But It Still Ain’t Poker
But It Ain’t Poker presented the rules for a number of casino games that appear to be poker but are not. In fact, some casinos in their literature and on their websites state that they offer poker when in fact they don’t. Such games fit this definition:
Any of several house-dealt games in which players compete against the house to either beat the dealer’s hand or just try to make certain hands, which pay off according to pay tables. These games are not like “traditional” poker in which players compete against each other, and are “poker” only insofar as poker comes into play only for the purpose of ranking hands. These games have a fixed house edge and involve little, if any, skill, since players make their bets before receiving their cards. Although in some of the games players can make further wagers after seeing their cards, they are not playing against each other, and betting to build pots or to bluff others out are not part of the games.
Here are two more such games.
A house-banked game dealt from one deck, in which players do not compete against the dealer. The game is related to poker in the way hands are formed, but is not really a poker game. It has some similarities to stud games, in that a player starts with three cards and has the option, upon increasing his bet, of receiving more cards, or declining to bet and folding.
To start the game, each player puts up an ante and an optional insurance fee. This insurance fee is half the size of the ante bet, and will not be returned or win anything; it only permits the player to receive an optional sixth card at the end (hence the name of the game). Each player receives two cards face down, and one community card is dealt face up. That community card becomes part of each player’s hand. Each player now has a three-card hand consisting of his two hole cards and that community card.
Each player now decides whether to continue or fold. If a player folds, he forfeits his ante bet. If a player stays, he adds to his wager (raises) an amount equal to the ante. All players who raised receive a third hole card. Each player still in now has a four-card hand consisting of his three hole cards and that community card. Each player again decides whether to continue or fold. If the player folds, he forfeits both his ante and the second bet. If a player stays, he again raises an amount equal to the ante. All players who raised receive a fourth hole card.
Each player still in now has a five-card hand consisting of his four hole cards and that community card. If a player initially purchased insurance and does not have a paying hand at this point, he has the option of buying a sixth card, at a cost equal to the ante. The fee for the sixth card is never returned. That is, this fee is not a bet or part of the total wager and, just like the original insurance cost, is not returned and wins nothing. If the player buys a sixth card, he can then make the best five-card hand among his six cards (his five hole cards plus that one community card). A player still in who did not pay insurance forms a five-card from the combination of his four hole cards plus the community card. The dealer then pays off each winning hand. The ante is first paid 1:1 for a hand of a pair of 6s or better.
In addition, the three total bets are paid off as follows: royal flush, 1,000:1 (1,000 times the amount of the three bets); straight flush, 100:1; four of a kind, 50:1; full house, 20:1; flush, 6:1; straight, 4:1; three of a kind, 3:1; two pair, 2:1; pair of 6s or better, 1:1.
Boston 5 Stud
A house-banked game dealt from one deck, in which players play separately against the dealer. The game is related to poker in the way hands are formed, but is not really a poker game. To start the game, each player puts up an ante and a first wager. The first wager amount is twice that of the ante. All optional bonus bets must be placed at this time; a player must play the main game to make a bonus bet.
Each player and the dealer receives three cards face down. After players see their cards, they must either fold or place a second wager equal to the first wager. Any player with a three-card bonus hand must place the hand face up on the table prior to receiving the final two cards, so the dealer can award the bonus. Players who made a second wager receive their two final cards dealt face down. Each hand in which the player has paid for all five cards is individually compared to the dealer’s five-card hand, and the highest hand wins.
If the player’s hand beats the dealer’s hand, the player wins even money on the first and second wagers, and the ante pushes. If the dealer’s hand beats the player’s hand, the player loses all wagers. If the player’s hand and dealer’s are exactly equal in value, all wagers push. Regardless of whether the player or dealer has the higher hand, the player wins a bonus for hands of two pair or greater, based on the ante bet. If the player has a bonus hand but loses to the dealer, he still gets the bonus but loses the ante bet.
Bonuses are paid as follows: The three-card bonus bet pays for a straight flush, 40-1; three of a kind, 30-1; straight, 6-1; flush, 4-1; pair, 1-1. The ante bonus pays (in multiples of the ante bet) for a royal flush, 1,000x; straight flush, 200x; four of a kind, 100x; full house, 25x; flush, 15x; straight, 10x; three of a kind, 5x; two pair, 2x.