The Poker Game ‘PerSuit’

Editor’s Note: Cardplayer Lifestyle wishes to thank David and Neida Donohoe for sending us the article below, with rules for another new poker game they developed entitled “PerSuit.”

This unique game of poker is named ‘PerSuit’ because the hands are formed from the suit of the cards rather than their face values. Another unique feature is the Total Hand call explained below.

PerSuit is very challenging because there are only 4 suits in a deck of cards. However, 5 cards are dealt to each player which means that right from the start every player knows that each of his opponents are holding a hand of at least 1 Pair or better. What makes this game even more challenging is because a 52-card deck has an abundance of suit cards (13 of each suit), and therefore, it is very likely that the first 5 cards you are dealt will consist of 3 of a Kind or better. And in many cases, your first 5 cards may be just a 1 card draw away from having a Full House or better.

With PerSuit, the likelihood of everyone holding a high ranking hand is a given, and therefore bluffing becomes the norm of the game.


The objective of PerSuit is simply to make the highest ranking 5-card poker hand or, to have your opponent fold to a bet.

Hands ranking from weakest to strongest

  1. 1 Pair – 2 of the same suit
  2. 2 Pair – 2 of one suit and 2 of another suit
  3. 3 of a Kind – 3 of the same suit
  4. Full House – 3 of one suit and 2 of another suit
  5. 4 of a Kind – 4 of the same suit
  6. 5 of a Kind – 5 of the same suit
  7. Total Hand (See explanation below)

Definition of a ‘Total Hand’

A Total Hand is the only hand that does not use the suit of the cards to establish the hand, but rather the total face value of all 5 cards for points.

Face Values: Ace = 11 points, King, Queen, Jack = 10 points, and all other cards their designated face values.

After all betting is finished and just before the players are to reveal their hands, any player may state Total Hand as the hand he is using to challenge the player who is holding the highest ranking hand over all the other players. When Total Hand is called, it over-rides the player holding the highest ranking hand and both players total up the face value of the 5 cards they hold. The one with the highest total points wins the pot. There may be a situation that more than one player calls Total Hand before the cards are revealed; in that case, everyone who called Total Hand totals up the points of their cards and the player who has the highest point score wins the pot.

Total Hand - Points 50

Total Hand – Points 50

How to Play PerSuit for Money or Chips

If you’re looking to play the free casino games, this wouldn’t really be the game for you. You might want to instead try to find a different game online, or perhaps try playing the Challenge card game which I shared here with you last month. PerSuit, by contrast, should involve betting.

Ante Up

An ante is most commonly used in home games around the world in which each player must pay a predetermined ante before being dealt any cards.

Players can also set the rules for how the bets can progress. You can either play:

  • Pot-Limit (maximum bet at any time is the size of the current pot)
  • No-Limit (any amount can be bet at any time)

The Deal

Once the ante is paid, then all players are dealt 5 cards face down.

In a poker home game, once an entire round plays out, the deal then passes on to the next player to the left.

Discarded cards are formed into a single joint discard pile. At the end of each round of play, shuffle the discard pile back into the deck.

The First Betting Round

Once all of the cards have been dealt to each player, play advances clockwise beginning with the player to the left of the dealer.

Each player then has the option to either – call, raise or fold. If the player in front of you folds, you have the option to fold, call (match) the amount of the bet or raise the bet.

The Draw

Once all of the bets have been matched in the first round of betting, the draw round begins. Starting to the left of the dealer, players now discard as many cards as they wish. The dealer then deals however many replacement cards requested.

Players can discard none (“stand pat”) or anywhere from 1 to all 5 cards.

The Final Betting Round

Once all players have discarded their desired number of cards and received replacements for their discards, there is another round of betting beginning with the player to the left of the dealer (or the next closest player still in the game).

Each player has the same betting actions as in the first round. When all players have called all bets or folded, there is a showdown (cards are revealed) between any remaining hands and the best 5 card poker hand wins the pot.

In the event of a tie when players hold the same hand, they are to total up the face values of only the cards that make up the hand; the player with the highest number of points wins the pot.

scoop the pot

Source: Adobe Stock Images

Get in Touch

I would appreciate any comments or suggestions (positive or otherwise) you may have regarding this card game PerSuit. You may email me direct at [email protected].



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Written By.

Robbie Strazynski

Robbie founded in 2009. A veteran member of the poker media corps, in addition to writing and video presenting, Robbie has hosted multiple poker podcasts over the years, including Top Pair, the Red Chip Poker Podcast, The Orbit, and the CardsChat Podcast. In 2019, Robbie translated the autobiography of Poker Hall of Famer Eli […]

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