All The Aces Daily Poker Column

Alternative Poker Games

What other poker games can you play beside Texas Hold'em or Omaha?

Poker straight? Or bluffing?
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We are frequently being asked why we only talk about Texas Hold’em and Omaha and never touch on some of the oddball poker games that are played on and offline. The reason is that eighty per cent of players only focus on the two most popular games, but it can be fun to try other forms of poker, so here are some questions and answers on oddball alternatives.

Q: What is Indian Poker?
This is a one card game. The single card is dealt face down. Each player, without looking at his or her card, simultaneously places their card on their forehead so that the opposing player or players can see all the cards but his or her own. This is followed by one round of betting and then there’s an automatic showdown. Indian poker is actually great fun and best done sober.

Indian Poker

Q: What is crisscross poker?
Each player receives five cards dealt face down. This is followed by five cards placed face down on the table as community cards in two intersecting rows forming a “crisscross”. The community cards are revealed in a clockwise direction with the centre card shown last.  Betting of course follows each revealed card in turn. Two cards from each player’s hand and a single row from the crisscross are utilised to produce a five card poker hand.

crisscross poker

Q: What is Black Mariah poker?
This is basically a version of seven card stud, sometimes called “Chicago” where it was supposed to have been developed. Black Mariah proceeds exactly as seven card stud except that the high spade in the hole splits half the pot. If you find yourself holding the highest spade within your first two hole cards, you are entitled to carry on betting and raising at will. Usually the Queen of spades (Mariah) is chosen as the highest spade but this can be agreed prior to any cards being dealt.

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ALL THE ACES poker column:
Tuesday January 24, 2006: 
Alternative Poker Games