Honky Tonk Poker Rules
Honky Tonk poker is a variation of Five Card Draw that adds wild cards and a split pot feature. In Honky Tonk, players can win the high half of the pot, the low half, or both. When drawing new cards, a player must decide which half to go for so that he can decide which cards to keep and which cards to discard. It’s a challenging game, but it is also a lot of fun.
The high half of the pot is played with traditional five card poker hands. Whoever has the best hand wins that half of the pot.
The low half of the pot is determined by who has the lowest hand. The best low hand is 2-3-4-5-6. The second best low hand is 2-3-4-5-7 and so on. Pairs count against you but straights and flushes do not.
A player can win both the high and low half of the pot at the same time by having a strong low hand that also plays as a straight or flush for the high half of the pot. For example, if a player has 2-3-4-5-6, that player would win the low half and also have a strong chance at winning the high half with a straight.
- In the low hand, Kings are considered wild cards.
- In the high hand, threes are considered wild cards.
Deal and Antes
Before each hand, the players must all pay a small, forced bet called the “ante.” The cost of the ante is 10% of the lower betting limit. This means that if you’re playing in a $2/$4 game, the antes would be $0.20.
Each hand begins with each player being dealt five cards face down. The deal begins with the player to the left of the dealer and then continues to the left around the table until each player has five cards.
First Betting Round
After all the players get their cards, there is a betting round that begins with the first player to the left of the dealer. This person has the option of checking, betting, or folding. Once this player acts, the action moves to the left around the table. All bets in this round must be placed in increments of the lower betting limit.
Like the first betting round, the drawing round begins with the first player to the left of the dealer and continues clockwise around the table. Each player may discard up to three cards and receive new ones from the deck.
Second Betting Round
This betting round begins with the first player to the left of the dealer and continues clockwise around the table. It’s played just like the first betting round except now all the bets are made in increments of the upper betting limit.
Any players remaining after the last betting round may now reveal their hands. The player with the best low hand wins half the pot and the player with the best high hand wins the other half of the pot.
If the player with the low hand also has the best high hand, that player wins the entire pot. This is called a “scoop.” Remember: when going for the low hand, Kings are wild. When going for the high hand, threes are wild.