What is NUTSO?

A poker-styled card game designed for the entire family. It’s like Texas HoldEm with a twist. Your hand is only as good as the last player’s move. Let’s just say if you think you have the best hand, you’re probably wrong.


Combine your two cards with the five community cards to make the best five card hand. Be the only player left by collecting all the NUTSO bucks.

Getting Started

Each player receives a starting stack of NUTSO bucks totaling $15,000 and made up of the following denominations:
$500 x 6; $1,000 x 2; $5,000 x 2.

Determine who will deal the first hand by dealing one card at a time to each player. First player dealt a NUTSO card deals first. The deal then alternates clockwise for the rest of the game unless someone plays the Pass The Button wild card and takes the deal. Helpful card: You can use the dealer card in the deck to keep track of who is dealing.

How to Play

Before each hand is dealt, all players – except the dealer – place $500 NUTSO bucks in the middle. It’s called a blind bet because you are making it without seeing your hand. The blind bet should double after a set amount of time agreed upon by all. Helpful hint: Use the clock/timer on your phone to track your per-determined time.

After a good shuffle and starting clockwise, dealer gives 2 cards to each player and deals 5 cards face down in the middle (these 5 cards are called the community cards). After reviewing the 2 cards in their hands, players can elect to stay in the game by placing the same amount of NUTSO bucks that started the hand in the middle (this is called a bet) or quit the hand (this is called a fold). The decision to bet or fold starts with the player left to the dealer. After betting is over, dealer turns over the first 3 of the community cards (this is called THE FLOP) for another round of betting or folding. By now, each player is trying to build the winning hand using a combination of the 2 player cards and the 5 community cards.

Dealer than turns over the fourth card (called THE TURN) for another round of betting and folding.

Finally, dealer turns over the final community card (called THE RIVER), for a final round of betting and folding.

Then, the showdown. All remaining players will expose their hands and the best hand wins all the NUTSO bucks in the middle. Winning hands look a lot like poker hands. Helpful card: Players can refer to the winning hands card in the deck to evaluate the strength of their hands. In a situation where there is a tied hand, players split the NUTSO bucks. Please note that if one or more players put in their last NUTSO buck during a round of betting (this is called being ALL IN), no further bets will be made.

NUTSO Wild Cards

The real beauty of NUTSO are the wild cards. When played, they can take down the strongest hand or turn a losing hand into a winner. Then again, if you play one it might ruin your chances of winning. Who knows? That’s why this game is called NUTSO. To play a wild card, if must be one of the 2 cards in your hand. Players must also announce that they are going to play a special card before putting in NUTSO bucks. Let’s look at each wild card:

Flip The Flop

When the FLIP THE FLOP wild card is played, the dealer replaces the 3 flop cards with 3 new cards.

Show A Card

When a SHOW A CARD wild card is played, the player makes the remaining opposing players expose one of the 2 cards in their hands. Each player may choose which card to expose.

House Rules

And then there’s the HOUSE RULES wild card. The definition of this card should be agreed upon by all players prior to starting the game. Players may also elect to change the rules of this card before each hand, decided by the dealer prior to dealing the cards. Some possible uses for the HOUSE RULES wild card are:

Swap Hand

When a SWAP HAND wild card is played, the player can swap his hole cards for an opposing player’s cards.

Pay Big Blind

When a PAY BIG BLIND wild card is played, the player collects a current bet amount from each player still in the hand.

Pass The Button

When the PASS THE BUTTON is played, that player will automatically deal the next hand, avoiding the first bet. If the player is eliminated from the game, the current dealer deals again.

Muck Hand

When a MUCK HAND wild card is played, the player can force an opposing player to fold his 2 cards. Beware, if that player has a Nutso card in his hand then you must fold your hand.

One Good Turn

When a ONE GOOD TURN wild card is played, the player can take the community TURN card as their own. The TURN card is replaced with the next card on the top of the deck.

  • When played, all community cards are exposed before betting continues.
  • When dealt, this card automatically gives the player with it a pocket pair, as it automatically matches the other card in the player’s hand. Player can decide which suite.
  • The card is a true WILD card – players can make it any card/suite they want.
  • Player shows the card at the beginning of the hand and can continue the hand without betting
  • Over 21? Make it a drinking game – when this card is played, everyone takes a shot

When a player uses a wild card, the dealer must replace with a new card from the deck. A wild card may not be dealt as a community card. If a special card is dealt on the flop, it will be discarded and replaced by the next card at the top of the deck. For example, if the MUCK wild card was dealt on THE FLOP, it should be replaced with the next card on the top of the deck.

Take the game to the next level

Play NUTSO exactly like Texas HoldEm, complete with SMALL and BIG blinds and NO LIMIT betting. Feel free to whip out the poker chips and timer.