They say variety is the spice of life, so if you feel like shaking things up a little, why not, instead of just playing online poker with friends, get them round the table and try some fun poker game variations. This is your chance to try out new styles of play, test out new strategies and take a few risks. You can even use it as a learning and teaching opportunity. Once you've set the scene for a great night in, you just need to decide which game it's going to be. Here are some to choose from.
Not to be confused with Seven-Card Stud, this game really ratchets up the fun factor as it requires very little strategy and is all about the luck of the draw, or deal. Only your stake needs some careful risk calculation as the game moves around the table. Each player is dealt seven cards. Play and betting open when the person to the left of the dealer turns over just one of theirs. After everyone has placed their bet, the next person to the left turns over one of their cards. If it's higher than the first player's, they stop turning and all bets are on. If it's lower, the player keeps turning until the total face value of their cards exceeds that of the player to their right. In the event that all seven cards don't equal the previous player's hand, the hand is dead. Betting and playing then resume until the last player is left standing.
Double Flop Hold ‘Em
This variation of Texas Hold ‘Em is double the fun and definitely one of the best poker variants. Bets are placed between the flop (which is dealt with six cards, three for each of the upper and lower board,) and the reveal of the turn and river cards. With only one deck in play, everyone has a sporting chance of figuring out what's being held versus what's on the table. The best five-card hand on each of the upper and lower boards wins. If you've got the best hand on both — jackpot. If not, each winning hand takes a half share of the pot.
Move over, Omaha Poker; here comes Cincinnati Poker. With four cards per hand and four cards face-up in the middle, any combination of the player's hand and board card can be used to make the best five-card hand. After each round of betting, just one community card is revealed. This is a great game in which to learn what a strong hand really means.
Talking of Cincinnati, here's one for the Reds to play. Really just a variation of stud poker, this one uses baseball's three strikes, three outs, four balls, and nine innings terminology to give those cards a special value. A 3 dealt as a hole card is wild. Players can match a 3 played in the open with the value of the pot and turn the 3 wild. The other option is to fold. A 4 dealt in the open gives that player an additional hole card and nine is a wild. If you're all baseball fans, this makes the evening just a little bit more fun.
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