Poker, Card Games, and Woohoo

So, last night I went to a poker night and quadrupled my money. It got me thinking about card games in general, as well as feeling pretty damn happy about the whole thing.
The poker night I attended was a little gathering of Dan, Scott, Anu, Ben, Patrick, and myself. It was $5 buy-in, with the option of buying back in up to twice. We were going to play Texas hold’em all night, which is a game I’m only moderately familiar with, though I quickly realized how truly similar it is to 7 Card Stud (my preferred game). Overall, it was a pretty well-behaved game– No one was going broke too fast (even though it was Anu’s first time ever playing poker, and Ben’s first time ever playing Texas Hold’em)…

After about 4 hours of drinking* and playing, though, people were starting to play a little more fast and loose. Well, most people. Scott had started out buzzed and playing loose, but as the night went on, he sobered up for driving, and started holding back a little too much– his earlier recklessness had paid off and set him quite a bit ahead. By the fifth hour, we agreed to stop at a cutoff point (1:30 am) and cash-out… At 1:29 am, we announced the last hand, and everyone felt the need to make it big. Amazingly enough, the first cards showing in the flop were 2 Kings and a Jack… and I had a Jack and a King in the hole, so I had a full house. So I helped drive up the bidding as much as I could, and when the dust settled, the pot was around 70 or so chips– probably the highest pot of the game. I won it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I ended up leaving the table with $20 and a grin– as well as quite a bit of Dan’s excellent music collection on my iPod. We’ll have to do that again.

*well, I was drinking coke…

Meanwhile, card games in general: I love them. Or at least most of them. I tend to dislike ones that require a lot of what I term “book-keeping”, like Gin Rummy– You have to add up points after every round, and it’s not a quick 1,2,3, but a drawn out calculation. Or so it seems to me. What I like even more are betting games, just because it seems to add a little something extra to the experience– even if you’re betting with M&Ms, it’s an extra dimension of thought when you have to evaluate “Hmm… he’s betting 5 M&Ms, he must have a good hand.. or does he?” rather than a game without a means to judge (and fake) response to your opinion of your cards.

My favorite card games are: Poker– especially 7 Card Stud, Blackjack, Bullshit, Egyptian Rat Fuck, Manipulation, and Yanni. I think that’s a good mix– some solo, some team, some betting/bluffing, some straight-foward, some turn based and some reflex based.

Are there any amazing card games I’m missing out on? Any thoughts?

7 Responses to “Poker, Card Games, and Woohoo”


The more chance determines the winnner of a game, the less I like it. I’m a big believer the contests should prove skill, not luck.

Owen - January 17th, 2005 at 1:45 pm

I agree– that’s why I like, say 7 Card Stud or Texas Hold’em poker more than regular 5 Card, which is essentially all luck. The shared card poker varients where you need to bluff, can assemble different hands, and have multiple rounds of betting to evaluate things really seem more skill based to me.

On the other end, same thing with ERF– Being skillful (fast) is tanglibly rewarded.

Just to taunt you, Owen: But I thought you didn’t believe in chance? Everything is pre-determined. ๐Ÿ˜›

Paradoxdruid - January 17th, 2005 at 1:49 pm

I think that games of luck are good for those of us who have not been gifted with amazing card skills (otherwise, why would we even try to play?).

As for you, PD, I thought you were trying to make friends at those sort of social events.. not groups of people who know who to gang up on next time you get together for some games ๐Ÿ™‚

Teisha - January 19th, 2005 at 2:58 pm

PD: Everything is predetermined, yes, but I like to minimize the amount of “shit I don’t know how it’s determined”.

Owen - January 19th, 2005 at 6:59 pm

I have always thought there was a degree of skill to your standard five card draw. I mean you still have two rounds of betting and thus bluffing to deal with. Also I think there is a skill in knowing what hands you might actually have a chance of getting when you see those first 5 cards. Shrug. Also I thought you like black jack PD?

Gilvoro - January 19th, 2005 at 4:20 pm

So what are you going to do now that you’ve blown your cover?

Teisha - February 2nd, 2005 at 10:13 am

People don’t generally get bitter about getting tricked into betting a bunch by getting slowplayed. Usually they’ll congratulate you, and secretly plot to get even the next time. The best part about that is that they’ll go in against you on hands they otherwise wouldn’t, which works out well when you only stay in when you have a decent hand.
I’ve got the innocent-girl-who-plays-hold-’em-with-the-boys-ain’t-she-cute thing going on, and I’m really fleecing them. Play again, it’s great fun.

Fleepy - February 1st, 2005 at 11:33 pm

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