September 15, 2008
From a full deck of cards, any number of people receive 5 cards each. Exactly like poker, a round of betting occurs here (including the ability to fold). Card values and hand values follow poker rules. After the betting is concluded, four cards are placed in the center of the table face down. Here, all players can swap undesirable cards for Pool Cards. Players can only swap one card at a time. Except during the brief swap period, each player must have 5 cards at all times and the Pool must have 4 cards at all times. Once the players are content with their hands, the Pool cards are discarded and another round of betting ensues. After an additional swap and betting period the players reveal their cards and the winner takes the Pot.
Basically, Pool boils down to Poker with a small set of communal cards that are not fixed but swapped (always face down similar to Kemps). Here's the breakdown:
1. Deal 5 cards to each player
3. Deal 4 cards face down in the center (the Pool)
7. Deal a new Pool (the old Pool is discarded)
9. Final Bet and card reveal
Pool has the potential to create high bets and very powerful hands. For a less intense version, players can remove the first betting round and only swap cards once.
Copyright Nicholas Matthews, 2008