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View Poll Results: Do you use wildcards in your home poker games?
Yes, but only one rank (deuces wild) or type (one-eyed Js) per game 0 0%
The above, plus games w/ multiple and/or changing wildcards 3 16.67%
No way! Casino-style poker only in this house! 13 72.22%
No, but only b/c we only play tournament games 2 11.11%
Voters: 18. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-02-04, 09:44 AM
Conspir8or Conspir8or is offline
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1
Field Guide to Home Poker Variations

Greetings all. Figured I'd post some of the different games I've run across. Many come from Rules of Neighborhood Poker According to Hoyle by Stewart Wolpin, which is now back in stores amid the general poker renaissance:

Baseball. One group I play with treats this as 7-card stud, 3s and 9s wild, with 4s dealt up getting an extra card, and a black Q dealt up forcing that player to fold. Another group only plays the 3s and 9s as wild, with no other rules. I have also read about some games wherein a player has to toss in a chip to allow the wildcards to be wild, or to get the extra card for a 4.

Football. Just ran into this one recently. In this group, it was 7CS with 4s and 7s wild.

Night Baseball. Seven cards are dealt at once, face down, to each player. Our group plays that they have to be turned up in the order they are dealt; YMMV. The player to the dealer's left turns up one card. The next player has to beat that card with a higher poker holding -- e.g., if the first person turned up a 10, the next one has to turn up a pair to beat a ten-high hand. The usual rules of Baseball apply, though you might want to nix the extra-card-on-a-4 rule if you have 7 players (as that fourth 4 would be SOL). When the reveal comes back to the dealer, everyone bets; then the player to the dealer's left reveals more cards (unless he or she has the high hand) and it goes around again. If you turn up all your cards and can't beat the high hand showing, you fold.

Follow the Queen. 7CS, but if a Queen is dealt up, the card dealt right after the Q is wild. Can be played cumulatively -- each Q dealt up adds another four wildcards. I've always played it noncumulatively, b/c I do actually have to pay my rent now and again!

Baseball Widow. The game begins as the variation of Baseball in which only 3s and 9s are wild. If a Q is dealt up, the game switches to Follow the Queen, and the first wildcard is the next card to be dealt after the Q. Another Q dealt up switches the game back to Baseball, and the wildcards go back to 3s and 9s. So the game can switch back and forth as long as Qs get dealt up. Whichever game is active at the end of Sixth Street is how the game is played out to showdown.

Chase the Ace. Same game as Follow the Queen, except Aces determine the wildcards. Using Aces instead of Queens allows you to play ...

Chase the Ace/Black Mariah. "Black Mariah" is used for a number of different games. In my case, it refers to black Qs dealt up. The game is Chase the Ace, and a hand is played to the end with whatever wildcards come up unless a black Q is dealt up. All hands are folded, players re-ante, and the game is dealt again. Repeated appearances of the Black Mariah can cause the pot to grow massive. So on one hand, if the pot has been reset a number of times, and you have a black Q in the hole, you might be tempted to bet more confidently ... only to be caught by the second black Q coming up (probably on Sixth, as happened to me when I had four Ks w/ two in the hole) or a switched wildcard. This can be a tense, fun game with mighty pots being dragged.

Guillotine. Vicious match-pot game similar to Texas hold'em. Can be played high-only or hi-lo. Each player gets two hole cards, and the dealer places five cards down on the table. For effect, the turn card is often placed on top of the stub of the deck, to make the board look like a guillotine from overhead (no pun intended). Betting begins "preflop," then three cards are turned up for a flop, etc., like in hold'em, until you get to the river. The river card is wild and also wild in all hands. If you call a bet or a raise on the river card, or your initial bet is called if you're first in, and you lose, you are committed to matching the pot and paying that amount to the winner. Multiple losers split their contributions to the match equally. If you're playing hi-lo with a declare, and someone goes pig and wins both high and low, the losers have to match double.

Omaha Twist. No relation to casino Omaha hold'em, this is five-card draw in which the lowest card in play is the wild card. That is, there is only one wildcard, but which is the lowest only becomes clear at the showdown. The lowest rank is a 2, and the 2 of clubs is the lowest; the suits, from lowest to highest, are clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades the highest. So if you're sitting with a 2 of diamonds, the only way you won't end with the one wildcard in play is if some lucky bastard is clamped down on the puppy-toed deuce.

Crazy Eights and Crazy Sevens. Eight (or seven) cards are dealt down to each player; eights (or sevens) are wild. No draw, just a round of betting based on the best five-card hand and a showdown. The Crazy Sevens variant is better if you have seven players (not enough cards for eight folks w. Crazy Eights).

High or Low Chicago. Seven-card stud in which the high hand splits the pot with either the high or low spade in the hole.

I don't play a lot of 5-card stud, but one game that injects some interest into this old warhorse is:

Buy Your Card. Five-card stud hands are dealt out, two down, three up, and then the dealer turns up three cards in the center of the table and places the deck next to them. There are three rounds, beginning to the dealer's left, in which players may buy replacement cards from the three up cards or the downcard atop the deck, each round followed by betting. The cards increase in value from furthest to closest to the downcard, and the downcard is most expensive. In my game, we place chips next to each card to show the values. Upcards replacing downcards stay up; downcards bought off the deck and replacing upcards stay down (so you could end up with five cards down after three rounds of purchasing). If the dealer (the last to act) buys an upcard, he or she replaces it AFTER the round of betting, b/c if a card advantageous to the player to the dealer's left shows, this could drive the betting crazy. So that card gets replaced after the round of betting, at which point the first to act can grab it w/o bias.

These are most of the games I play in my home experience (in addition to hold'em, Omaha, straight 5-card or 7-card, or with deuces wild). It gets a good blend going. Typically, when someone plays, say, Baseball, and then sees many Aces fall, they'll call Chase the Ace, only to see 3s and 9s fall in abundance. That's poker!

Looking forward to learning a few new games,
Check out my entry in Westwood under the New Jersey tab of HomePokerGames.com
Old 05-30-04, 04:45 AM
Foolscap Foolscap is offline
Join Date: May 2004
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Some of the other games that we have found to be popular at our games are:

Change the Babies - 7CS but with 2 wild cards determined after the initial deal. The wild cards change anytime a natural pair occurs in someones up-cards.

7-27 - Players dealt 2 cards initialy, one up and one down. Betting each round, with a new card being dealt face up to any player still active. Players may stop collecting new cards at any time. Aces are valued 1 or 11, K/Q/J are a 1/2 point, all other cards face value. Players who are closest to 7 and/or 27 points win. Pot can be split multiple ways, or scooped by an A-A-5.
[FONT=Comic Sans MS]Reality lies in the parameters of knowledge.[/FONT]
Old 09-29-04, 11:27 PM
lukemccoy lukemccoy is offline
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I haven't came across anything like that but I've only played in about 10 different home games.
Old 10-22-04, 06:20 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Hubbard
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Drop 'em is great...

Ace's are 1 or 11, faces are 10 and everything else is fce value. Everyone gets dealt 6, 7 or 8 cards and there are 2 cards on the board face down. The player to the left of the dealer drops first. The object is to have the most amount of points or least amount when all the betting is done. If your going "hi" you want to drop your low cards, if you want to go low, you drop your high cards or pairs or 3 of a kind if you got them. If I go first, I can drop 3 queens to help my low hand. If anyone else has a queen, they must turn it over at that time also because it is dead. Then you bet. Next guy may drop a 5 meaning he is probably going hi. Who ever has a 5 must drop them also. You bet again. This goes around until everyone who is in dropped a card then you flip one of the 2 board cards and those cards are dead also. If they are already down because someone else threw them in, then nothing happens, you just bet then flip the last card.
You then declare at the end which way your going. Some people play if you loose all your cards you win both but that just ruins the game.
Old 12-01-04, 07:19 PM
DerekBarrett DerekBarrett is offline
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Staunton, IL
Posts: 12
Hold 'em with wild cards would suck... well I am sure it would be fun, but I would not play with money.


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