the money in the pot and all the bets on the table, including any call you need to make before raising).
You receive hole cards just as in hold’em, but this time you get 4. Five community cards are also dealt face up for everyone. The important thing to remember about pot-limit omaha is that you must use any 2 of your 4 hole cards to make a hand!
Omaha is another much-loved variation of poker. Players receive four hole cards that only they can see and five community cards that are dealt face up for everyone.
Each player must use two of their hole cards, plus three of the community cards, to make a hand. There are four rounds of betting, which play out in the same way as Texas Hold’em. If you need a little reminder then you can refresh your memory here.
Just like pot-limit Hold'em your betting is curbed in pot-limit Omaha. Your maximum bet is capped to whatever is in the pot at the time of making your bet (this includes all the money in the pot and all the bets on the table, including any call you need to make before raising).
Pot-limit Omaha Hi-Lo
Almost the same as Omaha except the pot is split between the high and the low hands and the end of the game. A low hand must contain five different cards that are equal or inferior to 8. For example, A-2-4-7-8.
Just like regular Omaha, each player must use two of their hole cards, plus three of the community cards, to make a hand. And there are still four rounds of betting that play out in the same way as Texas Hold’em.
Your betting is also curbed in Pot-Limit Omaha Hi/Lo. The maximum you can bet is capped to whatever is in the pot at the time of making your bet (this includes all the money in the pot and all the bets on the table, including any call you need to make before raising).
7 Card Stud Hi/Lo
7 Card Stud Hi/Lo is the same as 7 Card Stud, except the pot is split between a high hand (the same as in 7 Card Stud) and a low hand (which is based on five cards that start at eight or below).
As in 7 Card Stud you get seven cards with which to make the best five card poker hand you can using the standard hand rankings .
The difference is that you also want to make a ‘low hand’. A low hand must contain five unpaired cards lower than an eight – the lower the better, straights and flushes don’t count. So the best low hand you can get is A-2-3-4-5 (it’s known as ‘the wheel’), whereas the worst low hand you can get is 4-5-6-7-8.
When a hand goes to showdown it is split 50/50 between the best high hand and the best low hand. If no players have a low hand then the whole pot goes to the player with the highest hand.
Blackjack is a casino classic that you can enjoy right here at partypoker.
Read more about the blackjack rules and gameplay