Chicago Poker

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  1. Greg Raymer put on a classic clinic at the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) Ameristar East Chicago $1,650 Main Event final table, taking down his record fifth HPT Main Event title, along with $171,411.
  2. The winner is the first player who, by playing poker combinations with his cards, takes control over 3 businesses of the same kind, 4 different ones, or any 5. Players are notorious gang bosses in the heyday of organized crime in Chicago during the 1920s.

Introduction to Chicago Poker Rules

Poker tournaments in Chicago. Poker tourneys in Chicago are not a problem under specific circumstances. Tournaments are legal as long as no real money is paid out, but the prize is a non-cash prize. In Chicago and the surrounding region there are regular poker tournaments. Upcoming tournaments can be seen in the tournament calendar. Poker is a deep and complicated game of mathematics and psychology. To the untrained eye, a professional poker player may look like nothing but a lucky son-of-a-gun. Luck may have a little to do with success in poker, but experience and knowledge are the real driving forces behind winning.

Chicago Poker rules are a variant of the popular Seven Card Stud poker game. For those wondering how to play Chicago Poker, it plays exactly like Seven Card Stud except that the best hand takes half of the pot, while the player who has the highest spade hole card takes the other half of the pot. There is another variant called San Francisco Poker where the highest heart takes half the pot while the best hand takes the other half.

How to Play Chicago Poker


Play begins with each player receiving two cards face down and one card face up. A round of betting follows according to Seven Card Stud rules. This means that the player with the lowest card must start the betting with either a bring-in bet or a full bet. After betting is complete, a fourth card is dealt face up to each player. Another round of betting follows, beginning with the player with the best hand. If a player is showing a pair, they may bet double the normal amount. Once the betting is complete, a fifth card is dealt face up to each player, followed by another round of betting, and then a sixth card, which is dealt face up. Yet another round of betting occurs, and then a seventh and final card is dealt face down to each player, and the players bet one final time. Once betting is over, the players reveal their hole cards. The player with the best hand wins half of the pot, while the player with the highest spade hole card wins the other half of the pot. If none of the players had a spade as a hole card, the best hand takes the entire pot.

Chicago Poker Strategy

Chicago Poker has the same basic strategy as Seven Card Stud. The only difference is that if a player has the highest spade available as a hole card, they will want to bet heavily as well. Players should pay close attention to the spades that are up on the board, as these spades cannot be in the hole cards, possibly lowering the number of spades that can beat a player’s highest spade hole card.

The game was allegedly invented in an underground poker club at Hammarbykajen, Stockholm in Sweden owned by the Russian mafia. The game is a variation of the Swedish card game, Fem-kort.The poker-related card game called Chicago is one of the most popular card games in Finland today. Relying on the keeping of score instead of the placing of bets, it is suitable even for environments such as schools, where gambling is often prohibited. The game exists in countless versions, so here a (somewhat arbitrarily chosen) basic game will be followed by a number of possible variations.

Hand scores[edit]

The backbone of the game is that each poker hand has its own point value, as given in this table:[1]

  • One pair - 1 point.
  • Two pair - 2 points.
  • Three of a kind - 3 points.
  • Straight - 4 points.
  • Flush - 5 points.
  • Full house - 6 points.
  • Four of a kind - 7 points (but see Variations below).
  • Straight flush - 8 points (but see Variations below).
  • Royal Flush - 20 points (but see Variations below).[2]

Basic rules[edit]

Chicago is played with a standard 52-card deck. Each player is dealt five cards. The objective is to reach 52 points.

Exchanges and hand scoring[edit]

The players are allowed to exchange any number of their cards. If a player chooses to exchange one card only, he may choose 'one up', meaning that he is dealt one card faced up, which he can either accept, or instead take the next card unseen. After the exchanges, the player with the best hand (and only one player) gets points for his hand. Then follows another round of exchanges, but no hand scoring.

The game[edit]


Now, the first player begins by playing one card. Ordinary whist rules apply, but the players keep their cards collected by themselves. The player who wins the last trick gets 5 points. Also, the player with the best hand (whether it is the same player or not) gets points for his hand. After achieving 42 points a player is no longer permitted to trade cards as they normally would. Instead, they are dealt 6 cards at the beginning of the game and must discard one before the first scoring round. No further exchanges are permitted.


Chicago Poker Club

After the second exchange, any player can choose to play Chicago. In this case, he pledges himself to win all the tricks of the game. If he does, he is awarded 15 points, but if he fails, the penalty is just as harsh: -15 points.

Blind Chicago[edit]

Chicago Poker

In addition to the conventional Chicago mentioned above, a player may also elect to pull a Blind Chicago. As with the standard Chicago, during a Blind Chicago a player also pledges to win all the tricks - however he announces his intention to do so before having ever seen his cards. In other words, a Blind Chicago can only be announced immediately after the last card leaves the dealer's hand. If he succeeds, a player is rewarded 30 points, with 20 deducted in the event of failure. If a Blind Chicago is announced, no players are awarded points for their poker hands in any of the phases. The player attempting the Blind Chicago may trade as he normally would. Also note that if a player succeeds in completing the Blind Chicago on a deuce, he is awarded 60 points - an automatic game win.


  • Sometimes, a player given five cards below ten (either inclusive or exclusive - must be decided before game starts) is allowed to replace them before the exchanges begin.
  • Some play with 3 exchanges instead of 2. Then of course, scoring for hands will be made after both the first and the second exchange.
  • Some do not use the 'one up' rule.
  • Often, a game will require that a player declare 'Chicago' before they can win the game. The declaration is accepted regardless of whether one wins or loses the 5 tricks.
  • Often, one awards 8 for Four of a kind instead of 7, 11 for Straight flush instead of 7 and a win for a Royal flush instead of 20.[2]
  • Often, one wants to give higher rewards than 7 or 8 points for four of a kind and straight flush respectively. There are several ways to achieve this, most notably by elevating the player immediately to 52 points, or lowering either all players or one player of the holder's choice to 0 points, or a combination of these. Some also separate the royal flush from the straight flush, awarding 9 points for a royal flush. Holding a royal flush usually means immediate victory.
  • The confusion is great as to what scores are appointed in the case of Chicago. Some will argue that no player will get any points at all besides the +15 or -15, whilst others will allow other points to be awarded. The +5 for the game, however, can never be stacked with the +15 for Chicago. Yet another variation is to award +13/-13 points for Chicago and the declaring player gets to go first. In that variation it is forbidden to declare Chicago unless the player has reached 13 points, ruling out the possibility of a negative score.
  • Some prescribe that any player with 45 points or more is not allowed to replace any cards.
  • Some require that after (and not in the same hand as) a player reaches 52 points, he must win the game once more before he actually wins. This handles the possibility that more than one player reach 52 points in the same hand.
  • Some award 10 points instead of 5 if the last trick is taken with a deuce. If this variant is employed, 30 points must also be awarded for a Chicago hand successfully ended with a deuce.

External links[edit]

  1. ^'Chicago (stickspel) Kortspel Regler'. (in Swedish). Retrieved 2018-12-02.
  2. ^ ab'Chicago regler - lär dig hur man spelar kortspelet Chicago - Kortspel SpelRegler'. (in Swedish). Retrieved 2018-12-02.

Chicago Poker Live

  • Glimne, Dan (2016). Kortspelshandboken (in Swedish) pp. 101-103.

High Low Chicago Poker

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