date 5 May 2017 update Upd: 11 April 2023 reading time 5 min views 489 views

Before we have started to work on our gambling software development long 10 years ago, most of us were sure that there’s little to know about poker rules.

“Poker is poker”, says nearly every newbie, “pocket and common cards, bluffing and bets, what else to know?” After a few hours, this newbie would be surprised how it happened that Hold’em, 7-Card Stud, and Badugi are all called the same name – poker.

Let’s find out the main differences between the poker games types and which games are the most common in gambling software systems.

Texas Hold’em

The most well-known modern poker game type has relatively simple rules. The game has several stages:

  1. Setup and pre-flop. A player next to the dealer make small blind, a next one – big blind, after that pocket cards are dealt and first betting round takes place.
  2. Flop. Three common cards are dealt, and the second betting round follows.
  3. Turn. Fourth common card and another betting round.
  4. River. The last card and betting round.
  5. Showdown. If there are more than one player left, everyone shows the hand (starting from the one who’s made the biggest bet first) and the single winner is found according to poker hand ranking. The player may combine any five of pocket and common cards.
  6. Button moves to the next player clockwise and another game begins.

Most poker variations that don’t affect the main rules (like Rapid poker) are based on Texas Hold’em. All online gambling software developers include Hold’em games to their packages and gaming systems.


This game has the same stages as Hold’em but each player gets four pocket cards instead of two, and he must use two of them for a final combination. No more no less.

In classic Omaha, the pot goes to a player with the best hand, in Omaha Hi-Lo it is split between two players: one with the highest hand, one with the lowest.

Omaha is a second popular poker game type, and it’s easy to find in most software types excluding the very basic ones.


Once 7-Card Stud was the most loved poker game type, you have obviously seen it in the classic movies. It requires more time, attention and gives a lot of room for talk and bluff. Game stages are different from Hold’em and Omaha, and betting rounds are called streets.

  1. All players ante: put money into the pot. The dealer deals to every player two down cards and one face up (door card). The player with the lowest ranking of the door card makes the first bet equal to ante size or the small bet size (to his choice).
  2. 3rd Street – the first betting round. All players call, bet or fold.
  3. 4th Street. A dealer deals one card face up to every player. The betting round starts with a player with the highest face up pair (according to the classic ranking).
  4. 5th Street. Third face up card is dealt, and the betting round starts the same way as on 4th Street.
  5. 6th Street. Fourth face up card is dealt with the following bets.
  6. 7th Street. One down card is dealе. The final round starts with a player left to the dealer.
  7. Showdown. Players must make a five-card combination using any of the seven cards they hold.

7-Card Stud Hi-Lo is also well-known; it is a split pot game variation where the pot is shared between the highest and the lowest hands. Around 50% of poker software development companies provide Stud games.

Lowball Games

Lowball poker is a group of games in which the hands ranking is inverted and several specific rules are applied (the main differences are the ranking of aces and the using of straight and flush combinations). The most popular games of this kind are Razz and 2-7 Triple Draw. Few major gaming software developers include lowball games into their products.

Chinese Poker

Chinese Poker does not operate by bets, betting rounds, or bluff. Players have to make three combinations out of 13 cards: two of five cards and one of three. The differences between the variations are:

  • The number of cards a player gets at a time (all 13 cards, 1 card, 3 cards of which he may use 2)
  • The order of combinations (which one should be the highest)

All games use a special system of points given to the hands’ combinations. The most popular variations are OFC Poker and OFC Pineapple.

Exotic Poker variations

Though 95% of poker players on this planet play mostly Hold’em you can always meet someone who is always ready to prove that there’s nothing like Pai Gow poker. Games like this are hard to find in gambling software systems though EvenBet has them all.

The main and most common “exotic” poker types are:

  • Badeucy: a draw poker version where players need to get the best 2 to 7 hand with all suits present
  • Pai Gow: players need to make two hands out of seven cards (five-card and two-card ones) that should be better than dealer’s hands
  • Badugi: players need to have the lowest possible set of four cards of different suits to win

All of the games mentioned are free to try in EvenBet poker software demo!