Official Rules of Night Baseball



©1997 The Guys, Incorporated. All rights to Night Baseball are reserved. Reproduction of The Rules to Night Baseball is prohibited except with the express written consent of The Guys or any authorized agent thereof.


Night Baseball '98

The basic game of night baseball consists of dealing nine cards face down to each player. Players are not allowed to look at their cards. Play begins with the first player turning over a card. The player can bet on this card or check to the power. Other players can raise. After the pot is right, the second player rolls over his top card and continues to turn over more cards in succession until he beats the previous player's face-up hand. If this is accomplished by the ninth card, the player may bet. If not, the player must fold and play proceeds to the next player with no betting.

There are some variations . . .

Pre-season strike
night baseball is the only poker game where you are allowed not to shuffle the cards. This is called a pre-season strike.


because there are many unknowns in this game, some people prefer to play with the "lights on." The dealer may pick any "inning" or innings to play with the lights on. This consists of turning over a card as it is dealt. If the dealer chooses to turn on the lights in the first inning, the first card would be turned face up and the rest would be face down. The first player must then beat whatever high is showing. A common light configuration is the 3rd and 6th inning.

Kill the ump

in this option a player that turns over the suicide king (hearts) is automatically forced to fold.

Seventh inning stretch

if a player turns over a seven he is dealt an extra card. VARIATION: "paying for the popcorn," requires the player to pay a nominal fee for the extra card.


as described above in Seventh Inning Stretch, or can be played independently: When the ten of clubs is turned over the player must pay some amount to the pot. The ten has no value to the hand, just as popcorn has no real nutritional value.

Wild cards

strongly recommended. Often the 3 and the 9 can be allowed to be wild.

Pinch hitter

With the pinch hitter, when a one-eyed jack is turned over a wild card changes. When the first jack is turned over the 3 would change to the next card dealt. If a second jack appears, the nine would change to the value of the next card dealt. VARIATION: American league rules allow the player, at his discretion, to choose not to change the card when they get a jack.

Rain delay

if a 2 (alternately, a queen) is turned over, play passes to the next person with no betting.

Foul ball

when a four is turned over, the previous in-play (not in a folded hand) card turned over is removed from the table.

Hat Night

When a queen is turned over, everyone gives their first dealt card to the person to the left. On the next queen, the second card is moved. Since you can lose a substantial part of your hand, you could also keep rotating the first card. VARIATION: American league rules would give everyone a new card on hat night. You might have to limit this to the bedpost queen (spades) so that you would have enough cards for everyone.


when a 4 of diamonds is turned over everyone must give the person who turned over the card a nickel. For more info, see the tweaker.

Card Guide

2rain delay, play passes to next player without a bet
4foul ball, previous card turned over is removed
4of diamonds, the tweaker, everyone gives you a nickel
77th inning stretch, get an extra card
10of clubs, popcorn (when not combined with 7th inning stretch)
Jone-eyed, pinch-hitter
Qhat night, rotate cards or get extra card
Kof hearts, Kill the Ump, automatic fold

Last modified: 22 January 2000