This guide to online poker games focuses on the most popular formats of poker offered by online poker sites. Each of the formats listed below has its own dedicated page on which you can find the rules for playing online poker and a few helpful hints to maximise the value of your playing experience.
Please bear in mind that knowing the rules for playing online poker does not necessarily make you a good poker player. When playing any format of poker it is important to bet according to the players you are seated with and your position in the order of betting. It is also important for you to vary your betting actions to avoid becoming predictable.
The amount you bet can be dictated by the type of games you are playing. Generally, “No Limit (NL)” poker allows you bet any amount of chips. “Pot Limit (PL)” allows you to bet any amount up to the value of the pot, while bet sizes in “Fixed Limit (FL)” games are limited in size depending on the format of poker and the round of betting.
Texas Hold´em is the most popular format of online poker and is a game well worth learning properly. The most valuable online poker tournaments are played in this format and you are always certain to find cash games tables open day or night – which is a major consideration when you are trying to clear a poker bonus.
- Read our Texas Hold´em Poker Guide
Omaha Poker is played in a similar way to Texas Hold´em, but with four hole cards. This increases the possibility of making some very high-value hands, and leads to the value of most Omaha pots generally exceeding those in Texas Hold´em. Most commonly played in Pot Limit format, Omaha Poker is also a popular format of poker at most online poker sites.
- Read our Omaha Poker Guide
Omaha Hi/Lo is a variant of Omaha Poker in which the pot is divided between the player with the best Hi hand, and the player with the best “qualifying” Lo hand. Because there are potentially two pots to be won in every hand, there tends to be more players involved in each pot – creating valuable opportunities for any player who can scoop both pots!
- Read our Omaha Hi/Lo Poker Guide
Six Plus Hold´em
Six Plus Hold´em is an exciting variant of Texas Hold´em Poker that plays with a deck consisting of just thirty-six cards – those with a face value between Deuce and Five having been removed. The potential for more premium hands being dealt to players results in a lot more pre-flop and post-flop action, and a lot more variance!
- Read our Six Plus Hold´em Guide
7 Card Stud Poker
7 Card Stud is a classic poker game that, prior to the boom in online poker, was the most popular format of poker. As with Texas Hold´em and Omaha Poker, the aim of the game is to make the best five-card hand. However, there is an extra round of betting in 7 Card Poker which can make a lot of difference to how much money you win – or lose!
- Read our 7 Card Stud Poker Guide
7 Card Stud Hi/Lo
7 Card Stud Hi/Lo is played in the same way as 7 Card Stud Poker, but with the potential for there being two pots to win if one of the players has a “qualifying” low hand. As with Omaha Hi/Lo, there can be a lot of betting action in every hand, and – again as with Omaha Hi/Lo – the opportunity to win both pots exists if you draw the right cards.
- Read our Guide to 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo Poker
Razz Poker is a version of Stud Poker in which the lowest five card hand wins the pot. Hands do not need to “qualify” to scoop the pot, and there generally tends to be a good deal of bluffing going on at the Razz tables. Being observant as to which cards have been dealt and folded is not necessarily as important as in other versions of Stud Poker.
- Read our Razz Poker Guide
H.O.R.S.E. is a game of five different poker games – Hold´em/Omaha Hi-Lo/Razz/Stud/Eights or Better (Stud Hi-Lo) – played in rotation. In order to play the mixed game of poker profitably, it is recommended to have a thorough understanding of how each game is played and – if you play H.O.R.S.E. tournaments – how the blind structure works.
- Read the H.O.R.S.E. Poker Rules
What Constitutes the Winning Hand(s)?
There is a hand hierarchy for games of Texas Hold´em, Omaha and 7 Card Stud Poker. This can be found on our hand rankings page and also applies to the “Hi” pot in games with a Hi/Lo format. In the event that two or more players have the same winning hand, the pot is divided equally. The suit of the cards is irrelevant in games of Texas Hold´em, Omaha and 7 Card Stud Poker.
To win the “Lo” pot in games of Omaha Hi/Lo and Stud Hi/Lo, the player must have five different cards with a value of eight or lower (aces count as both high and low). As it is possible to make straights and flushes with five different cards that have a value of eight or lower, it is possible for a player to win both the “Hi” and the “Lo” pot in games of Omaha Hi/Lo and Stud Hi/Lo.
As the winning hand in Razz Poker is determined by the five card hand with the lowest individual values, there is a different hand hierarchy for this format of online poker. This is explained in detail in our Guide to Razz Poker. As with the other formats of poker, the suit(s) of each hand have no influence over who wins the pot, so it is also possible for two or more players to share the pot in games of Razz Poker.