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Roll Your Own

Roll Your Own

Roll Your Own is not so much a single game as a style of playing seven-card stud poker. Instead of dealing some cards face up, the dealer always deals face down, and the players, after looking at the cards, decide which of them to reveal before the following betting round. The procedure is as follows.

  1. After the players have placed their ante the dealer deals three cards each, face down. Each player chooses one card to reveal. There is a betting round.
  2. The dealer deals another card to each player. Each player turns one card face up - either the newly dealt card or one of the two face down cards the player already has. There is another betting round.
  3. Step 2 is repeated until everyone has six cards: four face up and two face down, and there is a fourth betting round.
  4. The dealer deals a seventh card to each player face down. There is a fifth and final betting round followed by a showdown in which the highest hand wins the pot.

There are several ways to organise the revealing of cards. For example:


Almost any seven-card stud variant can be played in Roll Your Own style rather than with a normal deal - for example Hi-Lo, Chicago or Baseball.


Some play that a version of Roll Your Own in which each player's lowest face-down card and any others of the same rank are wild for that player only. You may pay a fixed fee to the pot to have your seventh card dealt face-up rather than face-down, to avoid the risk that a new low card will replace the favourable wild card that you had before. Dakota is an example of this type of game.

  1. Three cards are dealt to each player and all simultaneously turn one face up. There is a round of betting.
  2. Everyone is dealt a new down card and must turn one of their three face down cards face up. There is a new round of betting.
  3. Step 2 is repeated until the fourth round of betting, at which point everyone has six cards: two face down and four face up.
  4. Before the seventh and last card is dealt, each player must decide whether to buy "the Option". The cost is equal to the maximum bet at this point. This does not count as a bet: it is just an extra amount paid in chips to the pot. Players who buy the Option turn a fifth card face up after their seventh card is dealt; players who do not must keep their final card face down.
  5. There is a final round of betting after which active players declare high, low or both and reveal their hands. Each player's lowest face down card is wild for the high hand. There are no wild cards for the low hand. The highest and lowest hand split the pot.

Mexican Stud

This is sometimes played as a five-card stud roll your own game.

Two cards are dealt face down to each player, and they each choose one card to flip, either simultaneously or in turn as above. There is a betting round.

Players are dealt another card face down and reveal one of their two face down cards. There is another betting round.

This is repeated until everyone has four cards face up and one face down and there is a final round of betting and a showdown.

Mississippi Mud

This variant was described to me by Jim Ward. It is a high-low game with declaration. It is best played by 5-7 players.

In this game the dealer deals seven cards face down to each player at the outset. Every player selects two cards to discard, and then chooses one of the remaining five cards to expose. There is a round of betting, beginning with the player who has the highest card showing.

Each player exposes another of their five cards, and there is another round of betting. This is repeated until each player has four cards showing and one face down, and there is a final round of betting.

Active players declare whether they are competing for high hand or the low hand. Then the last card is exposed and the pot is split between the high and low winners, using ace-to-five ranking.


Some use ace-to-six ranking for the low hand, and A-2-3-4-5 counts as a straight. In the variant, A-2-3-4-5 can be played both high and low. The player can declare "both ways", "high" or "low". A player who goes "both ways" must win both ways or gets none of the pot. See split pot games with declaration for details.

Pick a Partner

This game requires an even number of players who ante and are dealt five cards each face down.

Everyone rolls one card - that is everyone selcts a card and all simultaneously expose them. The player who has the highest card showing selects one other player as a partner; then the unpartnered player with the highest card showing selects an unpartnered player as a partner; and so on until all the players are paired up.

Each partnership combines their remaining eight cards and selects three of them to use with their two upcards to form a poker hand. There are then three more betting rounds, with one of the three cards rolled (turned face up) after each round. The partners play their hand as a team, but bet as individuals: if one member of a team folds the other can continue playing.

At the showdown the team with the highest hand shares the pot. If one member of the winning team has folded, the other partner wins the whole pot.


Five cards are dealt face down to each player. In turn, starting to dealer's left, players have the opportunity to discard and draw replacement cards as in five card draw poker.

Now all players select three cards to show, and when ready they expose them simultaneously. The game continues like seven card stud: after a round of betting, players receive a sixth card face up, there is another round of betting, a final card is dealt to each player face down, and there is a final round of betting. Players then declare high, low or both and there is a showdown.

Even if the draw is restricted to three cards each, each player potentially has access to 10 cards, so with more than 5 players the cards may run out and discards will have to be reused.