A fun game to try for the new year holiday

Here is a poker home game idea for the holidays. It's meant to be symbolic of the current and upcoming years, and has a US theme. I've been playing it with family and have found it quite fun, but as always it depends on who you're playing with.

Disclaimer: Be safe, but play dangerously.


Game: Burn the Deck 2020
Type: Progressive Short Deck Variant
Description: Limit Holdem cash game tournament with a Blackjack round at the end. Play money or real. Spare change ideal to keep it friendly for family and friends.
Explanation: The blinds stay the same. The tournament draws to a close however due to the removal of one or all burn cards from the deck after each hand, hence progressive short deck.
How it works:

The game begins with a full deck. Aces are wild, but only for gutshot straights, straight flushes (any ace) and royal flushes (any ace). Optional: The ace of hearts, aka Dr Fauci, can be wild for any hand.


Players will decide on a Sit-and-Go or longer tournament. If SNG, all the burn cards (1-3) are removed from the board after each hand and discarded in a separate pile; otherwise for the long game only one burn card can be removed. Optional: Each time they deal, a dealer (or person on the button) can look at one of the burn cards for information before they remove it from play.


Everyone antes up one big blind to fund a side jackpot called the Stimulus. This is for the Blackjack round. The winner of each hand contributes a tax in the amount of one small blind to the stimulus, unless their profit in the hand is only one big blind.


As explained, the dealer removes one or more burn cards from the board at the end of a hand, depending on SNG or longer tournament, and sets them aside in a pile.


The changing odds will make it more difficult for players to make their hands. Sound familiar? 2020 anyone? But there is plenty of opportunity to exploit tight players, and you are less likely to get credit for hitting straights, flushes, and full houses. When you do, you're much more likely to get paid off.


Meanwhile, the stimulus continues to grow and will eventually help someone lucky enough to receive it.


The holdem round ends when there are fewer than 8 cards left for the board (3 burn cards + 5 community cards) after dealing to the players.


The final 8 board cards in the last hand represent the last 8 weeks of 2020, in which the US presidential election was held during the first week of November. Optional: Players can briefly debate if one or both candidates weren't playing with a full deck. A fun game to try for the new year holiday


A fun game to try for the new year holidayThe Stimulus: Like it or not, it's game over for holdem, and soon for the losing US presidential candidate. A fun game to try for the new year holiday The game now transitions to 21/Blackjack, which represents the upcoming new year. The dealer will now shuffle the full deck.


A player must hit 21 to win or split the stimulus. However, if no one hits blackjack, the player with the hand closest to 21 without busting can remove their initial big blind from the jackpot, and a small blind thereafter any time they are the closest to 21 and there is no winner. Gotta love a tax refund. A fun game to try for the new year holiday


The game ends when the stimulus is paid to the winner(s) who hit 21. Optional: When the winner of the stimulus gets excited, the dealer quotes Teddy KGB from Rounders: “It's a ******* joke anyway. I'm paying you with your money.” This was a common complaint about the stimulus. It's taxpayer money. A fun game to try for the new year holiday


Optional: Use an old damaged or incomplete deck. After the game, safely burn it in a firepit to give 2020 a proper send off. A fun game to try for the new year holiday
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In order to live, you must be willing to die. -Amir Vahedi (RIP)
CheezeWiz, Emily Trott liked this post