Poker Home Games – In-Between

September 4, 2007

Whatever you want to call it, I hate this game.

I hate this game so much, it’s beyond a love-hate. It goes so much further into the depths of hatred that whenever it’s brought up for a game, I cringe at the thought of histories greatest pot matches, many of which I’ve either witnessed or was a victim of myself.  I would rather play poker on BodogLife than play this game.

And why is it that the game is inevitably brought up? Someone has to tempt fate and throw out the most unforgiving game of made up, home game cards ever created.

Anyway, my personal disgust for this awesomely horrible game aside, it is a staple of most home games. And although it’s more of a break from poker than anything resembling poker itself, it still builds up huge, mounting, gargantuan pots and causes people to hurl chairs, punch walls, scream hysterically in the streets, and possibly kick a nearby dog.

1.) The deck is shuffled, cut and the dealer begins by dealing two cards, face up. The two cards will be spaced far enough apart for a third card to be placed between them after the person who’s turn it is has made his or her wager.

The object of the game, of course, is to have the third card be in-between the numbers of the other two cards.

Example: 3 Hearts, 10 Spades. If the middle card is a 6, you win. If the middle card ends up being a 2, or a King, you lose.

2.) Once the first two cards are dealt, the person declares how much he is wagering that the third card will fall in-between the other two. The deal then continues around the table until the deck runs out. The cards are then reshuffled and dealt again.

3.) Many house games have a rule limiting the amount you can wager (Half the pot usually) until everyone has had one turn to bet. Then, as they say, all bets are off. You can declare POT!!!!!! on a King, 2 spread….and you may just be lucky enough to be the winner.

4.) The rules of payment are simple. If the middle card is in-between, you win what you wagered. If it’s not, you lose what you wagered to the middle.

5.) Now, if the middle card is equal to one of the other two cards – for example a 2, K…and then a 2 in the middle – you must then pay double your wager to the middle. How’s the pot bet feeling right about how, eh?

6.) If two cards in consecutive order are dealt, your turn is just passed. If two of the same card are dealt, you must put in a predetermined amount to the middle ($1, $5, whatever.)

7.) Game ends when someone finally clears the pot, which I have seen take hours.

There is little strategy really, but one choice to note. If the first card of your turn dealt is an Ace, you have the option of it being high or low. If the second card is an Ace, though, it’s always automatically high.

Like I said, I’ve seen people do some crazy stuff after losing a pot bet, especially when they had to cough up double their wager. Luckily we weren’t playing at my house when it happened.

And, if you’ve ever entertained by the serious potential of one day seeing a home game pot tease 4 digits, this is the game to try.