First time circus games - hooked 'em! (1 Viewer)

JustDave

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I had an impromptu poker night with the group I normally play craps with. Gambly group and we play a lot of other strategy/board games together(two of the guys actually design games and we sometimes playtest them for them), but no real poker players in the bunch. I'd suggested we play mixed games instead of NLHE before to mixed success. Last time we played poker we played an orbit of SOHE and some people didn't see the point, some loved it. The guy hosting in particular was not overly interested and had been saying for weeks that most people didn't want to change what we were playing, though we never actually collectively discussed it and rarely ever played poker.

Smiles.jpg


Either way, I wanted to give it a shot and reached out to circus guru @inca911 about how to ease them into mixed games. He sent me a wonderful flow chart and then we chatted on the phone for a while about how to get them on board and make them see how the game was just much more engaging and fun. Advice on what to play and the order to play them in, things to avoid, and even some things to point out to the players mid hand to make sure everyone understood the game fairly. Additionally, he said that with mixed games make the winners show their hands. All of this was super helpful.

I also reached out to @Irish about getting some printable versions of the mixed game cards and followed his path of cutting and pasting them from the pdf into just the ones you need. This worked very well. I picked 5 games @inca911 suggested and then just for fun and to fill out the 3rd page I put scarney as the 6th.

I got to his house on time but almost everyone else was running behind. I break out chips for everyone, Emerald Bay, and he and I just sit at the table shooting the shit. I grab a deck of cards and go 'here, let me show you what these games play like', and I dealt him a hand of Super Holdem. He is just like, 'eh, an extra card'. So we deal pineapple and he has to discard one, so he's kinda intrigued. But then, and this is where @inca911 pointed me at 'this will hook them', is I dealt him 3 hand holdem. He immediately perked up. Not only did he suddenly have a lot of action and things to do like discarding hands, he gets to 'make the hands'. Also, being a game designer, he instinctively realized not only did he get to play more, but the rest of the players did too and you didn't have 2-3 players per hand but everyone was playing at least through the flop.

Everyone shows up, buys in, and we do an orbit of NLHE, normal game with me as the dealer. When it got back to me I asked the host who was directly to my left if he wanted to play a mixed game and if everyone else was okay with it. We'd do an orbit, if people hated it we'd go back to NLHE and never speak of it again, and if not maybe try a different game, dealer's choice and of course they could call NLHE. He snap said '3 hand holdem'... and we never looked back.

Quad8s.jpg


We played one hand, face up, no money, people immediately understood the game, and the first orbit went great. Next orbit, guy looks through the 6 cards and calls pineapple, people liked it, but not as much. Fast game though, so no worries. Next orbit, Double board HE. It was a good intro to 'split pots' and most of the time the pots were split between two players except I think when I had a nut flush on both boards. The group pretty quickly picked up on their own if they were only going to win 1 board to slow way down, so that was good. They all collectively said they liked 'picking hands' and 'discarding cards' though so the next game was SHESHE. People liked this game a lot for the intellectual aspect of how do I split tricky hands. A number of times people flipped over their folds post hand and said 'how would you have split this?'

Then things go a little more crazy. So I am now calling a game, and one of the players is looking through the cards and trying to match them up with the game so they make sense to him and is looking at the Scarney card and you can see on his face it just doesn't make sense to him at all. There is a break, people are eating/getting drinks, and he asks me about it. I dealt a hand to him and we are talking about it and I notice everyone is behind me watching attentively. So when we come back to the game I ask 'do you all want to play a hand of Scarney? just one, if people don't like it, we will play a different game the rest of the orbit.' and they are down. At this point, I think I've got them, hook, line and sinker.

It was everything you'd want it to be, the first hand was fine, nothing too crazy happens, and they want to finish the orbit. By the second hand all kinds of fun Scarney things start to happen, I get Iclandic'd by having to discard pocket trip queens on the 6th card, the low is won by someone with 13 points beating someone with 14 points beating someone with 15 points who all thought they were ahead, another hand where the nut low is a single 5. It was just amazing, I think 4 people loved it, 1 person was like 'this is all just luck'. People were laughing and yelling at their cards, 'why isn't the bottom taking away any of my cards!!!!'

To finish off the night we played an orbit of Scrotum. I'd sent the pdf of the game to one of the players and he thought the name was hysterical and wanted to play it. The first hand was a little confusing as we had our first real 'I didn't get the rules' when someone thought they had a flush but forgot they had to use the unsuited card in their hand as well. On the next hand we had quad 4s on the board with 2 players still in and very little in the pot. I stopped the game and pointed out to the players that they both had 3 cards in their hands currently and neither of them could play the quad 4s. This was very eye opening for them, but everyone agreed it was honest and fair for me to point this out. On the last hand of the night and I think also the biggest the guy to my left keeps 4 cards and bets heavy on the river. When cards get turned up he reveals three 10s and an ace to go with a 10 on the river for quad 10s.

Quad10s.jpg


I was so happy with how they took to the games, everyone loved them. After the first hand people weren't making mechanical mistakes like forgetting to discard if they needed to or fouling their hands. I asked them if they wanted to play mixed games some other time and they were super in favor of it. I think in the future as long as a few of them are present adding in mixed games will be no issue at all. On more than one occasion someone said 'I don't think I'll ever want to play HE again, it just seems so boring now.'
 

Irish

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I had an impromptu poker night with the group I normally play craps with. Gambly group and we play a lot of other strategy/board games together(two of the guys actually design games and we sometimes playtest them for them), but no real poker players in the bunch. I'd suggested we play mixed games instead of NLHE before to mixed success. Last time we played poker we played an orbit of SOHE and some people didn't see the point, some loved it. The guy hosting in particular was not overly interested and had been saying for weeks that most people didn't want to change what we were playing, though we never actually collectively discussed it and rarely ever played poker.

View attachment 770508

Either way, I wanted to give it a shot and reached out to circus guru @inca911 about how to ease them into mixed games. He sent me a wonderful flow chart and then we chatted on the phone for a while about how to get them on board and make them see how the game was just much more engaging and fun. Advice on what to play and the order to play them in, things to avoid, and even some things to point out to the players mid hand to make sure everyone understood the game fairly. Additionally, he said that with mixed games make the winners show their hands. All of this was super helpful.

I also reached out to @Irish about getting some printable versions of the mixed game cards and followed his path of cutting and pasting them from the pdf into just the ones you need. This worked very well. I picked 5 games @inca911 suggested and then just for fun and to fill out the 3rd page I put scarney as the 6th.

I got to his house on time but almost everyone else was running behind. I break out chips for everyone, Emerald Bay, and he and I just sit at the table shooting the shit. I grab a deck of cards and go 'here, let me show you what these games play like', and I dealt him a hand of Super Holdem. He is just like, 'eh, an extra card'. So we deal pineapple and he has to discard one, so he's kinda intrigued. But then, and this is where @inca911 pointed me at 'this will hook them', is I dealt him 3 hand holdem. He immediately perked up. Not only did he suddenly have a lot of action and things to do like discarding hands, he gets to 'make the hands'. Also, being a game designer, he instinctively realized not only did he get to play more, but the rest of the players did too and you didn't have 2-3 players per hand but everyone was playing at least through the flop.

Everyone shows up, buys in, and we do an orbit of NLHE, normal game with me as the dealer. When it got back to me I asked the host who was directly to my left if he wanted to play a mixed game and if everyone else was okay with it. We'd do an orbit, if people hated it we'd go back to NLHE and never speak of it again, and if not maybe try a different game, dealer's choice and of course they could call NLHE. He snap said '3 hand holdem'... and we never looked back.

View attachment 770507

We played one hand, face up, no money, people immediately understood the game, and the first orbit went great. Next orbit, guy looks through the 6 cards and calls pineapple, people liked it, but not as much. Fast game though, so no worries. Next orbit, Double board HE. It was a good intro to 'split pots' and most of the time the pots were split between two players except I think when I had a nut flush on both boards. The group pretty quickly picked up on their own if they were only going to win 1 board to slow way down, so that was good. They all collectively said they liked 'picking hands' and 'discarding cards' though so the next game was SHESHE. People liked this game a lot for the intellectual aspect of how do I split tricky hands. A number of times people flipped over their folds post hand and said 'how would you have split this?'

Then things go a little more crazy. So I am now calling a game, and one of the players is looking through the cards and trying to match them up with the game so they make sense to him and is looking at the Scarney card and you can see on his face it just doesn't make sense to him at all. There is a break, people are eating/getting drinks, and he asks me about it. I dealt a hand to him and we are talking about it and I notice everyone is behind me watching attentively. So when we come back to the game I ask 'do you all want to play a hand of Scarney? just one, if people don't like it, we will play a different game the rest of the orbit.' and they are down. At this point, I think I've got them, hook, line and sinker.

It was everything you'd want it to be, the first hand was fine, nothing too crazy happens, and they want to finish the orbit. By the second hand all kinds of fun Scarney things start to happen, I get Iclandic'd by having to discard pocket trip queens on the 6th card, the low is won by someone with 13 points beating someone with 14 points beating someone with 15 points who all thought they were ahead, another hand where the nut low is a single 5. It was just amazing, I think 4 people loved it, 1 person was like 'this is all just luck'. People were laughing and yelling at their cards, 'why isn't the bottom taking away any of my cards!!!!'

To finish off the night we played an orbit of Scrotum. I'd sent the pdf of the game to one of the players and he thought the name was hysterical and wanted to play it. The first hand was a little confusing as we had our first real 'I didn't get the rules' when someone thought they had a flush but forgot they had to use the unsuited card in their hand as well. On the next hand we had quad 4s on the board with 2 players still in and very little in the pot. I stopped the game and pointed out to the players that they both had 3 cards in their hands currently and neither of them could play the quad 4s. This was very eye opening for them, but everyone agreed it was honest and fair for me to point this out. On the last hand of the night and I think also the biggest the guy to my left keeps 4 cards and bets heavy on the river. When cards get turned up he reveals three 10s and an ace to go with a 10 on the river for quad 10s.

View attachment 770506

I was so happy with how they took to the games, everyone loved them. After the first hand people weren't making mechanical mistakes like forgetting to discard if they needed to or fouling their hands. I asked them if they wanted to play mixed games some other time and they were super in favor of it. I think in the future as long as a few of them are present adding in mixed games will be no issue at all. On more than one occasion someone said 'I don't think I'll ever want to play HE again, it just seems so boring now.'


Glad to hear it went well Dave!
 
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mattross1313

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This is awesome! I can't wait to get back to hosting, and really want to get my crew into mixed games. Since Covid I've been playing online more but finding NHLE pretty boring. So want to introduce more circus games.

@inca911 - would you be OK to share your workflow with me? I'm of course assuming it's generic enough for me, but no worries if not.
 

trigs

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Scarney is so fun. I have seen people play a couple hands and be like "this game is stupid", but by the end of one orbit they are yelling and laughing and loving it lol.
 

JRald07

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I've been hooked on mixed games (Dra2maha being my favorite) ever since I played with @inca911 over the Memorial Day Weekend Meetup! I find myself wanting to play hold 'em only in tournaments nowadays.

I don't live too far away from you. If you need another player for your craps or mixed games, let me know! :tup:
 

JustDave

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960E4000-9F0B-4A94-98EB-A348BE45815E.jpeg



My players saw my matsui presidential plaques and begged to play with them. Given we play 0.25/0.50 no chance are we getting $100 players into play unless we force it. We ended up giving people $400 on a $40 buy in including a $100 plaque.

Highlights were quads in scrotum, see above. And me dropping 3 kings on the last suck card in scarney causing me to fold against 3 other players who all had boats.

3A769A8B-0694-4367-A6D5-D8EC1B986161.jpeg
 

Z6wu

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I had an impromptu poker night with the group I normally play craps with. Gambly group and we play a lot of other strategy/board games together(two of the guys actually design games and we sometimes playtest them for them), but no real poker players in the bunch. I'd suggested we play mixed games instead of NLHE before to mixed success. Last time we played poker we played an orbit of SOHE and some people didn't see the point, some loved it. The guy hosting in particular was not overly interested and had been saying for weeks that most people didn't want to change what we were playing, though we never actually collectively discussed it and rarely ever played poker.

View attachment 770508

Either way, I wanted to give it a shot and reached out to circus guru @inca911 about how to ease them into mixed games. He sent me a wonderful flow chart and then we chatted on the phone for a while about how to get them on board and make them see how the game was just much more engaging and fun. Advice on what to play and the order to play them in, things to avoid, and even some things to point out to the players mid hand to make sure everyone understood the game fairly. Additionally, he said that with mixed games make the winners show their hands. All of this was super helpful.

I also reached out to @Irish about getting some printable versions of the mixed game cards and followed his path of cutting and pasting them from the pdf into just the ones you need. This worked very well. I picked 5 games @inca911 suggested and then just for fun and to fill out the 3rd page I put scarney as the 6th.

I got to his house on time but almost everyone else was running behind. I break out chips for everyone, Emerald Bay, and he and I just sit at the table shooting the shit. I grab a deck of cards and go 'here, let me show you what these games play like', and I dealt him a hand of Super Holdem. He is just like, 'eh, an extra card'. So we deal pineapple and he has to discard one, so he's kinda intrigued. But then, and this is where @inca911 pointed me at 'this will hook them', is I dealt him 3 hand holdem. He immediately perked up. Not only did he suddenly have a lot of action and things to do like discarding hands, he gets to 'make the hands'. Also, being a game designer, he instinctively realized not only did he get to play more, but the rest of the players did too and you didn't have 2-3 players per hand but everyone was playing at least through the flop.

Everyone shows up, buys in, and we do an orbit of NLHE, normal game with me as the dealer. When it got back to me I asked the host who was directly to my left if he wanted to play a mixed game and if everyone else was okay with it. We'd do an orbit, if people hated it we'd go back to NLHE and never speak of it again, and if not maybe try a different game, dealer's choice and of course they could call NLHE. He snap said '3 hand holdem'... and we never looked back.

View attachment 770507

We played one hand, face up, no money, people immediately understood the game, and the first orbit went great. Next orbit, guy looks through the 6 cards and calls pineapple, people liked it, but not as much. Fast game though, so no worries. Next orbit, Double board HE. It was a good intro to 'split pots' and most of the time the pots were split between two players except I think when I had a nut flush on both boards. The group pretty quickly picked up on their own if they were only going to win 1 board to slow way down, so that was good. They all collectively said they liked 'picking hands' and 'discarding cards' though so the next game was SHESHE. People liked this game a lot for the intellectual aspect of how do I split tricky hands. A number of times people flipped over their folds post hand and said 'how would you have split this?'

Then things go a little more crazy. So I am now calling a game, and one of the players is looking through the cards and trying to match them up with the game so they make sense to him and is looking at the Scarney card and you can see on his face it just doesn't make sense to him at all. There is a break, people are eating/getting drinks, and he asks me about it. I dealt a hand to him and we are talking about it and I notice everyone is behind me watching attentively. So when we come back to the game I ask 'do you all want to play a hand of Scarney? just one, if people don't like it, we will play a different game the rest of the orbit.' and they are down. At this point, I think I've got them, hook, line and sinker.

It was everything you'd want it to be, the first hand was fine, nothing too crazy happens, and they want to finish the orbit. By the second hand all kinds of fun Scarney things start to happen, I get Iclandic'd by having to discard pocket trip queens on the 6th card, the low is won by someone with 13 points beating someone with 14 points beating someone with 15 points who all thought they were ahead, another hand where the nut low is a single 5. It was just amazing, I think 4 people loved it, 1 person was like 'this is all just luck'. People were laughing and yelling at their cards, 'why isn't the bottom taking away any of my cards!!!!'

To finish off the night we played an orbit of Scrotum. I'd sent the pdf of the game to one of the players and he thought the name was hysterical and wanted to play it. The first hand was a little confusing as we had our first real 'I didn't get the rules' when someone thought they had a flush but forgot they had to use the unsuited card in their hand as well. On the next hand we had quad 4s on the board with 2 players still in and very little in the pot. I stopped the game and pointed out to the players that they both had 3 cards in their hands currently and neither of them could play the quad 4s. This was very eye opening for them, but everyone agreed it was honest and fair for me to point this out. On the last hand of the night and I think also the biggest the guy to my left keeps 4 cards and bets heavy on the river. When cards get turned up he reveals three 10s and an ace to go with a 10 on the river for quad 10s.

View attachment 770506

I was so happy with how they took to the games, everyone loved them. After the first hand people weren't making mechanical mistakes like forgetting to discard if they needed to or fouling their hands. I asked them if they wanted to play mixed games some other time and they were super in favor of it. I think in the future as long as a few of them are present adding in mixed games will be no issue at all. On more than one occasion someone said 'I don't think I'll ever want to play HE again, it just seems so boring now.'
Look great
 

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