Community games are those in which 1 or more cards are dealt in the middle of the table, and are shared by all players. The community cards are dealt then turned over or “rolled” one at a time with betting in between each card revealed.

There are several ways in which the community cards may be configured:

Line-up:

This is the most common form of community cards used by a wide variety of casino and tournament games including “Hold ‘Em” games. In these games, the shared cards are simply dealt in a line mid-table and revealed according to the specific game.

Cross:

In this version the community cards are dealt in the shape of a cross, both lines having a common card which is usually the last card to be revealed. The cards may be revealed in different ways and often the center card is wild.

Circle:

The circle is an uncommon community card configuration where the shared cards are laid out in a circular pattern and revealed according to the nature of the game. The most common stipulation for this type of game only allows players to use a collection of community cards that are adjacent to each other within the circle.

Some Common Features of Community Card Games

High-Low:

As in other poker games, this variation allows for two winners, with the high hand and the low hand splitting the pot.

Roll’em:

This variant extends the betting making for a bigger pot. After all of the community cards have been revealed, the players roll their cards, one by one with a betting round between each, until everyone’s hand is revealed.

Some Popular Community Poker Games

Cincinnati:

This is one of the earliest known and easiest to play of the Community Poker games. The dealer gives each player 5 cards face-down and then places 4 or 5 community cards (at the dealer’s discretion) mid-table. The shared cards are revealed one at a time and a betting round follows each roll. Players build the best five card hand between the 4 or 5 card community line and the five cards in their hand.

Iron Cross:

Each player is dealt four cards and then five community cards are laid in a cross formation mid-table. The community cards are revealed one at a time with the customary betting rounds in between (the central card is always the last card to be revealed). The players may only choose one line of the cross to make their final hand.

Carousel:

In the game of Carousel (a.k.a. ‘Death-Wheel’ or ‘Merry-Go-Round) each player is dealt four cards and 6 cards are placed mid-table in a circle. The community cards are turned over one at a time in random order (as usual each revealed card spurs a betting round which, in this case, opens with the player on the dealer’s left). In creating the final hand, each player may use up to three cards from the circle as long as the three (or fewer) cards in question are grouped together.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly:

Players receive five cards in the hole and ten cards are placed in two rows (one designated as the Good row, which will eventually be shared in composing the showdown hands, and one as the Bad row). The dealer starts the game by revealing one card from each community row. If any players have cards that match the revealed card from the Bad row, they must discard that card immediately before the subsequent betting round. If a card appears in both rows, the Bad row over-rules the Good and the card is voided in both the players’ hands and the Good row. The discarding process continues until all the shared cards are revealed and the final betting round is completed. Before the showdown, the dealer turns over the top card from the remaining deck. If a Seven or lower shows then the showdown is for the lowest hand at the table; if it is eight or above then the high hand wins.