In Lamarckian Poker players start with a hand resembling primordial ooze, but attempt through successive generations to "evolve" it into something more useful. But unlike Lamarck's giraffes, they may find themselves competing with others for the very same improvements. In the end, the player who has accumulated the best Poker hand wins.
Can be played using a standard Poker deck without Jokers. Published in the April 1999 issue GAMES (the magazine) and as part of Chief Herman's Next Big Thing as Darwinian Poker.
Players start with four cards. Each round, there are four new cards available. Each player simultaneously chooses a card from her hand. The cards are revealed and then resolved in order from highest to smallest, with suit order breaking ties. Each card takes all the cards of same value and same suit from the pool and then goes into the pool, so a card played never returns to the hand of the player and later cards can capture earlier cards. The cards that are left in the pool are discarded and a new pool of four cards is dealt.
This process is repeated as long as there are cards left in the deck, then the player who has the best five-card Poker hand wins the game.