Base Game: Non-Standard Stud Poker
Wild cards: Yes
Created by: Unknown
Submitted by: Brian O'Neill
This is one of our favorite games, but it can last literally FOREVER in the original rules (and gets quite expensive), so we ALWAYS play our home-brew variation listed at the end.
The game is played with an unlimited number of "Deals", or Turns. Each Turn is broken down into three stages or Rounds. In the first Round, each Player is deal 3 cards, with 3s Wild.
Each Player, starting at the Dealer's left, decides whether they wish to play their Hand by declaring if they are "In" (typically by placing their Hand near the center of the table), or "Out". There is no penalty for being Out in a Round. After the first Player declares In (if any), then the remaining Players all have the opportunity to declare In after that in order - that is, if there are 5 Players, and Players 1 and 2 declare Out originally, then 3 declares In, Players 4 and 5 get to declare, then Players 1 and 2 get the chance to change their minds.
If all Players declare Out, the Round is immediately over.
If only one Player declares In, that player gets a "Point", and the Round is over.
If more than one Player declares In, then each of those players get to view each other's Hands. The LOWEST Hand must pay EACH of the other In Players an amount equal to the amount of the Ante, multiplied by the number of Turns so far (the "Penalty"). So, if this is Turn 3 and the Ante is 5, and Players 1, 3, and 4 are In, and Player 1 has the lowest hand, Player 1 pays both Players 3 and 4 a Penalty of 15 each. No Player receives any Points. (Note: this is how you typically make money, as opposed to winning the Pot, although that can add up). Then the Round ends. Note that it is advantageous to view an opponents Hand even if you lose, because you get an idea of what they could have in a subsequent Round, whereas Players who are Out don't get to see them.
When the Round ends, the Dealer deals each Player two more cards, and this time 5s are Wild, instead of 3s. Repeat the In/Out procedure. Then for the third and final Round deal two more cards, with 7s Wild instead of 5s. (Hint: the Wild card is the number of cards you have.) In the final Round, you can just declare your hands, as there is no need to keep them secret from other players any more.
After the third Round, the cards are reshuffled, the Deal passes to the left, an additional Ante is paid to the Pot, and the procedure repeats from the start for the next Turn.
The game ends when, at the end of any Round, a Player has 3 Points. That Player wins the entire Pot (which should equal the Ante times number of Players times number of Turns).
Because the game can literally go on forever as long as more than one Player is In on a given Round, we added a few rules:
Maximum Penalty: The value of the Penalty increases until a set Maximum - we usually use 8xAnte.
Fractional Points: To reward the Player who had the highest Hand (other than the penalty they receive), that player also receives a fraction of a point - typically one-half to one-third. This will allow the game to eventually come to an end, instead of going on forever if you have two rich players duking it out...