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Chicago Poker: Rules And How to Play?

I love learning about ancient and historical games and games from other cultures. So when I heard that Chicago Poker originated in Sweden, I was intrigued and wanted to know more.

If you’ve ever played 7-Card Stud, you’ll already be very familiar with the rules, as this is another version of that game.

Overall it’s a fast-paced card game that anyone can get involved with, no matter your age, or card-playing abilities, as it doesn’t require a vast amount of strategy. However, it would help if you familiarized yourself with the rules before you get started to know what’s what.

All you need to play is a standard deck of 52 cards, which I am sure you already have. Why else would you be here?

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Okay, get set and play!

How to Play Chicago Poker – Simple Steps?

How to Play Chicago Poker - Simple Steps

You’ll want to select a player to be the dealer to get started. You can do this however you like picking the person whose birthday is always a fair way. That’s what we always do.

1. Antes

First, everyone must pay a small ante into the pot. It’s a forced bet that everyone has to contribute to play.

The amount can vary, but it’s usually a small percentage of the minimum bet. It’s usually 10%.

The ante aims to get the pot going and give the players something to compete for.

If you can’t afford the ante because you’ve lost your chips in previous rounds, you’ll be asked to sit this one out until you can afford to hop back in.

2. The Streets

The betting rounds in Chicago Poker are known as streets. During each of these rounds, you’ll receive additional cards and be given the chance to place a bet.

The betting starts with Third Street.

Let’s look at this in more detail so you get the idea.

  • Third Street: Players are dealt two cards each, one face up and one face down. Whoever has the lowest card facing up goes first. After this, the rest of the players can call, raise or fold, just like standard Poker.
  • Fourth Street: Next, players are dealt another singular card, facing up. This time, the player with the highest face-up card makes their move, and once again, the rest of the players can now call, raise or fold.
  • Fifth Street: Fifth Street plays out like fourth street and undergoes another betting round.
  • Sixth Street: Once again, the same as the fourth and fifth street, players are given another card each, and the highest plays. Everyone places yet another bet. (You’re getting the hint, I know).
  • Seventh Street: Players are dealt their final card in the seventh street, after which the last betting round commences.

During each street, you can check, call, raise, and fold to see the similarities between playing Chicago Poker and the classic version of the world-famous card game.

Each street’s goal is to get the best possible hand, according to standard Poker rankings. However, this only counts for half the pot because the player with the highest spade takes this other half. (Unless you’re playing Chicago low, in which case the person with the lowest spade takes the other half).

What Are The Standard Rankings of Poker?

In case you need clarification, below is how your hands will be ranked in Chicago Poker, the same as any Poker game.

Starting with the highest ranking hand, it goes as follows.

  • Royal Flush: A Royal Flush is a straight of high/face cards—for example, 10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace. The cards must be of the same suit. It’s the overall highest hand you can get in Poker.
  • Straight Flush: This means any five cards of the same suit in numerical order—for example, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 of hearts.
  • Four of a Kind: The third highest rank you can get is four of a kind, just as it sounds—four cards of the same rank, so four Aces, or four sixes, etc.
  • Full House: A full house is three cards of the same rank and two of another rank, for example, three 5’s and two 10’s.
  • Flush: An easy one, five cards of the same suit. Five spades, five clubs, five hearts, or five diamonds.
  • Straight: Any five cards of any suit, but in numerical order, such as 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
  • Three of a Kind: Any three cards of the same rank, like three Kings or three fives.
  • Two Pair: It’s two pairs of the same rank, such as two 3’s and two Jacks.
  • One Pair: Any two cards of the same rank.
  • High Card: The highest card in the game is an Ace.

Let’s Wrap Things up

It’s a split-pot game because there are two ways of winning Chicago Poker.

It’s one of the main reasons I often prefer this game to other versions: it ups the ante and the chance of winning. It also means there is an extra layer of strategy involved.

The rankings of Chicago Poker are the same as the classic version of the game, and so are the bets. The similarities, however, end there. The rest of the game and scoring system is different, which requires effort to get used to.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this game and want to learn about other versions of Poker, check out my guide on playing Baseball Poker.

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