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Baseball is a variant of stud poker based on the American sport of the same name. Unlike traditional versions of poker, 3’s, 4’s and 9’s hold special value because of their significance in the sport of baseball - three strikes, three outs, four balls for a walk and nine innings.
Play proceeds as follows ("player" refers only to those who have not folded and are still in the game), with betting rounds in-between.
Betting is clockwise, the player with the lowest card showing starts.
The action is dealt as follows:
- Two cards dealt face down to each player.
- one card dealt face up (up card) to each player (Third Street).
- upcard to each player (Fourth Street).
- upcard to each player (Fifth Street).
- upcard to each player (Sixth Street).
- downcard to each player (Seventh Street).
All 3’s and 9’s are wild cards, meaning a player dealt them can attribute any value they want to them. For example if they needed a Jack to complete a straight, a 3 or a 9 would count as a Jack.
If a player is dealt a 4 face up, they immediately are dealt an additional card face up (And if they are dealt another 4, once again they get another card). This means that some players potentially will have more cards (some of them possibly wild cards) than their opponents, which is a big advantage.
There are several variations of Baseball Poker. One pot limit version of the game states that any player who is dealt a 3 face-up must immediately either bet the size of the pot or fold their hand right away. Other games only require a fixed payment rather than the whole pot as an alternative to folding.
Another version of the game also makes face down 4’s entitled to an additional card. There are variations as to when the player must announce they have a face down 4, and also whether the additional card should also be face down as a result.
Still another variation on the face-down 4's requires the player to "buy" the additional card by putting an additional sum into the pot (often a multiple of the minimum bet). In this case, if the player declines to make the additional bet, they do not have to fold, but they do not get the additional card.
Football is an alternative version of Baseball Poker where 3’s and 6’s are wild and an additional card is drawn if a player is dealt a 2.
Woolworth is another variant, this time with 5’s and 10’s being wild, with an additional card awarded for players dealt a 2.
Blind Baseball is played the same as Baseball Poker, but with nine cards in total instead of seven.