5 Non Hold’em Poker Games To Play

From Chinese and Pineapple Poker to Teen Patti and Short Deck, what are five poker games you can play if no limit isn't the game for you?

Everyone loves no limit hold’em, but if you want to try another game but still play poker, there are plenty of options for you to choose from. One such game is Pot Limit Omaha, otherwise known as PLO. However, given PLO’s enormous popularity these days, we’d guide you here for our look at that game specifically rather than include it in our latest look as some formats you might not have played.

We’re going oriental, having one of our five a day and chopping the deck of cards in half as we explore five games that are rising in popularity around the world when it comes to playing poker, online or live.

  1. Chinese Poker

One of the most popular games to play if you’re not shuffling into hold’em or Omaha games is Chinese Poker. This variant swept to fame a few years at the World Series of Poker when every player and their other halves seemed to be playing the game.

Essentially, the purest form of Chinese Poker is where each player is given 13 cards from the opening deal (a maximum of four players is possible for obvious reasons) and each player then arranges those 13 cards in three sets of gradually increasing strength from top hand (three cards), through the middle hand (five cards) and finally bottom hand (five cards).

Each set of cards must get stronger from top to bottom, so middle hand must be stronger than the top hand, and bottom hand must be stronger than both the top hand and middle hand.

There is no in-play betting in Chinese Poker, with the agreed amount per point agreed at the start of the round or game, which is then applied to the hand in question. Traditionally, if your top, middle or bottom hand is better than your opponent(s), you are then awarded a point, with three additional points awarded for the ‘scoop’ of winning all three hands.

Watch this handy guide on how to play Chinese Poker:

  1. Teen Patti

Teen Patti may be a form of poker that you’ve never heard of, but if so, it’s a game that is well worth finding out about. With a fixed bet (or ‘boot’) in place before the cards are dealt, each player gets three cards, and this ‘three card poker’ game sees betting before and after the deal of those cards to each player.

All bets in Teen Patti are in equal amounts, and gradually, players drop out until the completion of the hand, with a showdown revealing the winner.

The hand rankings are fairly similar to No Limit Hold’em – aces are high, the deuce is the lowest card – with the hands ranked from best to worst right here:

  • Trail or Set (three cards of the same rank – aces highest, deuces lowest)
  • Pure Sequence or Straight Flush (three consecutive cards from the same suit)
  • Sequence or Run (three consecutive cards, but not from the same suit)
  • Color or Flush (three cards of the same suit that are not in a sequence)
  • Pair (two cards of the same rank, highest pair wins, kickers count)
  • High Card (if two players have the same high card, the kicker(s) count)

Check out this guide to playing Teen Patti and join in the fun today:

  1. Pineapple Poker

Otherwise known as Open Face Chinese Poker, Pineapple has the interesting variation that you have to form the sets you will eventually declare as you’re going along.

This gives the game, also known as ‘OFC’ an interesting twist and provides a lot more betting action. Of course, it also provides plenty of mis-sets, the name given to a declaration of tom, middle and bottom hands when one is out of synch from the others, because the game demands an extremely good memory of the cards that have already gone and calculating the chances of the cards to come.

Utterly addictive, Pineapple can become your favourite game to play with friends in minutes, let alone days. Check out how to play right here:

  1. Short Deck Poker

Short Deck swept the world two summers ago and it seemed everyone taking on the game with half the cards taken away before the first deal.

With all the cards from deuce to five removed from the pack, there are only 36 cards instead of 52 to play with, which skews the odds of making particular hands in a big way. An ace can still be high or low, and can make the low or high end of a straight. Straights in general are more frequent, but with less cards of the same suit to come on turn and river, flushes are rarer than a full house, and therefore beat the previously more valuable hand in the rankings.

It’s also much easier to hit a set than in no limit hold’em, with a 2-in-34 chance rather thana 2-in-50 chance of trebling your chance in that regard.

Many famous faces latched onto Short Deck in recent years, but a small phalanx of the elite had been playing it for some time, with Tom Dwan just one of the high rollers who love the game. Here, he describes exactly how to play.

  1. Seven-Card Stud

Known as more of an old-style game, Seven Card Stud is played by many modern players too. Players such as Eli Elezra and John Hennigan have both won World Series of Poker bracelets in the past few years in the variant and many new players still look for the best way to play Stud Games in general when researching the game of poker.

Who better to teach you the wonders of seven card stud than Kid Poker himself? Yes, the man who fell foul of Phil Hellmuth last month. Learn to play with Canadian six-time WSOP bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu right here:

Want more? Don’t miss out—stay up to date on the latest poker news


James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro GambleOnline.co about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virgina and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

Back To Top
Back To Top