Rules (from pagat.com)
A two player game using poker hands. Instead of betting players have to decide how to deploy their 54 cards to win the best of 11 poker hands.
Two standard international 54-card (52 cards and 2 jokers) decks (one for each player).
Cards have their usual ranking as in Poker.
Object of the Game
Be the first player to win 6 hands of poker.
To start, each player shuffles their individual deck, and flips the top card face up.
These cards form the start of each player’s poker hand, and are compared.
Each time a card is revealed, the up-cards are compared to see which player has the stronger poker hand.
The player with the weaker hand must choose between two options:
- Deal another card from their deck and add it to the row of face-up cards in front of them, to try to improve their poker hand.
- Concede the hand to the other player.
If a player deals another card, the rows of up-cards are again compared to see which player is weaker, and the lower hand again has the same options as above.
If the two players have equally high hands, both must deal an additional card face-up.
This continues until one of the players concedes. All the face-up cards are then discarded, and will not re-enter play. Normal practice is for the player who won the hand (did not concede) to place one of the used cards apart from their discard pile, to keep track of the number of hands won. Each player then deals the next card of their deck face up to start the next hand.
There is no limit to the number of cards the player with the weaker hand may expose in an effort to win the hand, except that a player who runs out of cards is forced to concede, having no more cards to deal.
When comparing hands, each player makes their best five-card poker hand from the row of cards in front of them. If there are fewer than five cards, the hand is ranked as though the remaining cards are worthless non-matching cards with no rank and no suit.
End of the Game
The first player to win 6 hands is the winner of the game.
It follows that once a player is at 5 wins, their opponent cannot concede a hand early unless they run out of cards. When a player runs out of cards, their opponent wins the current hand and then can win additional hands by simply playing one card from their stock, as long as their stock persists. If both players run out of cards, the player with the most wins is the champion.
If they win an equal number of hands, the game is a draw.
On LittleGolem, the basic variant is played with 2 wild cards (jokers). Other possible variants are:
- play without wild cards (52 card deck)
- deuces are also wild cards
- play with 65 cards (5 suits) for 13 hands instead of 11
- mini version where everyone has half a deck of cards (26) for 5 games or 27 cards (one joker in deck).
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