Two nights ago, I got a chance to go to a kitchen game poker night that a coworker was putting on. The whole idea for the night was to play dealer's choice poker from the set of crazy games that people have come up with over the years. We weren't allowed to choose the casino standbys of hold'em, omaha, or 7 card stud. Instead, we played a series of games like Chicago, 727, Midnight Baseball, Mexican Sweat, etc. It's been a long time since I've played games like this. I've been playing Texas Hold'em pretty seriously for a couple of years, so it's kind of interesting to revisit some of these silly games to see if there is anything of interest. We played quite a few games, actually, that I'd like to note down for future reference because they were all quite fun. So here's the rules for some fun kitchen games that have a little depth to them.
- 727: Players get two cards down, and one up. The aim of the game is to be the closest to the total of 7 or 27. Face cards count either ten points or half a point. An ace counts either 1 point or eleven. On each round, players are asked one at a time if they want one more card added face up to their hand, followed by a round of betting. If all players pass on a card, then the game is over, but otherwise another round is dealt. The game can last quite a few rounds! After the last round, players then simultaneously indicate whether they are attempting to win by being closest to 7, by being closest to 27, or to both. Half the pot is awarded to the closest to 7 (who indicated they were trying to win that side), and half is awarded to the the closest to 27 (who indicated they were trying to win that side). To win both, the players who indicated so have to be closest on both sides.
- Auction: Each player is dealt two down cards. Then a card is turned up in the middle of the table for each player in the hand. Players then make a blind bid. The person who bids the most chooses the card they want. The next highest bid chooses the next card and so on. When all the cards are gone, another set of cards is dealt in the middle. This is repeated until all the players have 7 cards each. A round of betting happens after that. The person with the best high hand takes half the pot and the person with the best low hand takes the other half.
- Ten Card Regrets: There are 5 rounds to this game. The object of the game is to partition 10 cards into two 5 card poker hands: one that is a low hand and one that is a high hand. On each round, players get two cards and must decide whether to put them on the left side to be part of the low hand, or on the right side to be part of the high hand. At the end, the person with the best high hand takes half the pot and the person with the best low hand takes half the pot.
- Tic-Tac-Toe Hold'em/Omaha: Players are dealt two or four cards depending if they are playing the hold'em or omaha variant of the game. The key difference is the community cards are dealt in a 3x3 grid of cards. First, the flop is the four cards that form the sides of the grid. The turn is the four corner cards, and the river is the middle card of the grid. Players then make the best poker hand they can from the cards in their hand and any of 8 sets of three cards from the board. These sets are the three horizontal lines, three vertical lines, and the two diagonals. You can play Hold'em, Omaha High, or Omaha High Low.
These were my favourites from the night. Do you have any fun kitchen games I can deal next time?