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Poker Variations
Draw Poker
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Other Variations
 -Bid Poker
 -Buddha's Folly
 -Double Revenge
 -High/Low Pig
 -Kenosha Cheese   Porn
 -Liar's Poker
 -Second Hand High
 -Soda Bomb
 -Three Five Seven
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Other Poker Variations

Some poker games just don’t fall into any of the typical poker variation categories, but nonetheless, they still use the familiar poker hand rankings and many of the familiar poker rules. Some interesting poker variations can be found this bunch, however, some of which may bring extreme twists to the game!

Bid Poker

Number of Players: 3-8

The Deal: Each player is dealt five cards face down which they can look at.

How to Play: After the ante, one card from the deck is turned face up. The player to the left of the dealer starts the bidding on this card. Bidding goes around the table in this direction, with each player either topping the previous bid or passing. If a player passes, they can not bid on that card anymore, but may bid on the next card. When everyone has passed except one player, that player wins the card and puts their bid in the pot. They then discard any one of their cards (including the one just won) face down in the discard pile. Another bidding round then takes place, with the next card in the deck being flipped and the person to the left of the previous opening bidder starting this round. Play continues until everyone has opened the bidding, after which there is a showdown.

Variations: 1. Instead of discarding to a discard pile, the player who bought the last card chooses a card and places it face down in front of another player. Before looking at the card, this player has to discard one card to the discard pile. He can then pick up the card he was given. 2. Same as 1, but the player who was “slammed” can choose another player to slam (including the layer who just gave him the new card). 3. Before the showdown, there is a final round of betting, starting with the player to the left of the dealer. Without this rule, it's possible to win the pot without putting in any money besides the ante.

Buddha's Folly

Number of Players: 4-10

The Deal: Five cards face down to each player

How to Play: This game has a lead player, which rotates each hand, starting from the dealer’s left. The dealer first turns the top card of the deck up, after which the lead player ahs the option of taking this card or passing it to the next player to their left. If the card is taken by the lead, they must instead pass another ard from their hand to the left. Play continues until a card remains on the table without anyone taking it. After this, plays continues just as in a regular Guts game (see below).

Pot Goes to: The highest hand.

Double Revenge

Number of Players: Whatever.

The Deal: Three cards down to everyone.

How to Play: After the deal, players take turns announcing whether they are in the hand or out. Players remaining in get two more cards and then announce if they are in or out again. Players who go out here owe half the pot. Players in get two more cards. A showdown ensues and the best five hand poker hand wins the whole pot, while losers who stayed in the whole way match the pot.


Number of Players: 3-8

The Deal: Five cards down dealt to everyone.

How to Play: Fives are always wild. After the deal, players indicate their intention to stay in by holding a chip in their fist. Players remaining in receive two more cards, and a showdown ensues. The player with the best five card hand takes the pot, and losers that stayed in must match the pot. If only one player remains in, however, they must beat the top eight cards off the deck or match the pot themselves. The game continues until only one player stays in and beats the deck. The game continues and the pot increases whenever more than two players stay in (or if one player stays but loses to the deck).

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Number of Players: 4-10

The Deal: Three cards down to each player.

How to Play: After the deal, each player determines whether or not they are in and playing their hand, or they are out. Players signify simultaneously whether they are in or out using a predetermined method. Players who hold their hand reveal their cards and the winner takes the pot. The losers who remained in must match what the pot was, but the winner does not take this amount. It stays in until the next hand. New hands are then dealt and the game continues until only one player stays in, thus emptying the pot. Straights and flushes do not count in this game.

Pot Goes to: The high hand.

1. Weenie rule: If nobody stays in, everyone reveals their hand and the player with the best hand must match the pot.
2. Beat the deck: If only one player stays in, the top two cards of the deck are turned over. If the player’s hand doesn’t beat these cards, they match the pot.
3. Limit Match: There is a set limit on the amount players must pay if they lose. They do not match the pot.
4. One or two cards can be used instead of three.
5. Auction Guts: An additional hand is dealt to the middle of the table, known as the "mystery hand”. Just before the showdown, players bid for the right to replace their hands with the mystery hand. This continues until nobody wants to switch with the new mystery hand.
6. Hand in the Middle: A mystery hand is dealt face down. Players who stay in must instead beat the mystery hand to win, as well as their opponents.
7. Hold Your Guts: If nobody decides to stay in, the same hand is played again until someone decides to stay in.
8. Pass Your Guts: If nobody stays in, everyone passes a predetermined number of cards to their right, and the game is begun again. This continues until someone stays in.
9. Progressive Guts: Everyone starts with two cards. If no one stays in, another card is dealt to everyone. This is repeated until someone stays in. Straights and flushes become legal after five cards are dealt.
10. Blood and Guts: Same as Progressive Guts, except that if a player loses a pair or better, that player must pay double the pot. Also, if all players fold after getting five cards, then they must re ante and the deal starts again with two cards dealt to each player.
11. Cohones: Can be played high or low hand. Each player may draw anywhere from one card, up to however many cards were dealt, replacing their cards, as in draw poker. For each card drawn, the layer must pay a predetermined amount (usually the minimum bet). After all players have drawn, the hand proceeds as if just dealt.
12. Bloody Sevens: Two cards are dealt down to each player. After players determine whether they are still in, remaining players are dealt a third card face up. Sevens down are wild and anyone with an up seven must fold. The high hand takes the pot and losers match, except for those who had to fold due to a seven.
13. Tennessee Guts: One card is dealt down to each player. Played the same as regular guts except suits are ranked from high to low from Spaces, Hearts, Diamonds, to Clubs. Card rankings are the same, but a King of Hearts would beat a King of Diamonds, for instance. A winner for a given hand must place their winning card in front of them face up as a counter of the number of hands they have won. A player wins the pot after winning three hands.
14. Baseball Guts : Threes and nines are wild. If any player who remains in the game has a four, they get an extra card.
Full Monty: The highest and lowest cards, among the hands that stayed in, are wild for everyone.

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High/Low Pig

Number of Players: 3-8

The Deal: Five cards dealt face down to each player.

How to Play: The lowest rank of card in each player’s hand is wild for them (Aces are high or low, so always wild). Five cards are dealt, followed by a round of betting. Then, players take turns trading cards, beginning from the dealer’s left. Before trading, you must state the number of cards you want to trade. If anyone is interested, they call “done” and if more than one player is interested, the players must bid on the cards (which they cannot see). The winner of the bid must put his winning bid into the pot and trade the same number of cards with the other player. Play continues until no one wants to trade. This is followed by a rolling showdown until until each player has only one card face down. A final betting round ensues followed by the final showdown.

Pot Goes to: High and low hands split.

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Number of Players: 3 or more

The Deal: One card face down to each player

How to Play: Players do not look at their card. Instead, they place the card carefully face up on their forehead, making sure not to see what it is. Players are free to see the cards of their opponents. A betting round ensues, followed by a showdown.

Pot Goes to: The high hand

Variations: 1. High and low hands split. 2. Low hand wins. 3. Deal two to five cards to each player and find a means to prevent each player from seeing their cards.

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Kenosha Cheese Porn

Number of Players: 3-8

The Deal: Two cards face down to each player.

How to Play: Players alternate between receiving cards and betting until someone feels they have the best hand. There is a round of betting after the deal. Each player is then dealt another card face down, followed by another round of betting. This continues until a player feels confident in their hand. After a round of betting, the player must call “cheese porn” and contribute to the pot a predetermined amount of money. A final bet ensues, and then the showdown takes place. To call “cheese porn” a player must have a pair of jacks or better. If there are not enough cards in the deck for all players on any given round, a showdown takes place.

Variations: Open Hand: Similar to stud, in that each player starts with two cards down and one up. A betting round follows the deal, and then the dealer gives everyone another up card, followed by another round of betting. This continues until “cheese porn” is called. The caller contributes to the pot, and afterwards one card is dealt to the remaining players face down, but not the caller. A final bet is followed by the showdown.

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Liar's Poker

Number of Players: 3-10

The Deal: Everyone is dealt two down cards.

How to Play: Each player begins the game with two quarters (or whatever other denomination you wish) in front of them. The first person calls out any poker hand. The next person must call out a hand which beats the previous hand, or call that hand. If someone calls a hand, then everyone must pool their cards to determine if that hand exists among their combined cards. If the hand does exist, the person who called the hand loses one of their quarters and begins the next game with only one card dealt to them. If that player only had one quarter, they are out and play begins with the next person. The deck is reshuffled after each round, and the game ends when only one person has a quarter left.

Pot Goes to: The winner

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Number of Players: 3-8

The Deal: One card face down.

How to Play: One card is dealt at a time, followed by a round of betting. For the first card, players compete for the highest card. Players indicate simultaneously if they are going to compete for the pot by secretly putting a coin in their hand, or not. Everyone puts their closed fist on the table and opens them at the same time. Those who have coins complete for the pot. Competing players swap their cards to determine who wins (other players do not see their cards). The player with the highest card wins. Those players who competed but lost must match the pot, which becomes the new pot for the next hand. If a tie takes place, or no one stays in, the pot carries over. Another card is then dealt face down to each player, and added to their hands. This time players will compete for the lowest hand. Players again decide to compete or not, and swap hands to see who wins. Losing players match the pot. A third card is dealt, and players compete for a high hand again, in the same manner. Then, players compete for a low hand again on the fourth card, followed by a showdown, with everyone automatically competing. The highest hand takes the pot and the game ends. .

Variations: 1. Ante every time: Before each card, every player antes. This helps to insure that there will always be money in the pot. 2. If only one player stays in to compete, all other players must match the pot. If no one stays, everyone must match the pot.

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Second Hand High

Number of Players: 3-7

The Deal: Same as Seven Card Stud, or whatever variation of poker it is played with

How to Play: This game can be played in any standard poker format (draw, Five Card Stud, etc.). The standard variation involves betting and dealing as in Seven Card Stud.

Pot Goes to: Second highest hand

Variations: 1. Play with wild cards 2. Second-low in a lowball format 2. Split pot between the highest and second highest hands

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Soda Bomb

Number of Players: 4

The Deal: 13 cards down to each player

How to Play: After the deal, each player discards three cards face down. These 12 cards are then shuffled. A betting round ensues, and then two of the disards are turned up. Each player must then turn up any cards in their hand that are of the same rank as these cards. Another betting round follows, and another two cards are turned over, players turning over their matching cards again. This continues until all 12 discards are turned over. Players bet one more time, and then declare simultaneously whether they are going for a high or low hand, or both. Using 1, 0 or 2 chips in a fist and then revealing them at the same time works well for this.

Pot Goes to: The cards remaining in hand determine the score. Face cards are worth 10, aces are 1 or 11 (depending on a high or low hand), others are worth face value. If anyone turns all of their cards, they take the whole pot automatically.

Variations: 1. Three players - deal 17, discard 4 each + the 1 remaining card. 2. Five players - deal 10, discard 2 each + the 2 remaining cards.

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Three Five Seven

Number of Players: 3-7

The Deal: Three cards face down to each player.

How to Play: After the deal, players indicate simultaneously whether they are staying in or not (using chips in hands and revealing at the same time works well). Those remaining in determine the best hand by examining each others’ cards – players not staying in cannot see their cards. Threes are wild, while straights and flushes do not count. Losing players who stayed in pay the winner the amount currently in the pot. If two players have equal hands, they exchange no money. All players are then dealt two additional face down cards. The same procedure is repeated, but this time fives are wild and straights and flushes do count. After this, the procedure is repeated again, with sevens wild this time, and the best five card hand winning. If only one player stays in in any given hand, that player earns a point. The first player to win three points takes the pot. If no one has three points after the seven card hand, however, everyone antes up again, the cards are reshuffled, and play starts over with the same pot.

Pot Goes to: The first player to reach three points; however, the high hand for each individual hand gets payment from losers.


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