This is a 5-card
draw guts game at heart which consists of three sub-games: Low-Shit (low-hand poker), Boo-Ray (a trump/tricks game) and Kings-And-Little-Ones (KALO) (a high wild-card poker game).
As it is a guts game, you don't have to play your hand if you do not wish. But if you do, here's how, and what, you can play.
Dealing and Anteing:
Play starts by each person anteing $1 into the pot (or whatever your traditional ante is). The dealer then deals 5 down cards to each player. The remaining cards are placed in front of the
dealer and except for the top-card, they will be used as draw cards.
The top-card of the draw stack is turned up for everyone to see and its suit becomes the Booray trump suit.
Note: After dealing, the dealer sometimes forgets to turn up the top-card. Someone inevitably says, "What's the Booray?" Hence the origin of the game's
Choosing a game:
Each person takes three chips in his/her hand: one blue, one red and one white (these are the colors with which we play -- you may choose your own colors of course).
Each of the chip colors represents a different game: Red = KALO, White = Low-Shit and Blue = Booray.
Every person selects which games s/he wants to play by picking the appropriate colored chip and holding it in their closed hand. Everyone holds out their closed hand above the table. When
all players have selected their game, players open their hands and show their selected games. Players with matching colored chips play each other.
If someone chooses a game and runs unopposed (i.e., no other player has chosen a matching colored chip), s/he gets 1 point.
Rules of each game:
All games are 5-card draw.
Low-Shit: The worst poker hand wins. Straights and flushes are not counted. We play with the wheel (A-2-3-4-5) as the best low hand. You
may choose to play (A-2-3-4-6) if you wish.
KALO: The low card in your hand and the kings are wild. Obviously if you draw a lower card, that new card becomes your wild. So, if you are dealt
(K-Q-7-3-3) and you throw the Q-7 and draw an J-2 (K-J-3-3-2), the deuce becomes your new wild card and quad threes becomes your best hand. Aces can play low (as wild) beneath a 2 if you
Booray: The person who takes the most tricks out of the 5 possible tricks wins. A trick is taken by throwing the best card of everyone in this
game. Starting from the dealer's left, each person playing this game throws one card face up into the pot. The person who throws the best card takes the trick. Trump suit beats all
non-trump suit cards. Trump Ace is the best card and therefore is automatically the winner of a trick. Higher value trump cards beat lower value trump cards.
Playing the games:
Draw cards are offered clockwise starting with the person seated to the left of the dealer. A person may draw any number of cards (1-5) or draw none.
Note: If there are a lot of players, and there's a chance there won't
be enough hole cards, we go around asking how many one wishes to draw. If there aren't enough, the discards are all thrown in and added to the remaining hole cards. These are then
shuffled and draw cards are selected from this larger pile).
After all cards are dealt, the people who are playing Booray play out first (because there is strategy on what to play and when so you don't want them to see what other cards people have).
After Booray is finished, the other players can show their hands. The person with the worst poker hand wins Low-shit and the person with the best poker hand wins KALO.
Winning and Adding to the Pot:
The winners each split the pot. If there's only one winner, the entire pot goes to that person. So, if the pot was $6 and
there were two winners, each winner would get $3.
The losers must pay the amount of the pot back into the pot. So, if there's only one loser, the pot remains the same. If two people have lost, each person must pay back the pot. So,
if the pot was $6, and two people lost, the new pot will be $12.
Winning the game:
The player to reach 4 points first wins the game
Multiplicity: A player is allowed to play as many of the games as s/he chooses by selecting mutliple-colored chips. But you may only draw once and
must use your hand to play both games. For example, if you are dealt an A-2-3-4-5, all of the trump suit (re: flush), then you may wish to play both low-poker (b/c you have the wheel which is
out best low hand) and booray (b/c you have 5 cards of the trump suit and have the trump ace, which is a guaranteed winner). In this case, you would select a white and a blue chip to hold in
your hand. If you run unopposed in both games, you would get two points. If you run unopposed in one game but opposed in another, you get one point for the unopposed game and would play
out the opposed game.
Forced-go: On the first hand that is dealt, players are forced to play one of the three games. This can help build up the pot -- especially useful
when there's only 4 or 5 players b/c the chance of three people picking the same game is increased.
Forced Till Doubles: Sometimes even with a first-round forced go, the pot doesn't double. So we call this version and require a forced go until we
get a doubled-pot. All depends on how rich we're feeling that night.