Poker Home Games – King Shi-y

June 14, 2007

Everyone knows at least a few variations on 5 card draw. In the world of home games, they’re like buying a sappy, cliché-ridden birthday card for your significant other…you didn’t come up with the idea, and you’re not proud of what you’ve done, but you keep going back to them over and over again.

OK, that was a crappy simile, but the point is, no matter how serious a card player you think you are, it’s always fun to take a break and deal a few hands where everything from Aces, Deuces, and one-eyed jacks to the suit of your choice can be wild. Face it, it’s in your nature to go for five of a kind.

“What do you have?”

“Straight flush, buddy.”

“Oh, really? See what I have over here is…five of a kind.”

Can’t beat that.

Here’s my favorite of all the five card draw with wild-card variations. And it’s called King Sh—ty. For cleanliness sake, I’ll just refer to it as The King for the rest of the explanation.
The King is similar in betting format to most other five-card draw games, and believe it or not, a little bit of strategy actually comes into play.

1. Everyone is dealt 5 cards to make your best 5-card poker hand. One draw will follow, where you may exchange as many cards as you want. If you want to dump your whole hand, you’re welcome to do so.

2. Kings and the lowest card in your hand are wild. (Hence the King and Sh–ty.)

3. There is an initial round of betting, and then the draw. So here’s the tiny bit of strategy that doesn’t involve massively out betting your opponents to make them cower before you. Since the lowest card in your hand is wild, that means 3’s, 4’s and 5’s are good to have, especially if they’re paired, because then both of them are wild. However, you have to weigh (before the draw) how close your wild card is to a 2 against how much everyone else is throwing into the middle. Because although the Kings will always be wild, if you go in with a pair of three’s, you better hope the draw doesn’t land you an undercut card, and leave you stuck with trip 3’s. (One way to avoid this is if your hand is strong enough, just keep your cards to eliminate the possibility of being undercut at all.)

4. Realistically in The King, you shouldn’t feel safe with anything less than a strong 4 of a kind. There are just too many wilds possibilities out there. If you’re thinking even an Aces full house will get you the money, you’re wrong. All someone else needs is one king and one pair, and they’ve got you beat.

5. One more round of betting.

“What do you got?”

“Royal flush spades!”

“Oh……really…..see what I have here is – five of a kind.”

I don’t care how ridiculous some of these games can get in terms of wild cards, they can be just as fun as a hold ‘em tournament when the night starts to get long and you’re looking for a little variety. Play 5 card draw for free on today.

Plus, I could never get tired of flipping over 5 of a kind.