January 07, 2011
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.