Alamo

Alamo is a card game that combines War with Texas Hold ‘Em. Best with two or three players, the objective is to win all of the cards in the deck, as in the card game War. Cards are won via hands of Texas Hold ‘Em, with standard rules determining the winner of each hand. The “chips” used to bet with are the cards of each player’s stack. Alamo was created in the winter of 2014.

General Overview

Number of Players

Two or three players.

The Deck

Standard 52 card deck. Jokers may be included if desired, traditionally treated as wild.

Rank of Hands

Traditional Texas Hold ‘Em rankings determine the winner of a hand.

Objective of the Game

Win all of the cards in the deck, accomplished through effective Texas Hold ‘Em play.

Gameplay

The Deal

Cards are divided equally between the players into stacks; one stack per player. If playing with three players, include the jokers to provide equal starting stacks. All cards are dealt out. Players should not look at their cards. The use of a dealer chip is encouraged as the “Dealer” rotates clockwise throughout the game.

Ante Up

If three players, each player puts the top card of their stack into the pot face down. If two players, each player puts the top two cards of their stack into the pot face down.

Pull Your Hand

Each player pulls the next two cards from the top of their stack. These two cards are the personal hand as in traditional Texas Hold ‘Em play.

The Flop

The Dealer selects three of the face down cards in the pot to turn over. The dealer may not view the cards prior to making the selections. These three cards are the flop and are community cards.

First Round of Betting

The player immediately to the left of the Dealer bets first. Bets are made from the stack of cards each player has. A player may bet as many cards as they have remaining in their stack. If desired, the first round of betting may begin pre-flop as in traditional Texas Hold ‘Em.
Betting continues per traditional rules of Texas Hold ‘Em. A player may “Check” if no bet is presented to them. Subsequent players must match or exceed a bet to remain in the hand. At any time a player may fold. Folded cards are NOT added to the pot, they are kept to the side face down and taken by the eventual winner of the hand.

The Turn

At the conclusion of the first round of betting, the Dealer turns over a fourth card from any of the face down cards in the pot, which becomes a community card. There may be multiple cards to choose from.

Second Round of Betting

Same format as first round of betting, see above.

The River

At the conclusion of the second round of betting, the Dealer turns over a fifth and final card from any of the face down cards in the pot, which becomes a community card. The Dealer may select cards added to the pot during either round of betting, however may not view the card prior to making the selection.

Final Round of Betting

Same format as previous rounds of betting, see above.

Show Your Hand

At the conclusion of the final round of betting, the remaining players in the hand show their personal cards and the highest 5-card hand wins per traditional rules of Texas Hold ‘Em.

Collect Your Winnings

The winner of the hand gathers all cards that were in play: Cards bet into the pot, cards used as community cards, and cards used in personal hands. Those cards are shuffled, then post-shuffle are added to the bottom of the winning player’s stack. The stack should not be shuffled with the hand’s winnings.

Pass the Dealer Chip

The Dealer Chip is passed clockwise, and the next hand begins with each player anteing up.

Winning

To win the game one player must win all of the cards in the deck. If playing with three players originally, once the first player is eliminated the game continues except the ante becomes two cards from the top of each player’s stack instead of one.

Special Circumstances

No More Face Down Cards in the Pot

If either round one or round two of betting has concluded and there are no face down cards in the pot to select from for the next community card, the game jumps to Show Your Hand and the best 5-card hand made from the available cards is the winner.

If a Player Does Not Have Enough Cards to Ante and Pull a Hand

The Player is eliminated and their cards are added face down to the pot.

References

Alamo has been recognized by Pagat as an Invented Game.

Check out another novel card game, a thoughtful three player game in the canon of Spades, Hearts, and Euchre called Bird Dog.