## Draw Poker : Chaper 4. Betting Before the Draw.

Chapter 4: Betting Before the Draw.

We have now reached a point in the game where it is necessary to impress upon the mind of the reader the most important general rule in poker: Everything must be done in turn. The non-observation of this imperative law of Draw Poker has occasioned more confusion than all other causes combined.

After each player has received his complement of cards the betting before the draw begins. If no straddle has been made, the first player to the left of the age must " say." If he desires to play he must first make good, that is, he must deposit in the pool a sum double the amount of the ante. If he desires to play for more than this he can do so by placing in the pool any additional amount not exceeding the limit of the game. If he should not care to play at all in that hand he can pass and retire from the game until the next deal. But whatever the first player may do the next say belongs to the next player to the left, who may come in or pass as he pleases. If he comes in, he must make good the ante

Each player must in turn say whether he passes or plays. If he passes he must retire from the game for that deal. If he plays he must deposit in the pool an amount equal to the highest deposit of any previous player, and he may raise this highest deposit any additional amount within the limit of the game.

If any player has deposited any amount in the pool and does not wish to "see" the raise of any subsequent player, he may retire from the game, but in doing so he must sacrifice whatever he may have already deposited in the pool.

If a player raises and no other player sees his raise, he is entitled to whatever is in the pool.

If all the players in the game except the age pass out, the age is entitled to the ante, and a new deal is in order.

In betting before the deal no hands are shown.

The effect of the straddle is to increase the pool and transfer the last say before the draw from the age to the last straddler.

## Draw Poker : Chaper 4. The Deal

Chapter 4.  The Deal.

The cards must be shuffles face downwards above the board.  Any player in the game has the right to shuffle the cards, the dealer always having the right to shuffle them last.  The player at the right of the dealer must cut the cards, and then the dealer must give to each player one card at a time in rotation, beginning with the age and dealing to the left.  In this order he must deliver to each player five cards.

If a deal is made without the cards being properly cut, or if a card is faced in the pack, there must be a fresh deal.  The cards must be re-shuffled and re-cut, and the dealer must deal again.

If a card is accidentally exposed by the dealer while in the act of dealing, the player such card is dealt must accept it as though it had not been exposed.

If the dealer should give to himself or anyone of the other players more or less than five cards, and the player receiving such improper number of cards should discover and announce the fact, before he lifts his hand from the table, it is a misdeal.  The cards must be re-shuffled and re-cut and the dealer must deal again.

If the dealer should give to himself, or any one of the other players, more or less than five cards, and the player receiving such improper number of cards should lift his hand from the board before announcing the fact, no misdeal occurs, and the player holding the foul hand must retire from the game for that deal.

The last two rules are among the most important in poker, and yet through ignorance or carelessness they are more often slighted than any others.

The deal must go round the table in rotation from right to left.

## Draw Poker : Chaper 4. The Straddle

The right to straddle the ante rests wholly with the player immediately to the left of the age.  If this player chooses not to avail himself of his privilege, no other play in the game can put up a straddle.  If, however, this player does straddle the ante, the player immediately upon his left may straddle his straddle, and this process may be continued in turn towards the left until one-half of the limit of the game is reached; the rule governing the limit of the ante applying to the limit of the straddle.  When no straddle is made, the age always has the last say before the draw.  But in the even of straddling, the last straddler has the last say before the draw.  This does no apply after the draw, as the privileges of the age are then not transferable.

John W Keller - 1889

## Draw Poker : Chaper 4. The Limit & The Ante

Chapter 4. The Limit.

The first thing for a poker party to do is to fix the limit governing their game.  This should be the case whether the chips represent real or nominal values.  The unlimited game of Draw Poker is a dangerous institution, and so far as I know is never played for amusement.  If the chips represent mere nominal values it does not matter much about the limit; but if they represent real values the means and inclination of the players should be carefully considered.  In all instances I would recommend small stakes and a corresponding limit.  When the limit is once fixed it should remain through the game.  Many players will play the greater part of an evening at the limit agreed upon and then, finding themselves out of pocket, will request an increased limit.  This request should never be granted.

Chapter 4. The Ante.

The next thing in order is the determination of the deal.  This is effected by throwing a card to each player, the deal going to the one receiving the lowest card.  The comes the ante, which is placed on the table by the player immediately to the left of the dealer and before the cards are dealt.  The rule governing the amount of the ante is that it shall not exceed the limit of the game.  This rule, however, is susceptible of modification, and in my opinion should be modified, at least, by agreement among the players.  Otherwise a party of liberal players will force the any up to the limit throughout the game and thus reduce the play approximately to an exhibition of hands.  Of course, with the cautious players this would not occur, but caution is no generally a marked characteristic of people who play poker for amusement.  The proportion of the ante to the limit is a matter worthy of consideration, and to insure all the the phases, and consequently all the pleasures of the game, this proportion should never be less than 1 to 10, and my experience teaches that 1 to 20 makes a better game.  To illustrate my meaning I will take this example:  If the limit is fixed at one dollar the anter should never exceed ten cents; and if it were kept at five cents, a more scientific and consequently a better game would ensue.  But there is no law in Draw Poker to confine the ante to any sum less than one-half the limit, although this may be effected by agreement.  The following rule, therefore, must be accepted as governing the ante:  The ante must be placed on the table by the age before any cards are dealt, and the amount of the ante must not exceed one-half the limit of the game.

## Draw Poker : Chapter 4. Rules of Draw Poker

Chapter 4.  Rules of Draw Poker.

In order to insure pleasure and harmony in playing Draw Poker, it is absolutely necessary that each player should carefully watch the progress of the game and strictly observe its rules.  A lack of knowledge of these rules has produced many curious and often absurd ways of playing the game, while the carelessness of individual players has contributed more to confusion and dispute than any other single cause or all other causes combined.  In preparing the following set of rules I have not only consulted the best written authorities on Draw Poker, but have borne in mind the usage of the best and most experienced players of my acquaintance.

The implements necessary for this game are a full pack of cards and a set of poker chips.  The latter are made from various materials, but the best are of ivory.  The should be circular in form, identical in size and of at least three difference colors, representing as many separate valuations.  The last requisite is due to the necessity of making change in the progress of the game.  The number of players who can comfortably engage in poker at one sitting ranges from two to seven.  I have known eight people to play in the same game at the same time, but this number is excessive, as it induces personal discomfort and forces the discard into the draw.

John W Keller - 1889

Tomorrow we will discuss The Limit and other aspects of Draw Poker

## Draw Poker : Chaper 3. The Blaze

Chapter 3. The Blaze.

The blaze is another hand that is occasionally played in Draw Poker.  It consists of five court cards, and when played beats two pairs.  It is the most contemptible of all poker innovations and has become almost obsolete.  The game of Draw Poker needs no such addition to make it interesting.  Its combinations are already incalculable and the player who can master the game as it is ordinarily played to-day should be satisfied.

John W Keller - 1889

## Draw Poker : Chapter 3. The Straight

Chapter 3. The Straight.

It will be observed in the forgoing arrangement of hands accruing to their relative values, that I included the straight as a hand that should always be played, and that I have peremptorily fixed its value as being greater than that of triplets and less than that of a flush.  My authority for this is the best usage of to-day, and my justification is the undeniable merit of the straight as a poker hand.  Without it a straight flush would be impossible, and without the existence of the straight flush, four aces would be the best hand at poker, and, therefore, an absolute certainty to bet on - something that no one playing the game for amusement could possibly desire or tolerate.  All written authorities on poker declare that straights can not be played without the consent of all the parties interested and that the intention to play them must be made known at the beginning of the game.  This is a tradition rather than a just law and should be abolished.  The straight is as legitimate as any other hand at poker, and the fact that it did not happen to be used by the originators of the game is nothing against it.  These same originators acknowledged no limit, but who, except the most reckless gamblers, would think of playing poker to-day with-out a limit?  The time has come when the straight should be accepted and played without question and, therefore, I have given it a place in the list of useful and necessary poker hands.

The relative value of the straight to triplets is also a question that has caused considerable discussion in the past.  This discussion hinged upon the question as to whether the straight should beat or be beaten by triplets.  The game has been played both ways, and even to-day, I believe, in some parts of the West, triplets are played to beat the straight.  The usage of intelligent and experienced players, however, and this is the best authority, has fixed the value of straights above that of triplets.

Not is this valuation unjustified by either mathematical calculation or an analysis of the influence of the straight on the game of Draw Poker.  Dr. Pole has calculated that the odds against holding a pat straight is 254 to 1, while the same authority gives the odds against holding a pat triplets as being only 45 to 1.  It will be seen from this that the chance against occurrence, which is the basis of relative valuation of poker hands, places the straight far above triplets.  Moreover, if triplets were played to beat a straight, the latter hand would be of so little value that the chances of filling it would never be taken, and it would, therefore, be practically eliminated from the game.  The proper place for a straight is above triplets and below a flush, and it should always be played.

Efforts have been made to introduce into the game of Draw Poker what is known as the "skip" straight - a sequence of alternate cards.  Example: Two, Four, Six, Eight, The; or Ace, THree, Five, Seven, Nine.  Such hands however, have never met with favor, simply because they deserve none.  They add nothing of interest to the game and serve only to encumber it.

John W. Keller - 1889

## Draw Poker : Chapter 3. The Order of Hands

Chapter III.  The Order of Hands.

The order or rank of the hands played in Draw Poker is as follows, beginning with the lowest:

One Pair. -- (Accompanied by three cards of different denominations.)  The highest pair out wins.  If two players hold like pairs the highest remaining card wins.

Two Pairs. -- (Accompanied by one card of another denomination.)  If each of the players holds two pairs, the highest pair wins.  Example:  Aces and deuces beat kings and queens.  If two hands of like two pairs meet, the higher remaining card wins.

Triplets. -- (Three cards of the same denomination unaccompanied by a pair.)  The highest triplets win, and triplets always beat two pairs.  Triplets are sometimes known as Three of a Kind.

Straight. -- (A sequence of five cards not all of the same suit.)  An ace may either begin or end a straight, but an ace can never be played intermediately in a straight.  Example:  Ace, King, Queen, Knave, Ten is the highest straight.  Five, Four, Three, Two, Ace is the lowest straight.  But King, Queen, Ace, Two, Three is not a straight.  If two or more straights come together the straight headed by the highest card wins.  A straight beats triplets.

Flush. -- (Five cards of the same suit not in sequence.)  If two or more flushes come together the flush containing the highest card wins.  If the highest cards tie, the next highest card determines the winning hand, and so on.  A flush beats a straight.

Full Hand. -- (Triplets accompanied by a pair.)  If two or more full hands come together, the one containing the highest triplets wins.  A full hand beats a flush.

Fours. -- (Four cards of the same denomination accompanied by another card.)  Fours beat a full hand, and the highest fours win.

Straight Flush. -- (A sequence of five cards all of the same suit.)  When two or more straight flushes come together, the one containing the highest card wins.  The straight flush beats fours.

If upon a show of hands two or more players interested in the call hold identical hands, and these hands are the best out, the players holding such identical hands must divide the pool, share and share alike.

John W. Keller - 1889

## Draw Poker : Chapter 2. Technical Terms.

Chapter II.  Technical Terms.

In order to write intelligibly on the subject it is necessary to use certain technical terms, without which no game of Poker is ever played.  As I believe some of my readers may not be familiar with these terms I append a full list of them with explanations:

Age. -- The position at the immediate left of the dealer.  The advantage of this position is that is insures its holder the last play under all circumstances, unless some other player may have raised.  This position is sometimes known as the eldest hand.

Ante. -- The stke deposited in the pool by the age at the beginning of each deal.

Blaze. -- A hand consisting of five court cards.  This hand is seldom played and will be treated of more fully hereafter.

Blind. -- The amount deposited in a pool before the cards have been dealt.  As poker is generally played to-day, especially in the Eastern States, blind has the same meaning as ante.

Bluff. -- To bet an ingerior hand so as to win from a superior one.

Bob-tail Flush. -- Any four cards of a suit.  Usually worthless when called.

Call. -- To put into the pool a sum equal to the largest amount bet by a preceding player.

Chips. -- Tokens representing a fixed or nominal value in money.

Chipping. -- Better.  That is a player usually says "I chip" instead of "I bet" in making his first wager after the draw.

Discard. -- To take from your hand the number of cards you intend to draw and place them on the table face downwards near the next dealer.

Draw. -- After discarding one or more cards to receive an equal number from the dealer.

Filling. -- Strengthening the cards, to which you draw.

Foul Hand. -- Any hand of more or less than five cards, or any hand obtained irregularly.

Freeze-out. -- The name of a species of the game fully explained hereafter.

Going Better. -- The act of betting more than the player, who has bet last before you.

Going in. -- Making good the ante and straddles and raises (if there be any of the last two), in order to draw cards and play for the pool.

Limit. -- A condition made at the beginning of the game limiting the amount of any single bet or raise.

Making Good. -- Depositing in the pool an amount equal to the highest bet previously made.  The difference between making good and calling,  is that a player may raise or go better, after having made good.

Original Hand. -- The first five cards dealt to any player.

Pat Hand. -- An original hand not likely to be improved by the draw.  For instance, a straight, flush or full hand.

Pass. -- To throw up your hand and retire from the game for that deal.

Playing Pat. -- Playing an original hand without drawing cards.  A favorite deice of bluffers.

Pot. -- The pool.

Raise. -- This term means the same as going better, and is more common.

Say. -- The time for any player to declare whether he will play or pass.

Seeing a Bet. -- This term is synonymous with making good.

Straddle. -- To place in the pool before the deal an amount double of the ante.  No player has the right to straddle the ante except that one immediately to the left of the age.  If, however, this player avails himself of his privilege, the next on his left may straddle his straddle and thus straddling may be continued in turn until the limit of the game is reached.

Widow, or Kitty. -- A percentage taken out of the pool to defray the expenses of the game or the cost of refreshments.

John K Keller - 1889

## Draw Poker : Chapter 1. The Question of Stakes

The Game of Draw Poker : Chapter 1 - The Question of Stakes

For its character and origin there can be little question that Draw Poker was intended by its inventors, whoever they were, for the purpose of gambling.  But this does not detract from its merit as a means of amusement, nor is it any reason why the game should not be played without money being staked on the result.  The finest equine contests invariable have the most money bet on them and the grandest exhibitions of rowing are made the occasion of heavy wagers.  Is this a competent reason why people who love horses or rowing should be debarred from witnessing their favorite contests?  I am not endeavoring to defend Draw Poker as an amusement, for it needs no defense.  The fact that it has become the means of extensive gambling is not the fault of the game but of the people who play it for gain.

Personally, I do not object to a small wager on a game of poker, for I am free to confess that I see no harm in it.  It is well known that ministers of the Gospel have enhanced their interest in Whist after this manner, and I know numerous irreproachable laymen who have ventured beyond "penny-ante" in Poker.  But if money is to be tolerated in the game at all it should be in such small sums as not to arouse cupidity in the winner or occasion regret in the loser.

But whether the game be played for money or not, so long as the only object is amusement, the method is the same, and the rules and observations that I shall offer hereafter will apply equally in either case.

John W. Keller - 1889