Indian Poker

Introduction

The basic idea of Indian Poker, also sometimes known as Blind Man's Buff, is that players hold their cards on their foreheads facing away from them, so that they can see all the other players' cards but not their own. The name Indian Poker is used for several games with this feature, played with different numbers of cards and different betting systems. The game has nothing whatever to do with India. The name comes from the notion that cards held to the players' heads somehow resemble a Native American headdress or war bonnet.

One-Card Poker

In the most basic, and presumably the original version of this game, the players ante and are dealt just one card each, face down. The players pick up their cards, being careful to keep them facing outwards so that no one knows what their own card is, and hold them against their forehads so that all other players can see their values. There is then a round of poker betting and in the showdown the highest card of those who have not folded wins the pot. If several players tie for highest they share the pot - there is no order of suits in this game.

It is also possible to play that the lowest card wins (which makes no real difference to the game), or that the highest and lowest cards share the pot.

Match Pot Betting

One-Card Poker is often played with match pot betting, as in Guts. Players declare, either sequentially or simultaneously as agreed, whether they will stay in or drop out. The player with the best card of those who stayed in takes the pot and any others who stayed in must match the pot.

Unlike Guts itself, Indian poker is slightly more interesting with simultaneous declaration than with sequential declaration: when they have to declare at the same time, there is the possibility that two players with high cards will both drop out, each seeing the other's card and assuming they are beaten, while other players may predict that this is likely to happen and take advantage of it.

Two or more cards

The same game can be played dealing two, three or more cards to each player, but this extra complexity does not make the game any more interesting. You can see how good everyone else's hand is, so it's just a question of guessing from their actions how good your cards might be, while attempting not to reveal to them what you know of their cards.

Indian Stud Poker

This game is played exactly like seven-card stud, except that each player takes the first card that they were dealt and puts it to their forehead without looking at it. This card, visible only to the other players, and all other cards of the same rank are wild for the owner of the card (who is the only player who does not know what it is).

The deal, betting and showdown continue as in Seven-card Stud.

Indian Texas Hold'em

This game is played the exactly same way as Texas Hold'em except that players must not look at their two hole cards. Instead they place these two cards on their foreheads so that all the other players can see them. After the first betting round, the flop, turn and river are dealt face up to the table in the usual way, each followed by a further betting round.