Poker Variants and Poker Games Online for Real Money 2024

Posted by Arthur Crowson .

Ever since the poker boom at the turn of the 21st century, online poker games have continued to grow in popularity. More than two decades later, online poker continues to evolve, while classic poker remains just a few clicks away. This guide breaks down the top poker variants available online and the best US sites to play poker online.

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Three Main Types of Poker Games Online

The best online poker sites offer a nice variation of games, but most operators should at least offer these poker variants.

Texas Hold’em Poker Online

Make the best five-card hand, using the two you’re dealt and three community cards. In Texas Hold’em, each player is dealt two cards face-down – these are known as the ‘pocket’ or ‘hole’ cards. The dealer then progressively reveals five community cards, interspersed with rounds of betting. Once all cards are revealed and all bets are placed, the best five-card hand wins. Texas Hold’em is the world’s most popular poker game online.

Omaha Poker

Make the best five-card hand using two of the four cards you’re dealt and three community cards. Omaha poker is a poker variant similar to Texas Hold’em, and follows the flop, turn & river format of those poker games. The key difference is that each player is dealt four cards, and must construct their hand by using exactly two of these, plus three community cards.

Omaha Hi-Lo

The pot is split between the best high hand and the best low hand. Omaha Hi-Lo is a poker variant that follows the same dealing and wagering system – flop, turn, river – as Omaha Poker, with a significant change to the rules. In Hi/Lo poker, each pot is split between two winning hands – the best ‘high’ hand, and the best ‘low’ hand.

Stud Poker

A variation in which players receive a combination of face-up and face-down cards. One of the earliest online poker games, stud refers to a poker variation in which players are dealt a combination of both face-up and face-down cards. The most popular variation, by far, is seven-card stud.

3-Card Poker

Poker meets blackjack in this speedy online poker variant. 3-card, sometimes known as tri-card, is an online poker game in which the dealer is your only opponent. Once both the dealer and the player ante up, three cards are dealt to each. If the player chooses to “play” (as opposed to folding), wagers are made, the hands are revealed, and the best 3-card hand wins the pot.

Draw Poker

Make the best five-card hand by drawing (exchanging) your cards. While there are several variations of draw poker available online, five-card draw is by far the most well-known and the most popular. In five-card draw, players are each dealt five cards, all of which are face down. There is a round of betting, followed by each player’s opportunity to exchange as many of their cards as they’d like, followed by one more betting round. After this final betting round, the cards are revealed and the best hand wins the pot.

Follow the Queen

Poker variant full of twists that makes use of wild cards. If you like games that keep you on your toes, Follow the Queen might be right for you. This game is a variant of seven-card stud that makes use of wild cards.

Jacks or Better

To begin, a player must be dealt a pair of Jacks. Jacks or Better is a classic video poker game where the minimum winning hand is a pair of Jacks or higher. The game follows a draw poker format where players can choose to hold or discard cards to form the best possible hand.

Best Poker Variants for Beginners & Experienced Players

Beginners Should Start with the Basics

Simple draw games are best for beginners, because they teach the hierarchy of hands and the permutations of winning. Five-card draw has been a staple of all poker players since the game was invented, learning with parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles around the kitchen table.

While experienced players and pros may not enjoy the limited amount of calculations and betting involved in draw games, beginners can learn about betting, bluffing, and odds through playing draw.

Once you have an understanding of basic draw games, Texas Hold’em is a popular entry to friendly cash games, online poker games, and even tournament play. Hold’em is an easy next-step for poker players just learning the game.

Mixed Games for Experienced Poker Players

Beginners may not enjoy mixed poker games, but learning to play a bunch of different poker variants at once can be rewarding.

A mixed poker game can change the gameplay at certain time intervals, levels, or even hand-by-hand. Some players enjoying adding variations to each hand, such as by making certain cards “wild.”

You can jump back and forth between Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Razz, and other poker variants so long as everyone at your table is comfortable with all of these options. The changes in odds and betting patterns requires a high-degree of concentration!

Best US Sites for Poker Games Online

Real Money Poker Sites

Real Money Poker Sites

Ready to start playing poker games for real money? We would recommend one of these sites.

Real Money Poker Sites
Mobile Poker Sites

Mobile Poker Sites

We've reviewed the best sites offering the widest selection of poker games right on your mobile device.

Mobile Poker Sites

Poker Games Online FAQs


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Arthur Crowson

Arthur Crowson writes for about the gambling industry. His experience ranges from crypto and technology to sports, casinos, and poker. He went to Douglas College and started his journalism career at the Merritt Herald as a general beat reporter covering news, sports and community. Arthur lives in Hawaii and is passionate about writing, editing, and photography.

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