Online poker first became popular in the late 1990′s. At this point the game of choice was fixed-limit Texas Holdem (usually just known as Limit Hold em). Since then the ‘big bet’ version – no limit Hold em – has become the undisputed biggest game online. Meanwhile Omaha Poker has come from the obscure corners of European casinos to become an online hit, with 2 different variations hitting the top 5 list.
This article contains the 5 biggest online poker variants, along with an explanation of what makes each of the games so popular.
1) No Limit Texas Hold em
No Limit Hold em is not only the biggest online poker game – it actually dwarfs its closest rivals! While the ‘Cadillac Of Poker’ is the key game in 2010, this was not always the case. Even 10 years also this format was unheard of online, and only found in a selected number of casinos (and then usually in tournament format). The ability to bet as much as you like at any time makes this game exiting and dangerous – with skilled players being able to make significant profits.
2) Pot-Limit Omaha
Omaha Poker is similar to the better known Holdem games in that a flop, turn and river community card board is dealt. With each player being dealt 4 hole-cards, and pot-limit betting meaning it is more difficult to force your opponents to fold, this is a game of big draws and big pots. Pot-Limit Omaha has become more and more popular recently, with high-stakes pros and small stakes leisure players both enjoying the extra dimension that 4 hole-cards bring.
3) Fixed Limit Hold em
The original Holdem variation is still thriving in its niche. In this version of the game the betting units are specified in advance, and there are a maximum number of raises per betting round (usually 4). While this makes the game less volatile than no-limit or pot-limit games, it also prices in a lot of drawing hands – leading to some big pots. Limit Hold em has a devoted following and is likely to stay in the mid-region of the biggest games list for a while to come.
4) Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Split
Omaha makes a return to the list at number 4 with the hi-lo split version of the game. In this poker format, the final pot is divided between the best poker hand and a low hand – which must be made up of 5 different cards 8 or lower. Like the high version of Omaha each player is dealt 4 hole-cards, 2 of which can be used for each hand along with 3 from the board. This came can appear complex to beginners, though is very entertaining once players get used to the structure.
5) Seven Card Stud
One from the days of gambling steam-boats on the Mississippi, 7 card stud has its online fans and continues to be a popular choice at many sites (while relatively quiet at others). Instead of community cards, each player is dealt their own 7 cards in this game – 4 of which are face-up to the table. The best 5 cards make your poker hand at the end of the game. With an extra betting round compared to the flop games, big pots can quickly develop. If you try 7-card stud you need to remember the folded cards, as these can be key cards for opponent’s hands on later betting rounds.