OBJECTIVE OF GROCERY STORE DOTS: The objective of Grocery Store Dots is to have the hand with the most dots or the best 5-card hand during the showdown.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3 to 7 Players

MATERIALS: Standard 52-card deck, chips, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Poker Card Game



Grocery Store Dots is a poker style card game for 3 to 7 players. The goal of the game is to craft the best 5-card hand, or a hand to have the most dots (described below) to win the showdown at the end of the hand. 

Players will ante, bid on their hands, and buy cards from a central pool throughout the hand. After the showdown, the player(s) who have the best hand or most dots will split the pot.


Players will first place an ante into the pot. This should be determined before the game begins. The dealer will then shuffle and have another player cut the deck. They will deal each player two face-down cards clockwise then a single faceup card. Then the first round of bidding will begin.

Card Rankings 

The cards rank as in any traditional poker game Ace (high), King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2 (low). This is what is used along with traditional poker hand rankings to determine the best hand at the end of the showdown. 

In addition to this, cards also have dots associated with them. These are determined by how many central pips are on the card itself. The cards with one dot include Ace, 5, 7, and 9. The cards with two dots include 2, 8, and 10. 3s have 3 dots, and 4s, 6s, and all face cards have no dots. 

For the 5-card hand, only your best 5 cards will be used to make your final hand. For the most dots though, all 7 cards in a player’s hand are used to determine the winner. 


After the initial set up the first round of bidding begins with the player left of the dealer. You do not need to bid on whether you think you will win the 5-card hand or the dots hand, just in your hand as a whole. 

Once the first round of bidding is completed the dealer will deal three faceup cards to the center of the play area. This is called the grocery store. The farthest left card is marked. This card cost 1 chip to purchase, the next is worth 2, and the final is worth 3. The chips are paid to the pot. 

Now the dealer will start to their left and a player will either choose to buy one of the cards in the center or be dealt a faceup card from the deck. If a card is bought the store does not refresh until the next players turn before purchasing or being dealt a card. So, if the dealer buys a card, the store does not refresh until after the round of bidding. 

Once each player has either bought a card or been dealt a card the second round of bidding is started. This continues until all, but one player has folded or 4 each player has 4 faceup cards.

After the 4th faceup card is dealt or bought by the dealer, a final card is dealt facedown to each player. This is the 7th and final card of each player’s hand. After it’s dealt a final round of bidding is completed. 


Once the final bidding round is completed, all remaining players participate in the showdown. The cards of each player’s hand are all revealed. Each player will state their best 5-card hand and the number of dots in their 7-card hand. The player with the best 5-card hand and the player with the most dots split the pot evenly. 


The game is played until players wish it to end. There usually is not a winner, but the player who has won the most money could be considered as such.

Amber Crook
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