One of the oldest poker games in the world is “Injun Joe.” This game is probably not very politically correct but can be entertaining and is one of the simplest card games a person can learn.
Injun Joe relies on poker concepts to determine a winner, but unlike poker, relies more on luck and chance than savvy playing. In this respect, Injun Joe is more a variation of Faro, played with more than one person in a round table card setting.
To play Injun Joe, players must be seated in a circle with no mirrors around. Each player is dealt one card down and they cannot look at it. An large ante is placed in the pot and the players then take their card and place it on their foreheads without looking. The other players can see everyone else’s card but cannot see their own card.
Beginning with the person on the dealer’s left and going clockwise around the table, each person bets on whether the card that they are holding on their head beats the other cards. The reason the game is called “Injun Joe” is because holding the card above the forehead resembles a Native American headdress.
In addition to playing this game for money, the concept used in Injun Joe can be used to determine the winner or loser of something. For example, if a bunch of friends are sitting around and fighting over whose turn it is to go pick up the pizza, a card can be dealt to each person and the person with the highest card, or lowest card can be chosen to run the errand. This is similar to drawing straws.
Injun Joe usually rewards the player who holds the highest card, but one variation can be the player who has the lowest card wins.
Another game similar to Injun Joe does not require anyone to put their cards on their head. In this game, we used to call “cold hand” each player puts a large ante in the center of the table. The dealer deals five cards to each player, all face up. With after each round, the players bet on their hand. This requires little or no skill and is purely a game of chance as the players cannot bluff and pretend to have cards they don’t have. All of the players know exactly what is on the table and who is the winner.
A variation of “cold hand” is “low hand.” Low hand is played the same as cold hand, in that the cards are all dealt face up, but the person with the “worst” hand ends up winning the game.
Yet another quick, simple game is cutting cards. This usually involves two players, but can have more. Each person draws a card from anywhere in the deck and whoever has the highest card wins.
All of the above games, while relying on the concepts of poker as to what is a “good” hand and what is a “bad” hand are all games of chance. Unlike traditional poker games that rely on some sort of skill, together with luck, to win, the above games require little or no skills and can be enjoyed by anyone who has the inclination to play.