There are many versions of poker. Some players stick to just one version; others like to play many different variants. This page provides a classified index of poker variations whose rules are available on pagat.com. The columns indicate the type of variant - some belong to several categories. The table includes many invented poker variants, which may be known only to a few players, and have in most cases been contributed by the people or groups who invented them: these are listed in italics.
Below the table of variations, there are sections on:
- classification of variations - explaining the game types referred to in the table;
- other collections of poker variants - in case the game you want is not listed here.
Classification of Variations
Poker variants are traditionally classified as draw games, stud games and shared card (community card) games, mainly according to the way the cards are dealt . However, there are variants that fall into more than one of these categories or none of them, and there are other useful but overlapping categories. The table on this page uses the following categories and shows which ones each variant belongs to.
- draw - draw poker games in which players have the chance to improve their hand by discarding some cards and obtaining replacements from the dealer.
- stud - stud or open poker games in which some of the players' cards are dealt face up, usually with several betting rounds during the deal
- shared - shared card or community card games in which some cards are dealt face up to the table or board, and are available to all players to use as part of their hand
- low - low poker or lowball games in which the lowest poker hand wins, rather than the highest poker
- high/low - poker games where the whole or part of the pot can be won by having the highest hand or the lowest hand in the showdown
- wild - poker games where one or more cards are designated wild and can be used to represent other cards, thereby improving the owner's hand
- split - poker games in which the pot is divided between two or more winners according to different criteria such as highest hand, lowest hand, highest spade, and so on.
- buy - poker games in which players can pay an extra amount to the pot for a privilege such as an extra card or a card exchange.
- pass - poker games in which players pass some of their cards to other players or trade cards with others.
- match - games in which a player who stays in but does not win the showdown pays a penalty, which goes into the pot for the following deal: often the penalty is to match the pot, paying an amount equal to the total current pot size.
- mixed - games that consist of several different poker games played in succession, either in a fixed sequence or chosen by the players.
- other - games that are not really poker variants, but are sometimes allowed as options in a dealer's choice poker game.
The category links lead to pages dedicated to each type, each page having an index of the variants that belong to that category.
Many home poker players like to be creative and invent their own variants. Some of these new games catch on and become widely known, while most probably continue to be played only by their originators and maybe a few other groups. Since poker variants are continually being created and going in and out of fashion, it is difficult to distinguish between "traditional" poker variants and "invented" variants, some of which may eventually turn out to be as interesting as the traditional ones, if not more so. In the table, invented poker variants, many of which were contributed by their inventors, are listed in italics.
Note: games loosely based on poker in which players do not play against each other but against the house or against a machine, such as Three Card Poker, Caribbean Poker and Video Poker are not listed on this page but will be found in the pagat.com Banking Games section.
Other Collections of Poker Variants
No poker variant collection can be complete - new ones are being developed all the time, and many people have local house rules or may play the same variants but give them different names. Here is a selection of web sites with poker variant rules. If the poker game you are looking for is not listed on pagat.com, you may find it in one of these other collections.
Blank Frank's Poker Variants is a well organised collection of over 1200 variants classified by type, number of cards per player, max number of players, number of betting rounds and number of wild cards.
Mike's Poker Pages contain a collection of rules for well over 100 poker variants.
Around 40 variants are described on the Home Poker Game Guide at onlinepoker.net, which also has various other poker resources.
Archive copy of Peter Sarrett's poker variants collection, whose contents originally formed the basis of the collection here at pagat.com.
Michael Wittmeyer's PokerRules.net provides rules for a collection of poker variants organised by category.
David Lenton's Play Lowball Poker has rules and information for several Lowball games.