Poker Home Games: Freeze

March 9, 2008

Poker Home Games: Freeze

Although this will make 2 for 2 recently for “poker” home games that don’t really revolve around poker per se….I’m excited to bring you a home game special of my old high school group.

The title, Freeze.

I probably could sum this up real nice as a complete rip-off of the 80’s game show Card Sharks, but we tweaked it a bit to make it easier to play as a money game in a Saturday-night game format.

So, it’s a bit different…plus I don’t look nearly as good as the dude who hosted the show.

All right, here’s how it works.

1.) A pre-determined amount from each player is put into a central pot. This isn’t a long game, and also can be played quickly multiple times in a row, so it’s really up to the table how much you want to ante. When we were in high school, we threw in like 75 cents or a dollar each time. If I were playing now, I’d probably ante $3 to $4 each person.

2.) Dealer shuffles and deals out 10-card rows (you can do 7-card rows, too, if you don’t have enough cards…you also can put together multiple decks – which is what we used to do because it’s more fun and somewhat more challenges if you have more cards for each person to go through), 1 row of cards per person in the game.

3.) Each person gets their own row of cards to play with.

4.) The first card in each row is turned face up.

5.) The person associated with the top row takes the first turn. He basically just calls “high” or “low” for where he thinks the next card in the row will fall in relation to the previous card.

6.) If he calls it right, he can either continue with another turn or say “FREEZE.” If he chooses to freeze, the game moves on to the next person.

*** Note *** If you make a wrong call, you’re done. Your row is scrapped and you’re out of the game for that hand.

7.) This continues until there is either 1 person’s row remaining or until someone makes it to the end of their row.

*** There actually is a little more strategy here than you’d think, and here’s why…There’s a constant decision as to whether you want to play it safe and freeze your turn, or be the first one to make it to the end and automatically pick up the win.

A few rules to pay attention to:
- Each player is allowed two “replace” cards off the top of the deck, which are placed directly over the current face-up card in their hand. If you’re sitting with a 7 or 8, it’s probably a good idea to replace if you still have the option.

- If an ace comes up before you call high or low…you can determine if the ace is high or low. But if you make a call on another card and the ace is turned up, the Ace is always high in that role. That high ace remains high through the next card turn, as well.

- If there are only two people left and 1 person calls wrong, then he is still in the game IF his row is above the other person’s row (meaning he played first). If the second person also calls wrong, both are still in the game and new replacement cards are put down.

Winner takes the pot!

Next week I’ll find a way to turn Press Your Luck into an online poker game at Full Tilt Poker ….NO WAMMY….NO WAMMY….STOP! (just kidding).