To play Latin poker, you need to visualize the deck of cards as a Latin noun chart. In terms of Poker and many other card games, low cards are to the left and high cards are to the right. You can collect cards going down or a sequence of cards to the right. If you think of the noun chart, as a deck of cards, Poker but also many other card games suddenly become possible.
Now let's look at the Latin Noun chart, visually applying the same point value to the deck of cards. Each word represents a card. Each column represents a suit. Cards or words to the left are "low" and words to the right are "high."
Usually of course, the chart is usually written with F1 on the left side and N3 to the right but as I like F1 to be the high cards, I wrote it this way so that the comparison would be clearer. The other difference between the noun chart and the card chart is that if you collect the nouns moving across you are creating pairs or three of a kind. You could collect iter, pax and bellum and have three nominatives, for example. This would be the equivalent of collecting three two's - one of hearts, clubs and spades
Therefore, you collect playing cards going across, you are creating a sequence. For example you could collect 2, 3 4 of spades. To collect a sequence of Latin nouns, you move vertically down the noun chart. For example, a player could collect, genitive, dative and accusative of pax and have a sequence. In other words, each noun column corresponds to a suit We could call N2 hearts and F1 spades. There is one more column or "suit" in Latin Poker than in a playing deck. But that doesn't matter. It's close enough. In Latin Poker, the cards closest to the top right of the chart are higher and the cards to the bottom left are lower. That makes Silva (nominative) the equivalent of the ace of spaces.
To make a deck for Latin Poker, you need to create one playing card for each of the words listed on this noun chart. the playing cards simply needs to have the word written on one side. I use colored 3x5 index cards and cut them in half. In a regular playing deck, you have 52 cards. In a Latin Poker deck, you will have 48. Really, it works just a well.
Once you understand how to use the noun chart as a deck of cards, the rest is easy. Just play poker as you usually do. To see how the various poker hand, correspond to Latin poker, check the Hilara Google Drive and download the Latin Poker hands document in the Card and Board games folder. Make a copy for all of your players so they can see what hands they can construct. Two pair and three of a kind are going to be the most popular hands.
What Type of Poker to Play?
I generally play Texas Hold 'em because it allows for many students to play at once. In this version, players can match cards in their hand or with cards laid out on the table, called "the flop." I don't remember any more of the rules. You can find them online or ask one of your students. I generally put one of my students in charge of the game and let him or her tell us when it's time to bet, pass or fold. In every class, there's always one poker expert. Since most poker experts get aggravated when players do things out of order, bet at the wrong time etc, I find it easier just to put them in charge rather than arguing with them.
What about Chips? Betting?
I found several jars of glass terrarium stones at the dollar store. I bought three jars and we use those for poker chips. The white stones are worth five of the purple stones. Everyone gets 5 white stones and one purple stone to start. I place a "two stone" limit on betting, otherwise the temptation is to go "all in" at every opportunity is just too great. When a student runs out of stones, I just give him or her more. That way everyone stays in the game. The winner is the student that has the greatest number of stones at the end.
Who can play this game?
This game really works best with the more advanced students. Students need to have a very good grasp of the noun chart and be able to identify case of words on sight. If they can't, it just takes too long for them to find them on the chart and the game drags down to a crawl. I have had a blast playing this with Latin III classes and above. It is an excellent activity after a large test or on a day where you have a smaller group.