This list originally compiled by Tim P. McNerney. Many Thanks.
NAME: 5-card Draw TYPE: poker NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3-6, 7 w/small possiblilty of reshuffle INITIAL DEAL: five down cards to each player PLAY: There is a betting round after the deal, starting with the player to the left of the dealer. After the betting round, each player is allowed to trade up to three cards with the deck. There is then another betting round, after which the players remaining show their hands. RANK OF HANDS: standard poker hands STANDARD VARIATIONS: Adding wild cards to play (and allowing five-of-a-kinds if chosen). Requiring a minimum hand to open first betting round. Allowing for four card draw with an ace. STRATEGY: If you want strategy for this game, go buy a book. ---------------- NAME: 5-card Stud TYPE: poker NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3-10 INITIAL DEAL: varies PLAY: Same as 7-card stud but with five cards. Usually dealt 2d-3u, 1d-4u or 1d-3u-1d. RANK OF HANDS: poker STANDARD VARIATIONS: STRATEGY: ---------------- NAME: 7/27 TYPE: counting NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4-10 INITIAL DEAL: one card down, one card up to each player PLAY: The object is to get as close to seven or 27 as possible. The value of the cards is one or eleven for aces, 1/2 for face cards and face value for all other cards. Alternating, rotating rounds of betting and taking another card ensue until there is a round where no one takes a card. A player can take a card on any round irregardless of his actions on previous rounds. A final betting round, a declaration for hi, lo or both, and then a showdown, follow. If two people are the same distance from 7 or 27, they split the pot. STANDARD VARIATIONS: Setting inside, outside, high or low to be better (Ex. with inside, 7 1/2 beats 6 1/2 and 26 1/2 beats 27 1/2). STRATEGY: Bluffing in this game occurs mostly for the low hand. And when I say bluffing, I mean balls-out, it's only money, never let them see you sweat, I didn't bring any money anyway, here are the keys to my car bluffing. Thus, if you can make a stab at it, it is often worth your while to go low. Going high means that it will be a while, and often a few quarters, before you know what you have. And if your bluff is not working, you can always decide to go high later (right Craig?). By the same token, don't be scared out with an eight because someone with a five showing keeps throwing in quarters. Most importantly in 7/27, though, is to remember that if you get an A-A-5, DO NOT begin dancing around and singing "I'm in the Money", as this is considered bad taste and will tend to decrease the amount you milk from the suckers (I mean, other players). ---------------- NAME: 7-card Stud TYPE: poker NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3-7 INITIAL DEAL: two cards down and one up to each player PLAY: Betting round starting with the high hand showing. Then another card is dealt up and another betting round. Repeat until four cards are face up. Then a final card is dealt down and a final betting round held. RANK OF HANDS: poker using best five cards. STANDARD VARIATIONS: Adding wild cards to play (and allowing five-of-a-kinds if chosen). STRATEGY: See strategy for five-card-draw. ---------------- NAME: Anaconda (Pass the Trash) TYPE: hi-lo NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4-7 INITIAL DEAL: seven down cards to each player PLAY: There is a betting round, which rotates, followed by each player passing three cards to the person to their left. Another betting round, then each player passes two of his seven (four kept + three from the right) cards to the left. Another betting round and then one card is passed. Each player then chooses five of his seven cards to play and discards his extra two cards. Play continues, alternating between betting and rolling a card. Cards must be rolled in the order they were put down. Cards speak for themselves. RANK OF HANDS: poker STANDARD VARIATIONS: The cards are passed to other than the person to the left (Ex. 3-left, 2-right, 1-left or 3-left, 2-two-to-the-left, 1-three-to-the-left). The player keeps all seven cards at the end and chooses which to turn up. This allows the player to change from hi to lo depending on what is being played. STRATEGY: Full house usually wins high in this game, though every once in a while a black horse hand will snatch victory away. If you have jacks over or better, you are pretty much in it till the end, unless you realize you passed four aces to your neighbor. Which brings up the point, remember what you pass your neighbor, you may end up battling him in the end. Low hand is usually 8 high or better, but sometimes everyone decides to go high, so it is usually worth it to throw in a card. Pay attention to what has been turned up, so you don't give yourself an ulcer worrying if Tom has the spade straight flush when Craig breaks it up (this is really an unnecessary as someone is usually generous enough to point out the failed bluff attempt). ---------------- NAME: Auction TYPE: hi-lo NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3-7 INITIAL DEAL: two cards down to each player PLAY: A number of cards equal to the number of players is turned up in the middle of the table. Each person then secretlychooses an amount of at least a nickel and places it in their hand. Then everyone drops their coins at once. The person who "bid" highest gets to choose his card first. Then the person who "bid" second highest and so on. If more than one person bid the same amount, then the person nearest a spot rotating clockwise from the left of the dealer chooses first with the other people choosing in clockwise order. This continues until all people have 7 cards. Then there is a single betting round starting with the high hand on the table. Then, declare for high, low or both. RANK OF HANDS: poker STANDARD VARIATIONS: STRATEGY: ---------------- NAME: Baseball TYPE: poker NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3-7 INITIAL DEAL: two down and one up PLAY: In this game, threes and nines are wild, and a four up allows you to buy an extra card. If a player gets a four up, he has the option to buy an additional card for $.25, which comes either up or down as decided beforehand. RANK OF HANDS: poker, with or without ?-of-a-kind (? > 4), with recommended because of the large number of wildcards and possiblity of > 7 cards in the hand STANDARD VARIATIONS: Rainouts - queen of spades up means that the cards are redealt, but only for those players who are still in. Luxury tax - charge for threes and nines Paying x for additional card up, y for down. STRATEGY: With eight wild and extra cards, it is usually fair to say, if you ain't got 'em, get out. That is unless you are dealt a natural royal flush. Rainouts can be nice when someone else has a nine and two fours showing, but don't count on them to save you, unless you really want to, of course. ---------------- NAME: Chicago TYPE: poker NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4-7 INITIAL DEAL: two cards down and one up to each player PLAY: Betting round starting with the high hand showing. Then another card is dealt up and another betting round. Repeat until four cards are face up. Then a final card is dealt down and a final betting round held. The one variation between this and 7-card stud is that the high spade in the hole splits the spot. RANK OF HANDS: poker using best five cards STANDARD VARIATIONS: Adding wild cards to play (and allowing five-of-a-kinds if chosen). STRATEGY: Always remember, you can get the ace of spades on the last card. ---------------- NAME: Elevator Shafts TYPE: hi-lo NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4-11 INITIAL DEAL: four cards to each player and seven down on the table, arranged in two rows of three (the shafts) and one in between (the elevator) PLAY: Table cards are turned up one at a time, followed by betting rounds. The player will use the four cards in his hand along with three on the table to create a seven card hand. The player must use the elevator and one card from each shaft, and the three cards must be in a line, though the elevator can be in any of the three possible positions. For example, the * cards in the following table cards could be used: * * * C C C C * C C * C C * * * C C C * C C * C C C C C * * * C * * C So the middle card can be thought of to be on any "floor". The order of determing which card to flip is such that the elevator is turned over last and no two shaft cards which can be used in the same hand be turned up until necessary. After all seven cards have been turned up, there is a final betting round and then each player must declare whether they are going high, lo or both. If the go for both, both hands must be made up of the four cards in their hand and ONE set of three from the table. They may not use one set for high and one for low. RANK OF HANDS: normal poker hands for high and low STANDARD VARIATIONS: One evil variation of this game is to make the middle card wild. STRATEGY: It is usually pretty easy for someone to get either a straght or a flush, considering they have five possible set of three cards. If the middle card is good for you, then you are pretty happy, but then again, you don't get to see it till the end and if you stay in till the end hoping that the middle card is going to make your hand, it will end up being the worst card possible. ---------------- NAME: Follow the Queens TYPE: poker NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3-7 INITIAL DEAL: two cards down and one up to each player PLAY: Play the same as 7-card stud, with the following variations. The card dealt after an up queen is wild. If another queen comes up, the previous wild card is replaced by the card after the queen, so there is at most one wild card. If a queen is the last up card dealt, the previous wild card remains. RANK OF HANDS: poker, with or without five-of-a-kinds STANDARD VARIATIONS: Pay for wild cards. Queens are wild, also. If last card up is a queen, no wild cards. All cards after a queen are wild (no cancellations). STRATEGY: Basically, play like 7-stud with a wild and hope you don't get screwed. ---------------- NAME: Indian Poker TYPE: bluff your ass off NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2-10 INITIAL DEAL: one card to each player, $1 fine and out if player looks at his own card PLAY: Each player holds his card up so that everyone else can see it. Then starting with the player to the left of the dealer, betting begins. There should really be no limit in this game, since otherwise it is difficult to scare people out, but to each his own. Once the betting is down with, each player looks at his card and the winner takes his pot. The deal then rotates to the left. The game continues for one deck. This is the ultimate game of bluff and balls. RANK OF HANDS: ace high, two lo STANDARD VARIATIONS: none STRATEGY: You will never bluff someone out if you call. You may look silly rasing $.50 while holding a two, but you will look even sillier calling against an ace. ---------------- NAME: Jacks to Open, Tripps to Win TYPE: poker NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3-7 INITIAL DEAL: five cards to each player PLAY: Played like 5-card draw, with the following differences. Jacks or better are needed to open the betting (if no one can open, re-ante and re-deal). Then there is the standard betting round, draw and betting round. Then, if anyone has three-of-a-kind or better, he says so, and the highest hand wins. If not, then everyone who is still in gets another opportunity to draw. If a player has at least three-of-a-kind, he must say so and cannot keep drawing. This game almost always requires reshuffling and it must be decided beforehand when to reshuffle (after the last card, when there are less than 3 cards left or when the player asks for more than the number of cards left). RANK OF HANDS: poker STANDARD VARIATIONS: STRATEGY: It is pretty unlikely to get tripps on the first draw, so don't be scared out right away. If you are dealt two pair, it is usually wise to ditch one so you have a better shot at tripps. It is often wise to bet high with a pair to scare people out so they don't have a chance to burn you. A good method for bluffing with a pair is to only draw two on the first round. It decrease your chances of actually getting tripps, but it sure increases the odds of convincing people you have tripps. ---------------- NAME: Liar's Poker TYPE: poker, sort of NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3-10 PLAY: Each player puts two quarters in front of him. Everyone is then dealt two down cards. The first person calls a poker hand. After that, a person must call a hand which beats the previous hand or call the hand. If a person calls the hand, then everyones cards are pooled to determine if the hand exists. If it does, the person who called the game loses one of his quarters and starts the next game, with only one card dealt to him (if he only had one quarter, he is out and play begins with the next person in order). Deck is reshuffled after each round. Game ends when only one person has a quarter left. RANK OF HANDS: singleton, pair, two pair, three-of-a-kind, straight, flush, full house, four-of-a-kind, straight flush STANDARD VARIATIONS: Throwing up an extra card for the hand after each player. Adding a card for reversals. STRATEGY: ---------------- NAME: Lowball TYPE: lo NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3-7 INITIAL DEAL: five cards to each player PLAY: Played like 5-card draw, except trying for worst hand. RANK OF HANDS: lo hands STANDARD VARIATIONS: STRATEGY: ---------------- NAME: Mexican Stud TYPE: hi-lo NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4-10 INITIAL DEAL: two cards to each player PLAY: Players roll one of their two cards and then there is a betting round. This continues until one down, four up. Declaration of high, lo, or both. Down card is wild for both. RANK OF HANDS: Poker, usually with five-of-a-kind. STANDARD VARIATIONS: none STRATEGY: ---------------- NAME: Nickel-Dime-Quarter TYPE: poker NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3-7 INITIAL DEAL: two cards to every player and two up cards on the table, one being the nickel card, the other the dime card PLAY: Players build their hands by drawing and paying for a nickel card, a dime card or a quarter card (from the deck). Nickel and dime cards stay up, quarter cards stay down. If a nickel card is bought, dime becomes nickel, quarter becomes dime. If a dime card is bought, quarter becomes dime. This continues until everyone has seven cards. There is one betting round. RANK OF HANDS: poker STANDARD VARIATIONS: none STRATEGY: Flushes and straights are fairly easy to get. Buying quarter cards allows for more bluffing. It also makes it more likely that you will be able to buy the nickel and dime cards you want (since you want have some bozo saying, "Nothing is going to help me much, so I think I'll take that dime card to screw _____ over"). It is not worth dropping out until it is impossible to beat a straight, and even then it might be worth staying in if you can still beat what is on the table. This is a fairly cheap game if you so choose, and even if you throw in quarters each time, it shouldn't cost much more than $2. ---------------- NAME: Night Baseball TYPE: poker NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3-7 INITIAL DEAL: seven cards face down to each player and one up card on the table. If a player looks at his down cards, he puts in $1 and is out if he did so on purpose. PLAY: This game is similar to baseball, except you don't get to look at your cards. The player to the left of the dealer starts rolling cards until he can beat what is on the table (the up card). He pays any luxury taxes imposed or for additional cards. There is a betting round as soon as he beats what is on the table. If he does not beat what is on the table, then there is no betting round. The next player then tries to beat the high hand. Each time the previous high hand is beaten, there is a betting round. The game continues until all the cards have been turned up or there is only one person left in the game. RANK OF HANDS: poker, with or without ?-of-a-kind (? > 4) STANDARD VARIATIONS: Because the order of play matters (though I don't know which is the best place to be), you might want to play a couple of rounds starting at different places. STRATEGY: ---------------- NAME: Numbers TYPE: counting, hi-lo NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4-8 INITIAL DEAL: five cards to each player and seven down cards on the table (usually in a row) PLAY: A card on the table is turned over. Anyone with that card in their must throw them out on the table. There is then a betting round which starts with the player to the left of the dealer and then rotates clockwise each round thereafter. After this, play alternates between turning up cards and betting rounds. If a card which is turned up is already up on the table, then it is discarded and the top card from the deck replaces it. This card must also be unique or more cards will be used from the deck, thus guaranteeing that seven different cards will be thrown out. If anyone looses all his cards, they win the pot. After all cards have been turned up and the last betting round, each player must declare high, low or both. RANK OF HANDS: high and low are determined by point totals, with cards being their face value, face cards being ten and aces being one or fifteen (thus allowing for the both option). STANDARD VARIATIONS: none STRATEGY: 55 is a good hand, as is one. Other than that, things are hard to predict, without knowing how many cards people have, and what cards are left. One could say > 30 is usually a decent hand, but if everyone has five cards left and the 2-3-4-5-6-7-8 are out, I would advise against heavy betting with a 36. By the same token, if no one has more than two cards left, that pair o' aces is looking mighty fine for high. Even if there are some people with three cards, but the 10-J-K are out, you have a very good shot at high (and low, for that matter). ---------------- NAME: Polish TYPE: hi-lo NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4-10 INITIAL DEAL: down card to each player PLAY: The dealer deals an up card to the player to his left. The player has the option of either keeping that card or passing it on. If he passes it on, he gets dealt the next card up and the next player is given the same option. If he keeps it, the next player is dealt the next card up. This continues until all players have five cards. There is a betting round each time the deal makes it around. Everyone then declares hi, lo or both. The hole card is wild for high. RANK OF HANDS: poker, usually with 5-of-a-kind STANDARD VARIATIONS: You can have the extra card thrown away after each round. STRATEGY: ---------------- NAME: Roll Your Own TYPE: poker NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3-7 INITIAL DEAL: three down cards to each player PLAY: Each player decides which card he wants to turn up, then all the players turn up their cards at one time, followed by a betting round. Repeat until four cards are face down. The last card is dealt down, but no rolling, and there is a final betting round, followed by the showdown. RANK OF HANDS: poker using five best cards. STANDARD VARIATIONS: Adding wild cards to play. Having the low card in the hole being wild. Called Mexican Stud. STRATEGY: Throwing twos is almost always good idea (except, perhaps for bluffing) since it prevents twos from nullifying other down pairs (for example, a pair of threes and a two down is probably not as good as a pair of threes and something else down). ---------------- NAME: Threes TYPE: poker NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3-5 (this games uses a lot of cards so there is still the chance of running out of cards with four or five) INITIAL DEAL: five cards to each player PLAY: This games is played similar to 5-card draw, except there are three drawing rounds with betting rounds betting rounds before, between and after. The player is allowed to draw up to three cards per round (no four cards with an ace). Threes are wild. RANK OF HANDS: five-of-a-kinds allowed STANDARD VARIATIONS: none STRATEGY: Don't throw away threes. ---------------- NAME: English Stud TYPE: poker NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3-7 (You can play with 8 or more, but either people must fold or you'll have to reshuffle the cards. Since no more than 5 cards are out at once, 10 is a theoretical max). INITIAL DEAL: 2 down, one up. PLAY: This game starts out similiar to 7 card stud. However, after the fifth card is dealt and the betting is done, the player to the dealers left must discard a down card, an up card or stand pat. If he discards a card, his new card is dealt the same way. If you discarded a down card, you get a down card. Discard an up card, get an up card. After you get a card, you should have 2 down and three up. After the 6th card and betting, there is another round of card exchanging, then a final round of betting and showdown. Remember, it is important that players discard and get cards in order. drawing rounds with betting rounds betting rounds before, between and STANDARD VARIATIONS: none, really. ---------------- NAME: Cincinatti TYPE: poker NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3-9 INITIAL DEAL: five cards to each player, five cards (face down) in the center of the table. PLAY: One of the center cards is flipped up, followed by a round of betting. Repeat. (Flip up a card and a round of betting). After the last round of betting, there is a showdown, each player making the best hand possible out of their 5 cards and the five cards in the middle. RANK OF HANDS: Standard STANDARD VARIATIONS: Criss-Cross (aka Souther Cross) has the cards lined in a cross. The outside cards are flipped (top, right, bottom, left) and then the center card is flipped. Players can pull cards from their hand and either across (left, center, right) or up-down (top, center, bottom) to form their hand. For a truely evil variant, the center card, and all cards of that rank, are wild. STRATEGY: Typical winners are full houses, and with a pair on the board, expect a full house or four of a kind to win. However, without a pair, a flush or even a straight might take the pot.