Saturday, May 7, 2011

unpredictable Highs & lows

Bob, our teacher.
Our neighbor, also Amy's husband, Bob, taught us a new game of poker last night.  It is called High Low.  Or at least that is what he called it.  We started the night with five card draw, simple, straight forward.  It was much like the simple five card stud and seven card stud we played the prior poker nights.  High Low on the other hand, is dynamic and unpredictable.

We played it like five card draw, only at the end the player with the highest hand and the player with the lowest hand split the pot.  And those pots were huge.  I guess because people knew their odds were greater, or because you could win with a losing hand, or it was the fact that the night was nearly ending; something definitely upped the ante, so to speak, in that game.  The pots were at least triple what they had been earlier in the evening.

Every player gets five cards dealt face down, with a round of betting following. Then you get to trade in up to three cards, after which you have to choose whether you are going to be trying to a "high" hand to win or a "low" hand to win.  When you choose, you need to mark your choice at that point, so there is no cheating/changing minds at the end of the game.  We used a chip, and either held it in our hand or put it under our leg on our chair.

So, now the big betting begins.  You place your cards in the order of your choosing and sit them in a stack in front of you.  The order is important because, if you are actually going low, you may want to psyche out your opponents by putting some higher cards in the same suit first...maybe they'll think you have a high flush and bet more for their low hand.  Also, a big factor is that aces can be high or low, a big game changer. (and how I won my one hand last night)

So, with every player having chosen their goal, high or low, and having their cards in a stack in front of them; we start the revealing.  Starting to the left of the dealer, you flip up your first card.  A round of betting ensues.  This continues with each of the five cards, and at our house, with lots of raising.  The pot grows and grows.

Finally the last card is revealed.  And after all the hands are inspected, who's suspected to be high?  and who is low?  Then we show what our intention was...was it what everyone thought?

The pot is then split between the person with the highest hand that was going for the "high" and the person with the lowest hand that was going for the "low."  Hands reach in and start grabbing, in an orderly fashion, of course!

Amy showed up late, so she didn't get to join in the big people poker game, and opted for a little penny ante five card draw with Tallulah.  I never did hear who won that game.  Amy?  Did you let her win?  Or did you get beat?

If you read my prior post, you already know that Carol was the winner last night.  She pretty much swept up the chips, all night.  Although Bob did give her a run for her money.  Karyn had a few big wins towards the end once we started the high/low game.  Pete had a few good hands, although I think the words most often heard when he showed a hand was, "I got nothing."  And Jamie and I were simply, well, the biggest losers.

I wonder how tomorrow night's game will turn out.  We are going to add in a few new variations to the five card draw.  Also, every time we learn a new game, that gets added into the mix and the dealer can then call a game from those we know for each hand.

It's getting exciting, folks.  And between now and tomorrow, I'll be reading up on poker strategy.  So, watch out.


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