6 Interesting Poker Variants to Play With Your Friends

Sometimes we just want to have some fun! Sometimes we want to play poker with friends and it'd be best if it was something different than Texas Hold'em or Omaha. Check out these poker variants that will add a lot of fun to your home game!

6 Interesting Poker Variants to Play With Your Friends image

Do you sometimes get bored of playing exclusively Texas Hold’em and Omaha? Do you look for entertaining, funny poker formats that could immediately improve your home games’ experience? Check the list below!

1.       Blind man’s bluff

This variant is so crazy! Everyone hold their cards on the forehead! Every player knows all of the cards except his own ones! Imagine how much fun it can be. To exemplify this, let me give you an example:

Some time ago, I was playing this format with friends and I noticed that everyone was holding really crappy hands – I don’t remember the exact cards but something like 72o, 34o and 62o. I thought that it is very likely that I was holding the best hand. Everyone else was thinking exactly the same! Four players went all-in preflop with totally trashy hands! It turned out that in fact, I had the best hand – 85o! I hit a straight on the river and I won a massive pot!

2.       Red River Hold’em

This type of poker is played exactly as Texas Hold’em or Omaha with one exception: if the river card is a red card, an additional river card will be dealt. If that card is also red – another card is dealt, until finally, a black one appears.

This variant brings suck-outs that you could never think of in other forms of poker! Imagine that four rivers were dealt (small probability but not microscopic), and your crappy hand catches a really strong hand. Just a pro tip for this format: the probability of completing a spade or club flush draw is quite high, making entering the pot with “black” suited hands a lot more profitable!

3.       Countdown Hold’em

After years of playing exclusively NLHE and PLO, this amazing format became a super-star in my local poker club. This Texas Hold’em variation has simple rules: 5 cards are dealt to each player. Then, everyone has to discard one card after the flop, another after the turn, and one more after the river. As it is with NLHE, players may use both, 1 or none of their hole cards to make their hand.

You can even add more variants to this format, for example, you can start discarding cards before the flop or play with 4, 6 or even 7 cards. This can be also played on pot limit or no-limit.

This super game can be a reason for many funny situations at the tables. Once, I had AAK35 in my hand. I went all-in preflop versus one player. On the river, I showed 35s for made flush and he showed 84s for a higher flush. Everyone else at the table was shocked, wondering "How you can go all-in preflop with this trash?" hahaha

4.       Tic-Tac-Toe

In poker mixture of the famous tic-tac-toe game, four cards are dealt to each player. Nine cards are placed down on the board arranged as three rows of three cards each. Three random cards per betting round are revealed. Players must use exactly two hole cards and three cards from either: one of the three horizontal rows, or one of the three vertical rows, or one of the two diagonal rows. This format is a lot of fun, there's a lot of action and many extremely strong hands are made. So many cards to choose from to make your hand!

5.       Cincinnati Poker

This one is very popular in the USA. Each player gets four cards, then another four cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table. Any combination of players' cards and board cards can be used to make the best possible  five card poker hand. After each round of betting, only one community card is revealed. This is an explosive game because you have eight cards to choose from. Hence be careful when judging a relative strength of your hand!

6.       Wild Poker

Do you want to play poker variant with  the biggest variance factor and luck impact? Wild poker is the game for you! There are many variations – in them, some of the cards are called “wild” which means that they may be used to represent any other playing card! For example, you can choose all the deuces to be jokers! Therefore, "five of a kind" is the ultimate best hand you can make in these games!

One of the “mainstream” wild card poker format is 5 Card Draw Poker with Joker. You can even find some information about it in Doyle Brunson’s Super System and sometimes even find this game running in the casinos. There is one joker in the deck that being the wild card but it has limited power. Usually it can be used to complete straights, flushes or straight flushes and also as an ace, but not for any other purpose. The best possible hand is 5 aces. No other five of a kind is possible.

Do you want to have even more luck and randomness involved? You can make dozens of wild variants by yourself! Just choose any poker format you know and add to it as many wild cards as you would like, and have fun!!

I strongly encourage you to try out something new on your next poker evening with your friends. Check out what you will enjoy the most and experiment with inventing new formats on your own!