Boot Hill: Simulating Skill and Cheating at Cards

Gambling, specifically Five Card Draw Poker has become a feature in our Boot Hill games. Since characters have Gambling skill (and the player may not), we have come up with the following rules to simulate the advantages of being a skilled professional gambler. Cheating is also possible along with the risk of getting caught.

Boot Hill – Poker: Catching Cheats

To watch for card cheating, perform a successful Observation or Gambling check with a Modifier of -1 (or -2 if the observer is the dealer or playing in the game.)

D20 <= Observation + Modifier = Success
D20 <= Gambling Skill + Modifier = Success

If that check is successful, all Cheaters must make a gambling check, if they fail then they get a last ditch luck check, if that also fails, their cheating has been spotted and can be called out.

5 Card Draw

  1. Everyone Antes up (including the dealer.)
  2. Deal five cards per player (including the dealer), starting to the dealer’s left.
  3. Cheaters and Professional Gamblers (Gambling-10+) get an extra card, the most skilled (Gambling-19+) get two.
  4. Players (or the dealer) may attempt to spot cheating as described above at any time during the hand.
  5. A round of betting happens (clockwise, starting from dealer’s left.)
  6. Up to 3 cards are discarded, if a player wants to discard 4, they must play an Ace (or wild card if they are allowed.)
  7. The player gets the same number of cards (as they discarded) from the deck.
  8. A round of betting happens (clockwise, from dealer’s left.) This round continues until someone calls. 9. Player who called shows their cards, then the players show their 5-card hands (clockwise, from player who called.)
  9. Highest hand wins. The player to the dealer’s left becomes dealer and they gather and shuffle the cards.

7 Card Stud Poker

  1. Before the deal, each player places an ante into the pot and then receives two down cards (hole cards) and one face up card.
  2. Cheaters and Professional Gamblers (Gambling-10+) get an extra hole card, the most skilled (Gambling-19+) get two.
  3. Players (or the dealer) may attempt to spot cheating as described above at any time during the hand.
  4. The player with the lowest face up card (an ace is high in this situation) is required to start the betting action with an initial bet called the “bring-in.” The bring-in must be at least the required minimum amount agreed upon before the game.
  5. Play continues to the left with either calls (to equal the previous opponent’s bet), raises (to bet higher than the previous opponent), or folds (to resign). For example, if a player thought he had a strong hand and good chance of winning the round, he would raise the bet in attempt to generate the largest pot possible.
  6. After all betting is completed, a fourth card is dealt face up to each player who has not folded. From this point on, the player with the highest hand showing starts the action. For example, if the high hand (excluding the hole cards) is a pair after the fourth card is dealt, the player with this pair must check (to decline to bet or to pass when it is your turn to act), bet, or fold.
  7. A round of betting starting with the high hand. Play continues to the left with either calls (to equal the previous opponent’s bet), raises (to bet higher than the previous opponent), or folds (to resign).
  8. A fifth card is dealt face up followed by a betting round.
  9. and then a sixth card is dealt face up followed by another round of betting.
  10. The seventh card is dealt to each player face down, and the final round of betting starts.
  11. Players show their hole cards and the highest five-card hand wins. The player to the dealer’s left becomes dealer.

NOTES: Each round is often called a “street” (the third card is called third street, the fourth card is called fourth street, and so on through seventh street).

Because there is no bring-in requirement after the first betting round, players do not need to fold until there is a bet. Once there is a bet, players left in the game, in turn, must call, raise, or fold.

It is possible for players to check around the table, thus having a round with no bets.

You can download a nice, printable version of these rules in PDF format: Boot Hill – 5 Card Draw 7 Card Stud
For 5 Card Stud: Boot Hill – 5 Card Stud Poker

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