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Old 06-12-2011, 02:27 PM   #1
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Psycho - 5-max dealer's choice game

Here is a fun game that we broke out for the first time at my game this week. I had read about it in a book, and had it in my mind that we would play it if I ever hosted a game that had only four or five players.

Well, it finally came about this week, when a new guy no-showed and all my "maybes" turned out to be "nos". The guys grumbled a little when I announced the game, but after we played it, everyone came around. Here's how it goes:

It begins like five-card draw, but with a .25 dealer ante, the same amount we use for 7-stud. Each player is dealt five cards, then there is a round of betting (fixed limit, .50). Players discard and draw, and there is another round of betting (.50). After that, each player who is still in chooses three of his five cards to flip face up; everyone flips simultaneously. The game then plays out like 7-stud, with the fixed-limit bets increasing to $1. Another round of betting takes place after the flip, starting with the best hand showing. One more up card to each player, another round of betting. Finally, one more down card, and one last round of betting.

It's not at all complicated if you already have five-card draw and 7-stud in your mix. The thing that makes it really interesting the decision of which three cards you voluntarily expose. If you show strength by exposing a pair, you probably have to play the rest of the hand out of position, and you run the risk of killing your action. So, most players choose to show either weak/random cards (I usually assume a set) or three coordinated cards (a draw or a made hand).

We also played one round of Psycho low (Psyche-low? Razzo?), which worked fairly well, but took some some of the strategy out of the three-card flip. Everyone seemed to show only their three lowest cards, rather than expose a high card hoping to catch on sixth or seventh street. I don't know if it would work high-low split, as I am always hesitant to play a split-pot game that short-handed. Maybe we'll try it next time.
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:37 PM   #2
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Re: Psycho - 5-max dealer's choice game

Sounds good to me. To bad you need a smaller crowd to spread it. I suppose you could start the game with 3 or 4 cards and play on to accommodate a larger crowd. Though even at 6-Max I could see the draws and playing to 7th street being problematic unless you have people capable of folding rather early (though given the fact you can draw, would lessen that to an extent).

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Old 06-14-2011, 03:22 PM   #3
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Re: Psycho - 5-max dealer's choice game

In order to play Psycho with more players, one might considering combining two matching decks into one 104-card Psycho-only deck. But then you introduce the possibility of things like suited pairs in the hole, five of a kind, and double-ace high flushes, which arguably brings a game down to the level of wild-card games and plastic chips. Since I want to maintain some level of home-game respectability, I think I'll keep Psycho as the silver lining for an unexpectedly short-handed game.
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:34 PM   #4
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Re: Psycho - 5-max dealer's choice game

I googled this game. If you want to play with more than 5 players, you can limit the number of cards players can draw to a max of 2.
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Old 06-18-2011, 11:09 PM   #5
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Re: Psycho - 5-max dealer's choice game

Different, but similar game your group might like, Waspy- can't remember where I first read about this, but I fine-tuned it a little for the crazy game group that I occasionally play in:


Dealt 5 cards. 1st draw is free. Throw away up to three cards, get one more than you threw away. Throw away none, get one extra card.


2nd draw, again max 3 for 4.


Arrange cards in order, with the four cards that you want to expose on top.

Roll a card, bet. Repeat 3 more times. Declare and bet, or (if you're playing cards speak), it ends there. Each player still in has 4 up cards and 3 down cards.

Game is high-low. The low is 9-qualifier.

If you want a Psycho version of it.... let the players pick their rolling card, on each round, from their entire 7-card hand. You might be able to really mess with people.
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