You want to patent a poker variant? (Hand over mouth as I LMAO)
Good Luck on that. Every poker game
has evolved over time, usually at a kitchen table, and to the best of our collective knowledge, none has been patented.
To protect it, you will need to own a whole site, with trademark capabilities.
However!, The laws in California
currently allow anyone to host a game at any card room. They would need to show financial culpability. This is one of the ways Jerry Buss (deceased Lakers Owner) got involved at the Bicycle Club. He eventually bought the club. He got to 'produce' games (not all that different from producing movies). He essentially 'rented' space at the club, made arrangement to pay the staff, and might have collected a profit from the fees.
No idea how other states work, but that is a non-legal description of some out of the box thinking available in California.