Baseball Poker uses the same rules as Seven Card Stud except that threes and nines are wild. In addition, if any player is dealt a four, that player receives an additional card. With eight wild cards and players having up to eight cards in their hands, Baseball Poker can be a wild, unpredictable game.
Hand values fall dramatically in Baseball Poker because it’s so easy to get strong hands. Don’t be surprised to find hands like straight flushes and four or five a kind in this game. You have to play with caution and remember that big hands are quite common in Baseball Poker.
Baseball Poker gets its name because threes (the number of strikes) and nines (the number of innings in a game) are wild cards. In addition, you get an extra card if you are dealt a four.
Many home games also require players to donate extra money to the pot any time they receive a three, four, or nine. These forced bets sweeten the pot for the other players who weren’t lucky enough to receive a wild card or a four. The size of the forced bet is usually equal in size to the ante paid at the beginning of the hand.
Each player must pay a small, forced bet called the “ante” at the beginning of each hand. In fixed limit games, the ante is usually sized to equal 10% of the lower betting limit. For example, in a $1/$2 game, the antes would be $0.10.
Next, each player is dealt two cards face down and one card face up. A round of betting takes place next, beginning with the player who has the lowest card showing. This player must pay the bring-in, which is a forced bet equal to half the size of the lower betting limit.
Once that player has paid the bring-in, that player has the option to leave the bring-in as it is or raise it up to a full minimum bet. After that player acts, the other players at the table must either call the bring-in or raise it. The option to bet moves clockwise around the table.
Each player is dealt one card face up. There is another round of betting but this time it begins with the player who has the highest hand showing. This player has the options of checking or making a bet. If anyone bets, the other players must either match that bet, raise it or fold.
Each player is dealt one card face up. There is another round of betting similar to the previous round. From this point on, all bets are made in increments of the upper betting limit.
Each player is dealt one card face up. There is another round of betting just like the last one.
Each player is dealt one card face down. Any players who have been dealt a four at any point during the hand now receive an extra card. The extra card can be dealt either face down or face up, depending on the house rules. There is one more round of betting.
If there is only one player left after this round of betting, that player may collect the pot without showing his cards. If there is more than one player left, the remaining players enter the showdown.
The players now reveal their hidden cards and choose five of their seven (or eight) cards to create the best possible five card poker hand. The player with the best hand wins the pot.