Free Game #1


This is a type of poker game I designed; it might be incorporated into another game later on, using a special deck and a slightly different group of cards (perhaps 5 suits with 10 ranks, or something of the sort).


Each player puts 20 cents ante (or some multiple of your group's choice) into the pot. Each player is dealt 1 card face down. Then, a number of cards is dealt into a pile in the center of the table. This is equal to the number of players times four. Each player is allowed a total of $1 (or whatever multiple you are using) with which to bid on these cards as they are turned up. Thus, it is impossible on a single hand of MARKET to lose more than $1.20 (or whatever multipleof that you've chosen).


In the center of the table 3 cards from the pile are turned face up. The first card in the row is bid upon by each player in turn, until one player has bid higher than all other interested players. He or she gets that card. The next player turns up another card for the queue, but does not bid on this one, he bids upon the first card in the queue. The player turning up the next card is always the firstbidder.

Your face-down card that you were dealt, and all your face-up cards that you have won by bidding become your hand, which you hope is higher than everyone else's. When all the cards in the pile are used up, that is, purchased, then the game is over, players show their hands, and the highest one gets the pot. Players that run out of money (the $1) cannot bid on any more cards during that round.

Since it is quite possible to have bought only 2 or 3 cards during the game, there are some unusual hand rankings in this game;

Starting from just above a worthless hand;
1 pair
3 card straight
3 card flush
2 pair
3 card straight-flush
4 card straight
4 card flush
3 of a kind
5 card straight
5 card flush
full house
double 3-of-a-kind
four of a kind
5 card straight flush

You are very unlikely to see any of the high hands in this game. Youcan, if you wish, just play for normal poker hands, leaving out the partial straights and flushes.


For a grand tour of unusual card games, see if you can find a copy of Sid Sackson's Gamut of Games, which might be out of print. He's got some VERY good gambling games in there.

Tom Jolly