Non-Poker Games

TOPICS

 

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Although they tend to make poker purists ill, these wild games, if played in moderation, can really round out a friendly home game. Or make the game devolve into fistfights.

 

Seven Twenty Seven

  • PLAYERS
    • Up to ten.
  • INITIAL DEAL
    • Two down, one up to each player.
  • PLAY
    • The object of this ridiculous game is to get as close to 7 or 27 as possible.
    • Most cards are valued as in blackjack, meaning that aces are worth either 1 or 11 at the holder's discretion and number cards are worth their pip value. Face cards, however, are worth half a point, 0.5.
    • The player to the dealer's left is the first lead player, with the lead rotating each round. Each round, the lead player may choose to take one additional card, or stay with what they have.
    • After everyone has had the option of taking a card that round, the lead then starts a round of betting.
    • This continues until a round occurs where no one takes an additional card. Bet.
    • Declare. Bet. Showdown.
  • WINNER
    • Players closest to 7 and closest to 27 without going over split the pot.
    • Note that A-A-5 is both 7 and 27, so player with this sort of double ace hand has an excellent hand for pigging.
    • The prohibition against going over the target value is known as the Price is Right rule.
  • VARIATIONS
    • Price of Right rule is only invoked to break ties. Therefore, 6.5 beats 7.5, but 7.5 beats 6.0 and 8.0.
    • Get rid of the Price is Right rule and allow players who go over the target value of 7 or 27 to win. In the case of a tie, such as 6.5 and 7.5, players split the low half of the pot, assuming they declared their interest in the low half.
    • Ten Rule
      • Tens are valued at ten or zero at player's discretion.
      • Thanks to michaelandmonica@email.msn.com for this variant!
  • NOTE
    • This is a powerful game and is known for completely negating the good/bad play that players have had during the course of the night.

Numbers

  • PLAYERS
    • Up to eight.
  • INITIAL DEAL
    • Five face down to each player and seven down in the center of the table.
  • PLAY
    • Dealer turns a center card over. Anyone holding a card of the same rank must discard that card.
    • Bet, beginning with player to dealer's left for the first round, with succeeding rounds beginning on a rotating basis.
    • Dealer exposes the next center card and like cards are again discarded. If a card of the same rank as a previously flipped card is turned over, a new card is flipped from the top of the deck until an undiscarded rank is revealed. Bet.
    • Continue until seven different ranks have been identified in the middle of the table.
  • WINNER
    • Player who first loses all five cards instantly wins the pot and game is over.
    • Should that not occur:
      • Bet, then players declare high, low, or pig. Bet. Showdown.
      • Aces are worth 1 or 11 at players discretion, face cards are worth 10, and all other cards are worth their face value.
      • Highest and lowest totals split the pot.

Red and Black

  • PLAYERS
    • Up to eight.
  • INITIAL DEAL
    • One down and one up to each player.
  • PLAY
    • Bet. Continue dealing as in five card stud, with a bet after each up card, but with a sixth and final card dealt in the center face up as a community card. Bet. Declare. Bet. Showdown.
    • All red cards have a positive value, all black cards have a negative value. Aces count as one, faces cards count as ten, all others count as their pip value. Hands are calculated based on the sum point value of five of the six cards.
  • WINNER
    • High and low hands split the pot.

Blackout

  • PLAYERS
    • Up to nine.
  • INITIAL DEAL
    • Five down to each player, and five down in the center.
  • PLAY
    • Bet. A card is exposed in the center. Each player who has a card that matches that center card must discard that card. Bet.
    • Continue until all five center cards are exposed. Bet.
    • Players add up the value of their remaining unexposed cards as follows: Face cards are worth ten, other cards are worth their pip value, and aces may be valued at one or eleven at the discretion of the player.
    • Players declare high or low.
  • WINNER
    • High and low hands split the pot.
  • VARIATION
    • If a player loses all five cards before the declare, player "blacks out" and immediately wins the entire pot.
  • NOTE
    • Thanks to Lawrence Wong for the game!

Screw Your Neighbor

  • PLAYERS
    • Up to eight.
  • INITIAL DEAL
    • One card down to each player.
  • PLAY
    • Each player places three of the highest-value chips in front them.
    • Cards are valued from deuce (lowest) to ace (highest).
    • The lead begins to the left of the dealer and rotates with each hand.
    • Each player, beginning with the lead, may keep their current card or exchange it with the player to the left.
    • If someone tries to take a king from someone, holder may prevent the trade by revealing the king face up on the table.
    • The last player may keep their card or exchange it for the top one from the deck.
    • When all players have gone, everyone reveals their cards and the player with the lowest card (aces are high) tosses a chip into the pot.
    • A player is eliminated when the player loses the third chip into the pot.
    • Dealer then redeals, but only shuffles once there are more remaining players than cards.
    • When down to two players, the last player has an advantage-- if the first player exchanges with other player, second player knows what all the cards in the game are and can make a more informed decision. To cancel this advantage, when only two players are left the second player can't look at card until after the lead player has chosen to exchange or hold.
  • WINNER
    • Last player with a chip in front of him or her wins the pot.

Boo Ray

  • PLAYERS
    • Five for sure, but it's safe to play with six.
  • INITIAL DEAL
    • Five down to each player, and one card turned up in the center.
  • PLAY
    • In this game, hands are not evaluated as in poker. Instead players try to win "tricks" as in bridge.
    • In a trick, each player plays one card into the center of the table. The player who plays the highest card wins the round, or "trick."
    • The card turned up in the center indicates the suit that serves as the "trump" suit. Its only purpose is to indicate the trump suit.
    • Beginning with the player to the dealer's left, each player may either pay a set amount into the pot to remain in the game, or fold.
    • After each player has chosen whether to remain or not, dealer allows each player to draw and discard up to four cards.
    • After the draw, the player to the dealer's left plays a card into the center of the table. Then, proceeding around the table, each player in turn plays a card into the center of the table.
    • Cards are ranked from deuce (low) to ace (high). The player who plays the highest card of the same suit as the first card played in the trick wins the trick.
      • If a player has a card of the same suit as the card first played during the trick, the player must play that card.
      • However, if a player does not have a card of the same suit as the card first played during the trick, the player may play any other card in their hand.
      • If a trump suit card is played, it wins the hand.
      • If more than one trump suit card is played, the highest trump suit card wins.
    • After each trick, a new trick begins. The first card of that trick is played by the player who won the previous trick.
    • Once all five tricks are over, each player that did both did not fold before the draw and did not take three tricks of the five tricks must pay a set amount into the pot as a penalty. Each player that took zero tricks must pay a second penalty.
    • If no player takes three tricks, each player that did not fold before the draw pays. Dealer then shuffles and redeals to all players, including players who folded before the draw.
  • WINNER
    • First player to take three tricks in a round.
  • VARIATION
    • If the trump card is a club, then players may not fold before the draw.
  • NOTE
    • Thanks to Donna McConnell for this game! 

Monday Night Football

  • PLAYERS
    • Up to seven.
  • INITIAL DEAL
    • Seven down to each player.
  • PLAY
    • Do not peek at cards!
    • Game is played just like Night Baseball on the Seven Card Stud page, except hands are not evaluated as poker hands, but by a unique ranking system:
      • Face cards are touchdown and worth six points.
      • Aces are conversions and worth one point, but only if immediately following a face card.
      • Deuces are safties and worth two points.
      • Treys are field goals and worth three points.
      • Remaining cards have no value.
    • The player to the dealer's left exposes a card. Bet.
    • The next player on the left starts exposing cards until that player's revealed hand beats the highest revealed hand on the table. When that player has achieved the high hand, player begins the betting round. If the player exposes all seven cards and still doesn't have the highest hand, player must fold, and leader begins betting round.
  • WINNER
    • Final remaining player. But in case of tie, cards all cards are shuffled, each remaining player is dealt five down cards, and sudden death is played as above until there is a winner.
  • VARIATION
    • Touchdowns are not worth any points unless followed by an Ace or a Deuce. In this variation, all touchdowns must be followed by another roll to determine if the touchdown is valid or not.
  • NOTE
    • Thanks to paulsd@cisco.com for this game!

Old Man 49er

  • PLAYERS
    • Five for sure, but it's usually safe with six.
  • INITIAL DEAL
    • Five down to each player.
  • PLAY
    • Without betting, each player may discard and draw up to four cards, beginning with the player to the dealer's left.
    • Players stack their cards in front of them, face down, in the order they wish to reveal them. Players may not change the stack order.
    • Bet, beginning with the player to the dealer's left.
    • Each player simultaneously exposes a card.
    • Cards are valued as follows:
      • Aces are worth one or eleven, and the player's election.
      • Face cards are worth zero.
      • All other cards are worth their pip value.
    • The player with the highest exposed card begins a betting round.
    • After this betting round, players alternate exposing and betting until each player has four cards exposed. Bet. Declare. Bet. Showdown.
  • WINNER
    • Pot is split between the player with the highest total and the player with the lowest total, based on the scoring system described above.
    • However, if a player has a five card hand that totals exactly 49, that player wins the entire pot.
  • NOTE
    • Thanks to Todd Macsuga for this game!

Acey Deucy

  • PLAYERS
    • Unlimited
  • INITIAL DEAL
    • Two face up in center of table, called "goalposts."
  • PLAY
    • Each player antes.
    • Player to the left of the dealer plays first as follows:
      • Player bets an amount between some mandatory minimal and the amount of the ante. Player must still bet even if the goalposts are the same card.
      • Dealer deals a third card up on the table, between the goalposts.
      • If the third card is between the goalposts, player wins from the pot an amount equal to player's bet.
      • If the third card is not between the goalposts, player pays bet to the pot.
      • If the third card is the same as one of the goalposts, player must pay double player's bet to the pot.
      • Cards are ranked from deuce (low) to ace (high). Ace does not swing.
    • Play continues in this manner around the table for two rounds. Once the third round begins, the maximum bet raises to the amount in the pot. That way, players may win the pot by betting an amount equal to the pot and having the third card fall between the goalposts.
    • If the pot is depleted, game is over.
    • Cards are reshuffled whenever three kings are exposed.
  • WINNER
    • No sure winner, since each player can win some money.
  • NOTES
    • Also known as In Between, Red Dog, Yablon, and Between the Sheets.
    • Thanks to Ron Tipton for this game! 

Bingo

  • PLAYERS
    • Up to five.
  • INITIAL DEAL
    • Nine cards face up in a 3X3 bingo grid in front of each player from the first deck. Dealer puts the remaining cards from this deck aside for the remainder of the game.
    • Dealer exposes a card in the middle of the table from a second deck.
  • PLAY
    • Each player who has a card or cards in his bingo grid that matches the value of the exposed card from the second deck places a chip or chips on that card or cards. Chip's value is determined by dealer before game begins.
  • WINNER
    • Player who first has chips on all cards in a three card row, column, or diagonal wins all the chips placed on cards by other players.
  • VARIATIONS
    • Excruciating Bingo: In order to cover a card with a chip, card must match both the pip and suit of the exposed card from the second deck.
    • Instead of simply completing a three card row, players must complete a different design, such as an H or a T, or black out all cards.
  • NOTES
    • A different Bingo game may be found on the Community Card Games page.
    • Thanks to Thomas Akin!