Source : http://www.canbet.com/casino/3-reel-games.aspx

 

Bank on It!

Bank On It! is a 3-reel game, and the pay table is displayed on the machine. It may be played in denominations of $.05, $.25, $.50, $1, and $5.

Every time you receive three blanks on the pay line, the coins you just bet are placed in your "Piggy Bank." The Piggy Bank starts at 150 credits and keeps growing until you hit three "Piggies," where you win the coins from your Piggy Bank. In addition, the "Wild" symbol matches any symbol on the payline.

Array

The Big Heist

The Big Heist is a 3-reel game, and the pay table is displayed on the machine. It may be played in denominations of $.05, $.25, $.50, $1, and $5.

Once you receive one safe dial, you receive one click that is placed in the safe counter. You can win a secret safe bonus by cracking the safe. In order to crack the safe, you must receive three safe dials on one spin or accumulate a total of 50 clicks in the safe counter. If you receive three safe dials on a spin, you will win ten times the amount of the secret safe bonus. Playing with max coin bets will lead to larger secret safe bonuses than playing with one or two coins per spin.

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Bonkers!

Bonkers! is a 3-reel game, and the pay table is displayed on the machine. It may be played in denominations of $.05, $.25, $.50, $1, and $5.

Once you hit two "Bonkers!" on the pay line you receive 3 guaranteed free winning spins. When you hit three "Bonkers!," you receive 10 guaranteed free winning spins. These spins are registered on the "Free Spins" meter just to the right of the pay table, and additional free spins may not be won during your free spins. Hitting three "red 7's" during the free spins will end the free re-spins and return you to regular play.

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Crazy Dragon

Crazy Dragon is a 3-reel, system-wide Progressive game and the pay table is displayed on the machine. The progressive jackpot total is displayed just above the reels, and re-starts at $2,000 every time the progressive jackpot is won. This machine may only be played in the single denomination of $1.

You must make a maximum bet (3-coins) in order to qualify for the bonus part of the game ? Free Re-spins. To participate in the bonus, you must hit parts of the dragon in order from left to right on the payline. When this happens, then you receive free Re-spins (either 2, 5, or 20 - depending on how much of the dragon you hit).

If, during your bonus Re-spins, you hit any additional Re-spins, then you will also receive those additional Re-spins. If you receive a total of 100 Re-spins, you win the progressive jackpot.

The "Yin-Yang" symbol is also "wild," matching any non-"Dragon" symbol.

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Diamond Mine

Diamond Mine is a 3-reel game, and the pay table is displayed on the machine. It may be played in denominations of $.05, $.25, $.50, $1, and $5.

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Diamond Mine Deluxe

Diamond Mine Deluxe is a 3-reel game, and the pay table is displayed on the machine. It may be played in denominations of $.05, $.25, $.50, $1, and $5.

Once you hit a "2x" on the pay line then you receive double your winning combination. The "2x" matches any symbol on the payline. If you hit two "2x"'s, then it pays 4 times the winning combination, unless 3 Double Diamond symbols are showing.

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El Toro

El Toro is a 3-reel game, and the pay table is displayed on the machine. It may be played in denominations of $.05, $.25, $.50, $1, and $5.

This game represents RealTime Gaming's first three-reel machine with an interactive bonus game. The bonus game consists of a matador on the left side of the pay table and a bull on the right side of the pay table. A player must make a 3-coin wager in order to be eligible for the bonus game. When a player receives a matador and a bull icon on the same spin wagering 3 coins, the "Bullfight" bonus game becomes active. Players choose who they think will win ? the bull or the matador. Players make their choice by selecting only one of the icons on either side of the pay table. Once they have made their selection, the bullfight begins. The bull icon on the reel charges the matador icon. Either the bull will flatten the matador or the matador will successfully dodge the bull. The player wins the bonus (200 credits) if they have chosen the winner correctly. If the player makes the wrong selection, a nominal amount is awarded (10 credits).

In addition, a rose icon (wild) matches any symbol on the pay line except for the matador and bull icons.

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Frozen Assets

Frozen Assets is a 3-reel game, and the pay table is displayed on the machine. It may be played in denominations of $.05, $.25, $.50, $1, and $5.

Once you hit at least one snowflake with max coins on the payline, your snowman will slowly start filling in with snow and the number above the snowman will increase with each snowflake that you receive. You win the accumulated snowman bonus once the number above the snowman reaches 200. Watch out for the sun icons! Each sun icon subtracts one from the number above the snowman but adds that credit to the snowman bonus meter. Once you have won the snowman bonus, the bonus will default back to 500 once you spin again. In addition, a penguin icon will match any symbol on the payline except for the snowflake and the sun icons.

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High Rollers

High Rollers is a 3-reel, five pay line slot machine. It may be played in denominations of $.05, $.25, $.50, $1, and $5.

This game represents RealTime Gaming's first three-reel machine with five pay lines. To play, put money in the machine by clicking on the chips in the lower right corner and press "Play 5 Credits." This will play the maximum bet (5 paylines and 5 coins), giving you the maximum chance to win and automatically spins the reels. If you'd like to play fewer lines, just select the lines you want by using the "Bet One" button. When you have the bet amount you'd like, just press "Spin Reel," and wait for a win.

A new addition to RealTime Gaming's slot machines is random animations. The High Rollers slot machine uses two random animations. The first is a ladybug that tip toes across the slot machine. The second is a flower that spins. Watch for them!

Located just below the pay table is the payout line. This line will give line win information such as number of lines that won and what each line paid out (in credits).

In addition, a peace sign icon (wild) matches any symbol on a paid pay line. If a peace sign is used to create a three "VW Bus" win, the peace sign icons change into the "VW Bus" icon.

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It's Good to be Bad

It's Good to Be Bad is a 3-reel, system-wide Progressive game, and the pay table is displayed on the machine. The progressive jackpot total is displayed just above the reels, and re-starts at $100,000 every time the progressive jackpot is won. This machine may only be played in denominations of $.25 or $1, and only a 3-coin bet (max bet) allows the player to participate in the progressive.

Keep accumulating losing spins to increase the Free Winning Spins meter. Receive 29 losing spins in a row, and you win the progressive jackpot! Watch out!! Once you receive a winning spin, the Free Winning Spins meter is set back to zero.

You must make a maximum bet (3-coins) in order to qualify for the bonus part of the game ? The Loss Meter and the Free Winning Spins meter. Building up losses in a row adds to the losses on the Loss Meter, and the dancing devil in the game tells you how many more losses you need in a row in order to get additional guaranteed free winning spins.

To win the progressive jackpot, you must rack up 29 losing spins in a row on the Loss Meter. When you get to your first four losing spins in a row, then you will receive one guaranteed free winning spin in the Free Winning Spins meter (just to the right of the reels). Also, as you build up more losses, the lights on the side of the machine will begin to light up. The more losses on the Loss Meter, the higher the lights go.

You have the option to redeem any free winning spins from the number displayed in the Free Winning Spins meter at any time. But, every time you hit a winning spin, stopping your streak of losses, then any losses you have built-up on both the Loss Meter and the Free Winning Spins meter are lost, and you must once again start building up losses and free winning spins from zero.

If you want to cash-in your winning spins before this happens, just hit the gold "Cash In!" button located just below the red Cash Out button at the very bottom of the machine.

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Light Speed

Light Speed is a 3-reel, system-wide Progressive game, and the pay table is displayed on the machine. The progressive jackpot total is displayed just above the reels, and re-starts at $700 every time the progressive jackpot is won. This machine may only be played in the single denomination of $.25.

You must make a maximum bet (3-coins) in order to qualify for the bonus part of the game ? the Light Speed meter, which is represented by the lights going up both sides of the machine. When you hit a "Light Speed" icon in the payline, then the Light Speed meter is increased. A winning spin then pays the payout on the payline multiplied by the level reached on the Light Speed meter. The maximum multiplier for the Light Speed meter is seven, and once a winning spin has occurred, the Light Speed meter is set back to one.

Win the progressive jackpot when you hit three laser guns at the top (7x) level of the Light Speed meter!

The "Robot" symbol is also "wild," matching any non-"Light Speed" symbol.

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Lucky Lightnin'

Lucky Lightnin' is a 3-reel game, and the pay table is displayed on the machine. It may be played in denominations of $.05, $.25, $.50, $1, and $5.

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Operation M.Y.O.W. (Make Your Own Win)

Operation M.Y.O.W. is a 3-reel game where players choose from five different pay tables and each pay table is displayed on the machine. It may be played in denominations of $.05, $.25, $.50, $1, and $5. The theme of this slot machine is feline (cat) with an Asian flair with pay table symbols including Coi, Dragons, Flowers, etc. In addition, cat icons represent the five lucky colors. Each pay table has a distinctive name and lucky color. The names are: Lucky (White), Catman (Purple), Kung Fu Kitty (Yellow), Catzilla (Green), and The King (Pink). Players have the ability to scroll through the set of five different pay tables and play on the one that they choose. The player chooses between the different pay tables at anytime by selecting a prominently displayed "Next Paytable" button. Each pay table has different payouts, but the wheels work the same regardless of which one the player has chosen. A player can change, at any time, to a new pay table and each one has its own flavor.

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Pharaoh's Gold

Pharaoh's Gold is a 3-reel, three pay line slot machine. It may be played in denominations of $.05, $.25, $.50, $1, and $5.

This game represents RealTime Gaming's first three-reel machine with three pay lines. To play, put money in the machine by clicking on the chips in the lower right corner and press "Play 3 Credits." This will play the maximum bet (3 paylines and 3 coins), giving you the maximum chance to win and automatically spins the reels. If you'd like to play fewer lines, just select the lines you want by using the "Bet One" button. When you have the bet amount you'd like, just press "Spin Reel," and wait for a win.

The Pharaoh's Gold slot machine uses two random animations. Watch out for the falling coconut or the crazy eyes of the camel. Have you seen them yet?

Located just below the pay table is the payout line. This line will give line win information such as number of lines that won and what each line paid out (in credits).

In addition, an Eye icon (wild) matches any symbol on a paid pay line. If an Eye is used on a winning payline, it morphs into the winning symbol.

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7's and Stripes

7's and Stripes is a 3-reel game, and the pay table is displayed on the machine. It may be played in denominations of $.05, $.25, $.50, $1, and $5.

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Triple 7 Inferno

Triple 7 Inferno is a 3-reel game, and the pay table is displayed on the machine. It may be played in denominations of $.05, $.25, $.50, $1, and $5.

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Hearts and Other Trick-Taking Games


HEARTS
(Black Lady)

Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
4(3, 5-7) 52 ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Easy - Complex
ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Luck - Skill

Many trick-taking games are not directly related to Bridge or Whist. Perhaps the foremost one is Hearts, which is truly one of the greatest card games ever devised for four players, each playing individually. The game is fairly easy to play, yet there is plenty of scope for high strategy.

Number of Players. Three to seven people can play, but the game is absolutely best for four, each playing for himself. Two players may play Domino Hearts; more than seven should play Cancellation Hearts. These versions are described later.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is used.

Rank of Cards. A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

Array

The Draw, Shuffle and Cut. Each player draws one card from a shuffled pack spread face down. The highest card deals first, and thereafter
the deal passes to the left. After the shuffle, the player on the dealer's right cuts.

ArrayThe Deal. The dealer completes the cut and distributes the cards one at a time, face down, clockwise. In a four-player game, each is dealt 13 cards; in a three-player game, the Array2 should be removed, and each player gets 17 cards; in a five-player game, the Array2 and Array2 should be removed so that each player will get 10 cards. For the six-player game, the Array2, Array3, Array3 and Array4 are removed, so that each player gets eight cards. Finally, with seven players, the Array2, Array3 and Array3 are removed so that each player gets seven cards. However, if you have more than five players it is best to have two tables of 3 for six players and a table of 4 and a table of 3 for seven players.

The Pass. After looking at his hand, a player selects any three cards and passes them face down to the player on the left. The player must pass the three cards before looking at the cards received from the right. There is a passing rotation of left, right and across. With more than four players the passing rotation should be left and then right. A recent popular passing variation is to designate the fourth hand of every deal as a keep or hold hand where no cards are passed.

Object of the Game. The goal is to avoid winning in tricks any heart or the ArrayQ (called Black Lady or Black Maria). Or, to win all 13 hearts and the ArrayQ (referred to as "Shooting the Moon"). Ultimately, the object of the game is to have the lowest score when the game ends.

The Play. The player holding the Array2 after the pass makes the opening lead. If the Array2 has been removed for the three handed game, then the Array3 is led. This is now the standard rule. Each player must follow suit if possible. If a player is void of the suit led, a card of any other suit may be discarded. However, if a player has no clubs when the first trick is led, a heart or the queen of spades cannot be discarded. The highest card of the suit led wins a trick and the winner of that trick leads next. There is no trump suit. The winner of the trick collects it and places it face down to form a neat "book" or stack of cards. Hearts may not be led until a heart or the queen of spades has been discarded. The queen does not have to be discarded at the first opportunity. The queen can be led at any time.

Scoring. A separate column on a score sheet is kept for each player. At the end of each hand, players count the number of hearts they have taken as well as the queen of spades, if applicable. Hearts count as one point each and the queen counts 13 points.

Each heart: 1 point

The ArrayQ: 13 points

The point totals are then entered in each player's column. The aggregate total of all scores for each hand must be a multiple of 26. Note: The number of tricks a player wins does not count per se; the scoring is based solely on who wins tricks containing hearts and/or the queen of spades.

The game is usually played to 100 points (some play to 50). When one player hits the agreed upon score or higher, the game ends; and the player with the lowest score wins.

The Evolution Of The Game Of HeartsArray

George S. Coffin, who was a bridge expert and the inventor of Trio (a bridge game for three players), reported that the game of Hearts evolved from Revers'e, a card game played in the mid-1700s in Spain. In that game, the ArrayJ was called the quinola grande, "big quinola" and the ArrayQ was the quinola peque'a,"little quinola." These cards scored negative points in a player's tricks, and that rule became the basis for the game of Hearts. Only in the last century or so has Hearts added rule variations, which are now standard to the game: shooting the moon, no leading a heart until the suit is broken, the mandatory Array2 lead on the first trick, and no discarding a heart or the ArrayQ on that trick. As Coffin pointed out, "Various embellishments have enlivened many card games, and so the variation of yesterday becomes the standard of today."

"Shooting the Moon." One of the great thrills of the game, shooting the moon or making a "slam", is when a player takes all 13 hearts and the queen of spades in one hand. Scores will differ dramatically. Instead of losing 26 points, that player scores zero and each of his opponents score an additional 26 points.

Scoring Variations.

1) Instead of a score sheet, chips are used. Each player pays one chip for each heart, thirteen chips for the ArrayQ, and the lowest score for the deal takes all. Players who tie split the pot, leaving any odd chips for the next deal.

2) In this version called Sweepstakes, each player pays one chip for each heart and 13 chips for the ArrayQ. If one player alone scores zero, he takes the pot; if two or more players make zero, they split the pot. If every player earns 1 point or more, the pot remains for the next deal,
or until it is eventually won.

Irregularities. Misdeal. If the dealer exposes a card in dealing, or gives one player too many cards and another player too few, the next player in turn deals.

Play out of turn. A lead or play out of turn must be retracted if another player demands it before all have played to the trick. After everyone has played, a play out of turn stands without penalty.

Quitted tricks. Each trick gathered must be placed face down in front of the winner, and tricks must be kept separate. If a player so mixes his cards that a claim of revoke cannot be proved, he is charged with all 26 points for the deal, regardless of whether the alleged revoke was made by him or another player.

Revoke. Failure to follow suit when possible, or to discard the ArrayQ at the first opportunity (when this variant rule is in force), constitutes a revoke. A revoke may be corrected before the trick is turned and quitted. If not discovered until later, the revoke is established, play is immediately abandoned, and the revoking hand is charged with all 26 points for the deal. If a revoke is established against more than one player, each is charged 26 points. However, the revoke penalty may not be enforced after the next deal has started.

Incorrect hand. A player discovered to have too few cards must take the last trick, and if his hand is more than one card short he must take in every trick to which he cannot play.

Omnibus Hearts

This version adds two features to standard Hearts whereby a player may actually score plus. The play of the cards takes on heightened
interest, since it combines "nullo" play (to avoid gathering hearts and the ArrayQ) with positive play to win plus points.

Number of Players. Four to six people can play. The game is best for four participants, each person playing for himself.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is used.

The Plus Card. The hearts and the ArrayQ are minus cards, as in standard Hearts. In addition, the Array10 counts plus 10 for the player who wins it. (In some localities, ArrayJ instead of Array10 is the plus card.)

Slam. When a player wins all fifteen counting cards - the thirteen hearts, ArrayQ, and Array10 - it is called a slam and he scores 26 plus (instead
of 16 minus).

Cancellation Hearts

Number of Players. Seven to ten people can play.

The Pack. Two standard packs of 52 cards are shuffled together.

The Deal. The cards are dealt around as far as they will go evenly. Any remaining odd cards are placed face down for a widow.

The Play. No cards are passed before the play. The player to the dealer's left makes the opening lead, and the rules of play are the same as in Four-Hand Hearts, with the following additions:

1) The widow is added to the first trick.

2) Cancellation: Two cards of the same rank in the same trick cancel each other, and neither can win the trick. If all cards played to a trick are paired, the trick goes to the winner of the next trick.

Hearts Without Black Lady

Hearts may be played without scoring ArrayQ as a counting card, so that there are 13 points in play. In this version, players do not pass off three cards to each other, but play their original hands. Settlement is usually by the Howell method: For each heart taken, the player puts up as many chips as there are players besides himself; he then removes as many chips as the difference between 13 and the number of hearts he took. Example: In a four-hand game, a player who won seven hearts puts in 21 chips and takes out six.

Domino Hearts

Number of Players. Two to seven people can play.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is used.

The Deal. Each player receives six cards, dealt one at a time. The remainder of the pack is placed face down in the center of the table, forming the stock.

The Play. The player to the dealer's left leads first. The rules of play are the same as for Four-Hand Hearts, except that a player who cannot follow suit to the lead must draw cards from the top of the stock until he can play. After the stock is exhausted, a player unable to follow suit may discard. The game continues until all cards have been won in tricks, with each player dropping out as his cards are exhausted. If a player wins a trick with his last card, the turn to lead passes to the first active player on his left. The last survivor must keep all the cards remaining in his hand.

Scoring. The same as in Four-Hand Hearts, except that the ArrayQ is usually not scored.

Auction Hearts

This game is the same as Hearts Without Black Lady, except that players bid after the deal for the privilege of naming the suit to be avoided. In bidding, a player names the number of chips he will put up as a pot, if allowed to name the suit. Bidding begins with the first hand dealt and rotates to the left, each player being allowed to bid only once. A player must either bid higher than the preceding bid or pass.

The highest bidder puts up his chips and names the suit. He leads first, and thereafter play proceeds as in the regular game.

The Play. When the hands are played out, each player adds one chip to the pot for each card he has taken of the forbidden suit. The player taking no cards of the forbidden suit wins the pot; if two players score no minus points, they divide the pot. If an odd chip remains, it is left for the next pot. If more than two players take no cards of the forbidden suit, or one player takes all 13, or each player takes at least one, no player wins; the deal passes, and the successful bidder on the original deal names the suit to be avoided, without bidding. The play then proceeds as before, and at the end of the hand, each player puts up a chip for each card of the forbidden suit he has taken. If no player wins on this deal, a new deal ensues, and so on, until the pot is won.

Joe Andrews, author of "Win at Hearts," and founder of the American Hearts and Spades Players' Association (AHSPA), has generously added to portions of the Hearts section. Card players interested in joining AHSPA and who would like to enjoy a good game of Hearts in their city, or on the Microsoft Hearts Game Zone at www.zone.com, may E-mail Mr. Andrews at heartsmoon@aol.com.

LOO

Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
5-9 52 (32) ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Easy - Complex
ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Luck - Skill

Two or three centuries ago, Loo was the leading card game in England, "a favorite alike of the idle rich and industrious poor," reported Albert H. Morehead. He went on to say that Loo is mentioned in English literature more than any other card game, although since then, Whist, Bridge, and Poker have largely displaced it. Loo takes its name from the French lanterlu, a refrain from a popular 17th-century song.

Number of Players. Though the game can be played by more or less people, Loo is best for five to nine participants. Each person plays for himself.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is used. However, if fewer than five people play, a stripped deck is used. It consists of 32 cards with the sixes down through deuces removed.

The Draw, Shuffle and Cut. Any player takes a shuffled pack and deals it around. The first player receiving a jack is the first dealer, and thereafter, the deal rotates clockwise. The dealer has the right to shuffle last, and the pack is cut by the player to his right.

The Deal. The dealer completes the cut and deals three cards to each player, one at a time, face down, beginning with the player to the left.

Stakes. The dealer antes three chips into the pot, and, at times, the pot is increased by units of three chips at a time. Thus, it can always be divided evenly into three parts, one for each trick. A deal that begins with only three chips in the pot is called a "single"; with more chips in the pot, it is a "double."

The Play. The player to the dealer's left leads. Players must follow suit if possible, and must play a higher card in the suit. If he has no cards of the suit led, the player may trump, and must trump higher if a previous player has trumped. The winner of a trick leads next. Note: The cards of a trick are not gathered together; each is left face up in front of the owner.

Single Pot. Should all hands fail to follow suit to each of the three leads, no trump suit is fixed. However, the first time any player fails to follow suit, the current trick is completed, and then the top card of the pack is turned up to fix the trump suit; that trump is in effect for the trick just played as well as for subsequent tricks.

Settlement. One-third of the pot is collected for each trick won. If a player fails to win one of the three tricks, it is called "loo," and that player must put three chips into the next pot, thereby making it a "double."

Double Pot. For a round with a double pot, an extra hand, called the "miss," is dealt to the right of the dealer. After the deal, the next card is turned up for trump, and prior to the opening lead, the dealer asks each player in turn to state his intentions. Each player must pass, stand, or take the "miss."

If a player passes, he is out for that deal, and his hand is placed immediately face down under the pack. A player who "stands" remains in the game. A player who takes the "miss" (and thus commits to standing), places his original hand under the pack. If all other players pass except either the dealer or a player who has taken the "miss," the lone player takes the pot and the cards are abandoned for that round. If only one player ahead of the dealer stands, the dealer must either stand and play for himself, or must take the "miss" and "defend the pot."

In the double-pot game, the leader to each trick must lead a trump if he can, and must lead the ace of trumps at the first opportunity, or the king, if the ace was turned up.

Settlement. All players who did not pass participate, and the pot is divided into three parts, one for each trick. When there is a loo, the player looed pays three chips to the next pot; and when the dealer is forced to "defend the pot," he neither collects nor pays, since settlement is made only by his opponent.

Flush. A hand of three trumps is a flush and wins the entire pot without play. If two or more players hold flushes, the hand closer to the dealer's left is the winner. Flushes are announced after the dealer has declared, and all hands of players who have stood (or taken the "miss") are looed.

PREFERENCE

Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
3 (4+) 32 ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Easy - Complex
ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Luck - Skill

Preference is played in parts of Europe, including summer resorts in Russia and the Ukraine. There are several versions of the game.

Number of Players. Three people can play this version.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is stripped to remove the sixes down through the deuces, leaving a 32 card-deck.

Rank of Cards. A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7.

Rank of Suits. Hearts is the highest suit, followed by diamonds, clubs, and then spades which is low. Hearts is known as the "preference suit."

The Draw, Shuffle, and Cut. From a shuffled pack spread face down, each player draws a card. The highest card deals first, and thereafter the deal passes to the left.

Any player may shuffle, the dealer last. The player on the dealer's right cuts.

The Deal. The dealer completes the cut and distributes the cards clockwise in packets of three, face down, clockwise, to each player. The dealer then deals a widow of two cards, face down, to the center of the table. Finally, the dealer deals each player a packet of four cards and another packet of three cards. Each player should have a hand of 10 cards, so that along with the two-card widow, all 32 cards are distributed.

Object of the Game. Each player attempts to make the highest bid and then fulfill it.

Stakes. Chips are used and the players must agree beforehand how many chips will be placed in the pot, how many chips will be paid from the pot to the successful bidder, and finally, how many will be paid to the pot by a bidder who fails to fulfill his contract.

Bidding. The bidding in this game is only for the right to name the trump suit, not for the number of tricks expected to be won.

Starting with the player to the dealer's left, each player either bids a suit or passes. A player bids the suit he would prefer to use as trumps in order to make at least six tricks. Players bid only once, and any subsequent bid must be in a higher-ranking suit. If all the players pass on the first round, there is a second round of bidding. For this extra round, a player either passes or, in turn, places extra chips in the pool. The person who puts in the highest number of chips wins the bid and names the trump suit. The winning bidder then has the option of discarding two cards and picking up the two-card widow to add to his hand. (When a bid is made on the first round, the widow is left unused.)

The Play. The player to the left of the winning bidder leads first. A player must follow suit if possible. If not, he may trump or discard. The highest trump or the highest card of the suit led wins the trick. The winner of a trick leads next. When all 10 tricks have been played, the players settle their scores.

Settlement. If the bidder fulfills his bid by taking six or more tricks, he receives the agreed-upon amount of chips from the pot. If the player fails to take at least six tricks, he puts an agreed-on number of chips into the pot.

FIVE HUNDRED

Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
2-6 (7,8) 33-63 ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Easy - Complex
ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Luck - Skill

In the early part of this century, Five Hundred was the favorite social game of the United States. It was finally eclipsed by Bridge but is still played worldwide by millions, particularly in Australia. It was devised and introduced in 1904 by the United States Playing Card Company, which held the copyright for 56 years but never charged anyone for its use. Five Hundred can be thought of as a combination of Euchre and Bridge.

Number of Players. Two to six people can play. The three-hand game is particularly interesting. Four people can play in two partnerships, or with three active players plus one player (the dealer) who sits out each game. Five people can play in two partnerships, three against two, or can cut to decide which three or four play the first game while the other sits out. Six people can play in two partnerships of three each.

The Pack. The size of the pack varies with the number of players. For two or three players, it is 33 cards - A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7 in each suit, plus a joker. Four players use a 43-card pack: ace (high) to 5 (low) in each suit, plus the Array4, Array4 and the joker. Five players use 53 cards: the standard 52-card pack plus a joker. Six players use a special 62-card pack that includes spot cards numbered 11 and 12 in each suit, and 13 in each of two suits; 13 hearts and 13 diamonds. By agreement, the joker may or may not be included.

Rank of Cards. The joker is always the highest trump. Second best is the jack of trumps ("right bower"); third best is the jack of the other suit of the same color as the trump ("left bower"). The rank in trumps is: Joker (high), J (right bower), J (left bower), A, K, Q, 10, 9, down to the lowest card. In each plain suit, the rank is A (high), K, Q, J,10, 9, down to the lowest card.

The bidding denominations rank: No trump (high), hearts, diamonds, clubs, spades.

Drawing. Each player draws a card from a pack spread face down. The player with the lowest card deals first. In drawing for deal only, ace ranks low, below the deuce, and the joker is the lowest card of the pack.

Array

Shuffle and Cut. Any player may shuffle. The dealer has the right to shuffle last. The pack is cut by the player on the dealer's right. The cut must leave at least four cards in each packet.

The Deal. Each player is dealt 10 cards, face down, clockwise, starting with the player on the dealer's left. In distributing the cards, the dealer gives each player three cards at a time, then deals a widow of three cards (two cards, if the joker is not used), then deals each player four cards at a time, followed by a final packet of three cards at a time.

Bidding. Each player in turn, beginning with the player on the dealer's left, has one opportunity to bid. A player may pass or bid. A bid must name a number of tricks, from six to 10, together with a denomination, which will establish the trump suit (such as, "Six Spades"). If there has been a previous bid, any subsequent bid must be higher. A player must bid more tricks, or the same number of tricks in a higher-ranking denomination. (Optional rule: If the Original or Inverted schedule is used, as shown in the table, a bid tops the preceding one if its scoring value is higher, or if it requires a greater number of tricks with the same scoring value.)

"Nullo" Bid. Some rules permit the bid Nullo, which is a contract to lose all the tricks at no trump. The nullo bid has a scoring value of 250. On the Avondale schedule it overcalls a bid of eight spades or lower and it is outbid by eight clubs or higher. If nullo becomes the contract in a partnership game, the contractor's partner or partners abandon their hands and the contractor plays alone against the others. If the contractor wins a trick, the penalty is to be set back the 250 points, and each opponent scores 10 for each trick the contractor takes.

Passing. If all players pass, the deal is abandoned without a score. Optional rule: A passed deal may be played as no trump, and each player plays for himself. The player to the left of the dealer leads first. Each trick won counts 10 points. Since there is no contract, there is no setting back.

The Play. The high bid becomes the contract. In three-hand play, the two other players combine in a temporary partnership against the contractor.

The contractor takes the widow into his hand, without showing it, then discards any three cards face down without showing them.

The contractor leads, and may lead any card at any time. The other players must follow suit if they can. If unable to follow suit, a player may play any card. A trick is won by the highest trump, or if a no-trump card is played, it is won by the highest card of the suit led. The winner of a trick leads next. All of the contractor's opponents take in and keep the tricks they win.

The Joker. When there is a trump suit, the joker belongs to that suit, and it becomes the highest trump card. It must be played if necessary to follow suit, and it may be played only when a card of the trump suit can legally be played.

In a no-trump contract (or nullo, if played), the joker is a suit by itself but is also the highest card of any suit and wins any trick to which it is legally played. The holder of the joker may not play it if he can follow suit to the suit led. If not, the joker may be played and wins the trick.
If a player leads the joker in a no-trump (or nullo) contract, he must specify the suit that others must play to, but the joker wins the trick.

Scoring. If the contractor wins as many tricks as bid, he scores the number of points called for in the scoring table being used (see p. 175). There is no credit for extra tricks over the contract except that, if the contractor wins all 10 tricks, he scores a minimum of 250.

Select Scoring System. Three scoring schedules are popular for the game: the Original Schedule from 1904, the improved Avondale Schedule, and the optional Inverted Schedule. The Avondale schedule is recommended because it contains no two bids of the same numerical value, and it more nearly equalizes the value of the suits. (See chart next page.)

If the contractor fails to make the contract, the value of the bid is deducted from his score. It is possible for a player to have a negative score which is referred to as "in the hole" because of the common practice of drawing a ring around a minus score

Whether the contract is made or defeated, each opponent of the contractor scores 10 for each trick he takes

Game. The player or side that reaches a total of 500 points first wins the game. A player or side that goes 500 in the hole loses. (If one player in a three-hand game becomes minus 500, he cannot win the game but continues to play until another player wins; if he happens to make 500-plus points first after scoring minus 500, no one wins the game.) If the contractor and an opponent reach 500 on the same deal, the contractor wins.

Array

In a three-hand game, if the contractor does not reach 500, but both opponents do, the first opponent to reach 500 wins. If the contractor could not reach 500 by making the bid, the opponent who is first to reach 500 may claim the game as soon as his tricks score 500. At the time he makes the claim, the player must show his remaining cards. If he does not have the 500 points, the game continues with that player's remaining cards exposed (see Irregularities).

Another option is to require 1,000 or 1,500 for game. The scoring is speeded up by awarding points for cards won in tricks: 1 point for each ace, 10 for each face card or ten, the pip value for each lower card, and zero for the joker. These points have no bearing on whether the contractor makes the bid, which depends solely on the number of tricks that player takes.

Four-Hand Five Hundred

The four-hand game is played with fixed partnerships; the partners sit opposite each other. The pack is 42 or 43 cards, made by discarding the twos, threes, and black 4s from a standard 52-card pack, and adding a joker if desired. Many people play without a joker. Each player receives 10 cards, and the remaining cards go to the widow. If one side's score reaches minus 500, the opponents win the game. All other rules are the same as in Three-Hand Five Hundred.

Two-Hand Five Hundred

The pack and the deal are the same as in the three-hand game, except that the hand to the dealer's left is dealt face down on the table and is "dead." With these 10 cards out of play, the bidding is largely guesswork. Not to be left "at home" by a bold opponent, a player is bound to be forward in bidding and to speculate on getting the cards he needs from the widow. If a player's score reaches minus 500, his opponent wins the game.

Two-Hand Five Hundred may also be played with a 24-card pack, with the nine as the lowest card. The widow is then four cards, and no extra hand is dealt.

Five-Hand Five Hundred

Five players use a standard 52-card pack, usually with the joker added, so that each player receives 10 cards and the widow has three cards, as in the the three-hand version. After the bidding, the high bidder may select any other player to be his partner. If the player bids eight or more tricks, he may name any two partners. In some games, the high bidder selects a partner by naming a card, as in Call-Ace Euchre. (See p. 183.)

Six-Hand Five Hundred

For six players, there is a special 62-card pack available that includes spot cards numbered 11 and 12 in each suit and 13 in each of two other suits. The joker may be added, making a 63-card pack. This permits a deal of 10 cards to each player and three cards to the widow. There are two partnerships of three players on each side. The partners are seated so that each has an opponent on his left and right. (A special deck is available from The U.S. Playing Card Company)

EUCHRE

Number of Players

Number of Cards

Game Play

Skill Level

4 (2-7)

32

ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Easy - Complex

ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Luck - Skill

Euchre is an offshoot of Juckerspiel, a game that became widely popular throughout Europe during the Napoleonic era. In the 1800s, it became one of the most popular card games in America and Australia. Euchre (and its variations) is the reason why modern card decks were first packaged with jokers, a card originally designed to act as the right and left "bowers" (high trumps). Although later eclipsed by Bridge (as with so many other games of this type), Euchre is still well known in America and is an excellent social game.

Number of Players. From two to seven people can play, but the game is best for four participants, playing two against two as partners. Therefore, the rules for the four-hand version are given first.

The Pack. Special Euchre decks are available, or the standard 52-card pack can be stripped to make a deck of thirty two cards (A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7 of each suit), or 28 cards (7s omitted), or 24 cards (7s and 8s omitted). In some games, a joker is added.

Rank of Cards. The highest trump is the jack of the trump suit, called the "right bower." The second-highest trump is the jack of the other
suit of the same color called the "left bower." (Example: If diamonds are trumps, the right bower is ArrayJ and left bower is ArrayJ.) The remaining trumps, and also the plain suits, rank as follows: A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7. If a joker has been added to the pack, it acts as the highest trump.

The Draw. From the shuffled pack spread face down, the players draw cards for partners and first deal. The two players with the two lowest cards play against the two players with the two highest cards. The player with the lowest card deals first. For drawing, the cards rank: K (high), Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, A. Players drawing equal cards must draw again. Partners sit opposite each other.

The Shuffle and Cut. The dealer has the right to shuffle last. The pack is cut by the player to the dealer's right. The cut must not leave less than four cards in each packet.

The Deal. The cards are dealt clockwise, to the left, beginning with the player to the left of the dealer. Each player receives five cards. The dealer may give a round of three at a time, then a round of two at a time, or may give two, then three; but the dealer must adhere to whichever distribution plan he begins with. After the first deal, the deal passes to the player on the dealer's left.

The Turn-up. On completing the deal, the dealer places the rest of the pack in the center of the table and turns the top card face up. Should the turn-up be accepted as trump by any player, the dealer has the right to exchange the turn-up for another card in his hand. In practice, the dealer does not take the turn-up into his hand, but leaves it on the pack until it is played; the dealer signifies this exchange by placing his discard face down underneath the pack.

Making the Trump. Beginning with the player to the left of the dealer, each player passes or accepts the turn-up as trump. An opponent of the dealer accepts by saying "I order it up." The partner of the dealer accepts by saying, "I assist." The dealer accepts by making his discard, called "taking it up."

The dealer signifies refusal of the turn-up by removing the card from the top and placing it (face up) partially underneath the pack; this is called "turning it down."

If all four players pass in the first round, each player in turn, starting with the player to the dealer's left, has the option of passing again or of naming the trump suit. The rejected suit may not be named. Declaring the other suit of the same color as the reject is called "making it next"; declaring a suit of opposite color is called "crossing it." If all four players pass in the second round, the cards are gathered and shuffled, and the next dealer deals.

Once the trump is fixed, either by acceptance of the turn-up or by the naming of another suit, the turn-up is rejected, the bidding ends and play begins.

Playing Alone. If the player who fixes the trump suit believes it will be to his side's advantage to play without the help of his partner's cards, the player exercises this option by declaring "alone" distinctly at the time of making the trump. This player's partner then turns his cards face down and does not participate in the play.

Object of the Game. The goal is to win at least three tricks. If the side that fixed the trump fails to get three tricks, it is said to be "euchred." Winning all five tricks is called a "march."

The Play. The opening lead is made by the player to the dealer's left, or if this player's partner is playing alone, it is made by the player across from the dealer. If he can, each player must follow suit to a lead. If unable to follow suit, the player may trump or discard any card. A trick is won by the highest card of the suit led, or, if it contains trumps, by the highest trump. The winner of a trick leads next.

Scoring. The following table shows all scoring situations:

Partnership making trump wins 3 or 4 tricks 1

Partnership making trump wins 5 tricks 2

Lone hand wins 3 or 4 tricks 1

Lone hand wins 5 tricks 4

Partnership or lone hand is euchred, opponents score 2

Game. The first player or partnership to score 5, 7 or 10 points, as agreed beforehand, wins the game. In the 5-point game, a side is said to be "at the bridge" when it has scored four and the opponents have scored two or less.

Keeping Score with Low Card Markers. An elegant and widespread method of keeping score is with cards lower than those used in play. When game is 5 points, each side uses a three-spot and a four-spot as markers. To indicate a score of 1, the four is placed face down on the three, with one pip left exposed. For a score of 2, the three is placed face down on the four, with two pips left exposed. For a score of 3, the three is placed face up on the four. For a score of 4, the four is placed face up on the three.

Rubbers. Many Euchre games are scored by rubber points, as in Whist. The first side to win two games wins the rubber. Each game counts for the side winning; 3 rubber points if the losers' score in that game was 0 or fewer, 2 rubber points if the losers' score was 1 or 2, and 1 rubber point if the losers scored 3 or more. The winners' margin in the rubber is 2 points bonus, plus the winners' rubber points, minus the losers' rubber points.

Railroad Euchre

Railroad Euchre is the name given to any number of versions designed to speed up the scoring. Some of the features that have been added in various localities are as follows:

Joker. The joker is included and ranks as the highest trump.

Defending alone. Either opponent of a lone player may call "alone" and defend alone against the player. Euchre of a lone hand by a lone opponent counts 4.

Calling for best. A lone player or defender may discard any one card and call for his partner's best card as a replacement. The partner complies by choosing what he judges to be the most advantageous card and passes it, face down, to the lone player.

Laps. Points scored in excess of those needed to win the game are credited toward the next game.

Slam. A side is credited with two games if it reaches game before the opponents have scored a point.

Three-Hand Euchre

(Cutthroat Euchre)

This version is played like Four-Hand Euchre except that the two other hands combine in play against the player who fixes the trump. The scoring:

Maker of trump wins 3 or 4 tricks 1

Maker of trump wins 5 tricks 3

Maker of trump euchred, each opponent scores 2

In applying the laws for irregularities, the maker of trump is deemed a lone hand and the other two a partnership.

Two-Hand Euchre

The pack is reduced to 24 cards by discarding the 7s and 8s. The rules are as in the four-hand game, except that there can be no declaration of alone and the score for "march" is 2 points. Laws regarding irregularities omit penalties for errors that do not damage the opponent. For example, there is no penalty for the exposure of cards or for leading out of turn.

Auction Euchre

Number of Players. Five, six or seven people can play.

The Pack. For a five-hand game, 32 cards are used, as in Four-Hand Euchre. For six players, 36 cards are used - the usual pack with sixes added. For a seven-hand game, 52 cards are used. In each instance, the joker may be added if desired (and it will rank as the highest trump).

The Draw. The players draw cards, and the lowest card designates the first dealer. The player with the second-lowest card sits on the dealer's left, and so on.

The Deal. In five-hand and six-hand games, the deal is the same as in four-hand, except that after the first round, the dealer deals two cards face down for a widow. In a seven-hand game, each player is dealt seven cards; a round of three cards at a time, then a round of four, or vice versa. After the first round, three cards are dealt face down for a widow (or four cards if the joker is used).

The Bidding. Starting with the player on the dealer's left, each player in turn may make a bid or pass. There is only one round of bidding, and the highest bidder names the trump suit. Each bid is for a number of points, and it must be higher than the preceding bid.

The Widow. The maker of trump may take the widow into his hand and discard an equal number of cards, unless he has contracted to play without the widow.

Partners. In the five-hand game, the player who fixes the trump chooses his partners after seeing the widow. A bid of three tricks entitles him to one partner, a bid of four or five tricks, to two partners. The maker of trump may choose any player, regardless of where the player sits. The six-hand game is usually played by set partnerships of three against three, and the partners' seats alternate with their opponents'. In the seven-hand game, the maker of trump chooses partners after seeing the widow. A bid of four or five tricks entitles him to one partner; a bid of six or seven tricks, to two partners.

The Play. The play is the same as in Four-Hand Euchre.

Scoring. The following tables show the various numbers that may be bid and the obligation of each bid.

Five-Hand Euchre:

Bid Obligation

3 Maker must win 3 tricks with help of one partner.

4 Maker must win 4 tricks with help of two partners.

5 Maker must win 5 tricks with help of two partners.

8 Maker must play alone and win 5 tricks, using the widow.

15 Maker must play alone and win 5 tricks, without the widow.

Six-Hand Euchre:

Bid Obligation

3, 4, 5 Side making trump must win number of tricks named (widow taken by maker of trump).

8 Maker must play alone and win 5 tricks, using the widow.

15 Maker must play alone and win 5 tricks, without the widow.

Seven-Hand Euchre:

Bid Obligation

4, 5 Maker must win number of tricks named with help of one partner.

6, 7 Maker must win number of tricks named with help of two partners.

10 Maker must play alone and win 7 tricks, using the widow.

20 Maker must play alone and win 7 tricks, without the widow.

If the side making trump wins the number of tricks bid, it scores the value given in the table. There is no credit for winning more tricks than necessary. If the side making trump is euchred, the opponents score the value of the bid. In six-hand partnership play, only two accounts need be kept, one for each side. However, with five or seven players, the full amount to which a side is entitled is credited to each member individually.

Call-Ace Euchre

In this version for four, five or six players, partnerships are determined in secret. Trump is made as in the four-hand game by acceptance of the turn-up as trump, or declaration of another trump if the turn-up is rejected. The maker of trump calls a suit, and the holder of the best card in that suit becomes his partner, but must not reveal the fact until the card is duly played.

Cincinnati Euchre

This version of Euchre borrows from many of the other Euchre games. It is for four players - two partnerships - determined by agreement among the players. Trump is made as in Auction Euchre, by bidding.

The Pack. A standard pack is used with 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, 6s, 7s and 8s removed, or a Euchre pack is used with the 7s and 8s removed, producing a 24-card pack.

Partners. Unlike Auction Euchre, the partners are fixed for the duration of the game. Any player winning the bid plays in cooperation with his partner and all tricks taken by the partnership count toward making the bid.

The Bidding. As in Auction Euchre, the bidding starts with the player on the dealer's left, and each player in turn may make a bid or pass.
The minimum starting bid is three. There is only one round of bidding, and the highest bidder names the trump suit or notrump. Each bid must be higher than the preceding bid. If no player bids (all pass), the dealer must accept a "Force bid" of three.

If any player believes he can win all six tricks he may call "Moon." A Moon, if successful (all tricks taken), scores 12 points. If the next player also believes he can win all six tricks, he may "Double Moon"; if successful he scores 24 points. Any third player believing he can also win all tricks may "Triple Moon" and, if successful, scores 32 points. If the last player to bid is equally convinced, he may bid "Quadruple Moon"; if successful, he scores 48 points. Any Moon bid won by a player is played alone. The partner of the player with the moon bid lays his hand face down, and his hand is not played.

Any bid may be unsuccessful if the number of tricks bid are not taken. When such a bid is not made, the partners are "set" and the number of tricks bid is deducted from their score.

The Play. The play is the same as in four-hand Euchre.

Scoring. The points are equal to the number of tricks successfully taken by a partnership. The partnership which first reaches 32 points wins the game. It is possible for the partnership score to become negative. Example: If a player "Moons" and does not make the bid (six tricks), the partnership has 12 points deducted from their score. If the partnership score was zero, their score become -12 points.

NAPOLEON
(Nap)

Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
2-6 52 ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Easy - Complex
ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Luck - Skill

Napoleon is a deceptively simple bidding and trick-taking game. Although it is relatively easy compared to more sophisticated games like Bridge or Whist, what Napoleon lacks in finesse it makes up for in fast pace and player interaction. The scoring system, using chips, also lends itself well to wagering. The delightful difference of using "Wellington" and "Blucher" in the bidding refers, of course, to other famous generals of Napoleon's day; but the card game itself is said to date back only to the late 1800s - well after the French leader's death.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is used.

Rank of Cards. A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

The Draw. From a shuffled pack spread face down, each of the players draws a card. The player with the lowest card deals first, the ace ranking below the two for the draw only.

The Shuffle and Cut. The dealer has the right to shuffle last. The pack is cut by the player on the dealer's right.

The Deal. Each player receives five cards, dealt in a round of three at a time, then a round of two at a time, or first two and then three.

Bidding. Each player in turn, beginning to the dealer's left, may make one bid or pass. A bid is the number of tricks, out of five, that the player thinks he can win with a particular suit as trump. A bid of all five tricks is called Nap. (Variation: A bid of Nap can be overcalled by Wellington, and that in turn by Blucher. These latter calls are also bids to win five tricks, but incur greater penalties if the bidder fails.)

The Play. The highest bidder indicates the trump suit by making the opening lead, which must be a trump. Other players must follow suit if possible. A player who cannot follow suit may trump or discard at will. A trick is won by the highest card played of the suit led, or, if it contains a trump, by the highest trump. The winner of a trick leads next.

Scoring. There is no credit for extra tricks won either by the bidder or by the opponents beyond what was needed to make or defeat the bid. If the bidder makes the bid, he collects from all the other players. If the bidder is defeated, he pays every player.

Bid Bidder Wins Bidder Loses

Less than 5 11 for each trick 11 for each trick

Nap 10 15

Wellington 10 10

Blucher 10 20

The usual way of settling scores is to distribute an equal number of chips to all players before the game and then settle in chips after each deal.

Irregularities. Misdeal. If a misdeal is called for any of the usual causes, the same dealer redeals.

Incorrect number of cards. A player dealt the wrong number of cards must announce the error before bids or passes; otherwise he must play on with the incorrect hand. A short hand cannot win a trick on which it has no card to play. If a bidder's hand is correct and an opponent's incorrect, the bidder does not pay if he loses but collects if he wins. If the bidder's hand is incorrect and all others are correct, the bidder does not collect if he wins but pays if he loses.

Play out of turn. There is no penalty for a lead or play out of turn by bidder, but the error must be corrected on demand if noticed before the trick is completed, otherwise, it stands. If an opponent leads or plays out of turn, he must pay three chips to the bidder but collects nothing if the bidder loses.

Revoke. Failure to follow suit when possible is a revoke. If a revoke is detected and claimed before settlement for the deal, play is abandoned and settlement is made at once. A revoking bidder must pay all opponents as though he had lost. A revoking opponent must pay the bidder the full amount he would have collected had the bidder won. The other opponents pay nothing.

Pool Nap

A scoring variation is to create a "pool" (pot) of chips which is won by the first player to successfully take five tricks on a Nap bid. Each player puts in an equal number of chips to begin the pool; and thereafter, each dealer in turn adds the same number of chips each hand. The pool may be further increased by requiring a player revoking to contribute five chips, and for a lead out of turn, three chips. A player bidding Nap and failing to take five tricks must double the pool.

Peep Nap

In this version of Pool Nap, one card only is dealt to make a widow, usually on the first round. By adding one chip to the pool, any player may "peep" at this card before bidding or passing. The highest bidder may take the widow card but must discard one card to reduce his hand to five cards before play begins.

Sir Garnet

In this a popular version of Nap, an extra hand of five cards is dealt to the right of the dealer's location.

Instead of making the usual bid, each player in turn to the left may pick up the extra hand and place it with the five cards he originally had. From these ten cards, the player picks out any five and discards the others without revealing them. The player is then obliged to bid Nap, but if he fails to make the bid, that player must pay double the normal penalty.

SPOIL FIVE
(Five Fingers, Twenty-Five)

Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
5-6 (2-10) 52 ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Easy - Complex
ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Luck - Skill

First described in 1674 as "Five Fingers" (which, in this game, is a slang term for the five of trumps), Spoil Five is ancient and features elements that date back much further in time. The game's long popularity attests to its excellent play value. One variation, Twenty-Five, is a prominent game in Ireland. Yet another version, Forty-Five, is extremely popular in Nova Scotia.

Number of Players. While two to 10 people can play as individuals, the game is best for five or six.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is used.

Rank of Cards. The ace of hearts is always third-best trump. There are 13 trumps when hearts are trump, 14 when any other suit is trump. Rank of spot cards is different in red and black suits.

Rank in trump suit:

Spades and clubs: 5 (high), J, ArrayA, A, K, Q, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

Hearts: 5 (high), J, A, K, Q, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 4, 3, 2.

Diamonds: 5 (high), ArrayJ, ArrayA, ArrayA, K, Q, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 4, 3, 2.

Rank of cards in plain suits (no trump):

Spades and clubs: K (high), Q, J, A, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

Diamonds: K (high), Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A.

Hearts: K (high), Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

The rule to remember is, "Low in black, high in red." (Diagram next page)

The Shuffle and Cut. Any player shuffles the pack and deals the cards face up, one at a time to each player in rotation, beginning with the player at his left, until a jack is turned up. The player who gets the jack deals first. Thereafter, the turn to deal passes from each player to the player at his left. The dealer may shuffle last, and the player at the dealer's right cuts.

The Deal. The dealer completes the cut and deals five cards to each player clockwise - three, then two (or two, then three) in rotation, to the left, beginning with the player on his left. After the deal is completed, the next card is turned over to indicate trump.

Array

Robbing the Trump. The player holding the ace of the trump suit may exchange any card in his hand for the turned card. If the player does not choose to make this exchange, he must ask the dealer to turn down the trump card, thus announcing who holds the ace (otherwise that player's ace becomes lowest trump, even if it is the ace of hearts). If an ace is turned, the dealer may discard at once and take the ace into his hand after the first trick, or may play with his original hand, announcing
this intention.

Object of The Game. The goal is to accumulate the most chips by winning tricks.

The Play. The player on the dealer's left leads any card. Each player, in turn, must follow suit if possible, or trump. If unable to follow suit, a player may play any card.

When a lower trump is led, a player is not required to follow suit with the five or jack of trumps or the ace of hearts.

A trick containing a trump is won by the highest trump played. Any other trick is won by the highest card of the suit led. The winner of each trick leads next.

Scoring. Before every hand, players put one chip each into a pot. The pot may be taken by the first player to win three tricks in any deal. However, that player also has the option of continuing to play after winning three tricks. In that case, he must win all five tricks. If he does, that player wins the pot plus one chip from each opponent. If he does not win all five tricks, the player wins nothing, and the pot "rolls over" to the next hand.

Irregularities. Misdeal. There is a misdeal if too many or too few cards are dealt, if the dealer exposes a card in dealing, if the deal begins with an uncut pack (provided a new deal is demanded before the deal is completed), or if the dealer counts the cards on the table or in the pack. If there is a misdeal, the deal passes to the player on the original dealer's left.

Irregular hand. A hand with an incorrect number of cards is dead, and the other players continue play. However, if a player has won three tricks with an irregular hand before it is discovered, he wins the pot.

Revoke. If there is an illegal exposure of a card after any player has won two tricks, the offender's hand is dead, and he does not receive cards until the pot in progress is won. However, he must still add to the pot when other players do.

Forty-Five

This is a variation of Spoil Five for two, four (two against two), or six (three against three) players. The game is scored by points. The side taking three or four tricks scores 5 points; five tricks, 10 points. An alternative system is that each trick counts 5 points, and the score of the side taking the fewest tricks is deducted from that of the side taking the most tricks. Thus, three tricks count 5; four tricks, 15; five tricks,
25 points; 45 points is game.

Auction Forty-Fives

This variation of Spoil Five and Forty-Five is one of the most popular games in Nova Scotia. The number 45 is no longer relevant to the game.

Number of Players. Four people playing two against two as partners, or six (three against three as partners), seated alternately.

Bidding. The player on the dealer's left bids first, and the turn passes to the left. Bids are in multiples of 5 points, and the highest bid is 30. Each bid must be higher than the preceding bid except that the dealer is allowed to beat the previous bid merely by saying, "I hold"; if he does, each player who did not previously pass gets another turn, and the dealer again may take the bid without topping it. A side that has scored 100 points or more may not bid less than 20.

Discarding and Drawing. The high bidder names the trump. Then each player discards as many cards as desired, and the dealer restores the hand to five cards from the top of the pack. The player to the left of the high bidder leads first.

Scoring. Each trick won counts 5 points, and the highest trump in play counts an additional 5, making 10 points in all for the trick it wins. If the high bidder's side makes its bid, it scores all it makes; if it fails, the amount of the bid is subtracted from that side's score. The opposing side always scores whatever it wins in tricks. A bid of 30 (for all five tricks) is worth 60 if it is made, and it loses 30 if it fails. The game is won by the first side to reach 120.

AUCTION PITCH
(All-Fours, High-Low-Jack, Set Back)

Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
3-5 (2,6,7) 52 ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Easy - Complex
ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Luck - Skill

All Fours is a game of English origin and dates from the 17th century. Once known to virtually every card-playing American, it survives today, principally as Auction Pitch. It is still a popular game in the United States and has also evolved into Seven-Up, Cinch, and other games. There are many versions of Auction Pitch, and while the rules have changed greatly over the years, the essential feature has always been the scoring of high, low, jack, and the game.

Number of Players. Two to seven people can play, but the game is most often played by three to five people, with four players being the most popular number of participants. Each person plays for himself.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is used.

Rank of Cards. A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

Array

The Draw. From a shuffled pack spread face down, each player draws a card. The player with the highest card deals and has his choice of seats. His opponents may sit where they please, and in case of any question, the player with the next highest card has preference.

The Shuffle and Cut. Any player may shuffle, the dealer shuffles last, and the player to the dealer's right cuts, leaving at least five cards in each packet.

The Deal. The dealer completes the cut and deals three cards at a time clockwise, in rotation, beginning with the player to his left, until each player has six cards. After each hand, the deal passes to the left.

Object of the Game. The goal is to be the first player to reach a total of 7 points. Points are scored as follows:

High. One point for holding the highest trump in play.

Low. One point for being dealt the lowest trump in play, no matter who wins it in a trick. (Variation: In many games, Low counts for the player winning it.)

Jack. One point for winning the trick on which the jack of trumps was played.

Game. One point for winning tricks with cards scoring the greatest value, each ten counting 10 points, each ace 4, each king 3, each queen 2, each jack 1.

If the trump jack is not in play, no one counts it. If two or more players tie for game, no one counts the point for game.

The Bidding. The player on the dealer's left bids first. Each player in turn may either bid or pass. The lowest bid is two, and each successive bid must be higher than any preceding bid, except the dealer, who can bid and play for the amount of the preceding bid. However, if any player bids four, he is said to "smudge," and the bid cannot then be taken away from that player.

The Jack and the KnaveArray

Auction Pitch evolved from All Fours, an English pub game that dates back to the 17th century. It is the first game that used the term "jack," which is now the name used for the third-ranking face card in a standard 52-card pack. Previously, this card was known as the "knave." As the popularity of All Fours spread, the special role of the jack in scoring usurped the term knave. Today, the term knave has been relegated to an alternate name for jack.

The Play. The "pitcher" (highest bidder, or the dealer if he assumes the contract at the highest preceding bid) leads first. The suit of the card "pitched" indicates the trump suit. On a trump lead, each player must follow suit if possible. On any other lead, a player may either follow suit or may trump. When unable to follow suit, a player may play any card. The player of the highest trump - or the highest card of the suit led if the trick contains no trump - wins the trick and leads next.

Scoring. When all six tricks have been played, the points due each player are tabulated. Usually a score is kept with pencil and paper. Each player except the pitcher scores whatever points he makes. The pitcher scores whatever points he makes if the score at least equals the bid contract. However, if the pitcher has not scored as many points as were bid, he is "set back" by the amount of the bid - that is, the number of points bid is deducted from his score. Thus, a player may have a net minus score, which is called being "in the hole." The score for a player in the hole is indicated on the score sheet as a number with a ring around it.

The first player to reach a plus score of 7 points wins the game. The pitcher's score is counted first, so that if the pitcher and another player reach 7 points on the same hand, the pitcher wins, even if the other player has a higher total score. If two players other than the pitcher are able to reach 7 points on the same hand, the points are counted in this order: High, Low, Jack, Game.

A player who smudges and who makes the bid by winning all 4 points wins the game immediately - unless he was in the hole (in which case the smudger only receives the 4 points).

The winner of the game receives one point from each player whose score is 1 point or more, and 2 points from each player whose score is zero or minus (in the hole). (Variation: In some games, the winner receives an additional point from each player for each time that player has been set back.)

Irregularities. Misdeal. It is a misdeal if an ace, jack, or deuce is exposed during the deal. Since the deal is an advantage, a misdeal loses the deal.

Revoke (failure to follow suit or trump, when possible). A play once made cannot be withdrawn, so a revoke stands and play continues to the end. If the pitcher revokes, he cannot score and is set back the amount of his bid, while all the other players scores what that player makes. If any player except the pitcher revokes, all players except the revoker score what they make (including the pitcher, even if he does not make his bid); the revoking player cannot score and has the amount of the bid deducted from his score.

Error in bidding.A bid not higher than a previous bid, or a bid out of turn, is void, and the offender must pass.

Error in pitching. Once the pitcher plays a card, the trump cannot be changed. If a player pitches before the auction closes, he is assumed to have bid 4 and play proceeds. However, any player before the pitcher who has not had a turn to bid may himself bid 4 and pitch when it is his turn, whereupon the card illegally pitched, and any card played to it, must be withdrawn. If the wrong player pitches after the auction is closed, the pitcher may require that that card and any card played to it be withdrawn. In addition, when it is the offender's turn to play first, the pitcher may require him to play the highest or lowest card of the suit led, or to trump or not to trump. Exception: If the pitcher has played to the incorrect lead, it cannot be withdrawn and the pitcher must immediately name the trump, which he must then lead the first time he wins a trick.

Pitch

(Smudge)

One of the most popular forms of Auction Pitch, this game was formerly called Smudge. Now, it is usually called Pitch by those who play it.

This version is the same as Auction Pitch, except for the following changes: winning all 4 points in one hand constitutes a smudge by any player, whether he is the pitcher or not, and it wins the game immediately regardless of that player's previous score. The dealer is not permitted to take the contract unless he bids more than any previous bid. Low is scored by the player winning it in a trick, not necessarily by the player to whom it was dealt. In case of a misdeal, the same player deals again.

It is customary for every player to start with a score of 7. When a player is set back, the points he bid are added to his score. Points a player wins are subtracted from his score, and the first player to reach zero is the winner of the game.

Auction Pitch with a Joker

An enhanced version of Auction Pitch may be played with a 53-card pack, which includes the joker. There are 5 points in play, with the joker counting as 1 point to the player who wins it in a trick. The joker is the lowest trump in the play, but does not score for Low; that point goes to the holder of the lowest natural trump card. If the joker is pitched, it is a spade. The first player to score 10 points wins the game.

In counting points to determine the winner, the order is High, Low, Jack, Joker, Game. However, the pitcher's points are always counted first.

Sellout

In one of the popular early forms of Auction Pitch, the player on the dealer's left has the right to "sell" the right to pitch. The player on the dealer's left may either assume the contract for a bid of 4, or give each player, beginning on his left, one bid as in Auction Pitch. The player on the dealer's left may then sell to the highest bidder, in which case that player becomes the pitcher, and the player on the dealer's left immediately scores the amount of the bid; or that player may become the pitcher at the highest bid made, in which case the high bidder immediately scores the amount of the bid.

A player is not permitted to make any bid high enough to put the player on the dealer's left out if he sells, and the player on the dealer's left is required to sell if he would put the high bidder out by refusing to do so. The game is to 7 points.

CINCH
(High Five, Double Pedro)

Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
4 52 ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Easy - Complex
ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Luck - Skill

Once the most popular game of the All Fours family, Cinch eventually gave way to Auction Bridge and finally to Contract Bridge among serious card players.

Number of Players. Four people can play. Each may play for himself, but Cinch is almost always played by partners, two against two, who face each other across the table.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is used.

Rank of Cards. In trumps, the rank A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 ("Right Pedro"), 5 of same color as trumps ("Left Pedro"), 4, 3, 2. In the other two suits, the rank is A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

The Shuffle and Cut. From a shuffled pack spread face down, all players draw, and in a partnership game the two high cards play against the two low. The person with the highest card has the choice of cards and seats. Any player may shuffle; the dealer shuffles last, and the player to the dealer's right cuts, leaving at least four cards in each packet. The deal passes to the left after each hand.

The Deal. The dealer completes the cut and deals three cards at a time to each player clockwise, beginning with the player on his left until each player has nine cards.

The Bidding. The player on the dealer's left bids first, and each player has one turn to bid (or pass). Each bid must top the preceding bid. The highest possible bid is 14, which represents all the points in play.

Drawing and Discarding. The high bidder names the trump, and each player then discards all cards but trumps from his hand. The dealer gives each player in rotation enough cards to fill out each hand to six cards. Then the dealer discards and "robs" the pack - that is, he looks through the undealt cards and selects any cards there to fill out his own hand to six cards.

Each player except the dealer must discard all cards but trumps (though there is no prescribed penalty for failure to do so). If a player is forced to discard a trump, due to having seven or more trumps, he must show the discarded trump to the other players, after which the card is out of play.

A player may change his discard until he has looked at any card dealt to him in the draw, but thereafter the discard may not be changed. If he has discarded a trump, it must be shown, and then becomes a dead card. (If a scoring card is discarded in error by an opponent of the high bidder, it is later scored for the high bidder's side.)

Object of The Game. The goal is to win tricks with the scoring cards, each of which counts for the side or player winning it, as follows: High, 1; Low, 1; Jack, 1; 10 of trumps (Game), 1; each pedro, 5; making a total of 14 points.

The Play. The high bidder leads first and may lead any card. Each player must follow suit to a trump lead, if possible. If unable to follow suit, a player may play any card. On any other lead, a player may follow suit or trump, as desired. Any trick containing a trump is won by the highest trump played; any other trick is won by the highest card of the suit led.

Scoring. If the bidding side wins at least as many points as it has bid, the side with the higher count scores the difference between the two counts. Thus, either the bidding or the non-bidding side may score. If the bidding side does not make its contract, the non-bidding side scores 14 plus the number of points by which the bidding side fell short. Example: The bid is 6, and the bidding side wins 6 points, and the opponents win 8 points. The opponents score 2 points for that hand. Another example: The bid is 8, and the bidding side wins 7 points, and the opponents win 7 points; in this case, the opponents score 15 points.

Game is won by the first player or side to reach 51 points.

Irregularities. New deal. The same dealer deals again if a card is found face up in the pack; or, on demand of an opponent, if a card is dealt face up; or if the shuffle or cut was improper, provided this is noticed before the deal is completed.

Misdeal. The dealer loses the deal, which passes to the left, if he gives too many or too few cards to any player and this is discovered before the first bid is made.

Incorrect hand. A player with too few cards must play on; a player with too many cards must offer the hand, face down, and an opponent draws out the excess cards, which are shuffled back into the pack.

Bid out of turn. Neither member of the offending side may bid thereafter, but any bid previously made stands.

Lead or play out of turn. The card must be withdrawn on demand of an opponent if neither opponent has played to the trick. If a lead out of turn was made when it was the offender's partner's turn to lead, the offender's right-hand opponent may require him to lead or not to lead a trump.

Revoke. Play continues, but the offending side may not score in that hand, and if the offender is an opponent of the bidder, the bidder cannot be set.

SEVEN-UP
(All-Fours, Old Sledge)

Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
2-4 52 ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Easy - Complex
ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Luck - Skill

This is an Americanized version of All-Fours, the classic English pub game.

Number of Players. Two or three people can play, or four may play as partners, two against two.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is used.

Rank of Cards. A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

The Draw. From a shuffled pack spread face down, each player draws a card. The player drawing the highest card deals and has his choice of seats. In a partnership game, the players with the two high cards play against those with the two low cards.

The Shuffle and Cut. Any player may shuffle, the dealer shuffles last, and the player to the dealer's right cuts, leaving at least five cards in each packet.

The Deal. The dealer completes the cut and deals three cards at a time to each player clockwise, beginning with the player on the left, until each player has six cards. The next card is turned up and placed on top of the undealt cards which form the stock. If the upcard is a jack, the dealer scores 1 point immediately.

Making the Trump. If the player on the dealer's left stands, the suit of the upcard becomes trump, and that player leads first. If he "begs" (proposes to the dealer that three additional cards be dealt to each hand and that a new card be turned up as trump), the dealer may say, "Take it," whereupon the player scores one point for "gift." The gift is always awarded to the player on the dealer's left when he begs and the dealer rejects. The other alternative for the dealer is to "run the cards," accepting the beg by giving three more cards to each player and turning up another card as trump. If this new upcard is of a different suit from the first one, it becomes trump without further option; and if it is a jack, the dealer again scores 1 point. If the second card turned up is of the same suit as the first one, that card and the three cards dealt to each player are laid aside, and the dealer runs the pack again, continuing to do so until a new suit is turned up or until there are not enough cards to go around. In the latter case, there is a new deal by the same dealer.

There may also be a new deal by the same dealer if, when the second trump is turned, any player suggests "Bunch." This means that if no other player insists that the hand be played, the present deal is abandoned, and the cards are shuffled and dealt again.

If the cards have been run, once a trump is decided, each player discards enough cards, face down near himself, to bring his hand down to the original six.

Object of the Game. The goal is to be the first player to get rid of all his chips.

The Play. The player on the dealer's left leads first. Each player, in turn, must either follow suit or play a trump if possible. The winner of each trick leads next. If unable to follow suit to subsequent leads, the player may play any card, and is not required to play a trump.

Scoring. At the start of the game, each player has seven chips, and each time the player scores a point he puts one chip in the pot. In addition to the points for turn of jack and for gift, other points are scored as follows:

High. One point for being dealt the highest trump in play.

Low. One point for being dealt the lowest trump in play.

Jack. One point for winning the trick containing the jack of trumps.

Game. One point for winning in tricks the greatest total in counting cards, each ten counting 10 points, each ace 4, each king 3, each queen 2, and each jack 1. In case of a tie for game, in two-hand play, the non-dealer scores it. In three- or four-hand play, no one scores it.

The first player to get rid of all his chips wins the game. If the winner is not determined until the end of a hand, and two or more players are able to go out, the points are counted in this order: High, Low, Jack, Game. (In some games, 10 points instead of 7 constitute game.)

Irregularities. Misdeal. If the dealer gives any player an incorrect number of cards, he loses the deal, which passes to the player on his left. If the dealer exposes a card, the player to whom it is dealt may decide to let the deal stand or ask for a new deal by the same dealer.

Revoke. The offender cannot score for Jack or Game; each opponent scores 1 point if the jack is not in play and 2 points if the jack is in play.

CALIFORNIA JACK

Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
2 52 ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Easy - Complex
ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Luck - Skill

This game is a variation on the All Fours theme with the following twist: players replenish their hands from the stock after each trick, and the stock, unlike virtually all other card games, is always face up instead of face down.

Number of Players. The game is designed for two players.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is used.

Rank of Cards. A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

The Shuffle and Cut. From a shuffled pack spread face down, each player draws a card. High card deals. The dealer shuffles the cards, and the opponent cuts.

The Deal. The dealer completes the cut and distributes the cards either one or three at a time, beginning with his opponent, until each player has six cards. The remaining cards are squared and turned face up in the center of the table, serving as a stock. The top card is the trump suit for that deal.

The Play. The player on the dealer's left leads. The card led loses the trick to a higher card of the same suit or to a trump, but wins the trick otherwise. The winner of each trick leads next. The second player to each trick must either follow suit or trump, if possible. If unable to follow suit or trump, he may play any card.

The winner of each trick draws the top card of the stock, and the loser takes the next card. Since the top card of the stock is always exposed, an object of play frequently is to win or lose a trick depending on whether the player wishes to draw the top card of the stock or take a chance on what the next card will be. When the stock is exhausted, the last six cards of each player's hand are played out until all cards have been played.

Scoring. One point each is scored for taking the tricks that contain: High (ace of trumps), Low (deuce of trumps), Jack of trumps, and Game (the greatest number of points in counting cards, each ten counting 10 points, each ace 4, each king 3, each queen 2, each jack 1).

The first player to score 10 points wins the game. If both players reach 10 in the same hand, the points count in order: High, Low, Jack, Game.

Shasta Sam

Shasta Sam is the same game as California Jack, except that the stock is kept face down so that the winner of each trick does not know what card will be drawn. Before the deal, a card is cut or turned from the pack to determine the trump suit for that deal.

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Casino Games


CONTRACT BRIDGE

Virtually all the card games that are played in a casino can be played at home, though sometimes it is necessary to vary the rules slightly. The main equipment needed for home play is a large table that can seat at least six players, ample packs of playing cards, a plentiful supply of chips of different colors, and a table cloth so that cards and chips can be handled easily.

PAI-GOW POKER
(Asian Poker)
Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
2-7 53 ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Easy - Complex
ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Luck - Skill

This new and fascinating game has taken the world by storm. Technically, Pai-Gow is a variation of Poker, but everything about it is stamped "gambling casino game." Indeed, since 1986, Pai-Gow Poker has made its way into Poker parlors in California, as well as many of the big casinos in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and elsewhere. Pai-Gow Poker is even displacing tables previously used for Black Jack and Baccarat.

The game is derived from the Asian game of Pai-Gow, which is widely played in Southeast Asia, including Macao and the Philippines.

The actual game of Pai-Gow is played with domino-like black tiles. Each player receives four tiles and has to decide how to arrange them to make up two "hands" of two tiles each. Should the player go all out and try to win on both hands? Or should he play it safe and win on one hand for sure, and likely lose on the other so as to break even and avoid losing on both hands? This type of decision-making is at the heart of Pai-Gow Poker. The difference in Pai-Gow Poker is that cards are used instead of tiles, and instead of exotic Pai-Gow arrangements, Poker-hand combinations are featured.

Number of Players. Up to seven people can play: one dealer against up to six players, who play for themselves. In casino play, the dealer remains standing and the players are seated. In a home game, everyone is seated.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is used, plus a joker, which serves as a "bug." It can be used as an ace, or a fifth card needed to fill a straight, flush, or straight flush. (In Philippine casinos, the joker not only stands for an ace, but is also any J, Q, or K, too.)

In addition to the playing cards, three standard dice are required.

Object of the Game. The goal is to to form two winning Poker hands from the seven cards that are dealt: a hand of five cards, called the "back" hand, and a hand of two cards, called the "front" hand. To win the bet, both of a player's hands must beat both of the dealer's hands. If both hands lose to the dealer, the player loses the bet. If one hand wins and one hand loses, it is a standoff, and no chips are paid out or collected.

Poker Rankings. A basic knowledge of Poker is required to play Pai-Gow Poker. The hands rank as in regular Poker, from five aces down to no pair. One exception is that while A, K, Q, J, 10 is the highest straight, A, 2, 3, 4, 5 is the next highest straight, beating K, Q, J, 10, 9. This straight is often made with the joker, which is why it ranks so high. For the two-card hand, straights and flushes do not count. Thus, the highest "front" hand is a pair of aces, and the lowest is three-high (3,2); a pair of deuces ranks just ahead of A, K.

Array

Betting. The players buy chips for cash, and each makes a bet by placing one or more chips in a designated area in front of him. At the casino table, this area is a circle about the size of a coaster. The minimum and maximum bets are established by the casino, or in a home game, by all the players.

The Shuffle and Cut. The dealer shuffles the cards thoroughly and selects one player for the cut. That player separates the pack into two parts, and the dealer completes the cut.

The Deal. The dealer deals seven hands in a line in front of himself, one card at a time, face down, until seven hands of seven cards each are dealt. (In some casinos, an electronic device shuffles the cards thoroughly and deals the hands in groups of seven cards at a time until seven hands are dealt.) The remaining four cards left in the pack are counted by the dealer and then stacked face down against a clear, L-shaped plastic shield in the discard area near the dealer's racks of chips.

Positioning of the Hands. The dealer selects one of the players to throw the three dice, which are used to randomly choose which player gets which hand of seven cards. The total of the numbers on the dice determines who will get the first hand. If these numbers add up to 1, 8, or 15, the dealer gets the hand, and the player to his right gets the second, and so forth around the table, counterclockwise. If the numbers are 2, 9, or 16, the first player to the right gets the first hand, the next player gets the second hand, and so forth. If the numbers are 3, 10, or 17, the second player to the right gets the first hand, and so forth. The dealer simply counts his position as "one," the player to his right as "two," the next player as "three" and so on, to determine how the hands are distributed. If there are fewer than six players against the dealer, the absent positions still get hands, just as if players were sitting in the vacant seats, but after all the hands are distributed, any absent hands are taken away (still face down) and placed in the discards.

Sometimes a shaker is used to mix the three dice, and the dealer removes the lid on top of the shaker to reveal the three dice. (The electronic card shuffler/dealer also incorporates a random-number generator with the same odds as three dice thrown manually, and
the digital number displayed on the device similarly indicates which player will get the first hand, with the remaining hands distributed counterclockwise around the table.)

Setting the Hands. Each player picks up his hand and arranges it to make two poker hands, keeping in mind that the hand of five cards must outrank the hand of two cards. When a player is satisfied with his arrangement, he places the "back" hand (five-card hand) face down, farthest from the dealer in the vertical rectangle provided on the table's layout. The "front" hand (two-card hand) is placed face down horizontally in the horizontal rectangle, which is in front of the vertically-placed hand.

Each player at the table is responsible for setting his hands, and no one, except the dealer may touch the cards of that player. If requested by the player, the dealer may assist the player in setting his hands. Also, each player must keep the seven cards in full view of the dealer at all times. Once the player has placed his back and front hands accordingly in the vertical and horizontal rectangles, he is not permitted to touch the cards again.

Dealer's Setting. The dealer takes his cards, and spreads them face up on the table, and proceeds to make a hand of five cards and a hand of two cards. The procedure for the dealer is according to a prescribed set of rules known as "The House Ways." Often the dealer, by the rules of play, must separate two pairs, so that instead of having the "back" hand be two pairs, this hand would instead be one pair, with the lower pair being used for the "front" hand.

Settlement. With the dealer's five- and two-card hands in view of all the players, the dealer, beginning with the player to the right, exposes the front and back hands of each player and pays out or collects on each. For standoffs ("pushes"), the dealer usually knocks on the table or otherwise signals that there is no payout or collection. In that case, a player may either remove the bet he made or keep it there for the next round of play. Once all bets are settled, the dealer gathers in the cards and prepares them for the next round.

Decision-Making. Often, it is a player's strategy to split pairs, or if he is able to make a full house, to use three-of-a-kind for the back hand and the pair for the front hand. When a player has three pairs in the seven cards dealt, the correct strategy is to use the two smallest pairs to make the back hand, and the largest pair to make the front hand. For example, with two kings, two jacks, and two 7s, and a 5, most experienced players would make up the back hand of two jacks, two 7s and a 5; and the front hand of two kings. In this situation the two-pair hand is likely to be a winner no matter what it is headed by, and the little hand of two kings is virtually unbeatable.

The skill and the fun of Pai-Gow is in deciding whether to make two fairly good hands to go for a win on both, or whether to try to just make a winner out of one hand, with the second one a likely loser, so as to give the maximum chance of not losing on both hands. It is important to note, though, that the back hand must be better than the front hand. If this rule is violated, the player's hands are fouled, and the bet is automatically lost.

The Joker. The "bug" is obviously a very valuable card, as it will often help to make a straight or a flush, or a second ace for two aces, or even a third ace for three aces. Many times, having the joker will make a hand of just ace high for the front hand, which is the difference between winning and losing. Example: With a holding such as joker, Array4, Array5, Array5, Array6, Array7, Array7, a player could use the bug to make a straight (joker, 7, 6, 5, 4), but the little hand, comprised of 7, 5, would be a sure loser. A better arrangement would be to make two pairs for the big hand (7, 7, 5, 5, 4) and ace-high for the little hand (joker, 6). Now there is a good chance to win with both sets of cards.

Dealer's Edge. When a player wins, the amount paid out is the bet made, less a commission. No commission is paid to the dealer when the player loses or when there is a standoff.

The commission is one of only two advantages the dealer has. The other is that if the dealer's back or front hand exactly matches the corresponding hand of a player, the dealer wins. Thus, if both the dealer and a player have K, 8 for their little hands, the dealer's little hand prevails, just as if he had K, 9 or A, 8 or better.

Rotating Dealer. In some games, a player is allowed to "deal"-that is, he banks the game. The casino dealer still handles the cards and chips, but the player acts as the bank. He plays against the other players as well as the dealer, who acts as a player, betting the last amount that the player-banker bet on the previous hand. In some games, the chance to be dealer can occur only every other hand, and then only if one of the players is interested in banking the hand. If two or more players wish to bank, the casino dealer chooses one of them; and the other players, in turn, get the chance to bank the game later. The player as banker must have enough chips in front of him to cover all of the wagers made by the other players.

Home Game

In the home game, each player can be the banker, deal the cards, and handle payouts and collections for an agreed-upon number of deals, say, twice around the table. The next player to the dealer's right would then get the opportunity. In home play, the dealer does not get a commission when a player wins, but he does win when his back or front hand is identical with another player's.

PUSOY
(Piat-Piat, Pepito)

Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
4 (2, 3) 52 ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Easy - Complex
ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Luck - Skill

A relative of Pai-Gow Poker, this game is played in private gambling casinos in the Philippines and in one or two public casinos in Manila. Pusoy (pronounced "poo-soy") is also played in home games in both the Philippines and Hawaii. It is loaded with action and requires more skill than Pai-Gow. In fact, it is such a good game that it really deserves worldwide attention. Unlike Pai-Gow, where tied hands are frequent, in Pusoy no result between a player and dealer can end in a standoff - there is always a payoff.

Number of Players. An unusual feature of this gambling game is that it is inflexible as to the number of players - exactly four are required for casino play. Two or three persons, however, can play in a home game.

Object of the Game. A player's goal is to form two or three winning Poker hands from the 13 cards that are dealt. There is a hand of five cards, called the "back" hand, another hand of five cards, called the "middle" hand, and a hand of three cards, called the "front" hand. To win the bet, two out of three of a player's hands must beat the three hands of the dealer. If all three hands beat the dealer's three hands, the player wins double the bet. If only one hand wins, the player loses the bet. If all three hands lose to the dealer, the player loses double the bet. A loss or win of double the bet is called a "pusoy," which in the main language of the Philippines means "zero," since one side wins none of the three hands played.

Poker Rankings. A basic knowledge of Poker is needed to play Pusoy. The hands rank as in Poker, from a royal straight flush down to no pair. While A, 2, 3, 4, 5 is the second highest straight in Pai-Gow, it has no special standing in Pusoy because no joker is used. Thus, it is the lowest ranking straight. For the three-card hand, straights and flushes do not count. Thus, the highest "front" hand is three aces, and the lowest is four-high (4, 3, 2).

Betting. The players buy chips for cash, and each player bets by placing one or more chips in a designated area in front of him. The minimum and maximum bets are established by the casino, or in a home game, by all the players.

The Shuffle and Cut. In the home game, each player picks a card from a shuffled pack spread face down. The highest card deals first (Ace is highest). Thereafter, the turn to deal passes to the left. The dealer shuffles the cards thoroughly and selects one player for the cut. That player separates the deck into two packets, and the dealer completes the cut.

The Deal. The dealer deals out the entire deck out one card at a time, face down, clockwise, beginning with the player to his left. The players will have 13 cards each.

Setting the Hands. Each player picks up his hand and arranges it to make three poker hands: the "back" hand of five cards must outrank the "middle" hand of five cards, which must outrank the "front" hand of three cards. When a player is satisfied with his arrangement, he places the "back" (five-card) hand face down farthest from the center of the table. The "middle" (second five-card) hand is placed next face down, and the "front" (three-card) hand is placed closest to the table's center.

All players at the table, including the dealer, are responsible for setting their hands, and no other player may assist. Once any player has placed all three hands, he is not permitted to touch the cards again.

Settlement. When all four participants have finished setting up and placing their hands as detailed above, the dealer turns up his three hands, and the players do likewise. Beginning with the player to the left, the dealer compares that player's three hands to his own by mentioning the poker hands for each and indicating who has won two out of the three hands, or three out of three. The dealer then collects or pays off single or double accordingly. The dealer does this for the next player to the left and then for the last player. If one of the player's hands and the dealer's corresponding hand are exactly tied, the dealer wins. For example, if both the "middle" hands are A, A, 10, 9, 6, the dealer wins that hand.

Once all bets are settled, the cards are gathered by the dealer and prepared for the next round. If the deal rotates, as in the home game, the cards are collected, and handed over to the next dealer for preparation.

Decision-Making. Often it is a good strategy to split two pairs. If there is a chance to make a full house, a player should use three-of-a-kind for a five-card hand and the pair for the other five-card hand or for the three-card hand.

The skill and the fun of Pusoy is similar to Pai-Gow: Should the player make two fairly good hands and one relatively poor one? Or, should he make one outstanding hand and two fair ones to try and eke out a second winner? Or, should the player make three reasonably good hands and hope to win on two somehow, or at least not lose on all three? It is important to note, though, that the back hand must be better than the middle hand, which must be better than the front hand. If this rule is violated, the participant's hands are fouled (called "totyo" in the Philippines), and the player at fault automatically loses double the bet.

Variations. Two popular variations of Pusoy are often played, and participants should decide before the session begins whether eitheror both options will be used:

Surrender. In this variation, a player or dealer who thinks he has poor cards may concede and pay the single bet. This avoids the possibility of a "pusoy"- paying double the amount bet for losing on all three hands. If the dealer is considering surrender, he should make no sign of it until the players have indicated their intentions. Once a player has placed his three hands, it is too late to surrender. When a player does surrender, the dealer immediately collects that player's bet, and the player's cards are left unseen. When the dealer surrenders, he pays only those players who have not surrendered-that is, only those participants still in the game.

Royalties. In this delightful variation, a player who is dealt an unusually good combination may expose it before the settlement period begins and immediately win "royalties" or single the bet. The combinations that fit into this category are: a straight flush, four-of-a-kind, or six pairs. Note that the player does not have to declare royalties. Instead, he may continue to play by setting up the three poker hands and possibly earning double the bet by winning on all three.

Caribbean Stud

Based on Poker, the game of Caribbean Stud is a comparatively new casino gambling game that has been growing in popularity. It was invented by David Sklansky, a Poker expert from Las Vegas.

Number of Players. The basic game is played by up to seven players, plus the dealer, and participants are seated at a table similar to the one used for Black Jack

The Pack. The standard 52- card pack is used.

The Play. After each player makes a bet (antes), the dealer gives five cards face down, one at a time, to each player and to himself. The dealer's last card is turned face up. Each player examines his hand and has the option of either deciding to fold, forfeiting his ante, or to play, whereby he places a bet equal to the ante. No player may show his hand to another player or communicate about his hand in any other way.Array

The dealer can play only with a hand of ace, king or any pair, or better. If the dealer does not qualify, each player still in the game wins his ante, and the hand is over. If the dealer does have A, K, x, x, x or better, the game continues and each player, in turn, reveals his hand of five cards. A player wins the additional bet made if his hand is better than the dealer's. He is paid a higher amount for a hand of two-pair and higher, (see chart.)

Let It Ride Stud

This game is based on Poker, and is played in some casinos.

Number of Players. The game can be played by up to seven players, plus the dealer, at a table similar to the one used for Black Jack. The layout has three circled areas for each player, who places three equal bets.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is used.

ArrayThe Play. The dealer gives three cards to each player, face down, one at a time. Two cards are then placed face down in front of the dealer, who does not receive a hand of three cards. The players do not play against the dealer. Their objective is merely to get a good poker hand by using their three cards plus the dealer's two face-down cards. At no time may a player show his hand to any of the other players.

After looking at the three face-down cards, the player may ask for his first bet back or may elect to "let it ride." One of the dealer's face-down cards is then turned up. The player may then ask for his bet back or, again, may "let it ride." The dealer's second face-down card is now turned up, and the players expose their cards. The dealer then pays out all winning hands according to the chart above.

BLACKJACK
(Twenty-One, Vingt-et-Un)

Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
2-8 52 ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Easy - Complex
ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Luck - Skill

With the exception of Poker, Blackjack is the most popular gambling card game. Equally well known as Twenty-One, the rules are simple, the play is thrilling, and there is opportunity for high strategy. In fact, for the expert player who mathematically plays a perfect game and is able to count cards, the odds are sometimes in that player's favor to win. But even for the casual participant who plays a reasonably good game, the casino odds are less, making Blackjack one of the most attractive casino games for the player.

While the popularity of Blackjack dates from World War I, its roots go back to the 1760s in France, where it is called Vingt-et-Un (French for 21). Today, Blackjack is the one card game that can be found in every American gambling casino. As a popular home game, it is played with slightly different rules. In the casino version, the house is the dealer (a "permanent bank"). In the home game, all of the players have the opportunity to be the dealer (a "changing bank").

Blackjack with a Permanent Bank

Number of Players. Up to eight people can play. The dealer plays against up to seven players who play for themselves. In casino play, the dealer remains standing, and the players are seated. The dealer is in charge of running all aspects of the game, from shuffling and dealing the cards to handling all bets.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is used, but in most casinos several decks of cards are shuffled together. The six-deck game (312 cards) is the most popular. In addition, the dealer uses a blank plastic card, which is never dealt, but is placed toward the bottom of the pack to indicate when it will be time for the cards to be reshuffled. When four or more decks are used, they are dealt from a shoe (a wooden box that allows the dealer to remove cards one at a time, face down, without actually holding one or more packs).

The Layout. The casino Blackjack table is semicircular. There is ample space for each player to keep his chips. On the green felt surface of the table each player has a circular area about the size of a coaster for placing a bet. There is another rectangular area for each player, where the dealer places the cards as they are dealt.

Object of the Game. Counting any ace as 1 or 11, as a player wishes, any face card as 10, and any other card at its pip value, each participant attempts to beat the dealer by getting a count as close to 21 as possible, without going over 21.

The Shuffle and Cut. The dealer thoroughly shuffles portions of the pack until all the cards have been mixed and combined. He designates one of the players to cut, and the plastic insert card is placed so that the last 60 to 75 cards or so will not be used. (Not dealing to the bottom of all the cards makes it more difficult for professional card counters to operate effectively.)

Betting. Before the deal begins, each player places a bet, in chips, in front of him in the designated area. Minimum and maximum limits are established on the betting, and the general limits are from $2 to $500.

The Deal. When all the players have placed their bets, the dealer gives one card face up to each player in rotation clockwise, and then one card face up to himself. Another round of cards is then dealt face up to each player, but the dealer takes his second card face down. Thus, each player except the dealer receives two cards face up, and the dealer receives one card face up and one card face down. (In some games, played with only one deck, the players' cards are dealt face down and they get to hold them. Today, however, virtually all Blackjack games feature the players' cards dealt face up on the condition that no player may touch any cards.)

Naturals. If a player's first two cards are an ace and a "ten-card" (a picture card or 10), giving him a count of 21 in two cards, this is a natural or "blackjack." If any player has a natural and the dealer does not, the dealer immediately pays that player one and a half times the amount of his bet. If the dealer has a natural, he immediately collects the bets of all players who do not have naturals, (but no additional amount). If the dealer and another player both have naturals, the bet of that player is a stand-off (a tie), and the player takes back his chips.

If the dealer's face-up card is a ten-card or an ace, he looks at his face-down card to see if the two cards make a natural. If the face-up card is not a ten-card or an ace, he does not look at the face-down card until it is the dealer's turn to play.

Drawing. The player to the left goes first and must decide whether to "stand" (not ask for another card) or "hit" (ask for another card in an attempt to get closer to a count of 21, or even hit 21 exactly). Thus, a player may stand on the two cards originally dealt him, or he may ask the dealer for additional cards, one at a time, until he either decides to stand on the total (if it is 21 or under), or goes "bust" (if it is over 21). In the latter case, the player loses and the dealer collects the bet wagered. The dealer then turns to the next player to his left and serves him in the same manner.

The combination of an ace with a card other than a ten-card is known as a "soft hand," because the player can count the ace as a 1 or 11, and either draw cards or not. For example with a "soft 17" (an ace and a 6), the total is 7 or 17. While a count of 17 is a good hand, the player may wish to draw for a higher total. If the draw creates a bust hand by counting the ace as an 11, the player simply counts the ace as a 1 and continues playing by standing or "hitting" (asking the dealer for additional cards, one at a time).

Dealer's Play. When the dealer has served every player, his face-down card is turned up. If the total is 17 or more, he must stand. If the total is 16 or under, he must take a card. He must continue to take cards until the total is 17 or more, at which point the dealer must stand. If the dealer has an ace, and counting it as 11 would bring his total to 17 or more (but not over 21), he must count the ace as 11 and stand. The dealer's decisions, then, are automatic on all plays, whereas the player always has the option of taking one or more cards.

Signaling Intentions. When a player's turn comes, he can say "Hit" or can signal for a card by scratching the table with a finger or two in a motion toward himself, or he can wave his hand in the same motion that would say to someone "Come here!" When the player decides to stand, he can say "Stand" or "No more," or can signal this intention by moving his hand sideways, palm down and just above the table.

Settlement. A bet once paid and collected is never returned. Thus, one key advantage to the dealer is that the player goes first. If the player goes bust, he has already lost his wager, even if the dealer goes bust as well. If the dealer goes over 21, he pays each player who has stood the amount of that player's bet. If the dealer stands at 21 or less, he pays the bet of any player having a higher total (not exceeding 21) and collects the bet of any player having a lower total. If there is a stand-off (a player having the same total as the dealer), no chips are paid out or collected.

Reshuffling. When each player's bet is settled, the dealer gathers in that player's cards and places them face up at the side against a clear plastic L-shaped shield. The dealer continues to deal from the shoe until he comes to the plastic insert card, which indicates that it is time to reshuffle. Once that round of play is over, the dealer shuffles all the cards, prepares them for the cut, places the cards in the shoe, and the game continues.

Splitting Pairs. If a player's first two cards are of the same denomination, such as two jacks or two sixes, he may choose to treat them as two separate hands when his turn comes around. The amount of his original bet then goes on one of the cards, and an equal amount must be placed as a bet on the other card. The player first plays the hand to his left by standing or hitting one or more times; only then is the hand to the right played. The two hands are thus treated separately, and the dealer settles with each on its own merits. With a pair of aces, the player is given one card for each ace and may not draw again. Also, if a ten-card is dealt to one of these aces, the payoff is equal to the bet (not one and one-half to one, as with a blackjack at any other time).

Doubling Down. Another option open to the player is doubling his bet when the original two cards dealt total 9, 10, or 11. When the player's turn comes, he places a bet equal to the original bet, and the dealer gives him just one card, which is placed face down and is not turned up until the bets are settled at the end of the hand. With two fives, the player may split a pair, double down, or just play the hand in the regular way. Note that the dealer does not have the option of splitting or doubling down.

Insurance. When the dealer's face-up card is an ace, any of the players may make a side bet of up to half the original bet that the dealer's face-down card is a ten-card, and thus a black jack for the house. Once all such side bets are placed, the dealer looks at his hole card. If it is a ten-card, it is turned up, and those players who have made the insurance bet win and are paid double the amount of their half-bet - a 2 to 1 payoff. When a blackjack occurs for the dealer, of course, the hand is over, and the players' main bets are collected - unless a player also has blackjack, in which case it is a stand-off. Insurance is invariably not a good proposition for the player, unless he is quite sure that there are an unusually high number of ten-cards still left undealt.

ArrayCARD COUNTING TO THE LIMIT

Many years ago, when dealers did not shuffle the cards until the pack ran out, there is a story ? how true it is no one knows for sure ? of a brilliant Blackjack player who, counted all the cards perfectly until there were just four left. On this particular hand, only he and the dealer were left, and the player had a king and a queen for a total of 20. The dealer’s upcard was a 10, and the player knew that the remaining four cards plus the dealer’s hole card were comprised of three aces and two ten-cards. Since the dealer, after looking at his hole card, did not reveal that he had a blackjack, the player knew for sure that he must have one of the ten-cards, and thus a total of 20. Throwing all caution to the wind, the card counter asked for a hit, and an ace was turned up. That was enough for the player, who was paid off. The pit boss was then summoned, and the expert player was politely asked to leave. It is not often that a player with 20 on the first two cards takes a hit!

Basic Strategy

Winning tactics in Blackjack require that the player play each hand in the optimum way, and such strategy always takes into account what the dealer's upcard is. When the dealer's upcard is a good one, a 7, 8, 9, 10-card, or ace for example, the player should not stop drawing until a total of 17 or more is reached. When the dealer's upcard is a poor one, 4, 5, or 6, the player should stop drawing as soon as he gets a total of 12 or higher. The strategy here is never to take a card if there is any chance of going bust. The desire with this poor holding is to let the dealer hit and hopefully go over 21. Finally, when the dealer's up card is a fair one, 2 or 3, the player should stop with a total of 13 or higher.

With a soft hand, the general strategy is to keep hitting until a total of at least 18 is reached. Thus, with a an ace and a six (7 or 17), the player would not stop at 17, but would hit.

The basic strategy for doubling down is as follows: With a total of 11, the player should always double down. With a total of 10, he should double down unless the dealer shows a ten-card or an ace. With a total of 9, he should double down only if the dealer's card is fair or poor (2 through 6).

For splitting, the player should always split a pair of aces or 8s; identical ten-cards should not be split, and neither should a pair of 5s, since two 5s are a total of 10, which can be used more effectively in doubling down. A pair of 4s should not be split either, as a total of 8 is a good number to draw to. Generally, 2s, 3s, or 7s can be split unless the dealer has an 8, 9, ten-card, or ace. Finally, 6s should not be split unless the dealer's card is poor (2 through 6).

Blackjack with a Changing Bank
("Pontoon")

With a few variations in the rules, Blackjack can be a wonderfully entertaining game to play at home. The objective is the same as in the casino version: to get 21 or as close to it as possible. Depending on the region, there are a number of Pontoon versions, but in all of them, every player gets the opportunity to be the dealer.

Number of Players. While two to 14 people can play, the game is best for up to seven participants.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is used. (A single pack is always used.) As in the casino game, an ace is worth 1 or 11 at the holder's option, and any face card is worth 10. All other cards count their pip value.

Determining First Banker. Any player picks up the pack and deals the cards in rotation, face up, until a jack of spades or jack of clubs falls to one of the players. That player becomes the first dealer.

The Shuffle and Cut. The dealer shuffles the pack, and any other player may cut. The dealer then turns up the top card of the pack, shows it to all players, and places it face up, at the bottom of the pack. This is called "burning a card." After each hand, the discards are gathered up and placed face up under the burned card. When the burned card is reached during a deal, there is a new shuffle and cut before the game continues.

Betting. Each player places a bet, which may not be less than one chip nor more than the betting limit established for the game, usually no more than five chips.

Dealing. The dealer gives one card face down to each player in rotation, including himself. He then deals a second round of cards face up in the same order.

Naturals. If the dealer has a natural (ace, and face card or ten), every player pays him double the amount of his bet. If the dealer and a player both have naturals, the player pays just the amount of his bet, not double. When a player has a natural and the dealer does not, the dealer pays that player double the amount of his bet.

Drawing Cards. When the dealer does not have a blackjack, he starts with the player to the left and gives each player in turn as many cards as that player requests, one at a time, until that player goes over 21 and pays, or stands. If a player goes bust, he declares so and turns up the hole card. The dealer collects the bet that was made.

When all players have stood or gone bust, the dealer turns up his face-down card and may draw cards until he wishes to stand. The dealer is not bound by the rules to stand on or draw to any total. If the dealer goes over 21, he pays all players who have stood. If the dealer stands on a total of 21 or less, he pays all players who stood with a higher total and collects from all players who stood with a lower total or the same total - "ties pay the dealer."

As in the casino game, a player against the dealer may split a pair or double down, and the dealer does not have this option.

Bonus Payment. Any player who forms one of the following combinations collects immediately from the dealer, and cannot later lose the bet he made, even if the dealer has a higher total:

A player who has five cards that total 21 or under (often called a "Five-Card Charlie"), collects double the bet made. With six cards totaling 21 or under, he collects four times the bet made, and so on, doubling for each additional card.

A player who makes 21 with three 7s receives triple the amount of the bet made.

A player who makes 21 with an 8, 7, and 6 receives double the amount of the bet made.

The dealer does not collect more than the amount of the players' bets for making any one of these combinations, nor does he necessarily win with five or more cards that total 21 or under.

Changing the Bank. The player who is the dealer continues in that capacity until another player is dealt a blackjack and the dealer has no natural. When this happens, the player who had the natural becomes the next dealer, after all bets in the current deal have been settled. If two or more players have naturals and the dealer has none, the one nearest the dealer's left becomes the next dealer. A player entitled to deal may, if he wishes, give or sell the privilege to another player.

RED DOG
(High-Card Pool)

Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
2-10 52 ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Easy - Complex
ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Luck - Skill

A gambling game that depends a lot on luck, Red Dog is not popular in casino play, but is often played at home just for fun - the stakes are meaningless. Note: The game below should not be confused with In-Between or Acey-Deucey, which is often called Red Dog, and which is described in the next section.

Number of Players. From two to 10 people can play.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is used.

Rank of Cards. A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

Object of the Game. The goal is to be the player with the most chips at the end of the game.

The Ante. Chips are distributed to the players, and each player places one chip in the center of the table to form a pool or pot.

The Draw. Any player deals the cards one at a time, face up, to the players in turn and the player with the highest card deals first.

The Shuffle, Cut and Deal. Any player may shuffle, the dealer shuffles last, and the player to the dealer's right cuts the cards. The dealer gives five cards, one at a time, face down, to each player in turn, beginning with the player on his left. (Some deal only four cards to a player. This is necessary if there are more than eight players.)

The Betting. After looking at his cards, the player on the dealer's left may bet any number of chips up to the number of chips in the pot at the time. A player who does not wish to bet may forfeit one chip to the pot. No bet may exceed the number of chips already in the pot.

When the player has placed his bet, the dealer turns up the top card from the remainder of the pack. If the player who bet has a card of the same suit and of higher rank, he shows the card and takes back the amount of his bet, plus an equivalent amount from the pot. If he has no card that beats the card shown, he must show his entire hand, and the amount of his bet is added to the pot. The next player in turn then places a bet, another card is turned, and the same procedure is followed until all players, including the dealer, have bet.

If at any time the pot has no more chips in it (because a player has "bet the pot" and won), each player again puts in one chip to restore
the pot.

When every player has had a chance to bet, the turn to deal passes to the player on the dealer's left.

IN-BETWEEN
(Acey-Deucey, Red Dog)

Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
2-10 52 ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Easy - Complex
ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Luck - Skill

The game of In-Between or Acey-Deucey is often referred to as Red Dog, but its rules are very different from the Red Dog game previously described. In-Between is not very popular at casinos, but is often played in home Poker games as a break from Poker itself. The rules below are for the home game, which is easily adaptable for casino play.

Number of Players. From two to 10 people can play.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is used.

Rank of Cards. A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

Object of the Game. The goal is to be the player with the most chips at the end of the game.

The Ante. Chips are distributed to the players, and each players puts one chip in the center of the table to form a pool or pot.

The Draw. Any player deals one card face up, to each player in turn, and the player with the highest card deals first.

The Shuffle, Cut, and Deal. Any player may shuffle, and the dealer shuffles last. The player to the dealer's right cuts the cards. The dealer turns up two cards and places them in the middle of the table, positioning them so that there is ample room for a third card to fit
in between.

The Betting. The player on the dealer's left may bet up to the entire pot or any portion of the number of chips in the pot, but he must always bet a minimum of one chip. When the player has placed a bet, the dealer turns up the top card from the pack and places it between the two cards already face up. If the card ranks between the two cards already face up, the player wins and takes back the amount of his bet plus an equivalent amount from the pot. If the third card is not between the face-up cards, or is of the same rank as either of them, the player loses his bet, and it is added to the pot. If the two face-up cards up are consecutive, the player automatically loses, and a third card need not be turned up. If the two face-up cards are the same, the player wins two chips and, again, no third card is turned up. (In some games, the player is paid three chips when this occurs.)

"Acey-Deucey" (ace, 2) is the best combination, and a player tends to bet the whole pot, if he can. This is because the only way an ace-deuce combination can lose is if the third card turned up is also an ace or a deuce.

After the first player has finished, the dealer clears away the cards and places them face down in a pile. The next player then places a bet, and the dealer repeats the same procedure until all the players, including the dealer, have had a turn.

If at any time, the pot has no more chips in it (because a player has "bet the pot" and won), each player again puts in one chip to restore
the pot.

When every player has had a turn to bet, the deal passes to the player on the dealer's left, and the game continues.

BACCARAT
(Punto Banco)

Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
2-12 416 ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Easy - Complex
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Luck - Skill

Baccarat was once one of the most often-played games in French casinos. Today, it has almost been replaced by Chemin de Fer which is an offspring.

Perhaps the most glamorous of all casino games, Baccarat's trappings are what made it so popular. The lure of the game? It requires no skill - it is a game of pure luck! Baccarat is played for very high stakes, and the gaming table for it is placed in a special alcove, blocked off from the masses and the rest of the casino action. Also, in American casinos, Baccarat tends to be played with real cash- lots of $100-bills are spread all around. European casinos use chips, but the high-denomination chips are oblong "plaques," which make the game look just as exciting as the American version when they are stacked in front of a winning player.

Number of Players. From two to 12 people can play.

The Pack. Eight 52-card packs are shuffled together and dealt by the croupier (dealer) from a dealing box, called a shoe, which releases one card at a time, face down. In some games, six packs are used.

The Layout. The very large Baccarat table has 12 seats, six on either side of the dealer, who only banks the game and does not otherwise participate. Green felt covers the entire table, and the numbers 1 to 12 are marked on it. These numbered areas are where the players keep their money (or chips, as the case may be). A player may bet on the Bank or the Player, and the layout indicates where such bets are placed. Baccarat is known in some areas as Punto Banco. The only difference is that the word "Bank" is replaced by "Banco," and the word "Player" is replaced by "Punto."

While in most casino games, the dealer stands, in Baccarat, the dealer is seated between players "1" and "12."

Array

Object of the Game. The participants attempt to form, in two or three cards, a combination as close to 9 as possible. Face cards and 10s count zero. Aces count 1, and other cards count their pip value. Counts of 10 are disregarded in the total; thus, a 5 and a 6, totaling 11, count merely as 1.

The Deal. The dealer (or croupier) prepares the cards by thoroughly shuffling them and, after they are cut by any player, places them in the shoe. While the dealer does not participate in the game, he assists the players in making and settling their bets, and advises them on proper procedure. The shoe usually starts with the player in seat No. 1, who is the first to act as the Bank.

When all bets are placed, the player acting as the Bank distributes two cards face down, alternately, to the player who made the largest bet and to himself. The procedure for looking at, announcing, and displaying the hands is somewhat elaborate, but this only adds to the mystique of the game. The player making the largest bet faces the two cards and passes them back to the dealer, who announces the total. The hand is placed on the section of the layout marked "Player Hand." The Banker then faces his hand and passes the cards to the dealer, who announces this total as well and displays the cards on the position marked "Bank Hand."

Naturals. If either participant has a count of 8 or 9 in his first two cards, it is a natural. If only the player acting as Bank has a natural, all participants who bet on the Bank hand win. If only his opponent has a natural, the player acting as Bank pays all bets that were placed on the Player hand. A natural 9 beats a natural 8. Two naturals of the same number are a stand-off, in which case all bets are withdrawn, and the next deal begins.

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Rules of Drawing.
If neither the player acting as Bank, nor his opponent has a natural, then either stands or draws one card only, according to the chart below. Note that the rules for standing or drawing are inflexible.

The Player goes first, and if, according to the chart, the Player must draw, the Bank deals a third card face up, which is placed alongside the two other cards that were originally dealt. If the Bank must draw, the third card is placed alongside the Bank's original two cards. The dealer then announces the result, such as "Bank wins 7 against 3," and settles all the bets. If the Bank is nearer 9 than the Player, those who bet on the Bank win. If the Player is nearer 9, those who bet on the Player win. If the two hands have the same total, all bets are a stand-off and are withdrawn. (When either player has a natural, the hand is always over, and the other side does not get to draw a card.)

Note that a hand can become much less favorable in the draw. To illustrate: Having a total of 3 and drawing a 7 would give a total of zero, (because counts of 10 are disregarded. This is called a "baccarat," and is the worst of all hand possibilities.)

House Edge. Winning bets on the Player are paid out at even money, but on winning Bank bets, the house takes a commission of five per cent, which is how the casino makes its profit. The cut for the house is traditionally taken out at the end of the shoe, which can comprise many rounds of play. However, if a player retires from the game, he must settle with the house at that time. Small boxes in the middle of the layout are for tokens that show how much each player owes on winning Bank hands.

The actual edge for betting on the Bank is just slightly above five per cent, so whether the participant bets on the Player or the Bank, the game is still a fairly even one.

CHEMIN DE FER

Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
2-8 416 ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Easy - Complex
ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Luck - Skill

Chemin de Fer (which literally means "railroad" in French) is a variation of Baccarat. The main difference is that there is some decision-making involved for the participants. The scoring of the cards is the same as in Baccarat, but the chart governing the game is different in that there are three situations (as noted in the chart below) when there is an option of whether to draw or stand.

Number of Players. From two to eight people can play.

The Pack. Eight standard 52-card packs are shuffled together and placed in a dealing box called a "shoe" which releases one card at a time, face down.

In addition to the three options for standing or drawing, the distinctive feature of Chemin de Fer is that the players bet against each other, as opposed to Baccarat, where it makes little difference whether a player backs the Player hand or the Bank hand. Thus, in Chemin de Fer, the player acting as the Bank, in dealing out the cards from the shoe, is actually the banker - that is, the amount he puts up governs how much the other players can wager against him. If one or two players match this amount, the remaining players do not get to bet for that round.

As in Baccarat, the casino makes its profit by taking five per cent from all winning Bank hands. This cut for the house is taken out immediately, rather than at the end of the shoe.

The Layout. Usually up to eight people play, though in some games, the number can go up to nine or even 12. A game is normally not begun until there are five or six players available. In the middle of the French layout is a square marked "Banque," which is for the banker's bet, if any. Another square marked "Reliquat" is for that part of the banker's bet (if any) that is not covered by all the other players.

Banking the Game. The player to the right of the dealer (or croupier) is the first banker and places the number of chips he is prepared to wager in front of him. Any player who wants to bet against this player calls out, "Banco!" and matches the same amount. If there is more than one such challenger, priority is given to the player nearer to the dealer's right. If no one calls, "Banco!" two or more players may cover parts of the Bank, and the player placing the most money down gets the privilege of playing the hand. (There are other features of betting that are very detailed and which are played primarily in the European game.)

The Deal. As in Baccarat, two cards are dealt face down, one at a time, to the player and the banker. If the player has a natural (a total of 8 or 9), he turns over the cards immediately. If the player must draw a card, or with a total of 5 chooses to do so, he says, "Carte," but does not turn over the two initial cards. since exposing the cards would be to the dealer's advantage. The third card, though, is dealt face up for the players or for the dealer, whenever such a card is drawn.

Object of the Game. The goal is to form, in two or three cards, a combination that counts as close to 9 as possible. Face cards and 10s count 10 or zero, aces count 1, and other cards their pip value. Tens are disregarded in the total, thus, a 5 and a 6, totaling 11, counts as 1.

If a player has a count of 8 or 9 in his first two cards, he has a "natural," and shows his hand immediately. If only the dealer has a natural, the dealer wins all the bets. If only the opponent has a natural, the dealer pays all the bets. A natural 9 beats a natural 8. Two naturals of the same number are a stand-off. When this happens, cards are tossed in, all bets are withdrawn, and players place their bets for the next deal (called a "coup").

If neither the dealer nor his opponent has a natural, the opponent, according to the chart, may receive a third card, which is dealt face up. The dealer, also according to the chart, may draw a third card face up. (Variation: In some games, the dealer and any player who bancos are allowed to use their own judgment as to whether or not to draw a third card, regardless of mathematical advisability.)

When both players have stood or withdrawn, all cards are shown. If the dealer is nearer 9 than his opponent, he collects all the bets. If his opponent is nearer 9, the dealer pays all the bets. If the dealer and his opponent have the same total, all bets are a stand-off and are withdrawn.

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Changing the Bank. Once the house settles all wagers, the next coup (deal) begins. The dealer remains dealer as long as he wins or has a stand-off. When he loses a coup, the player to his left becomes the dealer.

The new dealer announces the amount of his bank, bets are placed, and the deal continues as before. The cards are not removed from the shoe and reshuffled until only a few cards are left in it.

FARO

Number of Players Number of Cards Game Play Skill Level
2-20+ 52 ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Easy - Complex
ArrayArrayArrayArrayArray
Luck - Skill

Faro is a very old card game. Introduced in France in the court of King Louis XIV, its name is derived from the picture of an Egyptian Pharaoh on one of the cards in the French deck. It was once the most widely played gambling game in England. Faro was also very popular in America, and during the 19th century, many referred to it as "the national card game." It is of historical interest to note that during the Civil War era there were more than 150 gambling houses in Washington D.C., and Faro was the principal attraction at every one of them. Today, with the advent of Black Jack and the dice game called Craps, Faro has almost vanished from casinos except in Nevada.

Number of Players. Any number of people can play. All bets are placed against the dealer (banker). The banker is usually selected by auction - that is, the player who agrees to put up the largest stake as the amount of his bank, becomes the banker.

The Pack. The standard 52-card pack is used, plus 13 spades from another pack which are used for the layout.

The Layout. The complete spade suit, either pasted to a board or enameled on felt, is placed on a table. Players indicate their bets by placing chips on any card on the layout. (The spade suit is selected arbitrarily-all suits are equivalent; only the ranks of the cards are relevant.)

The Deal. The cards are shuffled by the dealer and cut by any player. After bets have been placed against the dealer (banker), as described below, the dealer turns up the top card of the pack and places it to his left. This card is called "soda" and has no bearing on bets. The dealer then turns up the next card and places it face up on his right. He then turns up a third card and places it on top of soda, to his left. The dealing of these three cards constitutes a turn.

Betting. The first card turned up in any turn (except soda) always loses. The second card wins. Before the turn begins, the players may place their bets on cards in the layout. Chips placed on any card are a bet that the card will win unless a copper (penny or similar disc) is put on top of the chips. In this case, the player is betting that the card will lose. Any bet is settled the next time that a card of the indicated rank is turned up. For example: A player puts a chip on the Array6 in the layout. The dealer turns up two cards, neither of which is a six, so the player's bet remains on the layout, unsettled. But on the next turn, the first card turned by dealer is the Array6; this means that the six loses, and the dealer takes the player's bet. If the player had bet on the six to lose (by coppering his bet), the dealer would have paid him; or if the Array6 had been the second card in that turn, instead of the first, the player would have won.

After each turn, all bets settled at that turn are paid and collected. Other bets remain on the layout or may be withdrawn, and new bets may be placed. In many regions, other types of bets are permitted.

As the deal progresses, all the cards that lose form one pile, and all cards that win form another pile.

Splits. If two cards of the same rank come up on the same turn, so that a bet on that rank both wins and loses, it is called a split, and the dealer takes half of all bets on that rank. This is the dealer's only advantage in the game.

Calling the Turn. A record of all cards turned is kept on a "casekeeper" which is similar to an abacus. Each spindle has four counters which are moved when each of the four cards of a denomination (ace through king) are played. By using a casekeeper, players always know which cards remain undealt. When only three cards remain, a player may bet on the exact order in which those cards will come up, and the dealer pays off the player's bet at 4 to 1 if he is correct. This is referred to as "calling the turn." There are six ways in which the cards may come up, so the actual odds against the player are 5 to 1. If two of the last three cards are a pair, it is called a "cat-hop," and the dealer pays only 2 to 1.

Stuss

The rules are the same as for Faro, except there are no elaborate side bets and no soda card. The dealer simply turns up two cards at each turn. Also, when there is a split, the dealer receives the full amount of the bet, rather than half.

Trente et Quarante

This game is popular at the famous casino in Monte Carlo. Trente et Quarante (which means 30 and 40 in French) is also played in Nice, on the French Riviera.

Number of Players. Any number of people can play, though more than 20 participants at the table can get somewhat cumbersome. Usually, a casino will open up another table when there are more than 20 players.

The Pack. Six packs of the standard 52-card pack are used. These are shuffled together.

The Play. The croupier (dealer) always deals. Any one of the players cuts the cards after the croupier has prepared them, and then the croupier places the cards in a shoe (dealing box). Before the deal begins, a player may bet on "rouge" (red), "noir" (black), "couleur" (color) or "inverse" (reverse).

Aces count 1, face cards count 10, and all other cards are equal to their pip value. Once the bets have been made, the croupier lays out a row of cards, announcing the cumulative total as each card is dealt, until the total hits 31 or more. This row of cards represents "noir." Below the first row, a second row is then dealt in the same way, and represents "rouge."

Settling. A bet on noir or rouge wins if the row of that designation counts nearer to 31. A bet on "couleur" wins if the first card dealt in a rouge or noir row is of the color designating that row. For example, a diamond is dealt first for the rouge row. If this first card is of the alternative color, the "inverse" bet wins.

When both rows total the same number, it is a "refait" or stand-off, and all bets are called off. However, when the same number for each row is 31, the house takes half of all the bets that have been made; this represents the house advantage, which is only a little more than one per cent because a refait of 31 occurs only about once in 40 coups (deals).

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큰 베팅과 빠른 진행 때문에 카지노 게임들 중 가장 큰 도박이라 할 수 있는 바카라(baccarat)는 끝 자리 숫자를 겨루는 게임이라는 점에서 우리나라의 섯다(땡과 족보를 뺀)와 비슷하다.
바카라에서 카드들의 값은 A는 1, J, Q, K는 0, 나머지는 카드에 적혀진 숫자이고, 두 장 또는 세 장으로 구성된 바카라 패의 점수는 패의 카드값들을 모두 더한 것인데 그 합이 두 자리 수인 경우에는 1자리(오른 쪽)숫자만을 택한다. 예를 들어 패의 카드가 9, 4, 8이라면 이 패의 합은 21, 점수는 1이다.
미국 카지노의 바카라는 플레이어(Player)와 뱅커(Banker)라 불리는, 자칫 그 의미를 헷갈리기 쉬운, 두 패만을 사용하는데, 손님들은 매판 아무 쪽에나 베팅할 수 있다. 이 게임은 딜러 또는 아무나 원하는 손님이 각 패에 카드 두 장씩을 나누어 주는 것으로 시작된다. 처음 두장이 8이나 9이면 내츄럴(natural)이라 부르고, (007 영화에서 주인공 본드가 늘 잡는) 내추럴 9가 바카라에서 가장 좋은 패이다.
처음 시작 후 내추럴이 있으면 점수를 비교해 판을 끝내고, 두 패 모두 내추럴이 아니면 플레이어부터 세번째 카드를 받을 것인지가 규칙에 따라 결정된다. 플레이어 패는 다음 세 경우로 나뉜다.
① 9 또는 8-내추럴,
② 7 또는 6-카드를 안받는다,
③ 5 이하 -카드를 받는다. 뱅커의 경우는 조금 더 복잡하고 알 필요도 없어 설명을 생략한다.
바카라는 이탈리아의 펠릭스 팔기에르(Felix Falguiere)라는 한 도박꾼이 고대 로마의 한 전설을 바탕으로 고안했다. 이 전설에 의하면, 아홉명의 신들이 금발 머리를 딴 처녀에게 아홉 면이 있는 주사위를 던지게하고, 그 결과에 따라 그녀의 운명을 다음과 같이 결정했다고 한다.
① 8이나 9가 나오면 그녀는 성직녀가 되고,
② 6이나 7이 나오면 성녀의 전제 조건인 순결을 상실하고,
③ 5 이하가 나오면 조용히 바다 속으로 들어가 사라지게 한다.
이 표현은 문헌을 직역한 것인데 아마도 죽음을 뜻한 듯 싶다. (필자와 같이 처녀의 죽음을 안타까와 하는 독자들을 위해 정다면체는 4, 6, 8, 12,20의 다섯 종류 밖에 없으므로 9면 주사위의 각 면이 나올 확률이 1/9가 아니라는 것을 지적하고 싶다. 따라서 처녀가 죽을 확률은 이 주사위의 모양에 따라 5/9보다 적을 수도있다.).
이 전설은 고대 로마가 에트루리아(Etruria)라는 나라의 지배를 받고 있던 약 2600년 전의 것인데, 이 나라의 흥미로운 문화 한 가지를 빼 놓을 수없다. 이 나라에서는 여인들에게 그들의 아름다움을 가꾸도록 적극 권장했고, 이때문인지 이 나라에는 미녀가 많은 것으로 잘 알려져있다. 또한 여인들이 자신들에게 가장 적합한 배우자를 선택할 수 있도록 결혼 전까지는 매춘도 허락되었다고 하니 아무리 옛날이라고는 하나 선(?) 보는 방법이 대단히 야했다 하겠다.
바카라는 15세기 말에 프랑스에 소개되어 귀족들 사이에 널리 유행되었다.
이것이 바카라가 고급 도박의 대명사로 간주되는 이유가 아닌가 싶다. 미국 카지노에서는 이 게임을 1920년 경부터 시작했다.
카지노에서 바카라의 특징은 구경꾼들이 바카라 테이블에 가까이 갈 수 없다는 것이다. 이유는 바카라 테이블에서 거액의 현금이 (금발 처녀의 목숨과는 비교가 안 되지만) 오가기 때문이다.
바카라는 정해진 규칙대로 진행되기 때문에 슬롯머신이나 룰렛처럼 베팅 이외에 손님이 결정할 일이 전혀 없다. 보통 여덟 벌의 카드로 계속해서 게임이 진행되지만 솔프 교수의 연구에 의하면 카운팅을 하더라도 블랙잭과 같은 효과적인 베팅 전략은 있을 수 없다고 한다.
바카라의 기대값은 뱅커에 걸 경우 약 -1.17%, 플레이어에 걸 경우 약 -1.37%로 계산되어 있다. 기대값만 고려한다면 바카라가 기본 전략을 사용한 블랙잭, 크랩스(craps) 다음으로 손님에게 덜 불리한 게임이지만 한 시간에 150판 이상 진행되는 빠른 속도 때문에 아주 위험한 게임이란 것을 강조하고 싶다.

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  1. aruuna 2008.03.31 07:01 신고

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