Real Money Online Poker Variants: Different Poker Games in 2024

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Varieties Of Online Poker Games

As Mike Sexton says at the beginning of every episode of the World Poker Tour: “It takes a minute to learn, but a lifetime to master.” Ask any experienced poker player, and they’ll tell you that’s true. Learning the rules of poker, hand rankings, and basic strategy isn’t complicated, but the only way to understand the game is to play. We’ll give you some of the foundations to begin your poker journey, but then the rest is up to you. Find your style and build a poker persona by reading our beginners guide to online poker.

No Limit Hold’Em Vs. Limit Hold’Em Poker

There is quite a big difference between No Limit and Limit poker. While the hand rankings and rules are the same, the strategy when playing No Limit or Limit Texas Holdem poker is a world apart.

The Cadillac of Poker: No Limit Texas Holdem

Called the Cadillac of poker, No Limit Hold ’em is undoubtedly the game that requires the most skill. But it is also a game where you’re liable to lose all of your cash and poker chips on the turn of a card. In No Limit Holdem, there is a maximum bet amount, meaning a player can bet their entire stack at any time. The excitement of this form of poker is that you can exert pressure on your opponents and employ a very aggressive style. The No Limit Poker craze goes back much further than the poker boom of the early 2000s when Chris Moneymaker’s big W.S.O.P. win made half the population a poker enthusiast. In 1979 the legendary poker player Doyle Brunson published his “bible of poker” – the Super System. The book that many pro poker players wished had never been written, Brunson’s book laid bare some of the poker tactics and strategies that are now common in any poker player’s No Limit Texas Hold ’em arsenal. The most common weapon in No Limit Hold’em is the “All In.” As there is no maximum bet in this form of poker, players who are willing to put their opponents to the test often push All-In. It’s a great way to bluff, as most players are not willing to risk their entire stack, and it’s also an effective way to win lots of chips – as many players will call huge bigs thinking their bluffs. Doyle Brunson’s book is mainly responsible for making No Limit Poker the most popular form of poker on the planet. However, for the poker player more interested in the long-run and slowly building a stack, No Limit Poker can be as heartbreaking as it is full of thrills.

Mastering No Limit Texas Holdem: A Comprehensive Tutorial for Beginners with Visual Guide
Mastering No Limit Texas Holdem: A Comprehensive Tutorial for Beginners with Visual Guide

Limit Texas Holdem Poker

Many pros, such as Puggy Pearson, have pointed out that to win in the long term, however skilled a poker player you may be, Limit Holdem Poker is a much wiser choice. You can do everything right when playing No Limit Texas Hold ’em and still get a bad beat, putting your bankroll at risk. While in Limit Holdem, the bets are limited. There are usually a maximum of 4 raises per betting round unless there are only two players in the pot (heads-up), and the maximum bet is limited. For example, in a $5/10 game of Limit Texas Holdem, the most you can bet or raise your opponent will be $10. Because there is no All-In bet in the Limit Poker variation, your stack will never be at stake (unless you only have a stack equal to one bet.) Overall, for cash game poker, the Limit Holdem Poker game is a great way to try and build a bankroll. By playing a straight game of poker and solid hands like A.K., A.A., AK, K.K., Q.Q., J.J., Q.J., and other pairs, overall, you have much more chance at winning in the long run.

Poker Betting Action

Understanding the mechanics of the betting action in poker is crucial. The essential list of actions you can make in a poker game are:


This is when you match a poker opponent’s bet to progress with the betting round.


After an opponent has made a bet, a player has the option the raise. If, for instance, Player A has bet $10 in a game of No Limit Holdem Game, Player B can raise any amount to the limit of their whole stack. Raising, and how much a player raises, is the critical ingredient in poker strategy.


Players choose not to play a hand and fold their cards into the “muck, ” meaning they cannot proceed with the betting rounds.


During a betting round, if poker players opt not to bet but want to see the following cards for free, they “check” the action.

Poker Stakes And Limits

Cash Game Poker Stakes

When entering an online poker cash game lobby, you’ll see a list of poker tables available to play. The standard format is to see the tables listed by their stake, such as 50c/$1, $1/$2, $10/$20, and so on. These stakes indicate the minimum bet and Big Blind amount being played at the table. So, if you were to sit down at a $1/2 poker game, the minimum bet and B.B. for that game is $2. Depending on the online poker site you choose to play at, the poker table stakes can vary widely – depending on the traffic, population of players, and tables made available by the operator. Playing at some of the biggest online poker rooms like Pokerstars, you’ll see a wide range of poker games going on 24/7, from very low-stake poker games like 5c/10c games up to the high-stake poker games played by pros, such as $50/100 and $100/200 stake games.

Mastering Poker: A comprehensive tutorial for beginners with a visual guide.

Poker Tournament Stakes

One of the reasons poker tournaments are so popular is because once a player has put down their buy-in, it’s a level playing field. But the buy-in for poker tournaments varies. At many online poker sites, constant M.T.T. or Multi-Table poker tournaments are going on for less than a dollar, most commonly in the region of $10-50. Even at those stakes, there can be nice prize pools to win. Land-based poker tournaments tend to have larger registration fees and buy-ins because the players are not as recreational. To give some idea of the variety of poker buy-ins for tournament poker, here are the buy-in amounts for some well-known poker tournaments:

  • WSOP Main Event – $10,000
  • Pokerstars Sunday Millions – $250
  • BetMGM $10K Gtd Daily MTT – $109 (Rebuy available)

When you have paid your tournament’s buy-in, the game’s stakes go up within a specific timeframe. In bigger, high-stakes M.T.T. Poker tournaments, the Blinds usually go up every hour or so. But in the smaller stake poker tournaments (mainly online), the Blinds can go up every few minutes, which speeds up the action.

Sit and Go Poker games

A format of poker that’s become very popular since online poker took off in the early 2000s is Sit And Go poker. A single table poker tournament, usually played at stakes of between $5-$50, in the traditional version, players play down to the final 3 (in a 9-seat game) or 2 (in a 6-seat game). The prize pool is distributed between the final players (with the 1st-place winner usually getting 60% of the prize pool). The SnG Poker format is a great way to learn the ropes and familiarize yourself with the game’s mechanics, as they can be played for small stakes, allowing players to build their bankroll and limit the risk.

Other Poker Variations

In the past few years, there have been other variations of poker that have become increasingly popular. Made available to play at relatively low stakes by PokerStars and Full Tilt poker rooms online, games like Omaha Poker and mixed games such as H.O.R.S.E. have given players who prefer a bit more variety and complexity than the basic Texas Holdem Poker format a great way to hone their skills.

Omaha Poker

Similar to Holdem Poker, the main difference with Omaha poker is that players get dealt four hole cards. These cards can be used in any combination to make a 5-card poker hand abiding by Holdem’s standard poker hand rankings. The poker strategy has to be adapted to this game, as the value of a starting hand drastically changes compared to that of a Texas Holdem starting hand. For example, a perfect starting hand in Omaha would be something like A.K.K.Q., or even J10QQ, as the possibilities of filling a hand increase. Find more information in our omaha poker guide.

Omaha Hi/Lo Poker

The lowball form of poker has a cult following, and for a good reason. In the hi/low poker game, players are looking to make a hand as per the poker hand rankings above, but also a lowball poker hand – where the ranking is essentially reversed. A top lowball poker hand would be A235. Players must avoid making straight and have the lowest possible combination. The best starting hand in Omaha Hi/Lo would be something like AA23. Most often, Omaha poker is played as Pot-Limit, meaning players can bet up to the limit of the money or poker chips in the pot. For example, if there is $100 in the pot, the max bet a player can make is $100. Read our guide on omaha poker tips and our tips and tricks for omaha hi/lo poker.

Mastering Poker: Comprehensive tutorial for beginners, featuring visual guide.

Seven Card Stud Poker

Seven-Card Stud holds a hallowed place in the annals of poker, cherished for its unique gameplay. In this classic variant, each player is dealt a total of seven cards during a hand, and the ultimate goal is to forge the most formidable five-card hand from this assortment.

The game unfolds with every player receiving two concealed cards, known as “hole cards,” one card laid face-up for all to see, dubbed the “door card.” Here’s where it gets interesting: The player wielding the lowest-ranked door card kickstarts the betting proceedings. Following this initial exchange, three more face-up cards are dealt, one at a time, interspersed with betting rounds.

A final twist lies in the distribution of one last hole card. As players progress, they must employ their strategic acumen to evaluate their hands and deduce potential hands among their adversaries based on the exposed cards. Seven-Card Stud is a game that demands vigilant observation and a profound comprehension of hand rankings, presenting an absorbing challenge with gratifying rewards for those who master it.

Short Deck Holdem Poker

Short Deck Poker is a new format of poker popularized by high stakes players, who enjoy the increased betting action. In Short Deck poker, the rules are the same as Texas Holdem, but all of the 2s-5s in the deck are removed, so players play with a 36-card deck. Of course, the value of hands changes drastically, and you’re more likely to see huge hands compete for a pot. Depending on where you play Short Deck poker, some poker sites or casino poker rooms change the rules to give three-of-a-kind a higher value than a straight. So, if you dare to jump into this action-packed form of poker, ensure you’re fully versed in the rules.

How To Win At Poker?

As poker online and offline has increased in popularity since the early 2000s, the skill level has changed drastically. Whereas poker pros could usually make a living playing online poker against amateurs, the term amateur doesn’t mean what it used to mean: amateur poker players today are likely to have as much skill as the pros had back in the day. If you watch a film like Rounders these days, the strategy and poker wisdom dished out by Matt Damon doesn’t sound quite as impressive since what used to be the tricks of the trade are now common knowledge. Here are some pieces of sound advice, though, for anybody starting on that exciting and rocky path of poker:

Poker Bankroll Management

In the vast landscape of online poker, one concept towers above the rest as the pillar of your potential success or downfall—bankroll management. Your bankroll represents the sum you’ve earmarked specifically for your poker endeavors, and its care and preservation are paramount.

At the core of effective bankroll management lies the key step of setting a budget. It entails meticulously examining your financial landscape and determining how much you can comfortably allocate to poker without imperiling your financial stability. The unwavering adherence to this budget fortifies against the impulsive overspending often induced by the game’s intensity.

Furthermore, adept bankroll management delves into the nuances of risk tolerance. If conservatism characterizes your financial disposition, you might gravitate towards lower-stakes games, where potential losses carry less financial weight. Conversely, those emboldened by higher risks can test their mettle in high-stakes games, replete with the promise of substantial rewards.

Consider also the concept of variance in poker—a formidable adversary even for the most skilled players. Variance entails the inherent randomness of the game, and even the most illustrious players occasionally succumb to losing streaks. However, a well-managed bankroll is a bulwark, enabling you to weather these tempestuous tides and continue your poker journey unwavering confidence.

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Player Table Selection

Your choice of table and opponents can be as critical as the cards you hold in poker. Table selection is an art that can significantly impact your success. The first step in this art form is identifying tables with weaker players. Watch for tables where opponents seem less experienced or prone to making mistakes.

These tables can offer profitable opportunities. Understanding table dynamics is another key aspect. Some tables may be tight, with cautious players, while others are loose, featuring aggressive and risky competitors. Player profiling comes into play here.

Observe your opponents and categorize them based on their playing style—tight or loose, aggressive or passive. Adjust your strategy accordingly. Against tight players, you can play more aggressively, while against loose players, a tighter approach may be wiser.

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Beat The Odds With Position Awareness

Position awareness is a fundamental concept that can significantly influence your success in poker. Your position at the table determines when you need to act during a hand, and this timing can be a game-changer.

In poker, there are typically three main positions: early, middle, and late. Early position players are among the first to act, usually seated to the left of the big blind. Middle-position players follow, and late-position players act last in most betting rounds.

The significance of position becomes evident when you realize that players who act later have more information. They can see the decisions of their opponents before making their own choices, which allows them to make more informed decisions. In contrast, players in early positions often have to make decisions based on limited information, making it a more challenging spot.

The position also affects betting strategies. Playing cautiously and starting with strong hands in an early position is advisable, as you’re at a disadvantage by acting first. In the middle position, you have more flexibility but should still exercise caution. Late position offers a strategic advantage, allowing you to play a wider range of hands and even consider bluffing more frequently.

Adapting your playing style based on your position is key to excel in poker. Awareness of the significance of position, how it affects betting, and employing appropriate strategies can give you a competitive edge in this intricate game of skill and strategy.

Early Position

Early position players are seated directly to the left of the big blind. This position comes with the challenge of acting first in betting rounds, which means you lack information about your opponents’ intentions.

Caution is paramount here. Starting with premium hands like high pairs or strong Ace combinations is advisable. Early position is not the ideal time for bluffing since you’re essentially playing blind.

Poker involves remembering the rules and strategies and understanding the significance of table selection and your position at the table. By choosing tables wisely, identifying weaker players, and embracing position awareness, you can enhance your chances of success in this dynamic card game.

Middle Position

The middle position in poker is a pivotal spot at the table, sandwiched between early and late-position players. It offers a significant strategic advantage over early position because it allows you to act after the players in early position, granting you more information before making decisions.

By observing their moves, you can gather valuable insights into the strength of their hands, helping you make more informed choices. Expanding your starting hand range is key to playing from the middle position. While still exercising caution, you have the opportunity to play a broader range of hands that have the potential to be profitable.

However, it’s essential to remain mindful of the actions of early position players, as their bets and raises can signal the strength of their hands and influence your decisions. Furthermore, staying aware of late-position players’ actions is vital when in the middle position. Late-position players, particularly those on the button, can act last in most betting rounds.

Their actions can significantly impact the course of a hand, so being observant and adaptable is crucial. Achieving mastery in middle-position play requires a balance of caution and adaptability, making it a skillful position in the complex world of poker.

Late Position

Late position in poker includes players seated in the cutoff and on the button. This position offers a significant strategic advantage, as those in late positions get to act after most other players in every betting round. The cutoff is one seat away from the button and still provides an excellent position to exploit.

The button, often considered the best position at the table, allows the player to act last in all post-flop betting rounds, providing maximum information before making decisions. To make the most of late positions, players should consider playing a wider range of hands than they would from earlier positions.

Late-position players can profitably enter more pots and potentially capitalize on their opponent’s mistakes with the advantage of acting later. However, paying attention to the blinds and their tendencies is essential, as they act after late position players in the first betting round. Adapting to table dynamics is key when in a late position.

It’s important to observe opponents’ playing styles, especially those in the blinds and early positions, and adjust your strategy accordingly. Late position allows you to gather information and make well-informed decisions, making it a coveted position in poker. To excel in late positions, players must utilize their advantageous positions and adapt to the ever-changing flow of the game.

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Learn To Read Opponents

The art of reading opponents and spotting poker tells is a valuable skill in poker. Poker tells are subtle behaviors, gestures, or reactions that players exhibit, often unconsciously, and can provide insights into the strength of their hands. Learning to identify these cues can be a game-changer at the poker table.

Understanding common player types and their tendencies is essential in reading opponents effectively. For example, some players may become more talkative when bluffing, while others exhibit discomfort or nervousness when holding a strong hand. By categorizing opponents into specific player types, such as tight-aggressive, loose-passive, or maniacs, you can tailor your strategy to exploit their weaknesses.

It’s essential to disguise your intentions to enhance your poker skills further. Maintaining a consistent demeanor and behavior, regardless of hand strength, can make it challenging for opponents to read you accurately. Mixing up your plays, known as balancing your range, keeps your opponents guessing and adds an element of unpredictability to your game.

In conclusion, developing the ability to read opponents and identify poker tells can give you a substantial edge. By understanding common player types, exploiting their tendencies, and masking your intentions, you can elevate your poker game to a new level of skill and strategy.

Practice Patience

Patience is undeniably a virtue in poker, often separating successful players from the rest. Recognizing the intrinsic value of patience when you’re at the poker table is necessary. In a game that combines skill, strategy, and psychology, rash decisions and impulsive plays can lead to financial disaster.

The cornerstone of patience in poker lies in the art of folding. Knowing when to fold and avoid risky plays is a hallmark of a seasoned player. One of the primary strategies for practicing patience is to wait for the right opportunities. Not every hand dealt is worth pursuing; recognizing this fact is pivotal.

Patience allows you to sit back, observe your opponents, and choose your battles wisely. Successful poker players understand that folding can be powerful, preserving their bankroll for more advantageous situations. By embracing patience, you enhance your decision-making ability and set yourself up for long-term success.

Study Strategy

You need to study poker strategy and play the game of poker to become a formidable player. Fortunately, a wealth of resources is available to help you sharpen your skills. Recommending poker books, videos, and online tutorials can be instrumental in improving your understanding of the game.

These educational materials cover various topics, from fundamental concepts to advanced strategies. An invaluable aspect of studying strategy is hand analysis and game review. After each poker session, take the time to review your play and critically analyze your decisions. Identifying areas where you made mistakes or missed opportunities allows for continuous improvement.

Successful players maintain a poker journal, documenting key hands and decisions for later review. This practice helps you learn from your experiences and fosters self-awareness and adaptability. To create a winning strategy, consider adapting your approach based on the opponents you encounter.

Flexibility is a key asset in poker, as players have unique playing styles and tendencies. Adapting your strategy to exploit your opponents’ weaknesses while protecting your vulnerabilities is a hallmark of a skilled player. By dedicating time to study and refine your poker strategy, you position yourself for greater success at the tables.

Bankroll Building

Building and managing your poker bankroll is key to your poker journey. It’s vital to approach this task with patience and begin to understand deposit and withdrawal methods. One of the key tips for bankroll building is to start small and gradually increase your stakes as your bankroll grows.

Resist the temptation to play at higher stakes before you’re financially prepared, which can lead to unnecessary risks. Leveraging bonuses, promotions, and loyalty programs offered by poker platforms can boost your bankroll. Many online poker rooms offer enticing incentives to attract players, such as deposit bonuses and loyalty rewards.

While these opportunities can be beneficial, reading and understanding the associated terms and conditions is essential. Ensure you meet any requirements before attempting to withdraw your bonus funds. In contrast, it’s important to avoid risky behaviors that can damage your bankroll.

Going on “tilt,” which lets emotions control your decisions after a loss, can lead to reckless betting and substantial losses. Effective bankroll management includes setting limits and sticking to them. Adopting a disciplined approach to bankroll building and management increases your chances of long-term success in poker.

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Manage Emotions

Emotions are the silent partners of your poker performance, profoundly impacting your decisions and outcomes. Understanding and controlling these emotions is vital for success at the poker table. First and foremost, staying calm and focused during play is essential.

The ebb and flow of poker can trigger a range of emotions, from excitement to frustration. While emotional highs can lead to reckless betting, lows can result in poor decision-making. To counter this, it’s important to maintain emotional equilibrium. One technique for managing emotions is mindfulness.

You can make clearer decisions by staying present in the moment and detaching yourself from past losses or future winnings. Deep breathing exercises and meditation can also help you maintain composure, even in high-stress situations. Additionally, it’s necessary to develop resilience in the face of losses.

Avoiding the “tilt” – a state of emotional frustration that leads to irrational play – is paramount. Accepting that losses are a part of poker and focusing on long-term results can help you avoid tilt and maintain a steady course.

Avoid Coin Flip Situations

In poker tournaments, you will inevitably have to bet your chips and face a coin-flip situation. A coin flip is when a player is all-in and has a hand with a 50% chance of winning. For example, a classic coin-flop matchup is A.K. Vs. Q.Q. When all-in before the Flop, these two hands have an equal chance of winning the hand. While it becomes inevitable in M.T.T. tournament poker, you should avoid these situations in cash games if you want to avoid putting your whole stack at risk in a single hand of Texas Holdem Poker. Read our dedicated texas hold ’em guide.

The Art Of Online Poker

To become a formidable online poker player, you must continually refine your skills and adapt to the ever-changing landscape of the game. Pro tips serve as your guiding light, illuminating the path to success. They empower you to make informed decisions, capitalize on your advantages, and mitigate potential pitfalls.

Remember that being good at poker is not an overnight feat in this competitive arena. It requires dedication, practice, and a willingness to learn from triumphs and defeats. By integrating these pro tips into your poker arsenal, you can embark on a journey toward becoming a more formidable and successful online poker player. So, equip yourself with knowledge, keep your composure, and let the cards fall where they may, knowing that you are well-prepared to seize victory in online poker.

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Author Bio
Editor Bio
Jill is a leading author and table games expert. She writes extensively about game strategy and is passionate about helping players make the most of their casino experience.