Mexican Poker is a variation of poker, but its rules are so modified greatly from the original that it’s practically a whole new game in itself! Just like most most poker games which are played with 4 – 8 players, Mexican Poker requires a minimum of four players as well. Although it is played with the traditional deck of fifty two cards, the actual game uses forty one cards out of the deck. All 8′s, 9′s and 10′s are removed from the deck and a Joker is added. The Joker is the highest card in the deck. It is most special, higher than an Ace and it can serve as any card when placed in a hand – it can complete flushes, straights, and any other combination in the same way a blank tile is used in Scrabble. It may seem like Mexican Poker has fewer cards to play with, but think again. Each game uses four whopping decks of cards. For every additional pair to join the game, another deck of cards is added.
The dealer then distributes cards to the players in a clockwise manner. During the first round, each player received two cards facing down. They are to choose which of the two cards they are going to roll over to face up. Betting is initiated with the player who has the highest card rolled over. Usually, this player is also required to make a forced bet because he has the highest card. In addition to that, the ante in Mexican Poker is much higher because it is common to fold. If a minimum bet is enforced upon the game, players can only call (pay the bet to join the game), fold or raise the bet – they cannot simply check. As soon as all bets are in, the second round begins.
Players get one more card facing down, and they decide which card they choose to show. Betting follows. The same happens on for another round. During the final round, players get their fifth and final card. After the final betting round, showing of cards takes place and the highest hand according to the rules of Mexican Poker wins the game.