Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Beware of the Cardinal

I was invited to a home game a few months ago by some basketball mates where I was introduced to a hold'em variant that I hadn't come across before, they called it 'Cardinal.' Cardinal is a form of wild card poker where the two advertising cards and the two jokers are left in and are wild, to be used as any card you like.

The addition of these wild cards or "Cardinals" turned the semi-respectable home game into absolute rubbish and that's not just because I came last in both of the $5 tournies we played. The presence of wild cards totally messes up the odds of the game, raising the level of luck to that of any number of games of pure chance. The fact that there was a whopping four wildcards, and around 6 players, meant that barely a hand went by where they didn't spew their influence on the game.

Bottom line: stay away from wildcard poker and be especially aware of the Cardinal. If you're looking for a way to spice up the game consider starting up your own league with points awarded each week and a final at the end of the season. You can offer a bounty, cash prizes or extra points, for claiming the scalp of the previous game's winner or this week's host.

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