I have been obsessed with a poker game recently.
It’s not No Limit Hold’em, nor is it the great game of Pot Limit Omaha. But, like those games, it does involve both hole cards and community cards.
The name of the game? Moss Poker.
Since high stakes regular Henrik Hecklen tweeted the rules early last year, this has been my favorite game to play with friends and family. It’s simple, unique, exciting, and a blast for beginners and experienced poker players alike.
All you need is a deck of cards and knowledge of the poker hand rankings. You can use chips for scoring, but a pen and paper works just as well.
Note: If you like the game, you may want to say thanks to its creator tournament pro Matt Moss.
How to Play Moss Poker
Let’s run through the rules, step-by-step, and then look at an example hand.
Step 1. Each player is dealt 10 cards
Between two and four players receive 10 cards each. There’s not much reason to look at them yet, though, because first you have to…
Step 2. Deal the flop
The first three community cards hit the table.
Step 3. Each player sets their hand
The players arrange their 10 cards into five Texas Hold’em hands, face down, each of which will be worth a different number of points at showdown:
- 5-pointer (worth 5 points)
- 4-pointer (worth 4 points)
- 3-pointer (you get it)
Note that these hands can be arranged however the player wants. For example, your 5-pointer can be your best hand, your worst hand, or anything in between.
Once the hands are locked in, it’s time to…
Step 4. Deal the turn and river
The turn and river complete the board.
Step 5. Showdown and scoring
Each player flips their hole cards face up to compare versus the opposing hands. The 5-pointers match-up against the 5-pointers, the 4-pointers against the 4-pointers, and so on.
The winner of each hand gets paid by the loser depending on how many points the hand is worth.
For example, if you and I were playing Moss Poker heads-up, the scoring might go like this:
- My 5-pointer beats your 5-pointer
- Your 4-pointer beats my 4-pointer
- My 3-pointer beats your 3-pointer
- Your 2-pointer beats my 2-pointer
- My 1-pointer beats your 1-pointer
In this example, I won 9 points and you won 6 points. So, you’d owe me 3 points. If we were playing for $0.50 per point, you’d owe me $1.50.
It’s up to you to decide what each point is worth — before the hand is dealt, obviously. FYI, the maximum you can win/lose per hand in a heads-up game is 15 points.
Moss Poker Example Hand
Armed with a deck of cards, chips, and my phone’s camera, I’m going to play a hand of Moss Poker.
You will be my opponent, and we will be playing for 25 cents per point.
Hole Cards and Flop
I’ve dealt both of us 10 cards, along with a flop.
Here’s your hand (I didn’t look until I had already set mine — I promise):
Take a moment to consider how you would set your hand. (Remember, the flop is Q♠ T♣ 6♣.)
Alright, I’m going to take a stab at setting your hand so we can continue on with the example. You can view the way I set your hand and my (undoubtedly flawed) reasoning below.
Turn and River
Let’s see the final community cards.
Time to flip the cards on their backs!
Here are the five match-ups:
- 5-pointer: Your A♣ 2♣ beats my 9♣ 7♣
- 4-pointer: Your Q♥ 6♥ beats my T♥ 6♠
- 3-pointer: My K♠ K♣ beats your 9♠ 9♥
- 2-pointer: My 7♠ 7♥ beats your A♠ 8♣
- 1-pointer: My 8♥ 4♠ ties with your 5♥ 4♥
You won 9 points to my 5. That means I owe you 4 points.
Here are your winnings:
How Would You Set This Moss Poker Hand?
I will leave you with one final example to help you hone your Moss skills before taking on your friends.
Here’s your hand and the flop:
Drop a comment below with how you’d set this one.
Thanks for taking the time to learn this awesome game. Take care!
Note: Learn step-by-step how to become the best player at the table when you join the Upswing Lab training course. Elite pros have been adding new content every week for the past four years, and you get all of it when you join. Learn more now!