Rice is classified by size and shape (long, medium, and short grain). Long grain rice remains dry and separate when cooked; short grain rice, which is wetter and stickier, is more often used in Asian and Caribbean cooking.
Arborio rice is a creamy textured, medium grain Italian rice that is used in making risotto because it remains firm at the center through very long cooking.
Basmati is an aromatic rice native to Pakistan and India. When cooked, the grain swells only lengthwise. Basmati grains stay dry and separate and are especially suitable for pilafs.
Jasmine is an aromatic rice with origins in Thailand. It has a soft, moist texture and grains that cling together.