Roll Your Own Poker: Rules and How to Play Guide

If you happen to know your poker, you’ll be aware that there are many different game variants that can be played. However, there are one or two of them that you may never have come across (or even heard of) before.

One such game could be Roll Your Own Poker. It’s fun to play and is a game that does call for a slightly different strategy than most other poker game variants.

With that in mind I have put together this guide to playing Roll Your Own Poker. It shouldn’t take you very long to master the way that the game works and how it flows. However, much like all other variants of poker, it could take you quite some time to master playing it.

The Aim of the Game

You have one aim when playing Roll Your Own Poker and that is to make it to the ‘showdown’ stage of the game, and be the player that is holding the highest ranked hand. When you do so you will then win the contents of the pot.

Much like all other variants, the contents of the pot are made up of the forced ante bets and also the chips used to both call and raise each stage of the game.

This is a game that uses a standard deck of 52 playing cards and that can be played optimally with between 5 and 7 players.

Regarding the ranking of those 52 playing cards, the Ace is classed as a high card and the remainder of the cards are worth their usual face values, and all of the usual ranked hands are to be used to determine the value of each player’s hand.

There are no wild cards in play in the deck, and in regards to the hand rankings they are the standard ones that are used in most other standard poker game variants.

How to Play Roll Your Own Poker

There are some similarities between Roll Your Own Poker and Seven Card Stud. In fact it is a variant of Seven Card Stud, and as such if you do have a basic understanding of that game then you will have no problems learning how to play Roll Your Own Poker.

One of the main differences, however, is that the Dealer does not deal out any cards facing upwards – instead, he or she will deal them face down.

Before each round of betting starts, though, players are required to select which card from their hand that they wish to reveal and show to other players.

And so one of the strategies used for playing that game is for a player to determine just which card in their hand will give other players the least chance of determining the possible strength of their hand or which card will give the impression their hand is possibly stronger that what it actually is!

Structure of Roll Your Own Poker

Before a game starts, players are required to place an ante wager, which is used to enable the pot growing in size and value. As soon the ante bets have been placed, then the Dealer is going to deal out to each player three initial playing cards.

As mentioned above, each of those three cards that are dealt out to each player will be dealt out face down. Once all players have received their initial three cards then each player much select just one of those cards to reveal to all other players.

It is as that stage of the game that each player in turn can choose whether to bet or fold their hand. Once each players’ playing decision has been made then the Dealer will deal out another card to all remaining players, and once again a card must be selected by players from their respective hand to turn over and reveal.

Another round of betting is then played out, and the Dealer will deal out another card to each player left in the game. Again, a card is selected by each player left it the game to be flipped over and to be revealed and then players will place their bets or fold their hand.

The game then moves onto the next stage in which a sixth card is dealt out to all players, and once again one card from each of the players left in the game is revealed and another round of betting is performed. At this stage of the game players will be showing four face up cards and two of their cards will still be face down.

All players still left in the game will then be dealt out a seventh and final face down card, and that is when the final round of betting is played out, and when completed the game moves onto the showdown and final stage of the game in which players reveal their hands, and it is the highest ranked hand that will win the game.

Best Strategy to Adopt

In relation to what will likely be the best strategy to adopt when playing Roll Your Own Poker, much like any other variant you need to know how to bluff at times and also how to not give away any tells if you are sat there holding a very strong hand.

That will often entail you knowing which card to reveal at each stage of the game, for you can often make the mistake of flipping over and revealing the wrong card which other players could use to correctly guess just what hand you are holding at each stage of the game.

So, it’s obvious that bluffing your way to the pot is something that you can do when playing this variant. However, at the showdown stage of the game you are going to have to reveal your hand, and if any player left in the game does have a better ranked hand than you, he or she is going to take the pot!

It’s also worth noting that the person who is going to open the betting will be the one who is showing the highest valued card or cards in regards to his or her up-facing cards.

That could mean that another way of ensuring that you get a good idea of just what type of hand other players are holding will be by you revealing cards that give the impression that your hand is a low ranked one.

By doing so you are then going to be able to watch all of the other players remaining in the game and make something of a semi-informed decision whether the way they are betting is one that leads you to believe they have a high ranked hand, or at the very least a hand they are convinced does have a good chance of winning.

Can I Play Roll Your Own Poker Online?

I have yet to find an online poker site that has this game on offer, and as such you are only going to be able to play it at home with your friends or family members.

That said, when playing it with friends and family members you can of course play it for free and with no risks attached – or when playing it for real money you are going to be able to put into place rules about the cost of ante bets and the value of the betting structure at each stage of the game, too.

As such it can be a relaxing and enjoyable game to play and one that does add something of a twist in regards to how you play it, when compared to some of the more widely available poker game variants.

There are however plenty of different poker game variants that you are going to be able to play online, either for free or for real money. Those other poker variants online can be accessed by signing up to a poker site and giving some of their free play tables a try.

Ante Bet Values

One final question that you may be looking for the answer to in regards to playing Roll Your Own Poker is just what the initial ante cost will be, when players are required to place a forced initial bet to help build the pot up and enable them to take part in each game.

That can be determined by your fellow players and yourself before you start to play, and as such it is going to be a game that when the agreed antes are kept to a minimum it becomes one that all poker players present are going to be able to afford to play.

Plus, as the pot is going to start building up from the very moment the ante bets are placed, and then through each round of betting, the pot can and will grow to some very reasonable amounts. However it will always be the case that the higher the number of players in the game at the showdown stage of the game that will see the pot being at its highest value.

Variations of Roll Your Own Poker

There is another poker game variant that is very similar to Roll Your Own Poker and that game is known as Mississippi Mud.

There are however some very subtle differences relating to how that game is played out, and as such I will now give you a quick run-through of the game play rules to allow you to judge for yourself if it is a poker game variant that you may or may not find appealing.

One of the many differences is that the pot is shared between the players who have the lowest ranked hand and the highest ranked hand at the showdown stage of the game, and just before the showdown stage of the game players left in the game need to declare which pot they are playing for with their yet to be revealed hand.

The best way to play this Roll Your Own poker game variant is with five to seven players and right at the start of the game the Dealer deals out 7 cards to all players.

Once those seven playing cards are dealt out to all players then each player has to choose two of them to discard, and will also be required to reveal by turning it facing upwards, one of the cards left in their five card hand.

After that has been done by all players then the player who is showing the highest ranked card will be the one that starts a round of betting. Once that round of betting has been completed each player will then be required to reveal another card from their hand.

The player who is either showing the highest ranked pair of playing cards will be the one that starts the next round of betting and, when completed, players then select a third card to reveal and then another round of betting is played out.

After that round of betting has been completed then players must select a fourth card from their five card hand to reveal and another round of betting will then be played out. Once completed the players left in the game are required to state whether they are playing their hand as a high or low one, and the last card of each player’s hand is revealed.

The pot will then be split into two, with the player holding the highest raked hand who declared he or she was playing for that pot and the player with the lowest ranked hand, as long as he or she stated that they were playing for that pot will be the ones that share the pot.

In regards to which playing rules are used to determine the lowest ranked hand it is the generally accepted Ace-to-Five lowball hand rankings that are used on this variant.

Further Reading Resources

Poker Guide