Poker Home Games: The Twist of Death

January 28, 2008

OK, time to throw a “crazy” variation of seven-card stud into the mix. I’ll give this an early disclaimer (or two) that it builds up huge…allow me please to repeat….huge pots, and it can end up being viewed as one of those games that goes “over the top,” with rules and twists and wild cards, etc… So if either of those two aren’t your or your groups cup of tea (which is understandable), the rest of the rules of this one just might not be for you.

So, now that we got that out of the way….on to the fun!

This form of 7-card stud builds on the general rules of the game, but then goes in all sorts of directions from there.

The first set of different rules:

- 7 card stud 5’s and 10’s are wild

- If a 5 is turned up you have the choice of putting $5 in the pot or folding

- If a 10 is turned up you have the choice of putting $10 in the pot or folding

The variations to this first set of rules:

The first wild card turned means the player must pay the normal penalty to continue

Second wild card turned means the player must pay a double penalty (so if a 10 is the second wild card turned up and you play with this variation – that means you must pay $20 to stay in the game!!)

The third wild card means a 4-times penalty.

The forth wild card means an 8 times penalty….and so on.

These variation rules, although completely out of control, really makes buying the wild card a major decision (if you thought a match or fold decision in baseball was huge, you haven’t seen anything yet.) As the game goes on you know more of your hand, so it costs more to buy the wild card.

The twist:

This only applies if you include jokers…that is assuming you still own the jokers to your deck in the first place.

The twist is that a joker is wild if by itself in your hand. But if a joker and a 5 or 10 is in your hand….you’ve killed all wild cards (ALL – the entire table — bet you wish you didn’t pay $40 for that extra 10 now, huh?)

- This game is not only a whirlwind of shoveling money into the middle, it also requires a strong strategy of betting/paying into the pot, and demands it early and often. The risk is huge (as is the potential of your wild cards becoming worthless given the joker twist.) My cautious recommendation is to play this once or twice a night, as it’ll likely give both middle fingers to someone’s wallet. Of course, you could play for lower stakes on….but where’s the fun in that?