by: Dino The Greek.
One of the harder aspects of playing games of poker with your buddies is coming up with a variety of different games that appeal to everyone. Playing the same old games over and over can get repetitious. When there are 6 or 7 players in a game, split pots make for more action, and more action increases the fun.
Chicago is okay but there is too much luck involved in having one hole card decide half the pot. After Iron Cross and straight draw poker we started running out of split pots games so we added a couple over the years. I introduced both of these games over 35 years ago into our group and with some modifications we still play them today. Chances are someone else has also thought of these variations of poker or something similar, but I?ve not been able to find them listed anywhere. The best part of both games is that players are provided with more action for the cost of the ante. Folding your cards without any opportunity to change your fate, deal after deal can become frustrating.
In going through a list of poker games it occurred to me that the names each game was listed under didn?t much describe the game. Reel?em works as a name for this game. Each player is dealt 5 cards face down. One draw of up to three is conducted. The players then must sort their cards in the order they wish to play them face up one at a time, and place them face down in a stack. The order now cannot be switched. There are 5 rounds of betting and the first round starts after each player turns over his top card, laying it face up on the table. This continues until each player has four cards face up and one face down. Before the final down card is shown, each player must declare which way he is going by putting coins in his hand, putting his hand in the middle of the table. Once everyone has their coin hand in the middle of the table, all coins are shown. One coin for low, two coins for high, three coins for both ways. The final bets are made, after which the hole cards are shown and the winners declared. This game has an aspect not found in other games. The order in which a player determines his cards is part of the bluffing and feeling out process. For instance, what can appear to be a low hand with Ace, Three showing, may well turn out to be a full house or three of a kind. Or even a flush. Likewise a player might have a small straight going, and decide to go for low at the end if it appears he is beat for high, but can win low easily.
This game is played like stud poker except each player had the option of either taking the first card dealt him, or paying up predetermined ante for the privilege of discarding the freshly dealt card and taking the next down card in the deck. Played as a split pot, with coin declaration after the last up cards are dealt and final bets made. Although I have found a variation of this game, we play it with one card down, 4 cards up, plus a discard. Because there are so many rounds, there is no betting until everyone has their 3rd card. The downfall of this poker game is that frequently the dealer runs out of cards. The last card is never used and gets shuffled into the remaining discarded cards to continue the deal.
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