2023 Jul 21 7 min read
article image

For those who have never heard of or played dealer’s choice poker before, it is one of those poker games where players take turns to select from a choice of poker variants, and compete for one orbit.

Unlike other stud poker games, Texas Hold’Em games, or H.O.R.S.E, for example, where the order for the entire orbit is pre-determined, a dealer’s choice game can be played at any table, and it is essentially a random process.

Players will need to assess the poker variants, and assess their skillset before they commit to a choice poker table. They will also have to see what the stack and blind sizes are for these poker games too, as that could affect their overall strategy.

Typically, a dealer’s choice poker game can involve between five and seven players, with six being the optimal number.

On this page, we will examine in more detail the dealer’s choice game, and look at the dynamics of it, including the fixed limit betting structure.


As mentioned, a dealer’s choice poker game can involve between five and seven players, but six is the best for dealer’s choice poker.

Here, a standard 52-card deck will be used for dealer’s choice as you would when you play poker.

Generally, as is the case for home poker games, it is best to have two packs that contain two different coloured blacks, so that one can be reshuffled for the same game without too much time wasted.

Antes and betting limits, ie the minimum bet and maximum bet amounts for a betting round should be agreed upon among the players before the hole cards are released.

Play will move clockwise order from those sat closest to the dealer button, and to help ensure a seamless experience, players should pick what variant they wish to play, such as Omaha variants or seven card stud before the dealer decides which card game is played before a betting round commences.

Aside from being a popular home poker game, dealer’s choice has also graced the professional poker scene, and you can now find a dealer’s choice bracelet event, which has become very popular.

We have provided a table below illustrating a select number of years for World Series of Poker events which highlights the entrants for individual poker tournaments as well as the payout that the winner received.

2016118$1,109,200Jean Gaspard$306,621
2017102$930,600John Racener$273,962
2018111$1,043,400Adam Friedman$293,275
2019122$1,146,800Adam Friedman$312,417

The initial first dealer can be picked during a random process, and the dealer has to explain the house rules for any home poker game, whether it be Hi Lo, seven card stud or Texas Hold’Em.

Players should be made feel comfortable regardless of the home poker game they are playing, but they can’t get help from the dealer in between betting rounds.


The primary objective of a dealer’s choice poker game is the same as it is for most poker games, which is to try and form the best 5-card hand.

So, when you play dealer’s choice, aside from understanding the house rules of card games, you need to be able to play within range in mixed games to get the most out of playing poker.

In the next section, we will discuss the five community cards, and which five card hand is considered to be very strong hands.


As mentioned, dealer’s choice poker games are wide-ranging, and there are several poker variants.

To put things into context, we have shown the strongest cards in the dealer’s choice mix, such as Omaha Hi Lo and Texas Hold’Em as well as a low hand, just so you are aware of the variations with hole cards.

Texas Limit Hold’Em and No Limit Hold’Em

Strong hands

  • Royal flush – Highest poker hand in the casino game. The community cards to look out for are Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10, all in the same suit. All royal flushes are equal.
  • Straight flush – A five card draw of the same suit. The five hole cards will be in sequence, such as Jack of Spades, 10 of Spades, 9 of Spades, 8 of Spades, and 7 of Spades.
  • Four of a kind – This will consist of four cards of the same rank. Also known as “quads”, a high hand will comprise four Queens.

Low hands

  • Two Pairs – A pair in this poker game will be two equal hands, but the other three community cards will not match. The high hand with the highest pair wins. For example, a five card hand with two Jacks will beat a hand played with two 10s.
  • Pair – Like with the two pairs, the high hand card will come out on top. So, for example, a hand with two 6s will always a beat low hand with 5s even if the supposed low hand contains Aces and Kings.

Omaha Hi Lo

Strong hands

  • A-A-K-K
  • A-A-J-T
  • A-A-Q-Q
  • A-A-J-J
  • A-A-TT
  • A-A-9-9

Low hands

  • 5, 4, 3, 2, A
  • 6, 4, 3, 2, A
  • 6, 5, 4, 3, 2
  • 7, 5, 4, 3, 2
  • 7, 6, 5, 2, A
  • 7, 6, 5, 4, 2


With dealer’s choice poker, there are usually more players involved, and that inevitably means you will need to think more carefully about your strategy when it comes to trying out new poker variations.

To help you, we have provided a few pointers to help you regardless of which game or games you play at the table.

Weigh up the draw – Draw poker games will give the dealer a slight advantage, since the decision to draw is done sequentially by the dealer. Knowing how many cards will be drawn by your opponent before you draw gives you the edge in games. And the more draws per game, the bigger the advantage.

Consider your expertise – Before you launch yourself into a casino game, make sure you understand the house rules for say stud games, so that you aren’t left clutching at straws when it comes to your turn to play.

Evaluate your bankroll – High rollers will have no problem playing poker games of all limits, but while some variations are suited to some who have a more dispensable income, you should consider your bankroll and budget accordingly before picking a game or games to play.


Dealer’s choice has several poker variants, and we have given you the lowdown on some select games, uncovering rules, and what to expect when the deal passes, for example.


In Hold’Em games, which is one of the chief dealer poker games to play, the hold’em game comes in three forms — No-Limit Hold’Em, Pot-Limit Hold’Em, and Limit Hold’Em.

The main difference is the betting structure used for the games played. However, one useful tip, is to be aware of speculative or audacious hands on small pocket pairs and suited connectors.


The most popular Omaha variants are hi or lo, and players must use exactly two hole cards, no more or no less, along with three community cards when trying to assemble a five-card hand.

In Hi-Lo variations, half of the pot will be awarded to the highest hand, while the next player with the best hand played will get their hands on the other half.


With stud games, there are four poker variants that can be played — Razz, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better, and regular Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo.

And with Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo, for example, the dealer will award half the pot to a person who has played the best hand.

Whereas, in the “no qualifier” version, the dealer will make sure the pot is split between more players, as it will entail the strongest and lowest hands played.


Single draw games have two versions — No-Limit 5 Card Draw and No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw. You will find that there isn’t usually a cap on the maximum wager that can be placed.

That said, the players will be dealt five hole cards, and the deal passes during a pre-draw betting round followed by two further betting rounds.

Aces will count as high and rather undesirable in “deuce to seven cards games”, while flushes and straights don’t carry much value either.


With triple draw, there are six variants of this game — 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw, A-5 Lowball Triple Draw, Badugi, Badeucy, Badacey, Pot-Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw.

In the 2-7 and A-5 triple draw game, those who have played will know that they will be dealt five cards, as well as three drawing opportunities to make the lowest possible hand.

Whereas, in Badugi, the aim of the game is to make the lowest possible hand from four cards, with all four suits represented in the four ranked wild cards.


The board cards are very telling for this game. In What the L?, each player will receive five cards, and then nine cards will be laid out in an L formation.

Usually, this is played as a 3-2 game, and you can start discarding weak cards to detach yourself from a probable loser.

In this game, players will hold out for the river card, but then invariably, will crumble at this stage.


When the dealer chooses, it adds an intriguing dimension to a poker game. Perhaps the main takeaway from this guide, is that you need to be ready when the dealer chooses, so you aren’t caught out.

So, use the information from this guide, pick a table, and above all else, gamble responsibly!

⭐ How many players can play a Dealer's Choice Poker game?

Usually, between five and seven players can get involved in dealer's choice poker games.

⭐ Does every player have the option to choose a variant of the game?

Yes, players will get turns to pick a variant of poker.

⭐ Do players have an influence on the choice of game variant?

Yes, however, they need to have a strategy in place before they commit to a dealer's choice game.

⭐ Which variant of the game is considered the most popular?

There are many variants available, but Texas Hold'Em and Omaha garner a lot of interest from players.

⭐ How many cards are in a dealer's choice poker deck?

Dealers will distribute from a standard 52-card deck.