Ricochet Poker can be played at the poker table as well! In this version, there is no “house” player, and each player has the same odds. Unlike other forms of poker, there is no button and no advantage for any position, because the action always jumps to the lowest hand.
Ricochet is played entirely face up.
Players: 2 to 8
Equipment: A single poker deck without Jokers
Summary of Play: All players ante and receive a portion of their poker hand. Going in order by the lowest hand, players may either buy more cards, or fold. At the end, the best hand wins. Each hand takes about 5 minutes.
Note: The name “Ricochet” comes from the speed of the game, as well as the way the action bounces to the lowest hand, rather than always moving to the left. This makes all table positions equally fair, so you can never be in a “bad spot” in relation to another player.
The Value of a Chip: You can assign any value you wish to the basic betting unit of the game. All bets are made in multiples of that unit.
Starting: To begin, each player makes an ante bet of one chip. This forms the “pot.” The dealer shuffles the deck and gives one card to each player, faceup.
The Action: The lowest hand will act first, with ties being broken by suit. (Suits are ranked in alphabetical order, with Clubs lowest, then Diamonds, Hearts, and Spades.) After every turn, the action moves to the new lowest hand.
On Your Turn: You may either fold or buy more cards.
Folding: If you fold, you’re out. Throw away your cards and wait for the next hand.
Buying Cards: To buy cards, declare how many cards you are buying, and put that many chips into the pot. Note that you won’t always get all the cards you paid for. Also, your hand can never have more than five cards.
Dealing: The dealer now gives you cards faceup, stopping immediately when your hand is no longer the lowest hand. Even if you paid for more cards, you don’t get any chips back.
If you get all the cards you paid for, and your hand is still beaten, you’re out.
Breaking Ties: When deciding whose hand is best, a hand with a kicker beats the same hand without a kicker (so for example an Ace-8 is higher than Ace alone), and suit is used to break ties between identical hands. (This changes at the end, when identical winning hands split the pot.)
Continuing: The action always passes to the lowest hand, until there is only one player left. Note that the action might return to the same player several times.
Winning: The last player remaining in the hand wins the pot. It’s possible to have a perfect tie, in which case those players split the pot.