Poker is recognized as a great game all around the world, and as the popularity of the game has grown, so has the number of ways that the game can be played.
Sure there are many different types of poker. Even though Texas Hold’em is currently the most popular form of poker, other variants such as Pot Limit Omaha (PLO), Seven Card Stud and Five Card Draw have also garnered plenty of attention over the years, with the some of the games experiencing a renaissance period as mixed game rotations such as HORSE have gained popularity.
But as more and more people have been drawn to the game of poker, creative ways of playing the game have emerged both in terms of format and game play.
Lottery Sit and Gos
In what has grown to be one of the most popular formats of poker, short-handed sit and go tournaments that have a variable prize pool, commonly referred to as lottery sit and gos, are the chosen game of many of the players engaging in online poker today.
Their short playing time and potential to win big prizes (sometimes as much as 10,000 times the amount of the buy-in) are key features that have contributed to the explosion in popularity in the poker format since it was first introduced by French online poker company Winamax in 2013. Since then every major online poker company has created their own version of lottery sit and go.
Another format that capitalizes on players’ desires to have their poker served up at lightning fast speeds is fast-fold poker. This format utilizes a pool of players seated at multiple tables where players are shifted to a new table each time they fold their hand (or after a showdown).
The high-speed poker format gained popularity as Rush Poker on Full Tilt, but it is now a staple on most online poker sites. In fact, fast-fold poker has become so popular that it threatens to overtake traditional poker ring games as the standard mode of playing online.
With its most significant similarity to traditional poker being that it uses the same hand rankings, Chinese Poker has some big differences which have caused some to deny that the game is actually even “real” poker.
For one, there are no betting rounds in Chinese Poker. The game can still be used to gamble for real money, but instead of traditional betting during the game, points are tallied after each hand with a predetermined amount per point going to the eventual winner. This format of keeping score also means there is no bluffing in the game, a component of poker that has become one of the most well-known.
In Chinese Poker, players are dealt 13 cards from which they form a three-card hand and two five-card hands with each hand required to be of higher rank than the previous one. That gives you the jist of how to play, but make sure you check out more detailed rules on Chinese poker before you start playing the game.
Badugi is another game that differs from traditional poker games. It is a draw game that is most similar to low-ball poker where the lowest ranking hand wins, but in Badugi Aces are low.
Players have three drawing rounds in which to make the lowest hand without duplicate suits. Each player gets four cards, but a Badugi hand can consist of anywhere from 1 – 4 cards. A detailed explanation of the rules can be found here.
Perhaps the most divergent poker game type is a game that combines poker with popular esports features such as those found in Games like Hearthstone.
These poker games such as HoldemX introduce special play cards that change the normal course of the game. Some examples include changing the flop, peaking at their opponents’ cards and changing the suit of a specific card. Hybrid poker games are played on the internet as social games and for real money.