Home Page > Poker > Variations > Match Pot > Match Pot

Invented Match Pot Poker Variants

Big Al's Guillotine

Al (Haze72@aol.com) wrote:

In my game 10's 2's and 4's are wild. Everyone is dealt 2 cards. Everyone bets or folds on their two cards. Then everyone who stays in gets another card. At this point the game goes to Guillotine. From this point on you must double the pot if you lose. If you are to fold at any time after guillotine you must double the pot not including the bet you folded on. All the cards are faced down. Every who stayes in for the whole ride gets 5 cards. There is lots of blood shed in this game. It's called The Game, or Al's Crack Cocaine game, or Big Al's Guillotine.

Cowboy, Cowgirl and Cowpattie

Contributed by txcubfan@totalaccess.net


INITIAL DEAL: five cards down

PLAY: WARNING!!! there is only one round of betting. If a player does not win at least half of the pot, he must match the entire pot. After the betting round:

Players then declare high or low or both usually by taking chips under the table and putting none, one or two chips in one closed fist and putting back on the table. Players with no chips are trying to win the low hand, players with one chip are trying to win the high hand, and players with two chips are trying to win both ways.

WINNER: high hand splits with low hand. As stated before, if you stay in but do not win high or low you must match the pot. Players who fold must ante again to play in the next hand, and can then compete for the new pot. Play repeats until only two players stay and they split the pot, or just one player stays in and wins the entire pot.

VARIATION: after the discard, draw and showdown, a 'dummy hand' is dealt, and the players who folded suring the betting collectively decide how to play it to beat one of the winning hands. In Cowboy and Cowgirl the dummy can discard and draw in the same way as the players. If the dummy hand wins a portion of the pot, the player(s) that it beats must match the pot just as if they were beaten by a player at the table. The portion of the pot that the dummy hand wins stays in the pot for the next deal. . Anyone who does not have a stake in winning the pot decides which cards to draw to.
Example: If the winning hand for low is J, 7, 5, 3, A and the dummy hand shows 9, 9, 8, 4, 2, the players who folded would probably collectively decide to pitch one of the nines and hope to catch any card lower than a Jack that doesn't pair up; unless of course the high hand can't beat a pair of nines.

5 and 2 or 3

Contributed by Phil Boschert (nookie-2@msn.com)

This is a guts game, meaning that anyone who stays in and loses matches the pot. It's in retaliation for what some guys call "Dealer Rake" games, where if nobody stays in against the dealer, he takes. I call it "5 and 2 or 3". First off, nothing wild poker. The dealer gives everyone 5 cards. Each player declares in, or out, based on these first 5 cards, knowing that if they declare "IN" they will be given 2 more cards to help their hand. This goes around to each player. Every player who declares "IN" is given 2 more cards. The TWIST is that if ONLY ONE player declares "IN" the dealer will receive 3 cards to the other player's 2. Hence the name, "5 and 2 or 3". If 2 players are "IN" the dealer will not get the extra card. If he chooses to be in, he'll only receive 2 more cards to make his best five card poker hand. So if someone thinks they can "BUY" a pot against the dealer, they have to remember ... he gets an extra card. "5 and 2 or 3".


Contributed (but not invented) by Matt Preston.

This is a form of Guts, played with a spare hand called "Herbie".

Deck-Standard: 52 card

Players: 4-10

Initial Deal: Everyone antes a set amount, then they are dealt 3 cards face down; three cards are also dealt to Herbie.

Play: 2s, 4s, and 10s are wild. Only pairs and 3 of a kinds are viable (3 Aces being the best..or 3 wilds..etc.).

Everyone declares "in" or "out". This is best done simultaneously, for example by everyone holding out a fist containing or not containing a chip, and all opening them, simultaneously. Players who are "in" then have the option to keep their hand as it is or to discard 1, 2 or all 3 of their cards and be dealt replacement cards.

If only one person stays in, then they must face the phantom hand, "Herbie". If they lose to this hand, then they must match the pot.

If more than one person stays in, the winner takes the pot, then the losers must match the pot. If Herbie wins, then all the players who stayed in must match the pot.

If no one stays in, the pot remains for the next hand.

If two players tie for highest hand and Herbie doesnt beat them, then they go to a play off. The deck is not shuffled; 3 cards are dealt to each player, which they may keep or may discard 1, 2, or all 3 of them; new cards are dealt to replace any cards they discarded. Whoever has the highest hand wins the pot, while the loser has to match the pot.

So long as money remains in the pot, after each hand is settled, the cards are reshuffled and dealt by the next dealer. The game continues until only one person stays in and beats the phantom hand, emptying the pot.

Notice that this game is bigger than may at first appear. A 5 dollar pot could get as high as 25-30 bucks in one hand.

Crazy 3-5-7

Invented by Zac Pells

This game has the same rules as 3-5-7, except that on the three card hand only 3's are wild, on the 5 card hand 3's and 5's are wild and on the seven card hand 3's 5's and 7's are wild. Also you need to win (be the only person who does not fold) four times (instead of three) in order to win the pot and end the game.


Contributed by Mike Simmons

This is a variation of guts for 3-10 players, played with 1 or 2 decks.

Fierce is played with only 2 cards dealt to each player, with one showing for everyone to see, and one hidden.

Each player has a "dropper" (we use pepsi bottle caps), to indicate whether they wish to stay in the game. After the deal, everyone closes their fist and counts to 3: on 3 you have to open your hand. If you are holding a dropper (which you must drop when you open your hand) you're in the game; if your fist was empty, you cannot win the pot this time, and you wait for the next roundif there is one.

The fierce part is that even the owner can't see his hidden card unless he drops. If two or more players drop, their hidden cards are exposed. The one with the best hand takes the pot (any pair beats two unequal cards, otherwise high card wins). The others must all match the pot, and these amounts form the pot for the next deal.

Example: 3 people drop on a pot with 6 people each anteing 50 cents ($3.00). Two of these three people have to pay $3.00 each so there is a $6 pot for the next deal.

The game ends when only one person drops, winning the pot.

You can establish a max bet. For example suppose there 6 players anteing 50 cents, making a $3 pot, and you agree in advance on a $10 maximum bet. If every one were to drop there would be 5 losers, at $3 a player, and the pot would become $15. Now if you have established a 10 dollar maximum bet, even in the next round, a player who loses only has to pay $10 no matter how big the pot is.

Also a showdown could be used by agreement to ensure that the game ends after a maximum number of deals, for example 10 deals. In that case, on the 10th hand the cards will be dealt face up and the winner will be declared.

This game can be played with jokers wild. In that case a hand of two wild cards is worthless (worse than 3-2).

It is possible to play the same game with a smany as five cards, if you want to make a more interesting game, showing 2 cards and hiding 3. Poker hand ranking applies.

Sometime we combine king and low guts firece! (kings and the smallest card in your hand are wild) If a player shows a king and a 2 or a pair he/she should drop!

This is a fun game which usually makes or breaks an evening if you play no limit!


Contributed by Alan Kross-Vinson

This is a guts game, in which the object is to win the pot by having the highest ranking hand among all players. Each player pays an agreed upon ante amount (keep it small, it gets big) to the pot and is dealt 5 cards. If no one Lays Down their hand to force a showdown, then each player antes again, discards one card face down to the dealer, and the dealer deals one more card to each player. Repeat until one player, after a deal, lays down his hand as a challenge. If the person laying down has the best hand or ties for best, then he or she collects the pot and we start all over. If someone else has a better hand than the person laying down, then the best hand wins the pot (if there is a tie they share the pot) and the player laying down must match the pot, and we start all over. A player matching the pot can be exempt from the first ante of the next round.

The rank of hands is according to number of suits - any hand with one suit only will beat any hand with 2,3, or 4 suits. Any hand with just 2 suits will beat any hand with 3 or 4 suits, etc. Here is the rank of hands:

Obviously, the longer the game goes on, the fewer suits you should have. Discards are shuffled into the pack when there are fewer cards than players, so up to ten people can play. Early in the game, you can lay down with a decent four suited poker hand, but it won't fly if there are several players.


Contributed by Alan Kross-Vinson

This guts game is mechanically similar to Zoot, but the object is to go for straights. The rank of hands is

  1. straight flush
  2. 5-card straight
  3. 4-card straight
  4. 3-card straight + 2-card straight
  5. 3-card straight
  6. 2-card straight + 2-card straight
  7. 2-card straight
  8. high card (don't bother).

Aces can be high or low. When comparing similar hands, the highest card in the straight counts first. If a tie, then highest unattached card is considered.

In hand type 3, the 3-card straights are compared first, then the 2-card straights. In hand type 5, the higher straights are compared first, then the lower straights, then the odd card.

Lowball Guts

Contributed by Chris Hood

Each player is dealt three cards and three cards are dealt to a ghost hand (all face down). The players look at their cards and decide simultaneously whether to stay in or drop out: all players hold their cards in front of them face down a few inches above the table, then the dealer counts to 3 and the players drop or hold their cards at the same moment. If everyone drops, all players put in another ante and the cards are reshuffled and redealt.

If more than one player stays in, the player with the lowest hand among those who stayed in wins the pot. For example 9-8-7 is lower than 10-3-2, and 7-4-3 is lower than 7-5-3. The lowest hand possible is A-2-3 (straights and flushes do not count, put pairs and trips do). The players who stayed in and do not win must match the pot.

If only one player stays in, he or she must beat the ghost hand or match the pot. If more than one player stays in, then the ghost hand is not played.


Home Page > Poker > Variations > Match Pot > Match Pot
This page is maintained by John McLeod, john@pagat.com
© John McLeod, 2000 - 2010. Last updated: 19th December 2010