Every once in a while, I get a yen to play cards. We call the friends around, scratch up a few bucks and beers, and proceed to shit talk each other into a heap of constant laughter. Oh and there are cards too, for the most part. Cards and chips. Some you can eat, some you can’t. Good times, my friends, good times.
And I ain’t talking no crazy eights or spades here, though both of those are fine games indeed. I have nothing against those games. I love to play all card games. I love to play Uno and spoons and speed and slap Jack and pitty pat and Mille Bornes and a crap ton of other games. I’ve played Magic the Gathering, and Pokemon and Jihad and Illuminati. I’ve played several variations of Fluxx as well as Munchkin. But today I am talking about a serious card game. The Mack Daddy of all card games.
I’m talking about poker.
Now, I am sure some of you have watched those poker TV shows where they play Texas Hold ‘em for hours and hours on end. While that is nice, it’s just one of many games in the fine line up that poker has to offer. Here at Chez Brown we play what is called dealer’s choice, which means whoever is dealing chooses the game. In the spirit of sharing, I figured I would offer you guys some alternative games for you folks in case you want to try a poker night of your own.
I am operating on the premise that you already know what hands beat each other, so we will leave that part alone.
Seven Card Stud:
I know many of you are already familiar with this game, but since it is the basis of most of the other games I will list here, I figured I should go over it at least once. Seven card stud is a no draw game, meaning the cards you are dealt will be all you have. It’s the reveal of the cards that makes the game so much fun.
You will get seven cards total.
To begin with you are dealt two face down, and one face up.
First round of betting starts with the highest card face up.
Second deal is one face up.
Round of betting.
Third deal is one face up.
Round of betting.
Fourth deal is one face up.
Round of betting.
Fifth deal is one face down.
Final round of betting.
In the end you have three face down and four face up. Make a hand out of the best five. Reveal your face down after the last round of betting to show your hand.
Rake in the money!
Now you know this you can play all of these games.
Aces and Eights (Or Dead Man’s Hand):
This is seven card stud with Aces and Eights as wild cards. This means all Aces and Eights are wild. It’s also called Dead Man’s Hand because it was said that Wild Bill Hickock was holding those cards when he was murdered.
Seven card stud in which fives and sevens are wild, but ONLY if you have both. You can have any variation of fives and sevens, like three fives and one seven or one five and two sevens, just as long as you have one of each they are all wild. This works really well if your five or seven is face down, so no one but you knows they are wild.
Seven card stud with threes and nines wild, but you roll your fours. This means when you have a four dealt, either face up or down, you expose the four and get another card. If the four was face down, you turn it up and get another face down card. If it was dealt face up, you get another face up card. Again all threes and nines are wild.
Seven card stud with twos, fours and tens wild. That is a LOT of wild cards, folks. Super fun!
This is the husband’s favorite game. How favorite? He never deals anything else. Even if he does, he just gives it a different name but deals the same exact game. In this one, we have seven card stud with changing wild cards based on pairs dealt face up.
When a pair is dealt face up, the next card dealt will be wild. This changes with every face up pair dealt. Let’s say I deal you a pair of fives, and the next card dealt is a six, all sixes are wild. Now, next round in the same game I deal your friend a pair of twos, and the next card dealt face up is a three, now all threes are wild.
You can see how complicated this can get.
Two important things to remember- if a three of a kind is dealt face up, it is treated as a pair, and the next card is wild. Second, if the dealer is dealt the last pair on his last deal, no cards are wild as there are no more face up cards dealt.
Phew. That’s a hard one to explain.
Chase the Queen:
Seven card stud, queens are wild and the next card dealt face up after a face up queen is also wild. This changes for every face up queen dealt.
Seven card stud, the lowest card in your hold is wild. This means your lowest face down card is wild for you only. Aces are always treated as high in the hold, although they can complete a straight from the bottom up.
This one we picked up from the TV show 30 Rock, though the character called it something else. Seven card stud, all face cards are wild, fives are twos, threes are killer.
Sounds complicated but it’s pretty simple. All face cards are wild, that means every Jack, Queen and King are wild. Fives are twos, this means that all fives act as twos, and there are no natural fives in the game. Threes are killer means that if you hold a three you must forfeit the round automatically.
This game is played best blind, meaning you deal all of the cards at once, and turn them over in succession, creating larger and better hands in rounds. Great fun!
These are just a few games we play at the house. It’s a five dollar buy in, nickel ante, quarter limit. I won’t even get into GUTS or The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, or Low Ball, Jacks or Better to open with Trips to Win, Burn the Cross or even Roulette. Wow, we play so many different kinds of games. Come and play with us some time, won’t you?