Submitted by Coach Bob on 2006-01-19


The name of the game is "Kings" because Kings are wild! This is a five card, high-low split the pot game.

Each player is dealt one card face down. The first round of betting is completed with the player to the dealer's left betting first (future betting will be started by the player with the highest hand on the table). The dealer then splits the deck into two face down stacks. The top card on one of stacks is turned over and placed on top of the stack. The player to the dealer's left is then given the choice of taking either the card they can see or the "mystery" card from the top of the other stack. Each card will, however, cost them. Prior to dealing, the dealer will determine the value of the cards. The cost of the "mystery" card is set higher than the up card (for example, $1.00 for the up card $2.00 for the "mystery" card). The costs are set to be in relation to the stakes of the game. Play continues around the table with each player taking either the up or the down card available to them. If the down card is selected a new one is turned over for the next player. If the last player of a round takes the "mystery" card the dealer should not turn over a new card until the round of betting is completed (to do so would give the next player an unfair advantage). If the up card is not taken by any of the players and returns to the first player to have seen it, it is discarded and another one revealed.

Play continues in this manner until each player has five cards (a hole card and four up cards). Each player then places their five cards face down on the table and turns over one card. A round of betting is completed. Each player turns over another card and another bet occurs. This continues until one card is left to turn over. At this point each player takes three chips under the table to declare if they are going low (1), high (2) or both ways (3). If a player elects to go both ways they must win both ways or they are eliminated. Once the final round of betting is over and each player has declared, the final card is turned over.

As a rule, this game builds good size pots!

VARIATION: After each player has been dealt five cards they can elect to buy a replacement card for one of the cards in their hand. The cost is usually about the same as the cost of the "mystery" card. It is a good idea to have each player take one chip under the table to declare their intention of buying a card (no chip means they are standing pat, a chip means they want a card). Not declaring gives a BIG advantage to the dealer in that they would be able to see what everyone else has done ahead of them. Add another round of betting.

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