The many different poker variants
There are several different variants of online poker. In the gaming world, a variant is a version of a game that follows most of the main rules of an original game, but that is just slightly different in some way or another. A good example of this would be European and American roulette. Both of them are variants of the original roulette game, in that they each feature slightly different rules to the original, but are still considered to be in the same genre of game. Poker however, tends to push the laws of rule changes to the maximum, so much so that the titles could almost be considered entirely new card games. What makes them a variant is that the hand structure typically stay the same throughout all poker variants.
Variants with new ways to play
Caribbean Stud Poker and Red Dog Poker are for instance, two types of poker game variants. They are not exactly considered completely separate card games, because they both follow the same hand structure as traditional poker. But, the way you bet, the amount of rounds, how the hands are delivered, and how you are paid out are incredibly different from poker, so, perhaps they should be considered as separate games, instead of variants?
Variants with changes to hand structure
Games such as Tequila poker and Tri Card poker however, don’t really follow the rules of the founding game at all. In Tequila Poker, it is possible to win the game without ever holding a poker hand, because the outcome of this game can be based solely on the points on the cards, if the player wishes. As for Tri Card poker; because you only play with 3 cards, this really shifts the focus of the game. You can still be holding a hand common to standard poker, although several of the normal hands are no longer possible, due to the lack of cards.
Variants with wilds and extra hands
Some poker game variants like to introduce new things of their own, such as new hands. Just take video poker for example, with its Deuces Wild and Jokers Wild features. Deuces Wild and Jokers Wild both follow standard draw poker rules. However in Deuces Wild, the 2s are considered wild cards, and in Jokers Wild, the jokers are present as substitute cards. This means that you can now win with a 5 of a kind in most cases, even though in regular poker, this hand is outlawed.
Recommended variants for beginners
Naturally, playing the poker game you are most familiar with is always advisable. If however, you are too new to the game, video poker is usually a great place to start. Standard 5 card draw games are also advisable. If you are looking for a real challenge though, even as a new player, it would be wise to play Caribbean Stud Poker, as it has a lot of elements that make it stand out as a poker variant. All of the above mentioned games can be found at the Ignition poker room just above, as it is our top rated site for players.