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Playing a Non-standard Poker Hand

So much is written, spoken and discussed regarding the game of poker. The game appears in countless films, books and on TV. Everyone has learnt to play some form of poker. This is all merely testament to the enjoyment, entertainment, and fun that the game has provided to so many people for so long. In tune with this spirit of entertainment and fun, poker has some standard non-standard poker hands that can be used to add more winning chances to a game of poker. These non-standard poker hands are naturally defined by house rules, and are not officially recognized poker rules. They are therefore subject to some variation.

Part of the House Rules

A non-standard poker hand would usually be considered in games of five-card draw poker. The hands are generally special hands and in their own right unusual. Players enjoying a game with these additional house rules should always make sure they are clear on all details before misunderstandings spoil the fun.

Fitting in the Non-standard Hands

Starting with the highest non-standard poker hand, which ranks just below the Royal Flush, is the Five of a Kind. This is obviously only possible when a wild card is being used. Just below that is the normal Straight Flush, but this is followed by a Skeet Flush. This is a hand with a two, a three or a four, a five, a six, a seven or an eight and a nine, all of the same suit. The normal Four of a Kind follows this hand, but this in turn is followed by a non-standard poker hand known as the Big Bobtail. The Big Bobtail is a four-card Straight Flush.

Ranked just below the regular Full House, Flush and Straight is the non-standard poker hand of Big Tiger, which is a hand where all the cards are eights, nines, tens, jacks, queens, or kings without there being a pair. This apparent gap between a Straight and Three of a Kind is populated with a range of non-standard poker hands that are ‘almost’ Straights. This includes the Skeet and the Five and Dime, which is a hand with all cards being fives, sixes, sevens, eights, nines, or tens without there being a pair. There is also the Skip Straight, a hand also often called the Alternate Straight, the Dutch Straight, or the Skipper. The cards in this hand are in a regular consecutive order, for instance a 2-4-6-8-10.

The next non-standard poker hand in this group is the Round the Corner Straight, consecutive cards with the Ace being a high and low bridge, and an example is Q-K-A-2-3. Then there is the Little Dog, a hand where all the cards are twos, threes, fours, fives, sixes, or sevens without pairing. The Big Dog is a hand where the cards are nines, tens, jacks, queens, kings, or aces.

The More Common Non-standard Hands

Lower in ranking than the regular Three of a Kind, but beating Two Pairs are the non-standard poker hands of Blaze, where all the cards are jacks, queens or kings, Flash, where the hand contains one card of each suit plus a joker, and Little Bobtail, which is a three-card straight flush.

Finally, in terms of non-standard poker hands, are two hands that beat a Pair, but lose to Two Pairs. They are known as a Bobtail Straight, with four cards in consecutive order, and Bobtail Flush, with four cards of the same suit.

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