Every so often, some friends and I get together for a poker night. We crack some beers, get a couple of pizzas, open some bags of chips, and play poker for a few hours. There’s generally not a whole lot of money at stake as the ante is usually only a dime or, at most, a quarter. Some of the games will gradually build a large pot, but making money is not what these games are about.
It’s always dealers’ choice so there are a great variety of usually simple games to play. Here are a few of our favorite, lesser-played games that work their way into our poker nights.
Follow The Queen.
This game is of the seven-card stud variety. After dealing the first three cards, two down and one up, a round of betting commences from the highest card. To start the game, only queens are wild. As each card is dealt, be on watch for a queen to come up. The card immediately following the queen becomes wild. If another queen comes up again, the previous wild card changes to whatever card follows the queen. This process is repeated until all seven cards have been dealt.
Kings And Little Ones.
This is a five-card, one draw game. Kings are wild, as is whatever card is the lowest in your hand. If the lowest card in your hand is a pair, both are wild. Be forewarned, however, that the draw aspect of this game can get tricky. If the lowest card in your hand is a pair of fives and you draw a three, that three is now wild. Sometimes, not drawing is the best course of action. Be prepared for the winning hand to be outrageously high, including five of a kind.
Deuces And Jacks, King With The Ax, Pair Of Natural Sevens Takes All
A seven card stud game, there’s lots of potential for a quick finish to this one. Deuces, Jacks, and the King with the ax (King of diamonds) are all wild. The first two cards are down, four are up, and the final card is the players’ choice if they want it up or down. There is one condition to this game. If at anytime a player is dealt a natural pair of sevens face up the game is over. That player wins the whole pot regardless of how poor their hand is. A tip: if you have seven showing on the table, take your last card up just in case you are given another seven.
Similar to Kings and Little ones, this game is seven-card stud game. The first two cards are down, the next four are up, and the player chooses if they want the final card up or down. The highest showing hand bets each time. The lowest card facedown in everybody’s hand is his or her wild card, including those they have showing. Taking the final card down means the wild card might change, so play accordingly.
One simple way to change a poker game is to add an addendum to any game. For instance, if you’re playing Low Hold, announce that the player with the lowest spade face down splits the pot with the winner. This forces players to continually raise and stay in if they think they’re holding the lowest spade in their hand. It makes the game more interesting, and usually includes another winner in the game.
Play any or all of these games at your next poker night for a little variety, for some more fun, or just for something different if you’re stuck. They’re easy to learn and will impress your friends!