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Chinese Poker (also referred to as Russian Poker)

A 52-card deck is used and 13 cards are dealt to 4 players each. Each player arranges the 13 cards into their 3 best poker hands known as the "Front", "Middle", and "Back". The "Front" is a 3-card hand. Both "Middle" and "Back" are 5-card hands and must outrank the "Front" (3-card hand). If you're playing with a surrender option, after the cards have been dealt (and the players have arranged their cards into these 3 hands), then each player elects to either play or surrender. If they surrender, they forfeit 2 chips (or points) to each of the other players. If they play, each player's 3 hands are compared to the other players' hands. Each hand you win picks up 1 chip and the overall winner picks up an extra chip. You can rotate the order of accepting surrenders for each game.

For some interesting reads on the popularity of Chinese poker, you can visit this thread on the RGP group (from 2000). In particular, Michael O'Malley discusses one of his favorite all-time poker stories in which Denny Axel beats Men "The Master" Nguyen in a game of Chinese poker and how the best players compose their hands carefully based on what they know of their opponents (and their opponents' cards).


Invented by Mike Chow, the best rules for this Hold'em variant belong to Scot Wolfington's site. Popular at BARGE, Chowaha is also the favorite game of Spencer Sun, the 2000 TOC Champion.


Played as 7-Card Stud except the lowest hand wins the showdown.


Played as Draw Poker (5-Card Draw) except the lowest hand wins. The best hand is 5-4-3-2-A. Squeege of sets the record straight on some technical issues in lowball (such as "Is the Ace low?"). Called "California Lowball" if you play with a 53-card deck (as opposed to the standard 52-card deck) and the Joker plays as the lowest card not already present in the player's hand.


Played as Texas Hold'em except you're dealt 3 cards at the beginning (instead of 2) and you must immediately discard one of the three hole cards before the first round of betting.


2 cards are dealt to each player, after which, each player can opt out. Of the remaining players who are in, the pot goes to highest hand and the rest of the players who claimed "in" must put into the pot what the winner took out. Highest hand is a pair of Aces, etc. (Only pairs and high cards count.) Game ends when only one player goes "in" and collects the pot. Homepoker details a bunch of Guts variations. Our favorite variation is at PokerMike's and involves 3 cards dealt, with one card passed to the player on your left (and composing the best hand out of the remaining 3 cards).

Indian Poker

One card is dealt to each player face down. Each player then holds the card face up on their forehead (without looking at their own card) and bets on their card according to what they see of the other players' cards. Betting goes on for as long as desired with the highest card winning. While this is played for laughs, others find value in reading a player's ability to bluff and what their betting reveals of their style.


3 cards are dealt to each player who must decide to pass or stay in, starting with the player to the left of the dealer. For this first round, 3's are wild and three-of-a-kind is the best hand (next best: pair, followed by a high card). All those "in" show their cards only to each other and the winner takes the pot with the losers matching the pot. If only one player is in or there is a tie, that player (and those involved in a tie) gain a "leg" (chip). Two more cards are dealt (to everyone) and now 5's are wild. Again, players pass or are in, same as above with the highest 5-card hand winning the pot. Last round: two more cards are dealt to everyone and now 7's are wild. Same play with the highest 5-card hand winning the pot. 3 legs (chips) will also win the pot. Maximum numbers of players is seven.


Each player is dealt 7 cards and must discard and pass 3 of those to the player on their left. They then discard and pass 2 cards to the player on their left. Followed once more by discarding and passing 1 card to the player on their left. Next, they discard 2 cards into the center (as true discards). Each player then orders the remaining five cards in a stack in whatever order they would like their cards to be revealed as follows. Each players exposes their top card. Bet. Next card in the stack is revealed. Bet. And so forth until the final hand is revealed. High & low split the pot (the highest and lowest 5-card hands). For more variations, Chilcoot's has some fun ones to check out.

Follow the Queen

Played as 7-Card Stud except that Queens are wild. If a Queen is dealt on a face up card, then the next card dealt up is also wild (and called a "trailer"). Other than Queens, there is only ever one other wild card in play. Thus, if another Queen is dealt on a face up card, the next card is wild and becomes the newest trailer (replacing the old one). Highest 5-card hand wins.


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