Roll Your Own, a Dealer's Choice Poker Game

Updated on November 1, 2016
Infomanian profile image

I'm a neighborhood card player. It's social and competitive at the same time. I love a new game variation when it's Dealer's Choice.

3 Cards? Doesn't sound like much action!

There is plenty of action because of the way the player goes about building that three card hand. Each player starts with two cards down and selects one to turn up. Then several streets (turns) later the player has added and exchanged cards to get to the final three.

It's usually played as a split pot game, with a High and a Low.

Bluffing doesn't often come into neighborhood games because bluffing usually calls for big bets at the right time. Neighborhood games are usually limited betting. However, Roll Your Own provides deception situations that can turn into bluff opportunities. But watch out, the next street can expose that bluff!

Roll Your Own, a sneaky little variation to introduce to your dealer's choice game.

The Nut Low Hand in Roll Your Own
The Nut Low Hand in Roll Your Own | Source

1st Street Example

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Hero is dealt two cards down and must roll one.Hero peaks at an Ace and QueenHero decides to roll the Queen.
Hero is dealt two cards down and must roll one.
Hero is dealt two cards down and must roll one. | Source
Hero peaks at an Ace and Queen
Hero peaks at an Ace and Queen | Source
Hero decides to roll the Queen.
Hero decides to roll the Queen. | Source

The Deal

Each player starts with two cards.

After several streets and opportunities to replace cards, the pot is large and each player has three cards at the showdown.

The deal is described below. The pictures show our hero playing the hand, making decisions, and hopefully winning.

It goes like this:

1st Street

Each player is dealt two down cards, and must roll (turn up) one card.

Each player has one up card and one down card.

There is a betting round.

2nd Street Example

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Hero gets a free down card......peaks at a 5 to go with his Ace.Rolls the 5, to show Q and 5
Hero gets a free down card...
Hero gets a free down card... | Source
...peaks at a 5 to go with his Ace.
...peaks at a 5 to go with his Ace. | Source
Rolls the 5, to show Q and 5
Rolls the 5, to show Q and 5 | Source

2nd Street

Each player is dealt a new down card, and must roll (turn up) one card.

Each player has two up cards and one down card.

There is a betting round.

3rd Street

Each player can get a free card to replace an up card or a down card. To get the free card, a player selects a discard and throws it in the muck. The replacement card is dealt down. If replacing an up card, the player must select and turn a card.

A player can refuse the new card and stand pat.

Each player now has two up cards and one down card again.

There is a betting round.

3rd, 4th and 5th Street Example.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Hero discards the Queen, and gets rewarded with a nine. Ace under, five and a nine up. Not enough improvement
Hero discards the Queen, and gets rewarded with a nine.
Hero discards the Queen, and gets rewarded with a nine. | Source
Ace under, five and a nine up. Not enough improvement
Ace under, five and a nine up. Not enough improvement | Source
Source
Source
Source

4th Street

Each player has the option to replace an up card or a down card. To get the new card, a player selects a discard and throws it in the muck. The replacement card is dealt down. If replacing an up card, the player must select and turn a card.

A player can refuse the new card and stand pat.

Each player has two up cards and one down card.

There is a betting round.

5th Street

Each player has a second option to replace an up card or a down card. To get the new card, a player selects a discard and throws it in the muck. The replacement card is dealt down. If replacing an up card, the player must select and turn a card.

A player can refuse the new card and stand pat.

Each player has two up cards and one down card.

There is a betting round.

And the winner is...

High hand ranking (from best to worst):

  1. Highest three of a kind.
  2. Straight Flush doesn't count as High.
  3. Flush doesn't count as High.
  4. Highest three card Straight.
  5. Highest pair
  6. High card.

Lo hand ranking (from best to worst):

  1. The best three low cards that don’t match or form a straight, e.g. Ace, 2, 4 is the nuts. Ace, 3, 4 is the second nuts, etc,
  2. Then the High rank reversed, e.g. a pair, beats a straight, which beats a set.

A good buy can help here.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
It's worth a shot, so Hero pays a chip to replace the nine. A four is a big improvementNow Hero shows a five and four and elects to pass on the second buy.At showdown Hero has a Five Low, and is only beat by an Ace, two, four (the nuts); an Ace, three, four; an Ace, three, five; and an Ace, four, five.
It's worth a shot, so Hero pays a chip to replace the nine. A four is a big improvement
It's worth a shot, so Hero pays a chip to replace the nine. A four is a big improvement | Source
Now Hero shows a five and four and elects to pass on the second buy.
Now Hero shows a five and four and elects to pass on the second buy. | Source
At showdown Hero has a Five Low, and is only beat by an Ace, two, four (the nuts); an Ace, three, four; an Ace, three, five; and an Ace, four, five.
At showdown Hero has a Five Low, and is only beat by an Ace, two, four (the nuts); an Ace, three, four; an Ace, three, five; and an Ace, four, five. | Source

Anybody heard of this variation?

Do you play 3-Card Roll Your Own in your neighborhood game?

See results

Want to try 3-card Roll Your Own in your game?

Here are some suggestions, on how to introduce a new variation into your local dealer's choice game:

Take a deck and run a bunch of practice hands:

  • To make sure you can deal swiftly and accurately
  • So you can answer any questions that come up.
  • Get a little experience, so you have an edge going in.

Make a Strategy Sheet.

After you try out the game, please come back to this page and share your comments.

Strategy Sheet for your poker library

Make a Strategy sheet for each game variation you play.

Think about the game and answer these kinds of questions:

  • What are the nuts?
  • What kind of hand usually wins High?
  • What kind of hand usually wins Low?
  • What are good starting hands for High?
  • What are good starting hands for Low?
  • What should you look for on each street?
  • Where are the potential chip leaks?


Poker Term - "The Nuts"

The best possible hand that can be made with a given set of community cards. For example, for the pictured Omaha board, a hand holding the King of Hearts and any other Heart, would be "the nuts".

With This Omaha Community Board, a Hand with the King and any other Heart, Would Be "the Nuts"
With This Omaha Community Board, a Hand with the King and any other Heart, Would Be "the Nuts"

Other Poker Variations

Game
Number of Players
Extra Cards
Notes
(The) Bridge
10 (10x4=40+7=47)
5
 
Omaha
10 (10x4=40+5+3=48)
4
Includes burn cards
Crazy Pineapple
10 (10x3=30+5+3=38)
15
Includes burn cards
Crazy Pineapple, Double Board
10 (10x3=30+10+6=46)
6
Includes burn cards
Hold'em
10 (10x2=20+5+3=28)
24
Includes burn cards
Pig
09 (9x4=36+4+9=49)
3
Everybody buys 1
Double Cross
09 (9x5=45+6=51)
1
 
Criss Cross
09 (9x5=45+5=50)
2
 
Rocky
09 (9x5=45+5=50)
2
 
(The) Z
09 (9x5=45+4=49)
3
 
L
08 (8x5=40+9=49)
3
 
2-2-1 from 6, 3
08 (8x5=40+9=49)
3
 
Tic-Tac-Toe
08 (8x5=40+9=49)
3
 
Round The World
08 (8x5=40+8=48)
4
 
2-2-1 from 4, 3
08 (8x5=40+7=47)
5
 
2-2-1 from 4, 4, 4
08 (8x5=40+12=52)
0
 
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
08 (8x5=40+12=52)
0
 
Double 32
08 (8x5=40+10=50)
2
 
Take Away
08 (8x5=40+10=50)
2
 
3 Card Stud
08 (8x3=24+8+8+8=48)
4
Everbody takes 3
Temple Of Doom
08 (8x5=40+6=46)
6
 
Double Hand Omaha
07 (7x6=42+5+3=50)
2
Includes burn cards

Questions & Answers

    3 card Stud?

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      • Infomanian profile imageAUTHOR

        Infomanian 

        2 years ago

        Like any Stud or Raz game with up cards, it can be tricky. Look around the table at the exposed cards for clues and opportunities. Watch for bluff situations.

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