How to Play and Win ‘Screw Your Neighbor’ Poker
Ever since the game originated, it is mostly played at casinos when the players are too tired or too drunk to opt for more complicated games. Screw Your Neighbour is played on the premise that the players must avoid having the lowest card on the table.
Basic Rules of ‘Screw Your Neighbor’
The rules of this game can sometimes vary depending on the casino, but here are the general rules:
- Screw Your Neighbor is played with a full deck, a total of 52 cards. The kings are considered high and the aces are low.
- Each players places a certain amount as a bet. The amount of money placed will be three parts of a particular amount; for instance, $1, where the total amount at risk would be $3.
- To determine who the first dealer will be, the deck is cut.
- The dealer hands out one card to each player, keeping one card for themselves as well.
- Every player will then look at their card. If it is a King, they will show it to the other players. If it’s not, then they will keep it hidden upside-down.
- The game starts with the person sitting on the left side of the dealer. Each player has the option to exchange their card with the player seated on their left or to keep the card with them and call out “pass”. All cards can be switched except for the King. So, clearly, if the player you need to switch cards with has a King, then you’re left with no choice but to keep the card you already have.
- Once everyone has had their turn, the last one to make a move will be the dealer. The dealer can switch their card with the one at the top of the deck. In case the top card on the deck is a King, it will become a blocker too, so the dealer won’t be able to take it.
- The player who has the lowest card will lose and must put one unit in the pot. However, if the game ends with a tie, then the player sitting on the dealer’s left loses.
- If one of the players has no units to put in the pot, they must quit and are eliminated from the game.
- The same rules are repeated until one player is left. The entire pot is won by the last pair left with any number of units.
‘Screw Your Neighbor’ Strategy & How to Win
Player 1 is going to be the first player and player 2 will be the second. In case player 1 exchanges their card, player 2 must exchange it too if they have a lower card. If player 1 does not exchange then player 2 has to decide whether to switch or not.
Below, the game is explained in further detail with some examples:
If player 1 exchanges with 6 or less, then player 2 must exchange with 7 or less. But if player 2 exchanges with 7 or less, player 1 must exchange with 7 or less. In case player 1 exchanges with 7 or less, player 2 must exchange with 8 or less. If player 2 exchanges with 8 or less, then player 1 must exchange with 7 or less. If player 2 exchanges with 8 or less, then player 1 must exchange with 6 or less, and so on.
Each time, player 1 must exchange with 6 or less every time, continue having an 8 or higher, and exchange if they have a 7. Each time, player 2 must exchange with 7 or less, keep 9 or more with them, and exchange with an 8.
If one of the players follows this trick, player 1 will have a 51% chance of winning. If any player chooses not to opt for this trick, there are chances the opposing player might notice and use it against you in the upcoming rounds.
If no player gets a King, then:
- Player 1 must exchange with 6 or less.
- If player 1 passes, player 2 must exchange with 6 or less.
- If players 1 and 2 both pass, then player 3 must exchange with 7 or less.
- In case player 1 exchanges and player 2 does not, player 3 must exchange if they have a 4 or less.
- If player 1 possesses a King, player 3 must exchange with the dummy card having 6 or less.
- If player 3 possesses a King, then player 1 must exchange with the player 2 having 6 or less.
While it may seem complicated on paper, the game itself is fairly simple. Test it out with some friends or check out the video below to get a feel for the game before hitting the casino.