Auction Poker: Rules and Variations

Auction poker is quite a unique game where players do not receive their cards straight from the deck but buy them offering the price.

In the classic Auction poker, two face-down cards are initially dealt to each player in ordinary manner, after which the number of cards equal to the number of players is dealt face-up to the middle of the table, and the first auction round begins. Each player takes certain amount of money and holds it in his hand the way other players will not see it. Then, by the dealer’s signal, all players simultaneously drop the money they hold onto the table. The player who has dropped the largest amount is the first to pick the card he likes from the community cards. The player, who has offered the second largest price, picks a card next and so on, until the player who made the lowest offer receives the last remaining card without an option to choose. If two players drop equal amount, the player who is closer to the dealer in the clockwise direction, picks a card first. The money paid by all participants goes to the pot.

After the first auction round is over, the second auction round, completely equal to the first one takes place, and so on, until all players have two down-cards dealt at the beginning and four up-cards bought in auction rounds. At this point another face-down card is dealt in ordinary manner and the showdown occurs. The player with the highest hand wins the pot.

Auction rounds usually take more time than normal betting rounds, and having four action rounds, Auction poker becomes a long game. When playing Auction poker in a card room, players are usually asked to make their decisions as fast as they can. Limits of some tables are inappropriate for Auction poker. At a quarter table, for example, there are only two variants of bets: one quarter or two quarter. At such table, the maximum level is usually increased to 1 dollar in auction rounds.

There are a number of variations of Auction poker. If can be played in Hi/Low format, which means that the player with the highest hand at the table and the player with the lowest one share the pot. The community cards may be dealt one by one while the player who drops the largest sum is the only one who puts the money into the pot, while the others take their money back and trade for the next card. There may also be an option to buy a card for someone else, so the player who drops the largest sum can pick a card and force another player to take it. There may or may not be ordinary betting rounds in the game that occur after the face-down cards are dealt or after auction rounds. And finally, the game can also be played with five cards, where one first card is dealt face-down and the rest four cards are bought in auction rounds.