Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bizarro Poker!

Blind Man's Bluff (also known as Indian Poker, although I'm unsure if the racial reference deals with American Indians or Indian Indians) is one of my favorite poker diversions. I call it a diversion because I can't imagine playing it consistently hand after hand. The game involves players exposing their single-card hands so that everyone knows the value of the card except for the person playing it. In this way it is the exact opposite of all other forms of poker, earning itself yet another name of my own creation—Bizarro Poker!

My own preference aside, Blind Man's Bluff is a fitting name. Bluffing is the name of the game, but instead of making your opponents believe you are strong, you need to make them believe that they are weak. They know your strength more than you do, but not relative to themselves.

It is a fun game to watch because most games are played out with the cards on the player's forehead, however, onlookers change the game by their reactions. I would argue this form of poker relies more heavily on tells than any other. If I have an ace of spades on my forehead, I'm unbeatable, but I could still be convinced to fold with good acting. Often in cases with an ace in play, players seem to come together in an effort to make the ace fold. As a general rule, if people start laughing at you, you either have a two or an ace.

The Bizarro Family of poker can be extended. You could play stud or hold'em with one or more cards visible to everyone but yourself. Experiment to find what you like best, but to me, anything more then Bizarro Highcard gets confusing.


  1. I was told that it's called Indian Poker because the card-on-forehead placement is supposed to resemble the feather in the headband of your cowboys-and-Indians variety Indian. That and it plays to the "dishonest indian" stereotype, so I just call it blind man's bluff.

  2. Thanks for the feedback. I knew there had to be some racially insensitive reason behind it.