Poker Home Games – Baseball Variation

October 16, 2007

All right, as promised, a run-through of different card games using the basic rules of baseball. I don’t know who came up with baseball, but to me it’s crazy enough as far as card games, though. But, then, when you’re sitting there at 4 in the morning with a group of guys who’ve played every game 20 times and are looking for a little variety, your brain starts working overtime, and, well….this is what you come up with.

MIDNIGHT BASEBALL

Also goes by a few other names, one being Mexican, although I have no idea why.

This one is pretty different from standard 7-card stud, although everyone is initially dealt 7 cards.

1.) Everyone gets 7 cards, all face down, and nobody is allowed to look at their cards. You can shuffle them if you feel so inclined, but if you look, you fold, because the whole point of the game is not only for your opponents to be in the dark as to what you’re holding, but you, as well.

2.) There are two different ways to start off the first hand. Either the first person flips one card up out of his hand, and that becomes the “card to beat”, or….a card is drawn from the middle of the deck, and the first person to go must beat that card.

3.) and by “beat”, I mean the person who’s turn it is must continue to expose cards one by one until his or her poker hand beats that of the previous person’s hand (or the intial draw off the deck), so that the hand of whoever’s turn it is ends up being the best hand on the table at that time.

4.) Example, if the first person to go flips up a King, and the deck card drawn is a 5, he currently has the best hand, and does not have to flip up any more cards. If the next person, then, to play flips up a Jack, he must flip up another card, and another until his hand can beat King high, and etc…

5.) There is a round of bettting after each person’s turn.

6.) As expected, baseball rules apply. Your 3’s and 9’s are wild, and the great twist there is that 3’s still force a match the pot or fold (if you want to play that way). I love that rule in this game, because it forces you to a decision, and if the 3 is your first or second card, it’s an even tougher decision since you have no idea what the rest of your hand holds in store.
4’s, as well, are an extra card for the price of the ante (or whatever you set it at). 4’s in the game are going to go face up at some point anyway, but I suppose you could always save it face down until the end of your cards. It’s up to you.

Well, that’s about it for Midnight. This one can get pretty crazy and end up have people yelling at their own cards. I’ve had 2 people in various games vow never to play midnight again because they hate the idea of not knowing what they’re hand is at all before they’re forced to match a bet on the table (it happens often.)

But I like the variety, and the game is definitely worth giving a try, with or without baseball rules (you could just play it as straight poker, as well.)

DOUBLE-HAND BASEBALL

Unfortunately, the game is exactly what the title suggests, regular baseball, except each player gets two different hands that are completely separate from each other. There aren’t really any different rules in this one, but just to note, each hand is separate from the other, and you do have to play in turn.

Why do this, you ask? It puts more money in the pot if you’re at the end of the night and your group has dwindled from 5 or 6 down to 2 or 3. Yes, you can play with two people. I did it one night until 8 in the morning and lost about 100 bucks. But it was cool, because at the end of that semester I ended up taking the guy’s couch off him.

CRISS-CROSS BASEBALL

I think I mentioned in my criss-cross explanation that you can play with baseball rules, so I won’t get too repetetive here since we all know how to play both games now. But Criss Cross is a lot of fun with baseball rules, especially since you hold so many hidden cards in your hand. And…of course…especially when the middle card of the cross is a 3. Match or fold, jackasses!

If you can’t play baseball online, then why not gamble on baseball at the Bodog Sportsbook.