Mambo Stud Poker
Mambo Stud poker is a fresh poker variant that has been played since 1998. Mambo stud, as poker table game, is based on 7-card stud. The game is considered a combination between stud poker and a widow game. The game is played with a standard deck of cards. As many as 11 players can compete for a winning hand.
Mambo is a split game, which means players compete for a high hand, a low hand, or a high/low hand that can scoop the pot. When all the cards have been dealt, players that have not folded will each have three cards and there will be a single community card face-up in the centre of the table.
The Aim of this Card Game
The aim of Mambo stud is to use any combination of three of their four cards, including the single community card, to form high or low hands. The best possible high hand is known as a High Mambo and the best low hand as the Low Mambo.
Players are entitled to compete unconditionally for the high hand, and if no player has at least a pair, the highest card wins. However, to compete for the low hand, a player must have three cards that are a six or lower. This is referred to as requiring a six-qualifier for the low hand.
The Betting at Mambo Stud
Mambo Stud Poker has a total of three rounds of betting. Before starting, players post an ante to enter the game. The first round comprises one card being dealt face down and another face up to each player. The betting is opened by the holder of the lowest face-up card. When their turn, players can fold, call, or raise in turn. After the round of betting, a third card is dealt, face down to each player. For this second round of betting, the player with the highest face-up card acts first, checking or betting his hand. In turn, the other player also check or bet. When a bet is made, players may fold, call, or raise. After this second round of betting, the dealer places the community card, face up in the centre of the table. The third and final betting round now takes place, initiated again by the highest face-up card.
A showdown now determines the winner, or winners, of the pot. Players need to form three card poker hands to compete for the high hand, low hand, or both.
Three-card Poker Hands
Mambo Stud is based on three-card poker hands rather than the traditional five-card hands. The rankings in three-card poker differ somewhat from traditional poker games. The High Mambo is comprised of a mini royal flush, namely Q-K-A of the same suit. In terms of three-card poker, the next best hand is a straight flush, followed by three of a kind, a straight, then a flush. The difference therefore, in three-card poker and Mambo Stud, a straight outranks a flush.
The Low Mambo is the best possible low hand and therefore 3-2-A. Scooping the pot is the primary objective of high-low split games such as Mambo Stud Poker are all about. When the pot is split, players win back their own investment, plus half the antes and dead money paid in by players who have subsequently folded or lost out at the showdown.