Poker Home Games: Overwrite

December 21, 2008

I’ll admit, sometimes I learn a new version of poker, and I’ll think, “Did they just come up with this last night after a couple hours of drinking?”

Creativity is one thing, as is creating a game out of necessity (I’ve done it…not enough people so you invent something that two can play so each hand still matters), but every once in a while a game seemingly so random gets plopped in front of you that you have to wonder under what influence were the creators when it was being thought up.

So, I have what you might find to be such a game for this article.  Personally, I liked it when I learned it, and it has a simple but unique twist I haven’t seen in any other “crazy” home games lately.  So it kept my interest, at least enough to remember how to play it a few weeks later that is.

Here it is, you can of course judge for yourself. 

While I can remember how to play it, I can’t for the life of me remember what they called it, so I came up with my own name: Overwrite.

1) Each player is dealt 4 cards, hidden.  You can look at your own set of hidden cards.

2) Three cards are dealt face down in the center.  These will serve as community cards.  Some home games prefer to “bury” a card between each one, similar to a casino…it never really mattered to me.  You can do it this way or simply keep dealing straight from the deck.  House preference.

3) Before any community card is turned, there is a round of betting.

*** The “hook” – OK, now that cards are dealt, it should be noted that the main twist in this game is as follows.  Your highest odd numbered card in your hand – excluding Aces and face cards – is wild.

However, big however here….however – If during the flipping of the three community cards, that same card that happens to be your highest odd-numbered card comes up, it cancels out its, uh, wildness, and makes it just worth face value.

Your next highest odd-numbered card hidden is NOT your new wild card.  You simply lose your wild.

Example:  Your down cards are J, J, 5, 4.  Currently you’d be betting on a hand of three jacks.  If a 5 comes up as a community card, you’re now betting on a hand of only two-pair…J, J, 5, 5.  Easy enough.

4) Round of betting takes place after each community card is turned up.

5) No river card, no high low.  Best hand wins.

So, like I said, a little unique twist that keeps the game interesting and provides for a small, but good amount of strategy.  It also doesn’t completely kill your hand if you lose the wild card, which is always nice.  If you’re sitting on a powerhouse hand early, you can still bet big and mostly know you’ll have a hand to compete with by the end. 

You might have had four Jacks turned into “only” a full house, but it’ll still be enough to clean up in the end.