Invented Shared (Community) Card Poker Variants


Texas Reach Around

The inventor of the "Texas Reach Around" was Nick Henson. Phil Moore came up with the name, and Jeffrey Able (able@engr.sc.edu) contributed this description.

Deal two cards face down to all players. The lowest rank card "in the hole" is wild for each player, as are all cards of that rank. A round of betting follows starting on the dealer's left and rotating clockwise. Then deal one card face up. This is a community card, bet again, deal another face up community card and bet again. Now, one card is dealt to each player face down (with the option of purchasing the card face up to protect your wild card). Bet again, deal another face up community card, bet, and one more face up community card, bet. Make the best five card hand possible with all cards. High hand wins, ties split the pot.


Doogie

Contributed by Bob and Robin Procter

The doogie is the low hand in a high low split game. High hand is a 'normal' poker hand. The LOW hand (the doogie) is a 4 card hand. It must contain one card of each suit and can not make a pair. A perfect doogie is the A,2,3 and 4 with each being a different suit. And the perfect doogie wins both HIGH AND LOW. Remember the doogie can be played with any HIGH/LOW game.

We play it with 6 cards dealt to each player and 4 community cards. The community cards are dealt face down and turned one at a time with a bet before and between each turn. There is a bet after the 4th card is turned, then the declare and a final bet. We have qualifiers for high of a full house and qualifier for low as a 7 doogie (that is the highest of the 4 card hand can not be above a 7)

Note: We use chips to declare a High, Low or a Both way hand, but find it works better with NO chip for low, one chip for High and two chips for both ways. We also play that a tie will not cause you to lose the hand IF IT IS THE BEST HAND POSSIBLE.

Editor's note: This variant, contributed to pagat.com in July 2000 and published here in 2002, is clearly a forerunner of the low poker game Badugi, which became popular a few years later. The players now use the name "Doogie" for what in 2000 was called Buddys Game - see below.


Buddys Game

Contributed by Bob and Robin Procter

A high/low game, also known as Doogie ... qualifiers of 3 of a kind or better for high and a 7 doogie for low - see Doogie above.

4 cards dealt face down to each player - before the first bet each player may buy replacement for 1 or 2 cards from their hand.

Now a plateau of 4 cards is placed face down on the table in a postage stamp setup [a two by two rectangle]. First bet, then a card is turned; second bet and the card in the opposite corner is turned; third bet another card turned; bet and the fourth and final card is turned. Each player can now buy a fifth card for their hand or replace a card (for a lower price) in their hand. You may only play table cards that are in a straight line - i.e. the two cards must touch along their sides or ends - not cards that only touch at a corner.

Note: it is not often that all 7 players stay - but if necessary the last card in the deck is shuffled with the discards for the last offer to purchase a card.


Mutual of Omaha

Contributed by Dennis Verbeek (verbeek@prodigy.net)

Identical to Omaha except each player starts with three cards. Betting continues until all cards in middle are face up. Then, players are allowed to "purchase" a fourth down card for an extra stake contributed to the pot. Final round of betting. Low and high hands split. There is no minimum low or high hand so players must declare which way to go. A player is allowed to go both ways. As in Omaha, you must use exactly two of your three or four down cards in your final hand.

Example of stakes: the flop may be up to the maximum bet, the next two up cards are double the maximum bet, and the "purchase" or "insurance" card is three times the maximum bet. Then, to add to the pot, the final bet (after everyone has had a chance to buy a card) is four times the maximum. For example, in a quarter maximum game, the bets would be 25¢, 50¢, 50¢, 75¢ (insurance), $1.


Double Trouble

Contributed by Bryant Woodard (Brywoodard@aol.com)

Players 3-7

No wild cards

High/low

Each person is dealt 6 cards. Each player splits their hand into two hands (3 cards in each hand). Players must use two cards and only two cards from each hand to combine with the community cards. A player may fold one of his hands or both at any time. Bet. Note that a player playing two hands must call or raise on both hands costing him twice the amount of a player playing only one hand. He can not bet his right hand and then raise on his left hand.

Three community cards are turned (like in Texas Hold'em). At this point a player may discard one card out of each hand or buy insurance on a card. Insurance is a set amount, such as $1 in a quarter game. [As I understand it, if you buy insurance on a hand, you can then use all three cards from that hand with two of the community cards. ed]

Examples:

  • If you have A,2,3 you buy insurance so that if one of the community cards turns up an A,2, or 3 it doesn't burn you.
  • If you have an Ace of hearts, 2 of clubs and a 9 of hearts with two hearts in the community pile buy insurance in the event the hearts come up.

There are several reason to buy insurance.

If you hold two hands you must call on both hands costing you twice as much as a player holding only one hand. After insurance is settled a round of betting takes place. The fourth communtity card is then turned. Bet. Then the last card is turned. Bet.

The last person that raised will declare first, putting a chip on top of his cards if he is high or waving his empty hand over his cards for low. Then the person to his left declares, continuing around the table until all players have declared.


One Man's Trash

Contributed by Andy Drew (acrogods@yahoo.com).

Players: 3-6

Game: Play just like Texas Hold 'em until just before you show the flop. Instead of just the flop, show all five cards at the same time. A betting round. Then the first player to the left of the dealer who is still in the pot selects two of the commiunity cards to be replaced and removes them; two cards are dealt from the deck to replace them. There is another betting round and then the next surviving player in turn replaces two cards. Continue the betting round/replacement process until all players still in the pot have replaced cards. One final betting round, and then the showdown. Keep a straight face if your good card is replaced!


Hollywood Hold'em

This is a variation of "Texas Hold'em" invented by Brian J. Cavanaugh . In it there is an option to exchange your two hole cards for two new ones. This allows the pot to grow more than standard "Texas Hold'em" because it gives players with no hand hope, where they would normally fold before the Turn card. There is also a fee for the exchange, which also ups the pot.

PLAYERS: 3-11

INITIAL DEAL: 2 cards down to each player, five cards down to the table.

PLAY: A round of betting is held after the deal, then three of the table cards are turned up. Another round of betting follows. Then each player in turn opts either to keep his two cards or to turn in the two cards he is holding for two new ones (you must either turn in both cards or none). If you choose to exchange, it will cost a fixed fee, determined before the deal, possibly in accordance with house rules of capped betting, and paid to the pot. If anyone exchanges, another round of betting follows. If no players opt for the exchange then there is no new betting round and play proceeds. One more table card is flipped, followed by another round of betting. The last card is flipped, a final round if betting ensues, and finally a showdown in which players make their best hands using their two cards and the table's five cards.

WINNER: High hand

STANDARD VARIATIONS: House rules regarding fee for exchanging your cards. The fee should be kept reasonable to encourage players to buy new cards and stay in the game.


Southern Deuce Hold'em

Contributed by Justin Huneke

Southern Deuce Hold’em is a 2-4 player shared poker variant played with a standard deck of 52 playing cards (no jokers). Before you deal, take out all the 2’s (or deuces), shuffle them (without looking at them) and place them face down.

  • Shuffle the deck and deal 2 cards to each player (starting with the player left of the dealer) and place 4 cards (face down) in the center. Then there is a round of betting beginning with the player left of the dealer.
  • After the first round of betting, the dealer flips over the first 2 cards, and there is a second round of betting.
  • Next, the dealer flips over the third card, and there is a third round of betting.
  • After this, the dealer flips over the last card and there is a fourth round of betting.

The game is not over after the final center card is flipped. There are still the face down deuces. Starting with the player left of the dealer (or stating with the player left of the dealer who has not folded) each player picks up a face down deuce and add it to their hand (all players who did not fold must pick up a deuce).

Each deuce does something different:

  • Deuce of Clubs: This deuce can represent any card value 3-6 in the club suit only.
  • Deuce of Diamonds: This deuce can represent any card value 7-10 in the diamond suit only.
  • Deuce of Hearts: This deuce can represent any face card (Jack, Queen, King or Ace) in any suit except spades.
  • Deuce of Spades: This deuce can represent any card of any suit.

After the deuces are picked up, there is one more round of betting, then it’s time for the surviving players to show their cards. The player who can make the highest 5 card poker hand from their three cards and the four cards in the center wins the pot.

Variation

Joker Wild: 2 jokers are shuffled into the deck at the beginning, and can represent any card. Of course a joker in your first two cards can only be used by you, whilst a joker in the center can be used by all players to represent whatever card they need.


Fred Potato Poker

A variation of Hold'em contributed by Jim De Rosa

Players: 5-6

Initial deal: five cards down to each player and five common cards face down in the center of the table.

Play: After cards the cards have been dealt, players look at their hands and there is a round of betting. Each player then discards one card and the dealer then flops three of the common cards (turns them face up). There is a second round of betting. Players then discard one more card and the dealer shows the fourth common card. Third round of betting. One more card is discarded from each player's hand leaving just two cards and the dealer reveals the river card. Final round of betting.

Winning hand: High hand wins, or High/Low split, according to prior agreement.


Pyramid

A shared card poker variation for 6-8 players, contributed by Sq2yard

Five cards are dealt to each player and 7 cards face down on the table, in the shape of a pyramid:

pyramid

The last card of the pyramid - marked "4" in the diagram - must be included in every player's five-card poker hand, together with any four cards selected from the five cards they were dealt and the other six in the pyramid.

The first two cards of the pyramid (marked "1" in the diagram) are exposed, and then the first round of betting takes place. Then the next two cards ("2") are exposed and there is a second round of betting; then two cards in the second row ("3") are exposed and there is a third round of betting; then the bottom card ("4") is exposed for the fourth and final round of betting.

This is a high/low game and low hand must have its highest card as an 8 or lower. Players going for high and low can make two different hands from the 12 cards available to them, but both must include the last (bottom) card of the pyramid.


Kryky

A shared card poker variation by Tim Bates

This game is for up to 7 players. The procedure is as follows.

  1. Players place an ante and are dealt 5 cards each - 2 face up and 3 face down.
  2. Three cards are dealt face down to the table. The first two, dealt near the centre of the table will be the shared (community) cards. The third card, placed off to one side, determines the rank of cards which is wild, but is not part of any player's hand.
  3. There is a round of betting, begun by the player whose two face up cards make the highest exposed hand.
  4. The first community card is turned face up.
  5. There is a second round of betting, starting with the highest exposed three-card hand (made up of the player's two face up cards and the exposed community card).
  6. Each player now has the option to discard zero, one or two of their hand cards, and to be dealt replacements. When up cards are exchanged the replacements are dealt face up. Replacements for down cards are dealt face down.
  7. There is a third round of betting - again starting with highest exposed 3-card hand, including the exposed community card.
  8. The second face down community card is turned face up.
  9. There is a fourth round of betting, starting with the highest exposed 4-card hand, including the community cards.
  10. Flip over and expose the third (wild) card. This card is not to be used as part of any player's hand, but all cards of the same rank as this card are wild (there are only three such cards available). It helps if you turn the wild card back over so that people won't mistake it for a card they can use in their hands.
  11. There is a fifth and final round of betting, starting with the highest exposed 4-card hand, including the community cards and using wild cards to make the best possible hand.
  12. If there is a showdown, the player who can make the best five card hand out of the seven cards available to them wins the pot.

Optionally, the game can be played with high and low hands splitting the pot. The low hand winner can be either the worst poker hand (2, 3, 4, 5, 7 being lowest), or the lowest counting ace as low and ignoring straights and flushes (A, 2, 3, 4, 5 being lowest).


circle jerk diagram

Circle Jerk

A shared card poker variation by Tim Bates

1. Deal two cards face down to each player.

2. Deal 7 community cards face down as in the diagram to the right.

3. Round of betting
adjacent cards 4. Turn over alternate cards in the circle (cards labelled 1)

5. Round of betting

6. Turn over the remaining cards in the circle (cards labelled 2)

7. Round of betting

8. Turn over middle card (labelled 3). This card and all cards of the same rank are wild).

9. Players create a 5-card hand using the two cards in hand their hand plus any three adjacent cards in the layout - for example the sets of three cards connected by red, blue or green lines in the second diagram.

10. Final round of betting, followed by showdown if there is more than one player still in.



Cold Omaha

A poker variant based on the rules of Omaha 8 or better (hi-low), contributed by Brett Johnson

Players - 5-10

Deal out five cards to each player (one more than in standard Omaha) set the rest of the deck aside, it will not be needed.

Each player looks at their hand and chooses one card to discard face down to the middle of the table. The dealer gathers these cards and shuffles them. These cards make up the deck.

After an initial betting round the dealer deals out three cards face up in the center of the table from the shuffled discards for the flop. Players bet.

For the turn, a fourth card is dealt face up from the discards, and there is another betting round. The a fifth card is dealt face up for the river, and there is a final betting round.

Note that the cards that were discarded make up the stock for dealing so each player knows exactly one card that could show up (if there are more than 5 players) (or definitely will show up if there are exactly five).

Each player who has not folded during the betting shows their hand, using exactly two cards from their hand and three from the board to make their best high and low hands. High and low split the pot as normal.

This provides an interesting strategy and an out for player who are dealt either three of a flush or three of a kind.


Spots

A triple split game, contributed by Scott Pangle

The game begins with four hole cards dealt to each player and three rows of three face-down community cards, dealt in a square as in Tic Tac Toe.

There is a round of betting after players have looked at their hole cards. Then players take turns, starting with the player to dealer's left and continuing clockwise around the table, to turn one of the community cards face up. Each player chooses which face down card to expose. There is a new betting round after each new card is turned up.

Players who have stayed in can combine any of the 8 horizontal, vertical or diagonal three card lines of the community card layout with their four hold cards to come up with the best five card hand for each of the three parts of the pot:

  • 1/3 of the pot is won by the highest poker hand
  • 1/3 of the pot is won by the lowest poker hand
  • 1/3 of the pot is win by the best 'spots' hand. For 'spots', only cards of one suit can be counted; their values are added, counting 1 for an Ace, 0 for a picture and 2-10 at face value.

The cards speak for themselves. A player can use different community card lines for different parts of the pot, and can use from 1 to 4 hand (hole) cards with 3, 2 or 1 cards from a community card line to make each 5-card hand. It is possible that one person could win the whole pot using different combinations of hole and community cards.

When ties occur, the appropriate part of the pot is subdivided.

The game is best for 6-9 players. Scott Pangle describes it as a great 'sucked-in' game - often most or all players will stay in the pot for the showdown.


Strobe

Invented and contributed by George Weissenberger

Strobe is a Hold’em-like poker game using both a standard 52 card deck and a standard six-sided die to create the best five-card standard poker hand from their hole cards and the community cards. Standard poker hand ranking applies. Aces are high or low. A dealer button is used and rotates as in a Hold’em game. Ante, blinds and betting/folding also follow standard Hold’em rules.

The play begins with each player being dealt 2 hole cards (face down card). A round of betting/folding may or may not occur here depending on the local rules. Then six community cards are dealt face up onto the layout in boxes numbered 1 through 6. There is a first round of betting/folding based on each player’s hole card plus the community cards.

After betting is complete, the person with the dealer button rolls the die. The card in the box numbered the same as the number that came up on the die is removed from play. The remaining players then bet/fold again based on the remaining cards.

A community card is then dealt into the empty box and there is another round of betting/folding.

After the betting the dealer again rolls the die and again the corresponding card is removed from play and a final round of betting occurs, followed by the showdown.


Stop, Drop & Roll

A hold’em poker game invented and contributed by George Weissenberger

After anteing-in, two hole cards (face down) are dealt to each player. Each player checks their hole cards and there is around of betting.

Then, the dealer burns one card and turns up the next one for all to see. This card is called the "Stop" and it is eliminated from play. The players bet again based on this new information.

Again, the dealer burns one card and turns the next one up. This card is called the "Drop" and it too is eliminated from play. The players bet again based on this new information.

Finally, three community cards are dealt. This is called the "Roll". Players engage in a final round of betting based on the five-card hand they now possess (2 hole cards and 3 community cards) and there is a showdown of the remaining players.

Note that the stop and the drop just provide the information that those two specific cards are out of play, which can make a difference to the probability of improving your hand on the roll, and slightly alters the odds that an opponent can beat you.

George Weissenberger writes: "When I play Stop, Drop and Roll, I only allow one round of raising between each action. That way I am actually spreading a three raise maximum over 3 game actions (hole cards, Stop and Drop), with just a little information added in between. It stretches out the game and makes it more fun. I usually allow three raises after the roll."


Rails

A hold’em poker game invented and contributed by George Weissenberger

Rails is a Hold’em style poker game played with a standard 52 card poker deck and no wild cards. The object is to make the best ranked poker hand while betting, folding and bluffing your way to a win. The name originates from the train track-like appearance of the community cards on the layout, and the railroad terms used in the game.

In Rails, the aces are low ONLY (that is, they are not face cards and they have a value of "1"). Therefore, there are no royal flushes in Rails. However, Rails does have an additional ranked hand not found in other poker games; a "Ticket". A Ticket is a four-card flush with a "royal Rider". That is to say, any four cards of a matching suit plus one jack, queen or king of any suit. The "Rider" must be the fifth card though, not part of the flush.

The hand ranking in Rails is (highest to lowest):

    rails layout
  • Straight Flush (five card),
  • Four-of-a-kind,
  • Full House,
  • Flush (5 card),
  • Straight,
  • Ticket,
  • Three-of-a-kind,
  • Two Pair,
  • Pair,
  • High Card.

When comparing two tickets, the riders are compared first. If these are of equal rank, then the highest cards of the four-card flush are compared. For example suppose that:

  • Player A has heartQ-club8-club6-club4-club2.
  • Player B has heartK-heartQ-heart9heart7-spadeJ.
Then player A wins because the heartQ rider beats the spadeJ rider.

To begin: Each player pays his ante and is dealt three hole cards (face down); then there is a first round of betting. Rules regarding blinds, betting/folding and use of the dealer button are applied exactly as they are in Texas Hold’em.

Flopping the Rails: After the first round of betting, there is a "flop" as in other Hold’em games. However, in Rails two sets of two community cards are flopped. Each of the two sets of community cards is called a "Rail". After this flop there is a second round of betting. The players base their hands on their hole cards plus the cards in either one of the Rails, but not both.

Laying the Spikes: Next, another community card is added to each Rail and becomes part of that Rail. These cards are called "Spikes". After the Spikes have been laid, there is another round of betting.

Strategy note: As the introduction of the Spikes may alter the desirability of one Rail or the other, the players may, at any time, vary the Rail on which they are basing their betting.

The Tie: Lastly, a single card is placed on the layout face-up between the Rails. This card is called the "Tie". The Tie is a community card that may be played with either Rail (plus a player’s hole cards) to make a final hand. There is a final round of betting and then a showdown. Again, because the introduction of the Tie may alter the desirability of one Rail or another, the players may vary the Rail on which they are basing their betting.

The Showdown: Any remaining players now turn up their hole cards beginning with the last one to raise the pot. The hole cards are aligned with the Tie and Rail that creates the most favorable hand and the best five card hand wins. While a pot can be split by two players having exactly the same hand value, the board cannot be played alone as the best hand, since it will provide only four cards and the players’ kicker cards will determine the winner(s).


Breaker

Invented and contributed by George Weissenberger

Breaker is a variation of any type of Hold'em Poker. It is played with a typical 52 card deck plus one Joker, which is called the "Breaker". The Breaker is not wild and has no suit. There are no wild cards in the game of Breaker.

When a player does not need five cards to make his hand (i.e. is not making a straight, a flush, a straight flush or a full house) and has the Breaker as one of his hole cards, the Breaker may be played, along with the other four cards in the hand, as insurance against a straight, flush or straight flush held by an opponent.

When played with the other cards making up a four-card or less hand (four-of-a-kind, or three of a kind or less), the Breaker "breaks" all opponents' straights, flushes or straight flushes that would prevent the holder of the Breaker from having the winning hand. If a Breaker is played to break a straight, flush or straight flush, it also ranks as the highest kicker card, better than an ace. Note that a Breaker does not break a full house, and has no value at all unless it enables its holder to win.

In summary, the rules governing the Breaker are as follows:

  1. The Breaker can ONLY be played if it is held in a player's hole cards. A Breaker that is dealt as a community card is considered dead (cannot be played). It is removed from the board and a replacement card is dealt from the deck.
  2. The Breaker only helps the holder, only breaks a hand that derives its value from all five cards (i.e., straight, flush or straight flush), and can only be played if doing so would make the holder's hand the winning hand. Otherwise, the Breaker becomes dead at the showdown and the highest remaining kicker becomes the player's fifth card.
  3. If the Breaker is playable per rule 2 above, it is also the top kicker.
  4. If the current deal results in multiple five-card hands (straights, flushes or straight flushes) and a breaker is played all five-card hands are broken by the Breaker, as a Breaker is intended to be insurance against a five-card winning hand.
  5. Breakers only affect a side pot when the player holding the breaker is in contention for that pot.
  6. If the board is a high-hand straight, flush, or straight flush, then a player with a playable breaker may break the board and win the entire pot. However, breakers only affect a side pot when the player holding the breaker is in contention for that side pot.

When a five-card hand has been “broken” by another player playing a Breaker, his hand can still be played as a non-five-card hand.

In the examples below, Breaker is played as a variation of standard Texas Hold’em.

Example 1: Simple example

  • Player A has heart10, Breaker
  • Player B has club10, clubA
  • Player C has spade10, spade2
  • Player D has club7, heart5
  • The board has spadeQ, heartK, diamond10, spade7, spade4

  • Player A’s hand: Pair of tens with a Breaker kicker
  • Player B’s hand: Pair of tens with an Ace kicker
  • Player C’s hand: Flush
  • Player D’s hand: Pair of sevens

Player C has a flush but Player A holds a Breaker in his hole. Player A plays his Breaker and ends up with a pair of tens with a Breaker kicker. Player C’s flush is broken so his best hand is now a pair of tens with a 2 kicker. Player A wins because the Breaker was playable and therefore is the highest kicker of the three “Pair of tens” hands. Note: If player C had folded, perhaps suspecting that someone held a Breaker, player B would have won.

Example 2: Playing a breaker forbidden because it does not create a winning hand (breaking creates winning hand for another player)

  • Player A has heart10, Breaker
  • Player B has club10, club8
  • Player C has spade10, spade2
  • Player D has club7, heart7
  • The board has spadeA, heartK, diamond10, spade7, spade4

  • Player A’s hand: Pair of tens with a Breaker kicker
  • Player B’s hand: Pair of tens with an Ace kicker
  • Player C’s hand: Flush
  • Player D’s hand: Three sevens

Player C wins with a flush. The Breaker does not break the flush because player A's pair of tens would then be beaten by player D's three sevens. Note: Had player D had folded, player A would have won by breaking C's flush and having the Breaker as the highest kicker with his pair of tens. In this example, if player C had folded, player D would have won.

Example 3: Playing a breaker forbidden because it does not create a winning hand (breaking does not beat the player’s alternate hand)

  • Player A has heart10, Breaker
  • Player B has club10, club8
  • Player C has spadeA, spadeQ
  • Player D has club7, heart5
  • The board has heartQ, spadeheartK, diamond10, spade7, spade4

  • Player A’s hand: Pair of tens with a Breaker kicker
  • Player B’s hand: Pair of tens with an Queen kicker
  • Player C’s hand: Flush
  • Player D’s hand: Pair of sevens

Player C has a flush but Player A holds a Breaker in his hole. However, Player A cannot play his Breaker because it would not result in a winning hand. Breaking Player C’s flush would still leave Player C with two Queens, which would be the winning hand. Since Player A’s fails to break the flush, the flush officially stands. Player C wins either way.

Example 4:

Player A has K-Q, Player B has Q-Joker, Player C has 9-9, and the board shows J-10-9-8-3. In order to break player A's high-hand straight, Player B would have to break his second high-hand (lower straight) to play the Breaker. This would leave him with a pair of Queens with a Breaker kicker. However, that would make his hand inferior to Player C's three-of-a-kind so, according to the rules, he can't play the Breaker. Since Player B cannot play the Breaker and win, the Breaker becomes dead and B's best hand becomes the Queen-high straight. He must pray that Player A folds before the showdown (which isn't likely).

Variations:

  • Dual Breaker

In original Breaker, there is only one Joker so only one player at a time can hold a breaker. This variation uses both Jokers.

The same rules apply, so most of the time this will be a normal game of Breaker. However, it is possible that two breakers will come up in the same hand. As per the game rules, only the player who can win the hand by playing their breaker may play the breaker; the other breaker is dead. If a single player gets both breakers dealt as his hole cards, he must fold.

This variation gets a little tricky when there are side pots. For example:
Player #1 is all-in against two other players. Players #2 and #3 have a side pot going. Player #1 winds up with three-of-a-kind plus a Joker (breaker card), player #2 has a 9 to King straight, and player #3 has four non-sequential cards of varying suits plus a Joker (breaker).  In the main hand, player #1 plays his breaker and wins the hand with 3-of-a-kind; player #3’s breaker is dead as he cannot play it and win. However, in the side pot, player #2 would have won with the straight except that player #3 played his breaker in the side pot and won that pot.

  • Locked Breaker

This is a variation of either Breaker or Dual Breaker in which breakers are not considered separately in the side pot. The outcome of the main pot hand “locks” and the order of finish in the main pot hand is applied the side pot.


Wraparound

Invented and contributed by George Weissenberger

Wraparound is Pot Limit Texas Hold'em Poker with these two modifications:

  1. The maximum bet is equal to the pot size before and immediately following the flop, and 2x the pot size for bets made after the turn and river
  2. Aces are high AND low and thus can be used to make high straights, low straights, or "wraparound" straights (That is, straights involving aces may be 10-J-Q-K-A or J-Q-K-A-2 or Q-K-A-2-3 or K-A-2-3-4 or A-2-3-4-5).

Depot

A hold’em poker game invented and contributed by George Weissenberger

Depot Hold’em is played with a standard 52 card poker deck and no wild cards. The object is to make the best ranked poker hand while betting, folding and bluffing your way to a win. Depot uses some of the terminology found in Rails.

In Depot, the aces are low ONLY (that is, they are not face cards and they have a value of "1"). Therefore, there are no royal flushes in Depot. However, Depot, like Rails, does have one additional ranked hand not found in other poker games; a "Ticket". A Ticket is a four-card flush with a "royal Rider". That is to say, any four cards of a matching suit plus one jack, queen or king of any suit. The "Rider" must be the fifth card though, not part of the flush.

The hand ranking in Depot is (highest to lowest):

    depot layout
  • Straight Flush (five card)
  • Four-of-a-kind
  • Full House
  • Flush (5 card)
  • Straight
  • Ticket
  • Three-of-a-kind
  • Two Pair
  • Pair
  • High Card

When comparing two tickets, the riders are compared first. If these are of equal rank, then the highest cards of the four-card flush are compared.

To begin: Each player pays his ante and is dealt two hole cards (face down); then there is a first round of betting. Rules regarding blinds, betting/folding and use of the dealer button are applied exactly as they are in Texas Hold’em.

Flopping the Rails: After the first round of betting, there is a "flop" as in other Hold’em games. However, in Depot two sets of three community cards are flopped (see the illustration above). Each of the two sets of community cards is called a "Rail". After this flop there is a second round of betting. The players base their hands on their hole cards plus the cards in either one of the Rails, but not both.

The Switch: Here’s where the game gets a bit mind numbing. A single card is placed on the layout face-up between the Rails. This card is called the "Switch". The Switch is a community card that enables any straight line of cards to become a playable Rail (that means additional Rails are available up the center or diagonally through the center, as in the diagram below). The switch does not have to be played as part of the final hand, so you will actually have five Rails to choose from when constructing your best hand. There is another round of betting which could now be based on any combination of a player’s hole cards plus one of the five available rails.

Finally, another community card is placed (usually sideways) between the horizontal rails at the end. This is the "Depot". The Depot is the 6th card that can be used to make up your best five-card Depot hand: you can use your hole cards, one of the five rails marked with colored lines in the diagram, and the depot card. After the Depot card has been dealt, there is a final round of betting.

depot with usable rails marked

The Showdown: Any remaining players now turn up their hole cards beginning with the last one to raise the pot. The hole cards are aligned with the Depot and the Rail that creates the most favorable hand and the best five card hand wins.


Same'Em

A hold’em poker variation invented and contributed by JDulius

The procedure for each deal is as follows:

  1. Three cards are dealt to each player and there is a round of betting.
  2. A three-card flop is dealt, followed by a second round of betting.
  3. A fourth card is dealt to each player and a fourth card (the turn) to the table, and there is a third round of betting.
  4. A fifth card is dealt to each player and a fifth card (the river) to the table, and there is a fourth and final round of betting.
  5. Each player in the showdown makes the best possible 5 card poker hand out of the 10 available cards (five in hand and five on the table).

Texas (Kansas) Tornado

Contributed by Chris Gaskill

Texas Tornado is played using the standard rules of poker. Up to 10 players can play at once. Each player is dealt 2 down cards. Just as in regular hold'em, there is a betting round. Once the betting is complete, the dealer then counts out 10 cards and stacks them up tightly. Holding the pack of 10 cards face up, he then drops them on their backs in a twisting motion, the idea being that when they hit they table, some of them will be made visible. Cards that have at least one corner index (figure and suit symbol combination in the corner of a card) that is more than half exposed, but are still touching the pile (tornado) may then be used with the players' down cards to make the best 5 card hand. There is a second betting ropund followed by a showdown if more than one player is still in.

The dealer is the arbitor on which cards are "visible". If the dealer (and to keep the peace, at least one other player) can see more than half of the index, then it is in play.

The Kansas variation is played with 4 cards being dealt face down, as in Omaha (players must use only 2 of their hole cards).


Odds and Ends

Contributed by Chris Gaskill

This uses a standard 52-card deck and standard poker rules.

Each player gets 4 cards face down.

Three cards are dealt face down in the center. These will be the community cards. They are turned over individually, with a betting round before the first is turned and another following each flip.

The highest odd card in each player's hand is wild (3,5,7,9, not face cards). It remains wild unless the same rank comes up as a community card (your 7 is wild unless a 7 shows up in the middle). If it does show up it is "ended" as a wild card (so for example if you hold J-J-7-5 and the first card turned up is a 7, your hand is reduced from three jacks to two pair). Players make their best 5 card hand from their four cards plus the three community cards, when all three have been turned up.


Royal Hold'em

This game is just like Texas Hold'em, but played with only 20 cards: the A K Q J 10 of each suit. Because of the reduced deck, only six players can take part (each deal then uses all the cards: 2 for each player, 5 on the board and 3 burned).

The only possible poker hands are (in descending order): Royal Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House, Straight, Two Pairs. The others do not arise because any flush must also be a straight (only 5 cards per suit), and with seven cards to use, if you have three of a kind your other four cards must either complete a straight or contain a pair for a full house. The worst possible holding is 10-10-J-J-Q-Q-K which makes two pairs with a king kicker.

Royal Hold'em was offered on line for a while on Ultimate Bet, but withdrawn in July 2007, according to the German Wikipedia page about this game.


Egyptian Hold 'Em

Contributed by David Morrah ©2007

A variation of Texas Hold 'Em where players build their hands based upon a pyramid of 6 table cards.

Number of players: 2+

Equipment: Standard deck and chips.

Aim: Players compete to win the most chips by holding the best hand. The winning hand in this version (made up of 6 cards) is chosen from the 2 cards in the players hand, and the 6 community cards on the table.

Gameplay: Play is essentially identical to Texas Hold 'Em, except for the different layout of the community cards.

Round 1/the pre-flop: Two cards are dealt face down to each player. The player to the left of the dealer is assigned the little blind, and the second player to the left of the dealer is assigned the big blind, as per the usual rules of Texas Hold 'Em. Bets for the first round are then made based upon each of the players two cards.

egyptian hold'em layout

Round 2/the flop: The dealer deals three cards face up in a line along the table. As per Texas Hold 'Em rules, the usual bets for the flop round are made (call, raise, check or fold etc).

Round 3/the turn: The dealer deals two cards face up directly above where the earlier flop cards were dealt. As per Texas Hold 'Em rules, bets for the turn round are made.

Round 4/the river: The dealer deals one final card directly above where the earlier turn cards were dealt. As per Texas Hold 'Em rules, a further and final round of betting is made for the river card.

The showdown: Any remaining players who haven't dropped out at this stage must now show their hands. The player with the best 6 card combination (based upon the 6 cards on the table and their own 2 cards) takes all the chips. Because there are now 6 cards, the rankings are slightly different, with three new combinations possible:

Rankings:

Royal Flush - - 9club 10club Jclub Qclub Kclub Aclub
Straight Flush - - 2diamond 3diamond 4diamond 5diamond 6diamond 7diamond
House Party - - Kclub Kdiamond Kheart Kspade Adiamond Aclub (any 4 of a kind + any 1 pair)
4 of a Kind - - 8club 8diamond 8heart 8spade Adiamond 2club
Double Happy - - Aheart Aspade Adiamond 7heart 7spade 7diamond (two lots of 3 of a Kind)
Full House - - 3heart 3spade 3diamond 7heart 7spade 9diamond
Flush - - 2spade Aspade 7spade 9spade 3spade Kspade
Straight - - 3heart 4spade 5diamond 6heart 7spade 8diamond
3 of a Kind - - Aclub Adiamond Aheart 2spade 7diamond 9club
3 pair - - 10heart 10spade 2diamond 2heart 8spade 8diamond (just as it sounds!)
2 pair - - 9club 9diamond Aheart Aspade 3diamond 4club
1 pair - - 2club 2diamond 10heart 7spade 5diamond 9club

Island Pineapple

A variation of Pineapple invented and contributed by Trevor Cuthbertson - Copyright © Trevor Cuthbertson 2007

The game is played with a standard 52 card deck with 3-7 players.

Deuces can be used to complete a Straight Flush of the same suit (for example: 6spade, 7spade, 8spade, 2spade, 10spade would qualify as a spades Straight Flush). When used with four consecutive cards to make a Straight Flush, the deuce will be a replacement card for the lowest card in the sequence (example: the 2spade in 2spade, 10spade, Jspade, Qspade, Kspade would qualify as a replacement for the 9spade).

When a suited Deuce is available for a Straight Flush, the suited Ace also becomes wild for the hand. The suited Deuce is the key power card. If you have a suited Ace for a Straight Flush, you have to get a suited Deuce to make the suited Ace wild. When the suited Ace combines with a suited Deuce, it will be a second replacement card for the highest card in the sequence.

A Deuce that is not used to complete a straight flush as above is restricted to its marked suit and value.

Players get three down cards. Immediately, the dealer must deal the flop cards using the following procedure:
  1. Burn a card and deal two cards in a vertical row (the first set). Each of these cards makes up a separate board.
  2. Deal two more cards in a horizontal row (the second set) beside the first set of cards. These cards should be placed between the cards from the first set as the second and third flop cards.

Next, the dealer will announce "Draw Three". Each player in turn opts either to keep their three down cards (Stand Pat) or turn in the three down cards they are holding for three new ones (you must either turn in all three down cards or none). The dealer burns a card and each player wanting new down cards are dealt in turn from the deck new cards. If no players want new cards, the dealer will simply burn a card.

Now the first betting round occurs.

After the first betting round, the dealer burns a card and deals a card to the board (turn card). Second betting round proceeds.

After the second betting round, the dealer will announce "Pineapple". All active players must discard one down card per turn. Failure to do so will result in a fouled hand. Once all players have discarded one down card, the dealer burns a card and two more cards are dealt in a vertical row to the board (split river). There are now four boards in the community to choose from. Final betting round proceeds.

Island Pineapple Layout

Showdown comes after. Players may combine one or two down cards with three or four cards from one of the four boards to make a five-card hand. No playing the board - at least one card from the player's own hand must be used.

This game can handle a maximum of seven players. In a seven player game, if all seven players draw three cards before the first betting round, there is no burn card before the split river. If the number of players exceeds seven, the dealer must accept the extra players at their own discretion.

Variations

Phantom Ship: "The Phantom Ship has been seen off the south coast of Prince Edward Island since 1786. It appears as a three-masted schooner on fire, or on some accounts, as a gray hulk looming up at dawn. Some claim to have seen people running on deck screaming in terror. Some say it's the ghosts of six-hundred Acadians on a ship ablaze, while others say it's a pirate's pact with the devil. But no one can honestly explain the mystery behind its presence..."

The story of the Phantom Ship has been part of local folklore for generations in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Its presence can be witnessed as a special in Island Pineapple. In the variation, the player gets to call a showdown on the pineapple if they hold a special four-of-a-kind called a "Phantom Ship". All three down cards must show a three-of-a-kind with a fourth match card in the community to make a four-of-a-kind. For example: player's down cards are heart10, spade10, club10. The diamond10 appears on the turn. The player now holds a Phantom Ship and has the ability to initiate an early showdown with the four-of-a-kind 10s once all players complete their bet on the second betting round.

When the second betting round ends, the player with the Phantom Ship can flip their cards face-up out of turn without discard. All other players must flip their cards face up without discard as well. The dealer burns a card and adds the split-river to the community. All players can now use all three of their down cards with two cards in any of the four boards to make a hand. If no one can beat the player's Phantom Ship (four-of-a-kind) with a straight flush, the player who initiated the early showdown with the special wins the pot.

Turning up a three-of-a-kind from all three down cards without a match card in the community or turning up the special after players begin discarding will result in a fouled hand. Don’t expect a Phantom Ship to happen frequently in Island Pineapple - witnessing this special as about as rare as seeing an apparition.

Arcade Ante: Another variation is played with no blind bets. Each player, except for the winner of the last hand, antes into the pot before down cards are dealt. All betting rounds start with the player to the left of the dealer. In tournament play, you would periodically increase the ante value in place of the blinds structure. Note: Arcade Ante is taken from "nexts", a term once used in the arcade scene with fighting games. With "nexts", players place tokens on the game's front metal bezel to claim the next match. The winner stays to fight whoever is next. With Arcade Ante, the winner stays for the next challenge - all other players must ante in to mark their next turn.

Secondary Bonus in Texas Hold'em: In this variation, Island Pineapple is used as an enhancement to a regular Texas Hold'em game. When playing Texas Hold'em, the bonus is triggered on the showdown when one player gets a Three-of-a-kind or better. The next hand is then played as Island Pineapple, and the winner must now get a Straight or better on the showdown to qualify for the Island Pineapple to continue. The winner in the next hand must get a Flush or better and so on up to a Royal Flush qualifier. When the winner gets the advancing qualifier on the showdown, Island Pineapple remains in play. But once the winner gets anything lower than the qualifier on the showdown, or wins without a showdown when the other players all fold, the game returns to Texas Hold'em and the qualifier goes back down to Three-of-a-kind or better.

Straight with Wild(s): In this variation, Deuces and Aces can be used as wild cards in Straights in a similar way to their use in Straight Flushes in the basic game. Any one Deuce can be used as a wild card to complete any Straight, irrespective of suit. When a Deuce is used in this way, the Ace of the same suit as the Deuce ("suited Ace") can be used as a second wild card for the same Straight. If there is a choice of where to add the Ace and Deuce, because the natural cards are consecutive, the Deuce is added to the bottom of the Straight and the Ace to the top. Examples: spade5-heart2-diamond7-club8-heartA is a straight equivalent in rank to 5-6-7-8-9. spade8-diamond2-heart10-club2-clubJ is not a straight because only one Deuce can be used as wild. clubA-diamond2-heart2-spade4-diamond5 IS a straight because the diamond2 is used as a natural Deuce and only the heart Deuce is wild.

Playing the Board: The showdown rule of "no playing the board" is dropped. Players have the possibility of not using any of their down cards but instead making a hand from community cards only. If no one can make a hand that's higher than a hand of five cards on one of the four boards, the pot is split among all active players.

Beat 'em up Hold 'em: A different way of playing Island Pineapple as a classic beat 'em up video game. Arcade Ante is either used with real quarters (25¢) or red poker chips each representing five dollars ($5). "Draw Three" is replaced by announcing "Choose Fighter" when opting to keep your three down cards or draw three new cards. After the first betting round, the turn card is now known as "Go Forward". After the second betting round, the dealer will announce "Attack" when the Pineapple discard is made. Third betting round proceeds followed by "Renegade Boulevard" (split river). On the showdown, all active players choose their "Final Dragon" when combining their down cards with three or four cards from one of the four boards. Other additions include the Straight with Wild(s) variation and the Phantom Ship, which is now known as the "Silver Axe". Standard rule of not playing the board still applies on the showdown.


The Game Called "The"

This shared card poker game contributed by Thomas Yarbrough is also called just "The" for short. It was created and played by a group of home poker players in the late 1980's and was named by Ted Eichenlaub.

Each player antes and is dealt 3 cards and the 4 card board gets dealt in turn with the players cards. For instance with three players, Player 1 to the left of the dealer is dealt a card, then Player 2, then the dealer Player 3, then a card face down for the board. That process is repeated twice more so each player has three cards and the board has three cards face down.

The next card is dealt face up to the board and a round of betting begins with Player 1. The player who bet or raised last will always start the next round of betting. If there are no bets the turn to begin betting passes to the left for the next round.

The three face-down board cards are turned up one at a time with a round of betting after each - four betting rounds in all. In the showdown the best five card hand made using the three cards in your hand and the four cards on the board in any combination wins the pot.


KRG

Created by Craig Smith, Ryne Crawford, Ryan Groth and Chris Hoogstad , who contributed this description.

Before starting a series of deals, each player contributes a fixed amount, say $5, to the pool, and the winner will take the whole pool. Players should agree in advance whether 3 or 4 wins are needed to win the series.

The game is dealt like texas hold'em, except that everyone is dealt 6 cards face down at the start, rather than just two. Before the flop each player must discard any two cards from their hand. The flop (3 cards) is laid out. After this everyone discards 1 card from their hand. Going to the turn each player should only have 3 cards in hand. The turn (1 card) is dealt on the board. Everyone discards one card so that going to the river you have a regular two-card hold'em hand. The river (1 card) is dealt and the person with the best 5 card combination wins. There is no betting during the actual hand and therefore no folding: all the hands are compared. The first player to achieve 3 or 4 wins, agreed in advance, wins the series and takes the pool.

Normally there are also side bets, such as who will win most times throughout the night, who will be first to make quads, etc. Each of these would have its own pool. Chris Hoogstad suggests that the game could be played a backgammon doubling cube, so that any time during the series a player can turn the cube and everyone must either double their contribution to the pool or drop out of the series immediately. This reintroduces something similar to poker betting, but on the result of the series rather than a single deal.


Jersey Holdem

Contributed by Mike Picollelli and formerly known as Cosmic Poker.

This is a variation of Omaha High Low, 8 or better (O8B). In the "North Jersey" version, each player is dealt 5 cards face down rather than 4. Then the game proceeds like O8B, but you may use either two or three of your cards (together with three or two from the board) to make the best high hand and either two or three to make the best low hand.

In loose kitchen table games this can lead to huge pots, as every hand looks like a winner to the inexperienced player, even on the flop. But the turn defines your hand and the river can really kill you. Full houses are common and it's not unusual for a quad to be beaten by a higher quad.

In the "South Jersey" version each player is dealt only 4 cards rather than 5, but may still use 2 or 3 of these together with 3 or 2 from the flop.


Double-Edge Trim-Saw

A Texas Hold'em variation, also known as Texas Trim, contributed by Chris Odell

Each player is dealt two sets of 2 hole cards. Players are not allowed to mix their two hands around - in fact they are not allowed to pick both hands up at the same time. Deuces are wild. You do not have to declare which hand you're betting with. After the the flop, turn and river, in a showdown you can use cards from either set of hole cards (but not both). Betting is the same as in No Limit Texas Hold Em. A pair of deuces is a monster pocket hand in this game and will usually win except in the rare case where someone catches the natural version of the same 5-card hand.


Pass 'em Poker

A Hold'em game with passing, contributed by Harvey Fish

Players: 5-6

Initial deal: three cards face down to each player.

Play: Each player must then give one card from his hand face down to the player on his left. These cards are passed simultaneously: they are picked up only after each player has passed on his "gift" to the next player. After all have received their card there is a round of betting.

After this three shared cards are placed one at a time face up in the middle and a new of round of betting takes place after each new card is revealed. At the showdown a player may use either two cards from his hand and all three from the table or all three from his hand plus two from the middle to make the best 5-card hand.

Winning hand: High hand wins, or High/Low split, according to prior agreement.


Blue Beacon

The game, contributed by Daniel J. Brooker was invented while at work at Blue Beacon.

Basically it's 5 card draw but with 4 extra community cards, and 6 rounds of betting.

  • Deal out 5 cards to each player, after which there is a first round of betting.
  • Deal the first community card face up. Then there is a second round of betting.
  • Then deal the second community card face up, followed by the third round of betting.
  • After that players can discard unwanted cards and draw replacements from the deck, as in draw poker. After the draw, there is a fourth round of betting.
  • After that deal your third community card, and there is fifth round of betting.
  • After that deal your last community card out, followed by a final round of betting and showdown.

In the showdown players form the best 5-card hand they can from the 9 cards available to them: 5 private cards and 4 community cards.

Since the draw is half way through the game, it can be difficult to judge which cards to discard, since you don't know what the last two community cards will be.


Waiting for Godot

Contributed by Andrew Foley who writes:

"I like this game quite a bit because of the cutthroat aspect of knowing half of people's initial hand, and trying to get them out early before they get their third player card."

Initial Deal: 4 cards are dealt, face down, in the middle of the table (these are community cards). Each player is dealt one card face down, and then each player receives one card face up.

The first round of betting takes place.

The first three community cards are flopped up.

The second round of betting takes place.

Each player is dealt a second card face down (their third player card including the one face-up card).

The third betting round takes place.

The fourth and final community card in the middle is turned up.

At this point each player has three player cards (two face down, one face up) and all four community cards have been revealed. Each player uses any combination of the seven cards to make a five card hand.

The fourth and final betting round takes place, followed by the showdown.


Indian Chief Poker

Contributed by Patrick St-Louis

This poker variant, related to the card game Triangle by the same author, uses a standard 52-card deck and standard poker rules. It can be played by 3 to 6 players. The number of players defines the number of cards each player gets and the number of community cards in the center.

  • 3 players: 2 cards for each player and 1 community card.
  • 4 players: 1 card for each player and 2 community cards.
  • 5 players: 1 card for each player and 1 community card.
  • 6 players: 1 card for each player and no community card.

Each player gets his cards face down. Without looking at the cards, each player places them on his forehead such that all the other players can see the cards but he cannot. The hand of a player consists of all the cards he "sees" plus the community cards. This means that depending on the number of players, the hands of each pair of players share all but two or one card.

The community are dealt face down and are turned face up one at a time, with a betting round before the first is turned and another following each flip.

To blur the odds a bit, one or two additional community cards can be used, so that each player can make a hand of 5 cards out of the 6 or 7 cards available.


Russian Roulette

Contributed by Patrick St-Louis

This is a mechanism that can be used in most Poker variants with community cards.

The idea is as follows: a (m,n) Russian roulette community consists in placing the "n" community cards face down in a circle formation. An object called "The Trigger" is placed on or pointing at one of the cards (the trigger can be anything like a coin or a lighter or - for dramatic effect - the tip of an unloaded gun rotated in the middle of the community).

The "active community" consists in the first "m" community cards in clockwise position starting at the Trigger. In the showdown, you will form your hand from your private (hole) cards plus the active community cards.

Typically the hand will start with a round of betting based solely on the players' hole cards, with all community cards face down. Then one or more community cards are revealed, followed by another betting round. This is repeated until all the community cards are face up and there is a final round of betting. When a card from the community must be revealed, if the Trigger is on a card facing down, simply reveal the Trigger card. If the Trigger card is already face up, find the first face down card in clockwise position from the Trigger and turn it face up.

Here is the twist. Every time a player "bets" or "raises", the Trigger is moved to the next clockwise position in the community (regardless of whether the card is face up or face down). When a player "checks", "calls" or "folds" the trigger does not move. Thus the "Russian roulette" community allows to change your hand's value by betting. Indeed, depending on the position of the Trigger, your hand might be incredibly good or incredibly bad. Also, pot can build rapidly as players attempt to move the Trigger to the best position for them.

Example

A good starting point to try out this variant is (3,5) Russian roulette with 2 private cards. So each player's hand is formed of 2 private cards and 3 active cards from the community, 2 being inactive. One card is revealed after each round of betting. So a four player game might go like this. Here is the community card layout: grey cards are face down; white face up; the red spot is the trigger. Each player is dealt two cards and the first betting round begins. P1 bets; P2 raises; P3 calls; P4 raises; P1 raises; P2, P3 and P4 call. russian roulette diagram 1
The trigger has moved four times. Before the next betting round the card at the new trigger position is exposed. In the second betting round P1 checks, P2 checks, P3 bets, P4 raises, P1, P2 and P3 call. russian roulette diagram 2
The trigger has moved twice and the card at the new trigger position is revealed. The active cards are the three marked "X" in the diagram. If the trigger stays where it is, the first exposed card will not count towards anyone's hand, but it will be brought into play again as soon as someone bets. But P4, P1, P2 and P3 all check. russian roulette diagram 3
Since the trigger card is already face up, the next card in clockwise order is exposed. P4 bets, P1 calls, P2 folds, P3 raises, P4 and P1 call. russian roulette diagram 4
The trigger has moved twice, changing the active cards, and a new card is exposed. P3 bets, P4 raise, P1 folds, P3 raise, P4 raises, P3 calls. russian roulette diagram 5
The trigger has moved four places and the final card is revealed. P4 checks, P3 bets, P4 raises, P3 raises, P4 calls. russian roulette diagram 6
The trigger has moved three times so the cards used in the showdown are the three cards marked "X" in the diagram below, plus the player's two private cards. russian roulette diagram 7

Notes

An odd value should be preferred for the total size of the community to avoid "deadlocking" two players into an outrageous betting war. This can happen, for example, with a 4-card community if player 1 has a very good hand when Trigger is at position 1 or 3, and a very bad hand when Trigger is at position 2 or 4, and player 2 is exactly the opposite. If the Trigger is at position 1 and it is player 2's turn to bet, he will bet in order to move the Trigger to position 2. Then it's player 1's turn and he will raise to move the Trigger to position 3, and so on until one of the two players runs out of money. Having an odd community size avoids this problem, because the Trigger will eventually be in a position where the current player is satisfied.

With a larger community it will be better to reveal more than one card at a time, in such a way that there are about 4 rounds of betting in total. Another variant could be to start by revealing several community cards at positions around the wheel - for example every third card with a 9-card wheel, so that players have some early information about the cards that might come into play when the trigger moves.


Crazy Blind Man

Contributed by Frank Kills In Water

The game is a mix of Blind Man's Bluff and Crazy Pineapple. A big and small blind are posted as in Texas Hold'em or Pineapple. As in Pineapple, three cards are dealt to each player, but the players hold these cards to their foreheads, so that each player can see all the other players' cards but not their own.

After a first round of betting, a "flop" of three face up community cards is dealt to the table. After the flop everybody removes one card from the player to the left of them. First the small blind player takes a card from the big blind, and continuing around the table, so that finally the big blind takes a card from the dealer. No one is allowed to see the card that was taken from him or her.

There is then another betting round, followed by a fourth community card (the turn), a round of betting, and a final community card (the river) and a final round of betting. In the showdown, surviving players put their two cards on the table the best 5-card hand wins.

Other variations are to remove the one card after the "turn" or after the "river", or to play all three of these games in succession, which the players call "S#*T, Dam, F*#K".


Chowaha

A hi-lo shared card game with an array of 12 community cards, by Mike Chow. See Wolf's Chowaha Page.


Loco Poker

A drinking variant of Texas Hold'em, that does not require chips, described on the Poker Bankroll Blog.


Forty-Three

Contributed by Bob Procter

This is a high-low split game and is dealt as follows:

  • Each player is dealt 4 cards
  • There are 3 cards placed as community cards face down on the table
  • There is a round of betting
  • Then each player is offered a chance to exchange up to 2 cards - discarding them and being given replacements by the dealer.
  • There is a second round of betting
  • The first community card is exposed
  • There is a third round of betting
  • The second community card is exposed
  • Fourth round of betting
  • Third community card exposed
  • Fifth and final round of betting

The players then declare using chips held in a closed fist. All open their hands simultaneously: 0 chips low, 1 chip high, 2 chips both.

If you go both ways you must win or tie both high and low to win the whole pot - otherwise you win nothing.

Variant: Box

Instead of just three community cards deal two rows of three, one below the other. The cards are turned up two at a time (one column at a time). To make your hand you use the cards you were dealt together with either one row of three cards or one column of two cards.


Privacy Poker

Contributed by Magnificence

This is a shared card / stud hybrid game: at the showdown each player has a hand of 5 cards, partly open, and there are two shared cards. Players make the best 5-card hand they can from these seven cards. As in any other poker games, various rules for antes/blinds, betting structures and so on can be used. The procedure is as follows:

  1. First, everyone is dealt 2 face-down cards.
  2. Then the first betting round starts with the player to the left of the dealer.
  3. Then everyone is dealt 1 face-up card, and 2 community (shared) cards are put face up on the table.
  4. Then the second betting rounds starts with the player who has the lowest poker hand showing, consisting of his face-up card plus the community cards. If there is a tie (two or more players who have the lowest poker hand), the player who is first after the dealer in clockwise order, goes first.
  5. Then everyone is dealt 1 face-down card.
  6. Then the privacy round begins with the same player who began the second betting round (the player with the lowest poker hand showing). At your turn, you may, if you wish, discard one card and obtain a face-up card from the deck in exchange. If you choose to exchange a card, then before doing so you must flip one of your face-down cards face-up (not the card you are exchanging). Thus a player who exchanges a face-up card has two face-down cards afterwards, but a player who exchanges a face-down card has only one card face-down and three face-up; a player who does not exchange keeps three cards face down and one face-up.
  7. After the privacy round there is a third betting round, begun by the same player who began the privacy round.
  8. Everyone is dealt one more card face down: the players now have 5 cards each.
  9. Now there is a media round, beginning with the player who has the lowest poker hand showing, based on his face-up cards plus the community cards, with the same tie rules as before. Beginning with this player, each player in turn has to flip one of his face-down cards face-up.
  10. Then the fourth and last last betting rounds begins with the player who has the lowest poker hand showing, with the same tie rules as before.
  11. Then at last, there is a showdown, in which the highest hand takes the pot.

Strategy

When everybody gets their first two cards, the game is much like Texas Hold’Em, because you expect to get 3 new cards in the next round like the flop in Texas Hold’Em. The only difference is that two cards will be community cards and one will be a personal face-up card. So you can also guess a little who has a better hand and who doesn’t.

When you reach the privacy round, you will have to make a strategic choice. If you choose not to exchange a card with the dealer, you won’t have to flip an additiononal card, which means that the other players have less idea how good your hand is. Ideally, you already have a fair/good hand and don't need to exchange. If you choose to do so, it is better to change the face-up card because you will get a face-up card back anyway. You will then end up with 2 face down cards. If you change a face down card, you will get a face-up card back and you will have 1 face down card left.

In the next (media) round, you will get a face-down card, but you will have to flip one of your cards too. This means that you’ll keep the same number of face-down cards, but you will have the choice which you want to show. If you have a good hand, you might want to show a low card in order to get as much money as possible, but if you have a bad hand, you might want to show a high card to create the idea that your hand may be good.

Overall, this poker variant is more complicated than most, but allows more strategy.

Example

In this example, there is an ante of $1, a minimum bet of $1 and no wild cards. The players are: Alice, Bob, Carol, Danny. Danny is the dealer.

  • Everyone puts in $1 (ante). The pot is now $4. Danny deals everyone 2 face down cards (face down cards are shown { in brackets }).
  • Cards: Alice: { spade5 spade7 } - Bob: { heartJ clubK } - Carol: { diamondJ clubJ } - Danny: { spade8 diamond9 }
  • Betting begins with Alice, who bets $1. Bob calls. Carol raises to $2. Danny, Alice and Bob call. The betting round is over and the pot contains $12.
  • Danny deals everyone 1 face-up card and puts two community cards on the table.
  • Cards: Community: diamond3 spade3 - Alice: { spade5 spade7 } heart9 - Bob: { heartJ clubK } heart8 - Carol: { diamondJ clubJ } diamondK - Danny: { spade8 diamond9 } spade6
  • The second betting round begins with Danny because he has the lowest poker hand showing (diamond3 spade3 spade6). Danny, Alice and Bob check. Carol bets $1. Danny calls, Alice folds and Bob calls. The pot is now $15.
  • Danny deals everyone 1 face-down card.
  • Cards: Community: diamond3 spade3 - Bob: { heartJ clubK club2 } heart8 - Carol: { diamondJ clubJ club3 } diamondK - Danny: { spade8 diamond9 club6 } spade6
  • The privacy rounds starts with Danny who flips his spade8, discards his diamond9, and deals himself spadeA face-up. Bob flips his club2 and discards his h*8, Danny deals Bob clubQ face-up. Carol stays.
  • Cards: Community: diamond3 spade3 - Bob: { heartJ clubK } club2 clubQ - Carol: { diamondJ clubJ club3 } diamondK - Danny: { club6 } spade6 spadespadeA
  • The third betting round starts with Bob, because he has the lowest poker hand (diamond3 spade3 club2 clubQ). Bob checks. Carol bets $1. Danny calls. Bob folds. The pot is now $17.
  • Danny deals Carol and himself 1 face-down card.
  • Cards: Community: diamond3 spade3 - Carol: { diamondJ clubJ club3 club8 } diamondK - Danny: { club6 heart7 } spade6 spadespadeA
  • The media round starts with Carol. Carol flips club8 and Danny flips heart7.
  • Cards: Community: 3? 3? - Carol: { diamondJ clubJ club3 } diamondK club8 - Danny: { club6 } spade6 spadespadeA heart7
  • The last betting round starts with Carol, who bets $2. Danny raises to $4, which Carol calls. The pot is now $25.
  • Now there is a showdown: Carol and Danny show their cards. Carol has a full house (diamond3 spade3 diamondJ clubJ club3) and Danny has two pairs (diamond3 spade3 club6 spade6 spadeA) so Carol wins the pot of $25.

Swiss Hold 'em

Contributed by Xavier Petit

Swiss Hold ’em is a 2-10 player shared poker variant played with a standard deck of 52 playing cards (no jokers).

Shuffle the deck and deal 2 hole cards (face down) to each player (starting with the player left of the dealer). The two players to the left of the dealer place the small blind and the big blind (there is no Ante). Then there is a round of betting beginning with the player left of the Big Blind. After the first round of betting, the dealer flips over the first 3 cards (the flop), and there is a second round of betting. Next, the dealer flips over the fourth card (the turn), and there is a third round of betting. After this, the dealer flips over the last card (the river) and there is a fourth round of betting followed by a showdown.

The difference from Texas Hold 'em is a new option: on your turn to act, you still can fold / call / check / bet / raise / reraise (depending on the situation) as always, but you also have the option of folding your entire hand (2 cards) to get a new one (you are allowed to take another action after that).

The first exchange costs 1 big blind which goes to the pot (it is not a bet). The next exchange costs 2 big blinds. The third exchange costs 3 big blinds and so on. On his turn to play, a player can do multiple exchanges. This can be done preflop, flop, turn or even on the river. The number of exchanges is limited by the number of cards left in the deck. For example, heads-up, 4 cards are needed for the players (2x2) and 8 for the board (5 shared cards + 3 burnt cards), so there are 40 cards left, which means 20 possible exchanges. For 3 players : 19 exchanges, 18 for 4 players, and so on.

When exchanging you have to discard both your cards and take two new ones. You can't keep one card and exchange the other.

Example: No one exchanged cards preflop. On the flop after player 1 exchanges 2 cards (for 1 big blinds) and checks. If player 2 wants to exchange cards, he'll have to pay 2 big blinds to the pot (not one), and after getting his new cards he can take whatever action he wants (or exchange his cards one more time - at a cost of 3 big blinds this time, and so on). The only limit on the number of consecutive exchanges a single player can make is the size of the deck and the number of chips the player can afford!

Swiss Hold 'em is best played either limit or no limit. Playing pot limit is not recommended.

Xavier Petit writes: "Swiss Hold 'em is a very addictive game with a lot of action so should always be played for 'table stakes' (otherwise you'll endup betting your car, your house and/or your girlfriend!). There is a lot of strategy and bluffing, somehow in different ways than in Texas Hold 'em. You will need to try it to find out whether you agree. Have fun!"

Variation: Suicide Swiss Hold 'em

The King of Hearts is considered a Joker (wild card). Of course a joker in your first two cards can only be used by you, whilst a joker in the center can be used by all players to represent whatever card they need.


Ruby Run

This game, contributed by H. G. Weissenberger , is best for 6 to 8 players and playable by two or more.

Object

To have the best five-card poker hand according to the rules below. Hands containing a set of three or more consecutively numbered cards of the same color (called a “run”) rank higher than the traditional poker hands and the traditional straight flush does not apply as this is a type of run. Standard poker rules for pot limits, antes, game style and termination, etc. are otherwise applicable except where indicated below.

Rules

For the purpose of this game, a “run” is defined as three or more cards of the same color that are consecutively numbered. “Color” refers to RED (aka “Ruby”) being Diamonds and Hearts and BLACK (aka “Coal”) being Clubs and Spades. 

Winning hands are determined in this order (top-down):

  1. Run with the most consecutively numbered cards of the same suit (“Suited run”) [example 2D, 3D, 4D beats 6D, 7D, 8H, 9H]
  2. Run with the most consecutively numbered cards of the same color (red or black suits) but not all of the same suit
  3. Among tied runs (defined by applying rules 1 and 2 above), a red run wins over a black run
  4. If after all betting rounds a tie remains among the runs, the winning hand is determined according to the best standard 5 card poker hand (aces are high only) from among the players with the tied runs. If the poker hands tie, the pot is split.
  5. If after all betting rounds no players still in the game has a run, the winning hand is determined according to the best standard 5 card poker hand (aces are high only) from among the the live players. If the poker hands tie, the pot is split.

Hands without a run may be played for betting purposes (to steal the pot) but are always eliminated if a live player holds a run at the end of the showdown.

Name Origin

Based on the third rule of a winning run, “...a red run wins over a black run”, the name “Ruby Run” is meant to conjure an image of poker in an old mining town

Play

The game uses three hole cards per player and seven board cards. Three of these board cards are called “over” cards and three are called “under” cards (because of their position on the board), and the last card dealt is the “slam”.

Ruby Run Layout

  1. Ante and/or blinds placed.
  2. Three hole cards dealt to each player; one round of betting (check/raise/call/fold).
  3. “The pit” (three “streets” of community cards played):
    • The first “over” and “under” cards are dealt to the board. This is “1st Street”. “Over” cards are live community cards. “Under” cards are community cards which will either replace the over cards or be rendered dead, depending on the slam card. In the standard game, both over and under cards are dealt face up, but see also the "Alternative Rule" below.
    • One round of betting (check/raise/call/fold).
    • The second “over” and “under” cards are dealt. This is “2nd Street”.
    • Second round of betting. Re-raises are now allowed for each player but maximum 2 bets each; then call or fold.
    • The third “over” and “under” cards are dealt (3rd Street). Betting rules for this round shall be according to the rules of the tournament type.
  4. The “Slam” card is dealt. The last card, the “slam”, is the last live community card. If the slam is a numbered card (2-10), the over cards and the slam card are played as the live community cards and the under cards are dead. If the slam is a face card (including aces), then the over cards are dead and the under cards are played along with the slam card as the live community cards.
  5. Showdown (also known in this game as the Shootout). Surviving players expose their hole cards and the best hand takes the pot.
Standard game:
Over and under cards are dealt face-up. Betting strategy is based on each players’ ability to come out ahead regardless of whether the over cards or under cards are used after the slam. After the slam is dealt, the dead board cards are swept to the muck.
Alternative rule: Face-down under cards:
Under cards are dealt face-down. Betting strategy is based on making a run with the over cards, and is adjusted after the slam if the under cards are to be played. If the over cards remain live after the slam, the under cards are swept face-down.
Effect on game strategy: The under cards effectively become the hole cards of an additional player who gives no “tells”, won't fold, and can't be bluffed. They give no additional information for betting unless they become live in the slam; in which case they affect the shootout.

Oh Shit

Contributed by Britt Martin

 In this variation of Omaha five cards are dealt to each person with ten cards dealt face down on the table (community cards).  The game is played Hi/Lo. In Low hands, Aces are low and straights and flushes have no significance, so that the wheel A-2-3-4-5 is the best Low hand. Low hands have to be eight-high or better to qualify to win part of the pot.

There are six rounds of betting. After each of the first five rounds, one card from each row is turned face up. The final betting round takes place when all ten cards are exposed.

Players must use exactly two cards from their hand together with exactly three community cards, all from the same row, to make their high or low hand.

slam-aha layoutSlam-aha

This is played the same way as Oh Shit above, except that only nine cards are dealt to the board and they are placed in a cross pattern: a row of five and a column of five intersecting at one common card in the middle - see diagram. After the first four betting rounds, one card from each line is exposed; the middle card is exposed after the fifth betting round. This game may be played with the middle card wild or not wild.


Real Poker

Contributed by Paul Bedrosian

This is a high-low game using ace to six rules for the low hand. Eaxh player is dealt 5 cards face down and there are 12 community cards, dealt as four groups of two and four single cards, initially all face down.

There are five betting rounds, the first before any community cards are revealed. After each of the first four betting rounds one group of two cards and one single card is turned face up. There is a final beting ground when all community cards are face up.

In the showdown, players must use at least two of their hand cards. The possibilities are:

  • 5 cards from hand, or
  • 4 cards from hand with a single card from the board, or
  • 3 cards from hand with a group of two cards from the board, or
  • 2 cards from hand with a group of two cards and a single card from the board.

As usual, players may use a different choice of cards for their high and and their low hand.

Players declare simultaneously using chips, whether they will go for high, low or both. A player going for both who loses for high to a high player or to low for a low player cannot claim any part of the pot. A both player who ties for high or low while winning the other way or ties both shares that part of the pot. See split pots with declaration for further discussion.


Two Eleven Poker

Two Eleven or 2-11 Poker is an Omaha variant invented by Bruce Paul, who can be contacted through the website 211poker.com, and listed here with his permission.

After the posting of blinds, four cards are dealt to each player and there is a first betting round. A flop of two cards is dealt to the table, followed by a second betting round. Then two single cards, the turn and the river, are dealt to the table. Each of these is followed by a betting round.

In the showdown, each player must used 2 or 3 of their four hand cards together with 3 or 2 of the four face up shared cards to make their best five-card hand.

Two Eleven can be played as a high-low game in a similar way to Omaha, except that a low hand must have no card higher than a seven to qualify. Low hands use A-5 ranking: aces are low and straights and flushes do no count, so the wheel A2345 is the best low hand.


El Dorado Hold'em

A variation of Texas Hold 'em invented by Tony Forbess

As in Texas Hold'em, the little blind and big blind are placed by the players to the dealer's left and two cards are dealt face down to each player. Players look at their cards and can stay in by matching the big blind. Burn a card, then deal three cards face up to the table (the flop) followed by a round of betting.

Now beginning with the player on the dealer's left, each player has the option of exchanging one card from his hand with any card from the flop. When a player puts his card in the flop, it becomes wild as well as all other cards of that rank. If another play exchanges a card, then it replaces the wild card - the newly placed card becomes wild and the previously exchanged card ceases to be wild. This continues until all players including the dealer have had an opportunity to exchange a card. Another round of betting follows.

Another card is burned and one last card is turned up. There are now 4 community cards and 2 cards in each players hand, and one card will be wild if any player has exchanged. There is a final round of betting and the best hand wins. This game can be played either high or low.

Note that it is possible to exchange a card with a card of the same rank - for example a player may swap a 3 with a 3 to make all 3's wild.