The first time I taught the course I had intended to have a session early on in which we specifically focused on the rules of various games and how to play. Unfortunately, a snow storm wiped out the first week of classes, and I ended up skipping the tutorial. Later on I wished I hadn’t, since my feeling was not everyone in the class was entirely up on how to play the games we were reading about and watching being played in the films.
This time I’ve again scheduled a day for learning how to play four games in particular -- five-card draw, five-card stud, seven-card stud, and hold’em. I’ve created a handout that briefly sketches how to play each game (along with some other info). The handout is hardly comprehensive, and I’ll probably also be pointing the students to some online sites for further explanation of how to play the games.
I am additionally planning to sit the students in a circle and actually deal each of the games as well. They’ll also be reading three chapters from James McManus’ Cowboys Full in which he goes over the historical backgrounds for draw poker, stud poker, and hold’em, respectively. Should be a fun day, I imagine, but also useful insofar as it might clear up some questions some of those who are less familiar with poker might have later on.
Anyhow, I thought I’d share the handout with my readers here and solicit any feedback anyone might have. Our “how to play poker” day won’t be coming up until next week, so I have time to revise the handout further if necessary.
As I say, this is not meant to be a complete outline of all the rules for each variant -- just a general guide for how to play each to be supplemented by our sitting down and playing a few hands of each in class. If you happen to read through it, you’ll see I don’t bring up lowball or Omaha or other types of poker, although I’ll likely mention all of those when we go over the handout in class.
Click on the pic to get to the two-page .pdf. Like I say, any feedback is welcome. Also, everyone please remember that class participation counts towards your final course grade.