Black Mariah is a poker card game that is normally played during “dealer’s choice.” When playing “dealer’s choice” poker, the cards continue rotating clockwise around the table and everyone gets a chance to deal and play their favorite game. There are hundreds of variations to poker card games and most of them are relatively easy to learn once a person knows the concept of poker.
The Queen of Spades is Black Mariah. There are several variations to this game, but the most common one is with seven cards. After placing a pre-determined ante in the pot at the center of the table, the dealer deals the cards beginning with the person on his left and going clockwise around the table. The first card is dealt down to each person. At this time, the people at the table, starting with the person sitting next to the dealer on his or her left, places additional money into the pot. The first round of betting is usually conservative as the tide can change in this game any moment.
The next five cards are dealt face up. After each round of cards is dealt, the players bet. However, the players may tend to be conservative if they do not hold the Queen of Spades in their hand. If the Queen of Spades, or “Black Mariah” is dealt up at any time during the deal, all of the cards are returned to the dealer, the money remains in the pot, an additional ante is put into the pot, the dealer shuffles the deck and deals again.
Black Mariah can be an exciting game, particularly if no one is hold the Queen of Spades. If Black Mariah turns up during a couple of hands, the pot tends to grow quite a bit and can add up for the eventual winner of the game. All persons must continue to raise or call the bet to remain in the game. Anyone who folds has to stay out of the game for the remainder, even if the Black Mariah turns up. For this reason, people playing this game do not like to go out, less the card turns up and they cannot be dealt back into the game.
If the Queen of Spades does not turn up after the fifth card “up” card is dealt, betting tends to get steep as people realize that this is the final game. The seventh card is dealt down and the general rules of poker apply to the card game. In some variations of the game, the Black Mariah is a wild card if dealt down, which means that it can be used in place of any other card. Other variations of Black Mariah include those played with five cards, in which case the first or last card is dealt down and four cards are dealt facing up.
As with regular poker games, the general rules apply as to what hand beats what. If a wild card is used, the best hand is five of a kind. Next to that is a straight flush, four of a kind, a full house, a flush, a straight, three of a kind, two pair and a pair.
Other variations of Black Mariah include “Romeo” in which the King of Hearts is used in place of the Queen of Spades as the card that, when dealt up, can turn the tide of this fun poker card game.