Lucky Dog Games
Lucky Dog Games

Hi-Lo Spit!™

This game is not a poker game, but rather a card point-value game, where the object is to end up with either the least amount of points or the most amount of points in your hand, based on the face value of the cards you are holding. It's a betting/bluffing game but with a little bit of luck with a Go-Fish (yes, that game from your childhood) aspect to it.

 

Rules

Deal

Each player is dealt 5 cards face down. 10 cards, two rows of 5 cards, are dealt face down in the center of the table. These are the common match cards. As in hold-em, there will be a "flop", "turn" and "river" with betting after each event.

 

Betting

After you look at your hand, it costs $1 enter the game. It is a half-pot game so each player can choose to check or bet/raise up to half of the pot after each of the above events.

 

Cards

Each of the cards represent a point total, signified by their face value. Picture cards are worth 10, 9's are worth 9, 8's are worth 8, etc. Aces are worth 1 or 15, depending on whether you are going for the high or low hand. You may choose to go both ways if you think you can win both the high and low points hands. So, best hand for the high is AAAA with any two face cards and best hand for the low is having no cards (0 pts). 

 

Play

After each person declares whether they wish to play their hand with their initial $1 bet, the dealer will turn over the first two columns (so four cards in total). Players must throw out any cards in their hand that match the cards. So, if a 4H/6D/8C/KH are thrown out, all 4's, 6's, 8's & K's held in players' hands must be thrown onto their respective matching table card. A betting round ensues with first bet going to the player to the left of the dealer. After bets are made, the dealer turns over another two columns (4 more cards), the players again throw out matching cards and then bet. It is ok for a player to ask another player how many cards s/he is holding in-hand. After the 2nd round of betting, the dealer flops over the river (the last column of two cards). Again, players discard and then bet.

 

Winning

The player(s) show their cards and whoever has the highest point total and lowest point total in their respective hands split the pot. If you are playing with qualifiers (see below in Variations), one person may take the entire pot if there's only a high hand or only a low hand.

 

If at any point after any of the events (flop, turn, river) anyone loses all of their hand cards, then that player has the "booyah". The player immediately takes half of whatever is in the pot, is done for the game and doesn't bet from here on out. So, essentially the low hand is done. The remaining half-pot is left for the high hands to battle it out. If two or more people go out at the same time (where "time" means not who can throw out their cards fastest, but just after the same event), they divide the half pot equally amongst themselves.

 

Variations

  • Picture cards can be worth their face value (i.e., Jack=11, Queen=12, King=13)
  • You can play a round of it with little/big blinds.
  • When playing a round (instead of just one game), we usually turn over 6 cards for the flop (the first three columns), then one row for the turn and the last row for the river. Instead of like above with a flop of 4 cards, a turn of 4 cards and a river of the last 2 cards.
  • If after an event, a column turns over that matches another column with the same cards, (e.g., 4H-6C & 4S-6D, QJ/JQ, etc.), then two additional cards are dealt and placed over the matching (2nd) column from the remaining deck. The players must now discard any of their hold carsd matching the two new cards thrown.
  • Play with qualifiers. Must have 8-10 points or lower to win a low-pot and 27-30 points or higher to win a high pot (obviously decide on your exact qualifiers before the game/round starts). If nobody qualifies, the pot remains and the game restarts with a huge pot! However, if a player bluffs everyone out and is the only one remaining, s/he takes the entire pot, regardless of whether s/he qualifies.
  • Hi/Lo declaration. After the river betting round, you can choose to declare whether you are going high, lo or both ways. And then have a final round of betting (so bet/declare/bet). It's usually obvious based on how many cards each player has left as to which way s/he might be going, so we rarely play it this way. But someone with aces (that are worth 1 or 15) can sometimes go both ways. Or someone with four low cards (or 1 high card) remaining can choose to bluff going the opposite direction of what one might think they should!
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