Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Nearly every time a player forgets to return the winning cards to the dealer, until being reminded, he or she makes a little joke about keeping them to use again on the next hand. Some dealers still manage to smile politely, though I don't know how, after hearing the same stupid comment about 17 million times a day.

But every time I hear it, I am reminded of an idea I have long had about a home-game poker variant that I think would be interesting and fun to play. I would call it "Takeaway," or maybe "Reduction."

It would be played just like regular Texas Hold'em, with two exceptions. First, the winning hand must be shown to all players, even if the player won by making a bet that nobody called. Second, those two cards are removed from the deck and set aside. This process continues until there are too few cards remaining to play the next hand (for a game of N players, you need at least 2N + 8 cards at the beginning of the hand), at which time you make the deck whole again and start afresh. I am torn about whether the cards removed should be left face up for all to see, or shown once, with players dependent on their memory to know what cards are no longer available.

I think this would make for an interesting challenge, though not, perhaps, readily compatible with the amount of alcohol ingestion commonly occurring at home poker games.

Nobody has invited me to a home game since I moved to Nevada, so I don't foresee any opportunity to try this. But if any readers have a regular game, and you can convince your buddies to play a night of Takeaway, I'd be interested in hearing how it went, observations about how strategy changed as the deck shrank, whether you tried it with the discards remaining visible or not, etc. In fact, if somebody emails me (email address is in the profile over in the left margin somewhere) an account of what happened, I'd love to make a post out of it (with permission, of course).

I don't get very many good original ideas. This may be one of the few.


dan in minnesota said...

I think it's time for an entry labeled "Dumb Customer Jokes -- Las Vegas Division."

Rakewell said...

I already did that. See

WindBreak247 said...

Only the winners cards would be shown, right?

Paboo said...

Anteup Mailbag Show 10/25/08

Chris and Scott love to hear about new games, so I sent them an email with link to you post. They took about 5 minutes to chat it up. Look for it around the 10:00 mark.


Rakewell said...

Thanks, Paboo. Already mentioned that podcast; see this post: