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One of our favorite family Thanksgiving games is “Turkey Hold’Em”… a non-betting variation of the popular poker game “Texas Hold ‘Em”. It is a fun, festive and easy card game that everyone can play around the Thanksgiving table. We started a family tradition of Thanksgiving games and entertainment many years ago. It was a great way to finish off a wonderful family day. This tradition has become such an ingrained part of our Thanksgiving celebrations that emails start flying weeks in advance of the holiday. Everyone is trying to figure out what the crazy mom has planned for this year’s gathering.
Turkey Hold’Em is simple and easy. I created a “deck” of cards using 4 different turkey logos and 8 “Wild Turkey” cards that serve as…you guessed it.. wild cards! I also came up with a point system that assigns points for the various hands. For example, a pair is worth 2 points, 3 of a kind is worth 3 points and so on. At game time, choose a dealer, who will go around to each player individually. The dealer will place 3 cards on the table and 2 cards in front of the player. The player can evaluate the 5 cards to see what, if any points their hand is worth. They can then turn in one or both of their cards for new ones and finalize their points for that round. While it may sound elementary.. it is similar in nature to Yahtzee with a bit of luck, a roll of chance but fun for all. The younger cousins can easily play with the older ones and the adults. We have a rowdy crowd in our family, so people are calling out advice to the other players on what to do their cards. Some have been know to even challenge other players to risk a sure thing with a low point hand to try for bigger points. All the while, our official scorekeeper is noting each person’s point on the “Turkey Tracker” scorecard I put together. We play 3 rounds.. then total and determine a winner and the runner ups. What do we do for prizes… whatever I decide. It may be cash, gift cards or that most treasured prize.. the “Turkey Hold ‘Em TOP TURKEY” tee shirt which I design and make myself! That maybe the favorite of all the prizes.
Everything you need to hold your own Turkey Hold’Em Thanksgiving Tournament plus some other great Thanksgiving family games and activities can be found at Celebration Ideas Online. Just print and play and all for free!!
write by Howard Malan