We played this variation of 7-card stud in high school. More recently, about ten years ago, I discovered that it was alive and well in a small game in New Hampshire "casino night". It's fun.
Chicago is a split pot game, with the high hand and the high spade in the hole splitting the pot. Let's take a look at a sample game.
Stu, Frank, Chuck, Ashley, and Joshua meet on weekends for $1/2 limit dealer's choice poker. Joshua always calls Chicago. Here's a hand they played the other night.
Josh was the dealer. Thanks to the miracle of modern science, we are going to show you the hole cards with the Computoview camera. Here they are – starting with the dealer and going around the room starting to his left:
Joshua: () 9s
Josh antes $1.00 for the table.
Ashley is high on board. He checks.
Josh checks as well, lacking a spade in the hole and only having a pair of .
Frank checks too, hoping his is high spade.
Stu has nothing but an Ace in the hole and checks.
Chuck, on the other hand, is loaded with both a pair of Kings and the mighty King of spades in the hole. He begins the betting for $1.00,
Ashley has the Queen of spades, which he believes to be the high spade. He doesn't want to limit the field, lest he end up just dividing the pot with the eventual high hand. So he just calls along – hoping others will follow him.
Joshua, a conservative player, lacking any spade in the hole and not wanting to play for half the pot with only a pair of nines, folds.
Frank, optimistic about his chances of being high spade and having a concealed pair, calls.
Stu, seeing an Ace exposed and having no spade, folds.
Ashley is high on board but remembers that Chuck opened with a bet. Fearing his hand is still second best, Ashley checks.
Joshua, now out of the hand, curses because the that Frank got on fourth street would have been his card for trips. Everyone ignores him.
Chuck, riding his pair of Kings with the in the hole bets $1.00.
Ashley calls him.
Frank calls him.
Chuck is high on board and, believing he's now headed toward a scooper (winning both sides of the pot) bets $2.00.
Ashley, hoping his will be the high spade, calls.
Frank, looking at a gutshot straight draw and praying his holds up as the high spade in the hole, calls the $2.00 as well.
Frank, who just hit Jacks up, is high. But he thinks Chuck probably has a better high hand, and so he checks.
Chuck bets $2 again.
Frank: () ()
Chuck: () ()
Ashley: () ()
Frank is still high on board. He didn't improve by getting the . He checks.
Chuck is still confident of winning both sides of the pot. He bets $2.00
Ashley has hit a miracle river card by getting the . He may not win both sides – if someone can beat his Aces up, but he's now certain of winning the other half. So he raises to $4.00.
Frank figures that he's in this far he might as well call.
Chuck, not feeling so confident, just calls.
Ashley scoops the pot with Aces up and the .