Variant Ideas

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One of the best features of home poker is the many creative rules variations that can be applied to the game. As you read these pages, you'll see similar concepts applied in many different ways to make old games new again. Consider using some of these variant ideas in your next game!

Burn
A player who raises after a given round late in the game but does not win at least a share of the pot must pay a penalty to the pot before it is divided. The burn can be a set amount, a percentage of the pot, or some other determinable figure. Note that the word "burn" is also used to refer to the practice of discarding the top card from the deck before dealing a card. (Thanks to Erich Schacht.)

Progressive Betting
Players must ante not just at the beginning of the game, but at each successive betting round. Typically, the ante gets bigger as each successive round occurs. (Thanks to Erich Schacht.)

Push
Players may pay the pot a certain amount to reject an up-card and pass it to another player, typically the player on the left.

Wild Cards

  • Low Hole Card
  • One-Eyed Jacks (jacks that only display one eye)
  • Suicide Kings (kings with a sword through their heads)
  • Chicago Taxi (low spade in the hole)