Poker Home Games: Man of the House

November 23, 2008

Do you ever find yourself playing cards for hours one night, and you just get bored with what you’re playing?  You could be cycling through 20 different games and it wouldn’t matter.  If you’ve played them once, you’ve played them enough, and you’re looking for something new….or at least something tweaked.
And this is how new, and sometimes ridiculous, home games come about.  I know it’s how a few variations came into existence for me over the years. 
And it doesn’t have to be a new game, although we’ve come up with some super retarded new games – sober mind you.  Sometimes you can take an existing game and tweak the hell out of it.  Baseball is a personal favorite of mine as a “base” for experimenting.
But sometimes a few other games lend themselves to changing the rules…even ones that already have enough rules to keep track of. 
So here’s a variation of follow the queen that’s been popping up in a few card game circles I still frequent.  I don’t think it’s a new one, but I haven’t seen it before.  I don’t even have a name for it…but I’ll think of one before the column is over and tack it up in the title :)
Here we go:
1) I assume everyone is familiar with the basic rules of Follow the Queen.  I believe I’ve written a walkthrough of it before, so if you’re not, please refer back to it under the Poker Home Games section.
2) The twist on this is…if a King shows face up, it nullifies all Queens as wilds, as well as the card after the Queen that also had been wild up to that point.  Kings then become the only wild card.
3) If, before the end of the game, another Queen comes up, the rule reverts back, and once again Queens and the card dealt face up after the Queen are wild.  Kings are….just kings.
4) I can’t remember what rule I wrote about for the river card in follow the queen, but these days I’m a fan of having it flip up for everyone…if for no other reason than it increases the odds of things changing again…keeps the game interesting.
5) Rest of it is regular poker rules.  Typical rounds of betting, ante, whatever you want.
Small twist, but packs the potential to completely change the dynamic of the game.  If you play for decent stakes, and someone sitting with a hidden queen keeps pumping up the pot…well the King twist is a good way to keep them honest, keep it from being close to a sure thing for him or her. 
OK…so for the name…..