Poker Reference

Compiled by Steve Molin and Adrian McCarthy. Last update, 19-FEB-2022.

Quick Reference


Chip ColorChip Value
white1 betting unit
red5 b.u.
blue10 b.u.

Rank of Poker Hands

Table Rules

The table rules are modifiable by consensus of the group between hands.

Default Rules

If the dealer doesn't specify something different when he/she calls the game, then these are the default rules:

Standard Games

Any Base Games

Fuzzy Poker [Mark White]

Ranks 2 through 10 may be any adjacent rank, so a deuce could be 2 or 3, a trey could be 2, 3, or 4, and so on. 10 can be 9 or 10. Face cards don't change. There are only two suits: red and black.

Kinky Sex

Five card draw or 7- or 5-card stud. If you have both a 6 and a 9 then all 6's and 9's are wild.

Veteran's Day [Tom Holub]

Any card with a sword is wild. Take care to verify ahead of time that everyone agrees on what is a sword and what isn't. Some of the Jacks and Kings carry blades other than swords. In a typical Bicycle Poker deck, there are five cards with swords.

Stud Games

"Dubya" [Mark White]

Seven card stud. Second highest hand wins. You don't "fold", you "concede". At the showdown, remaining players reveal all cards. In this game, players don't declare their hands, the consensus of all players is used to determine the best possible hand.

Florida Recount Poker [Joel Herr, HMC '89]

Seven card stud. 5's are wild, in honor of the 5-4 Supreme Court vote to stop the Florida recount. Black cards don't count, except the black 5's (in honor of Justice Thomas).

Low Hole

Don't confuse this with "low-ball". Seven card stud, lowest hole card is wild for each player. Player can pay 5 B.U. to have last card face up.

Ian's Low Hole [Ian McCutcheon, HMC '83]

Like Low Hole, except each up card is dealt face down and each player chooses which one to have turned face up at each point where there would have been an up card. Everyone decides before anybody shows.

Extortion [Steve Molin, HMC '89]

Seven card stud. All cards of the same rank as the number of people still in the game are wild.

Reverse Extortion [Rob Woodard, HMC '88]

Same as Extortion except aces are low and the number of people out determines the wild card. Especially good when we play with the dealer out, which starts the game with aces wild.

Sisyphus [Steve Molin, HMC '89]

Seven card stud. For each player all cards of the same rank as the next card after the last played highest field card in player's hand are wild, wrapping around to the beginning of the field if necessary.

Follow the Queen (a.k.a. Follow the Scrippsie)

Seven card stud. All cards of the same rank as the card following the last played queen are wild. See default rules for corner cases.

Logan's Run (a.k.a. Follow the Queen with the Logan Option)

Same as Follow the Queen except high spade in the hole splits the pot.

Jason's has a variation where the high card of the suit of the last up queen splits the pot. That's distinct form the "Jason option" which affects the wild cards when the last up card is a queen.

Black Mariah

Seven card stud. High spade in the hole splits the pot. If Queen of Spades comes up you re-deal. Repeat as necessary. No re-ante. People who have folded may not rejoin in the new deal.

Baseball [Mudd Style]

Seven card stud. If a 3 or a 9 is turned up, then all of the matching cards become wild (and previous wild cards become regular cards). Player can buy an extra hole card for 5 B.U. on a 4 face up (a walk). High Diamond in the hole splits the pot.

Marriage [Steve Molin, HMC '89]

Seven card stud, 2's (because it takes two people) and 8's (because 8 looks like the infinity sign sideways, which stands for forever) are wild if the appear at or before the second face up card (because at some point you have to stop playing the field). High Diamond in the hole splits the pot (because there's one big whack of uncertainty out there).

Cribbage Poker [Jason Adler, HMC '89]

Seven-card stud. Any combination of cards in one's hand that adds up to 15 can be combined into a wild card. Aces are 1 and face cards are 10 for the purposes of summing to 15. Unlike cribbage, you cannot reuse card that's part of one "15" in order to make up another "15".) You can have more than one wild card, but that may mean you have fewer than five cards to form a hand.

Just before the final betting round, an extra card is dealt up to determine the "nob" suit. Any player holding the Jack of the nob suit in the hole splits the pot.

Draw Games

Dr. Pepper

Five card draw. 10's, 2's, and 4's are wild.

Firebaugh [Joel Herr, HMC '89]

Five card draw. 2, 4, 9, and 5 of Diamonds are wild and you can draw up to five. (It costs $24.95 to stay in Firebaugh when your water pump blows, the mechanics take your money and buy diamonds with it, and it's a friendly town.

Jacks or Better

Five card draw. Must have pair of Jacks or better to open betting. If nobody has openers, then there's a new deal. Re-ante is up to the dealer (ahead of time).

Spit in the Ocean

Four card draw, one common wild up card in the middle.

Three-card Lowball with a Draw

Five-card Double Draw

Five-card Double Draw, 2's Conditional, Aces High-Low, Wrap Around, Suits (a.k.a. Charles's Game) [Charles Polk, HMC '83]

Five-card Double Draw. Two's are wild if you took no cards in the second draw. Aces may be high or low. Straights may "wrap around" (e.g., Queen-King-Ace-2-3). Two flushes are resolved by bridge suit order rather than high card.

Rubidoux [Joel?]

Five-card draw, aces wild, can't discard 3's or 4's.

Devore [Joel?]

Five-card draw, red 3 and 2 wild, must fold at first opportunity with a King and a 9 in your hand at the same time.

Rolling Games

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Each player gets seven cards. Three more cards are placed face-down on the table. They are turned up one-by-one followed by a round of betting. The table cards are not part of anyone's hand. The first card ("The Good") determines the rank of the wild card. The second ("The Bad") eliminates cards of the same rank from the game. The final card ("The Ugly") eliminates any player who holds a matching card.

No Peeky

Everyone gets 7 cards face down and they may not look at them. A card is turned face up from the deck. The first player rolls cards one at a time until they show a hand that beats the up card. That player opens the betting. Each subsequent player has to beat best hand showing in order to open the next round of betting. If they show all of their cards without beating, play proceeds with the next player without a betting round. (Such a player will likely fold, but need not do so until the next betting round.)

Small V

Everyone gets four cards. Three more cards from the deck are arranged, face down, into a small V. Bet. Turn up a leg of the V. Bet. Turn up the other leg. Bet. Turn up the vertex. Bet again. You may make your hand from the ones in your hand and one side of the V. The vertex card and all those of the same rank are wild.

Big V

Just like small V, except five extra cards are arranged into a larger V. Alternated legs are revealed, working toward the vertex.


Just like big V except for topology.

Low Ball, Roll and Boot the Fourth (a.k.a. Boot) [Ken Kubo, HMC '88]

Start with five card draw. Bet before and after the draw. (Dealer may eliminate those betting rounds if a cheaper game is desired.) Players arrange cards in the order they want them revealed. Everybody turns up their first card. Bet. Next card. Bet. On the fourth up card, players may choose to roll the card they have, or "boot it" and replace it with one from the deck. All players decide before the card is revealed. Winner is the one with the lowest hand.

Passing Games


Everyone's dealt 7 cards. Each player passes cards to another player. Typically 3 passes to the person on the left. First pass is three cards, second is two, last is one. Players choose best/worst 5, then proceed as a rolling game. High/low split the pot. Dealer may call variations, like pass right and various numbers of cards per pass. Normally the betting only occurs after each card is rolled up, not between passes. Note that many variations have special names.


Anaconda with one pass of three cards.

Nasty Anaconda

Like Anaconda, but passes are: one card, two cards, three cards.

Anarexia [Rex McCarthy, HMC '83]

Like Anaconda, but pass six, five, four, three, two, then one.

Bulimia [Kris! Neifeld (nee Levin), HMC '88]

Like Anarexia, but pass six, one, five, two, four, three.

Both Ways in High/Low Games

We've generally avoided allowing people to try to go both ways in a high/low game because of the difficulty of specifying all of the rules, but it can be done if straights, flushes, and straight flushes are ignored for low hands. For example, if you have a five-high straight, you can call it a low hand (five high) and a high hand (a straight). To go both ways, a player must declare that he is going both ways. A player going both ways wins the entire pot if he has both the highest and the lowest hand. If he doesn't, he gets nothing (even if he had the best hand at one end.)

Side Pots

If the table has agreed upon a maximum buy-in, you can run into a problem where a player low on funds is simply bid out of the game. If there were no maximum buy-in, you could expect the player to purchase more chips if he wanted to stay in the game. The maximum creates an unfair situation. The solution is side pots.

The idea is to split the pot into the portion that includes the out-of-money player (the side pot) and another one that gets all the bets beyond the point that the low player was able to match (the main pot). If the low player has the best hand, then they win only that pot to which they contributed. The next highest hand wins the other pot. Pots can be split multiple ways in a single hand if multiple players go all-in.

In a really friendly game, the dealer might take pity on a player who is low on funds and call a game that has the possibility of a re-deal (e.g., Black Mariah or Jacks or Better) and to declare the "sidepots meld" in the event of a re-deal. If there is a sidepot at the time of a re-deal, the sidepots are merged back into the main pot, and the limited players are now full participants in the new pot. Since the limited players are still out of money, then a new pot is created if there is additional betting after the re-deal.

A player who has gone all in and is merely along for the ride is known as "Captain (Christopher) Pike" and must merely respond "beep" (or sometimes "boop") whenever it would be their turn to bet. [This innovation was probably introduced by Ken Kubo and/or Bill Consoli (both HMC '88).]