Poker stands as one of the most commonly played and well-known card games, and is played across the world. Said to have been introduced in the early 1800s, with four players betting on who they thought had the most valuable hand and using a deck of 20 cards.
Variations of the game have since emerged with different sets of rules and different ways to win, one of them being Baseball Poker. Baseball Poker is played with a 7 card stud, where 3’s and 9’s are wild and 4’s award players with an extra card.
The reason these cards have special value is because the game is based on the popular American sport of baseball where there are 3 strikes, 3 outs, 9 innings and 4 balls for a walk.
In Baseball Poker players are dealt 7 cards with the first two faced down, the next 4 face up and the last one face down.
Ultimately there are 5 betting rounds with one after every face up card and another after the final card has been drawn. Betting rounds are started by the players with the highest hand showing at that time.
The Baseball Poker Play
Once the first two face down cards and one face up card have been dealt, there is a betting interval where players need to determine whether they are going to raise the ante wager or fold. With two face down cards, players have the advantage of bluffing their way to winning the game.
3 and 9’s are wild, however if a player is dealt a 3 (or in some variations both a 3 and a 9) they are expected to either pay for the wild and continue or fold. If they choose to continue the player must match the pot. Some variations of the game will only require players to provide a fixed payment to the pot instead of folding.
If a player is dealt a 4, the dealer will automatically give them another card face down. Some variations of Baseball Poker allow players to announce at any given moment that one of their face down cards is in fact a 4 and can therefore receive their extra card.
Baseball Poker Showdown
Due to the fact that Baseball Poker has so many special cards, it can become quite exciting when getting to the final stages of the game, otherwise known as the showdown.
During the showdown players will have placed their final bet after the last card was dealt and they now need to reveal what their face down cards are. Winning the game requires players to have the highest ranking 5 card hand.
Poker Hand Rankings with Wilds
A wild card can represent any card or to make a special combination of Five of a Kind in order to make up a hand and attempt to win the game. When wilds are in play, Five of a Kind becomes the highest ranking hand and beats a Straight Flush.
The next highest hand is Four of a Kind, followed by a Full House and then a Flush. The next hand is the Straight, followed by Three of a Kind, Two Pairs and the a Pair.