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How to Play K2 Poker


K2 POKER: A combination of 5 card draw and 5 card stud played as high-low split. Kings are wild only in low hands. Deuces are wild only in high hands. Kings and deuces may also be played at face value, that is, a deuce is a deuce, a king is a king. Start the game by dealing and playing 5 card draw in the normal manner. After the draw the game turns into a variation of 5 card stud. Each player arranges their cards in any order they wish and places them in a pile face down on the table in front of them. Once that is done, the order of the cards may not be changed and players may no longer look at their cards. Each player initially reveals their first two cards, but thereafter cards 3, 4 and 5 are revealed one card at a time There is a round of betting between each reveal. May be played as cards speak with no declaration. If declaration is used, it should be made prior to revealing the last card.

Summary of action:
Deal 5 hole cards to each player.
Draw cards.
Arrange cards in pile.
Once arranged, card order can not be changed. Cards must be revealed in order.
Reveal 2 cards.
Bet (Highest showing hand always starts betting)
Reveal 1 card.
Reveal 1 card
Declaration (optional)
Reveal last card - Showdown

Playing Tips for K2 Poker


Although described as a combination of 5 card draw and 5 card stud, K2 poker is actually simply 5 card draw poker with wild cards. The resemblance to 5 card stud is the novel method of arriving at the showdown and how that can influence your play. The common strategies of 5 card draw should be observed. The addition of wild cards improves your drawing odds so you can play more liberally. Keep in mind that the inclusion of wild cards always results in needing higher ranked hands to win. Also keep in mind that, if your hand does not include wild cards, you are at a disadvantage.

Position is very important in K2 poker. Because this game includes the opportunity to draw cards the players in late position have an advantage. They get to learn how many cards the players before them draw before they have to make their own draw.

Starting Hand Selection


As already mentioned, K2 should be played observing the basic strategies and starting hand selection of 5 card draw with wild cards. The presence of wild cards allows you to be more liberal in your starting hand selection. Additionally, the method used to arrive at the showdown increases the number of post-draw betting rounds from 1 in classic 5 card draw to 3 rounds in K2. If you don't hit your draw you fold after just 1 round of betting. If you do hit you now have 3 rounds of betting to make up for less favorable drawing odds.

For high, you could play any trips, two pair, a single high pair, a pair of deuces, and possibly even 2 or 3 big cards.

For low you can add most 3 cards of 6 or less, perhaps even a "good" 7-low such as 72A, 73A or 732. Having an ace as one of these cards is much preferred since you could miss your low draw but pick up a high hand.

Arranging & Revealing Cards


Deception is the primary objective in arranging and revealing cards. You will usually want to reveal them in a way that hides the strength of your hand for as long as possible or in a way that makes your opponents uncertain to the direction (high or low) of your hand.

On the other hand, when you do not have a very good hand, you could reveal your best cards early and hope you can deceive your opponents into thinking you have a better hand than you do. Unfortunately, in real life there is usually little chance for success. If an opponent can not beat your shown cards he will fold immediately. If he can beat your shown cards he will probably call you down, especially if you are the only bettor. As soon as he realizes that he can beat any hand you might have he will raise.