What is a ‘Tiger’?
Tigers are two non-standard poker hands – little tiger and big tiger – which together with another two hands – little dog and bog dog – make up a group of four ‘no-pair hands’ played in some home or private games.
Non-standard poker hands are defined by house rules, generally appearing only in games played at home or in private amongst small groups. The precise ranking and composition of these hands can vary from venue to venue, and from game to game, so it is vital that players taking part in games including non-standard hands ensure they are certain of the rules before play commences.
The two ‘Tiger’ hands, also known as the ‘Cats’, form a two of a group of four such non-standard hands, alongside two other non-standard hands referred to as the ‘Dogs’. All four are are no-pair hands, with their value being defined by their highest and lowest cards.
Most games including these ‘Cats and Dogs’ hands include no other non-standard hands. Game rules usually rank dogs and cats below Straight Flushes but above straights.
However, some players maintain that a dog or cat hand beats a straight flush because a plain cat or dog always beats a plain straight. In these games, the big cat (or big tiger) is the highest-ranking hand available.
The definition of each of the Cat and Dog hands is:
– Little Tiger/Little Cat: three low/eight high. Ranks above a straight and any dog, but below a big cat or a straight flush.
– Big Tiger/Big Cat: eight low/King high. Ranks immediately below a straight flush house and above any of the other dog or cat hands.
– Little Dog: two low/seven high. Ranks immediately above a straight but below a straight flush house or any of the other dogs or cats.
– Big Dog: nine low/Ace high. Ranks above the little dog or a straight, but below a straight flush house or any other dog or cat hand.