Baseball is a variant of Seven Card Stud for fans of the American sport. The structure of the game is the same as Seven Card Stud, however all 3’s and 9’s are wild cards, meaning you can attribute any value you want to them. For example if you needed a Jack to complete a straight, a 3 or a 9 would count as a Jack.
The second big difference with Baseball Poker is that if a player is dealt a 4 face up, they immediately are dealt an additional card face up (And if they are dealt another 4, once again they get another card). This means that some players potentially will have more cards (some of them possibly wild cards) than their opponents, which is a big advantage.
As a result of these changes, typically very strong hands like straights or better will win the pot. The highest possible hand is Five of a Kind, which is not normally possible in traditional poker games, and it beats a straight flush.
The reason for the added value of 3’s, 4’s and 9’s is because of their significance in the sport of baseball - three strikes, three outs, nine innings, four balls for a walk.
There are several variations of Baseball Poker. One Pot Limit version of the game states that any player who is dealt a three face-up must immediately either bet the size of the pot or fold their hand right away. Other games only require a fixed payment rather than the whole pot as an alternative to folding.
Another version of the game also makes face down 4’s entitled to an additional card. There are variations as to when the player must announce they have a face down four, and also whether the additional card should also be face down as a result.
Football is an alternative version of Baseball Poker where 3’s and 6’s are wild and you get the extra card if you are dealt a 2. Woolworth is another variant, this time with 5’s and 10’s being wild, with an additional card awarded for players dealt a 2. Blind Baseball is played the same as Baseball Poker, but with nine cards in total instead of seven.