Low Chicago is a split-pot variation on Seven Card Stud. I have Max Levine to thank for introducing me to this, as well as it’s variations.

The split pot is good with a lot of players as it provides the chance for two players to win and split the pot.

3 to 10 players. Use a double deck for more than 7 players.

Special Rules: Low Chicago is dealt like seven card stud where the winner gets half the pot; the other half of the pot goes to the player with the lowest ranking spade in the hole (face-down). The two of spades is the lowest ranking spade as aces are considered high.

How to play: Each player antes. The dealer deals two cards down and one up to each player. There is then a betting round starting with the player with the highest face up card.

The dealer deals three more face up cards and one more face down to each player with a betting round between each deal. Betting always begins with the highest face up hand.

After the final round of betting players make their best five card hand out of their seven cards. Each player reveals their hand and any low spade they had face down. Players do not need to use the spade in their hand in order to win low spade.

The player with the highest hand gets half the pot and the player with the lowest face down spade gets the other half. If no players have a face down spade, the high hand gets the entire pot. If the person with the high hand also has the lowest spade in the hole, they win the entire pot.

Variations: High Chicago – plays the same way except the highest spade in the hole gets half the pot.
Low San Francisco – High hand and lowest heart in the hole split the pot.
Low Los Angeles – High hand and lowest club in the hole split the pot.
Low Arkansas – High hand and lowest diamond in the hole split the pot.

Thanks Max!

Hints: Keep an eye on what cards you see face up. If the two of spades appears face up, the three is the lowest card a player could have face down. Don’t forget to check those face down cards!

Technorati tags: , , , , ,

This is a variation of seven card stud. It adds a wild card or two, but be careful, one of the wilds can change!

3 to 10 players. Use a double deck for more than 7 players.

How to play:

Special rules: All queens are wild. If a queen is dealt face up, the next face up card dealt (which will be to the next player) and all other cards of it’s value are wild. If another queen is dealt face up later in the game, the previous wild card is no longer wild and the next face up card will become wild. If the last card dealt face up is a queen, then no other cards are wild.

The deal and betting are exactly like seven card stud. Two cards down to each player then on card up. Any time a queen is dealt face up, the next face up card is wild and should be placed above the players hand to imply it is wild. Queens are always wild.

After the initial deal there is a betting round starting with the player with the highest card, and then three more rounds of face up cards and one face down with a betting round after each. Each time a queen appears, any old wild card is no longer wild, only queens and the following face up card is wild.

After the final betting round players make their best five card poker hand. Highest hand wins the pot.

Hint: Don’t count your chickens ’till they’ve hatched. Queens are safe, but the other wild can change as long as there are more face up cards to be dealt.

Technorati tags: , , , , ,

I thought I would explain the rules to 7 card stud as it is the basis for many other games (e.g. Baseball.)

3 to 10 players. Use a double deck for more than 7 players.

How to play:

Each player antes. The dealer deals two cards face down and one card face up to each player. Players can now look at their face-down (hole) cards. There is a round of betting starting with the player with the highest face up card. Players can fold during any of the betting rounds if they choose not to bet.

The dealer deals one card face up to each player. There is now another round of betting starting with the player with the highest hand made with their face up cards.

Repeat two more rounds of dealing one face up card then betting. One final card is dealt face down to each player and there is a final round of betting starting again with the highest face up hand.

After the final round of betting players should make their best five card hand out of their seven cards. Each player reveals their hand and the player with the best poker hand wins the pot.

Variation: Five card stud is played with the same rules, but after the initial two up, one down deal there is one more card dealt face up and one face down. There is a final bet and then the reveal. In 5 card stud players use all their cards.

Technorati tags: , , , , ,

A variety of Seven Card Stud, Baseball is lots of fun and tends to build good-sized pots. With more than six players it should be played with a double deck.

3 to 10 players. Use a double deck for more than 6 players.

How to Play:

Special rules: 3s and 9s are wild. Whenever a player is dealt a 4 they have the option of purchasing an additional card for a preset amount (should be higher than the ante, recommend 25 cents in nickel ante or $1 in quarter ante.) The additional card is always placed face up if the four was face up or face down if the four was face down.

Betting is the typical poker method, however should start with the highest hand that can be made from face up cards. Players can fold at any time.

Each player antes. The dealer deals two cards face down to each player. Players may look at their face down cards.

The dealer deals one card face up to each player. Any time a four is dealt face up the dealer should offer an additional card to that player before completing the round. If a player chooses to purchase an additional card they put the determined amount into the pot and are dealt an additional card face up.

Once the initial face up cards are dealt, each player should look at their face down cards. If they have any face down fours they can purchase an additional face down card now. There is now a betting round.

The game continues with three more face up cards and one more face down card to each player (plus any additional cards players choose to purchase.) There is a betting round between each dealing round.

There is a final betting round then each player must make their best 5 card poker hand out of their 7 (or more) cards. All players reveal their hands and the highest poker hand wins.

Hints: Hands can be very high due to the large number of wilds. Don’t be overconfident.

Variations: Some dealers will choose to deal complete rounds then offer players the option to purchase additional cards if they received a four.

Technorati tags: , , , , ,

One of my favorite pastimes is playing poker with friends. Quite often someone will teach us a new game, we’ll have a great time playing it, then we’ll forget all the rules before we play again. In posting these rules I hope to keep track of some of these games.

Also known as Cuckoo, Screw Your Neighbor is not really poker, but this is a great game, especially with a big group. The game is played in rounds and the deal rotates. The objective is to not have the lowest card at the end of each round. You don’t need to have the highest card, you just don’t want the lowest.

3 to 10 (or more) players. More players will make for longer games.

How to play:

Each player places two equal stakes directly in front of them. The stake can be a quarter, dollar, chip, or whatever folks are comfortable with.

The dealer deals one card face down to each player (starting with the person to their left, as usual.)

Each player looks at their card. Starting with the player to the left of the dealer, each player in turn can either keep their card or trade with the person immediately to their left in hopes of getting a higher card. Aces are always low in this game.

If a player is asked to trade they must, unless they hold a king, at which point they can show the king and block the trade. If a trade is blocked, the player who wanted the trade must keep the card they are holding.

The dealer has the final option trade but must trade against the deck if they decide to.

After the dealer trades the round is done. Everyone must show their card and the player, or players with the lowest ranking cards (aces are always low and suits don’t matter) must place one of their stakes into the pot.

After a player looses twice and has no stakes in front of them they are said to be “on their face.” A player who is on their face can continue to play (and even win) until they loose one more time.

The next round begins with the next player to the left, dealing as above. Play continues until only one player is left in the game. They win, and collect the pot.

Hints: Don’t forget you can block a trade if you’re holding a king.
If you are holding a low card (say a 2) and someone trades with you for a higher card (say a 3) you can rest easy and keep the higher card since you know you don’t have the lowest card on the table.

Variations: If playing with a large number of people (7 or more) we usually do not allow a player to continue after loosing both stakes. This keeps the games a little bit shorter.

Technorati tags: , , , , ,