How to play some WW2 card games

Auction

Simple card game for 2 or 4:

Introduction

The Auction game is literally an auction. Each player starts with some ‘money’ and bids on ‘items’. A good player will try to spend the least amount of money to buy the best items. The game is played with a normal deck of cards, which are used to represent both money and the items being bid on. The game can be played with 2-4 players, but we will assume that a 2-player game is being played at first.

Starting the Game

Each player starts with 9 cards. These must be 2 through 10 of any one suit (=teken). For example, one player may have the Spades (schoppen) and another may have the Hearts (harten). The choice of suit does not matter. Each card represents money. A 2 is $2, an 8 is $8, and so on. There are always 8 items on which the players bid. They are 2 Jacks, 2 Queens, 2 Kings, and 2 Aces. Thus, a small deck of 9 cards must be created containing those exact 8 cards and also a Joker (the Joker will be explained later). The suits do not matter. This 9-card deck must be shuffled before the game can start. The Jacks, Queens, Kings, and Aces represent items that are being bid on. A Jack is worth 1, a Queen is worth 2, a King is worth 3, and an Ace is worth 4.

Goal of the Game

At the end of the game, the players will have purchased all 8 of the item cards. For example, I may have purchased 2 Aces and a Jack, while my opponent purchased 2 Kings, 2 Queens, and a Jack. So who wins? At this point, it is important to figure out who holds the most valuable items. My items are worth 2*4+1=9 while my opponent holds items that are worth 2*3+2*2+1 = 11. Thus, my opponent has won. Notice that the items are worth a total of 20. It doesn’t matter how much money you have left over except in one case. If at the end of a game there is a tie where both players hold items worth 10, the winner is the player who spent the least amount of money. Thus, both players must add up what money they have left at the end to see who spent the least (or has the most left).

How the Bidding Works

There are 9 rounds. Each round the top card from the Items deck is revealed. That is the item being bid on. Remember that Kings are worth 3 and Jacks are worth 1, so you would expect people to spend more on a queen. To make a bid, each player selects a SINGLE card from the money he has left and places it face-down (hidden from the other player) on the table. When both players have done so, they reveal their cards simultaneously. The player who bid the most wins the card and must pay the money card he had placed. The loser gets his money card back since it was not used to purchase anything.

For example, let’s say that my Opponent and I are bidding on a Queen. When we reveal our bets, it turns out that I placed a 7 and he placed a 4. This means that I purchase the Queen for 7 and he gets his 4 back.

Money spent in one round and the item it purchased remains face-up (revealed) on the table until the end of the game. In our example, it means that I cannot spend that 7 again, as I no longer have it. However, my opponent can spend that 4 again since he got it back. Keep in mind that players can only place one card at a time during a bid.

What If We Both Bid a Seven?

Sometimes, both players will bid the same amount of money. When the cards are revealed, those bids remain on the table and the bidding goes into overtime. In over-time, players are allowed to bid a second card that they are willing to spend for the Item in addition to the money they had already spent. Overtime bidding occurs in the same way as normal bidding, so both players must reveal their second card at the same.

For example, let’s say that my Opponent and I both bid 7 on that Queen. In second overtime, he bids a 3 and I bid a 5. This means that I win the auction. I have paid a 7 and 5 for that Queen. My opponent gets all of his money back.

Overtime can go on for more than one round if there are repeated ties. Anytime there is overtime, a player can pull out and withdraw his bid. This player gets all of his money back and his opponent wins with whatever money is face-up on the table. If both players try to pull out, the first player to do so is allowed to pull out and the last one is stuck with the purchase.

The Joker

The Joker is not an Item that can be purchased. If a Joker comes up, it means that the players are bidding on the next card in the Item deck without knowing what it is (bidding blind). If the Joker ends up being the last card in the Items deck, it does nothing and the game is over.

Playing With 3 or 4 Players

If there are 3+ players, each player starts with 2-10 of a single suit just like before. Also, the players bid on 8 Items just like before. Notice that this means there is more money in play, but the number of Items has not changed. Players are not required to bid in every single around. Also, it is possible for 2 players to go into overtime in which the other players do NOT participate. Of course, you can have overtime with more than 2 players participating.

Pinochle

Card game for 2 or 4

The Pack

A 48-card Pinochle pack is used. (Twee kaartspelen, alleen de hoogste 6 kaarten van elke kleur)

Object of the Game

The goal is to win tricks (=slagen), so as to score the value of cards taken in on tricks and to meld certain combinations of cards having values in points.

Rank of Cards

A Pinochle pack consists of: A (high), 10, K, Q, J, 9 (low) in each of the four suits, with two of each card. Less frequently, a 64-card Pinochle pack is used, which includes 8s and 7s as well.

Card Values/Scoring

The values of cards taken in on tricks are:
Each ace- 11 pts.
Each ten- 10 pts.
Each king- 4 pts.
Each queen- 3 pts.
Each jack- 2 pts.
Last trick- 10 pts.
Nines (and 8s and 7s, when the 64-card pack is used) have no point value.

The values of the melds (=sets) are:
Class A
A,10, K, Q, J of trump suit (flush, or sequence) 150
K, Q of trump (royal marriage) 40
K, Q of any other suit (marriage) 20
Dix (lowest trump; pronounced “deece”) 10

Class B
A♠, A♥, A♦, A♣ (100 aces) 100
K♠, K♥, K♦, K♣ (80 kings) 80
Q♠, Q♥, Q♦, Q♣ (60 queens) 60
J♠, J♥, J♦, J♣ (40 jacks) 40

Class C

Q♠, J♦ (pinochle) 40
Q♠, J♦ Q♠, J♦ (double pinochle) 300

(The dix is the nine of trumps if the 48-card pack is used; it is the seven of trumps if the 64-card pack is used.)

The Deal

Deal 12 cards to each player, starting from the left, three or four cards at a time. The next card is turned up and placed on the table; it is the trump (=troef) card and every card of that suit is a trump. The remainder of the pack forms the stock and is placed face down.

The Play

Each trick consists of a lead and a play. The non-dealer leads; thereafter the winner of each trick leads next. When a trump is led, it wins the trick unless the opponent plays a higher trump. When any other suit is led, the card led wins unless the opponent plays a higher card of the same suit or a trump. The leader may lead any card, and the opponent may play any card. It is not necessary to follow suit.

After each trick, each player draws a card from the top of the stock to restore their hand to 12 cards; the winner draws first.

Melding

Upon winning a trick, and before drawing from the stock, a player may meld any one of the combinations that have value, as previously described. A player makes a meld by placing the cards face up on the table, where they remain until the player wishes to play them, or until the stock is exhausted.

Melding is subject to the following restrictions:
1) Only one meld may be made in a turn.
2) For each meld, at least one card must be taken from the hand and placed on the table.
3) A card once melded may be melded again, only in a different class, or in a higher-scoring meld of the same class.

Ex. A player may not put down K♠, Q♠, J♦ and score both for the marriage and for the pinochle; only one meld may be made in any turn. The player may put down Q♠ and J♦ for 40 points; and, after winning a subsequent trick, they may add the K♠ and score for the marriage.

Once a card has been melded and placed on the table, it may be played to a trick as though it were in the holder’s hand; however, after it has been played, it may no longer be used to form a new meld.

Melding the dix. If the dealer turns a dix (pronounced “deece”) as the trump card, they score 10 points immediately. Thereafter, a player holding a dix may count it merely by showing it upon winning a trick. They may count the dix and make another meld in the same turn. The holder of the dix has the right to exchange it, upon winning a trick, for the trump card.

The Playoff. The winner of the twelfth trick may meld if possible, and then must draw the last face-down card of the stock. They show this card to their opponent, who draws the trump card (or the dix, if the exchange has been made). The winner of the preceding trick now leads, and the rules of the play are as follows: each player must follow suit to the card led if possible, and must try to win when a trump is led (by playing a higher trump). A player who cannot follow suit must trump if they have a trump. In this manner the last 12 tricks are played, after which the players count and score the points they have won in their tricks and melds.

How to Keep Score

The score may be kept with pencil and paper, or chips may be used. If chips are used, there may be a central pile from which each player draws enough chips to represent the number of points he scores. Alternatively, each player may be provided with chips representing 1000, from which the appropriate chips are removed as points are scored.

Melds are scored when they are made. Scores for cards taken in tricks are added after the play is complete and the cards are counted. In this count, 7 points or more count as 10. Example: 87 points count as 90. If one player scores 126 and the other 124, or if each scores 125, they count only 120 each; the other 10 points are lost.

Game. Every deal may constitute a game. The player who scores the most points wins.

Alternatively, a match can be played to 1,000 points, playing a series of deals. When one player has scored 1,000 or more, and the other player less than 1,000, the former wins the game. If at the end of the play of any hand each player has 1,000 or more, play continues for a game of 1,250, even if one player has, for example, 1,130, while the other has only 1,000. If both players go over 1,250 at the end of the hand, the play continues for a 1,500-point game, and so on. However, this seldom happens because either player has the right, during the play, to “declare themselves out.”

Declaring Out. At any time during the play, a player may “declare out.” At that point, play stops and their tricks are counted. If, in fact, the player has 1000 points or more, they wins the game – even if the opponent has more. If the claimant has fewer than 1,000 points, they lose the game. If the game has been increased to 1,250 points, 1,500 points, or a higher score, a player may declare out at that figure.

Poker

Poker is a game of chance. However, when you introduce the concept of betting, poker gains quite a bit of skill and psychology. (This isn’t to say that there isn’t skill at poker when nothing is at risk, there just isn’t nearly as much). This is meant as a very basic primer into the rules of poker, for more information, get a book on the game (or start playing with a group of people who know how. It’s more expensive than reading a book, but the group won’t mind. *Snicker*).

This list is currently broken into several parts:

  1. The Very Basics
  2. How the Hands are Ranked
  3. Descriptions of Hand Ranks
  4. Betting
  5. An Example 5-Card Draw Hand

The Very Basics

Poker is played from a standard pack of 52 cards. (Some variant games use multiple packs or add a few cards called jokers.) The cards are ranked (from high to low) Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, Ace. (Ace can be high or low, but is usually high). There are four suits (spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs); however, no suit is higher than another. All poker hands contain five cards, the highest hand wins.

Some games have Wild Cards, which can take on whatever suit and rank their possessor desires. Sometimes jokers will be used as wild cards, other times, the game will specify which cards are wild (dueces, one-eyed jacks, or whatever).

How the hands are ranked

Hands are ranked as follows (from high to low): (The blue links lead you to an internet page with examples)

Descriptions of Hand Ranks

Five of a Kind

A five of a kind (which is only possible when using wild cards) is the highest possible hand. If more than one hand has five of a kind, the higher card wins (Five Aces beats five kings, which beat five queens, and so on).

Straight Flush

A straight flush is the best natural hand. A straight flush is a straight (5 cards in order, such as 5-6-7-8-9) that are all of the same suit. As in a regular straight, you can have an ace either high (A-K-Q-J-T) or low (5-4-3-2-1). However, a straight may not ‘wraparound’. (Such as K-A-2-3-4, which is not a straight). An Ace high straight-flush is called a Royal Flush and is the highest natural hand.

Four of a Kind

Four of a kind is simply four cards of the same rank. If there are two or more hands that qualify, the hand with the higher-rank four of a kind wins. If, in some bizarre game with many wild cards, there are two four of a kinds with the same rank, then the one with the high card outside the four of the kind wins. General Rule: When hands tie on the rank of a pair, three of a kind, etc, the cards outside break ties following the High Card rules.

Full House

A full house is a three of a kind and a pair, such as K-K-K-5-5. Ties are broken first by the three of a kind, then pair. So K-K-K-2-2 beats Q-Q-Q-A-A, which beats Q-Q-Q-J-J. (Obviously, the three of a kind can only be similiar if wild cards are used.)

Flush

A flush is a hand where all of the cards are the same suit, such as J-8-5-3-2, all of spades. When flushes ties, follow the rules for High Card.

Straight

A straight is 5 cards in order, such as 4-5-6-7-8. An ace may either be high (A-K-Q-J-T) or low (5-4-3-2-1). However, a straight may not ‘wraparound’. (Such as Q-K-A-2-3, which is not a straight). When straights tie, the highest straight wins. (AKQJT beats KQJT9 down to 5432A). If two straights have the same value (AKQJT vs AKQJT) they split the pot.

Three of a Kind

Three cards of any rank, matched with two cards that are not a pair (otherwise it would be a Full House . Again, highest three of a kind wins. If both are the same rank, then the compare High Cards.

Two Pair

This is two distinct pairs of card and a 5th card. The highest pair wins ties. If both hands have the same high pair, the second pair wins. If both hands have the same pairs, the high card wins.

Pair

One pair with three distinct cards. High card breaks ties.

High Card

This is any hand which doesn’t qualify as any one of the above hands. If nobody has a pair or better, then the highest card wins. If multiple people tie for the highest card, they look at the second highest, then the third highest etc. High card is also used to break ties when the high hands both have the same type of hand (pair, flush, straight, etc).

Betting

So, how do you bet? Poker is, after all, a gambling game. In most games, you must ‘ante’ something (amount varies by game, our games are typically a nickel), just to get dealt cards. After that players bet into the pot in the middle. At the end of the hand, the highest hand (that hasn’t folded) wins the pot. Basically, when betting gets around to you (betting is typically done in clockwise order), you have one of three choices:

Call

When you call, you bet enough to match what has been bet since the last time you bet (for instance, if you bet a dime last time, and someone else bet a quarter, you would owe fifteen cents).

Raise

When you raise, you first bet enough to match what has been bet since the last time you bet (as in calling), then you ‘raise’ the bet another amount (up to you, but there is typically a limit.) Continuing the above example, if you had bet a dime, the other person raised you fifteen cents (up to a quarter), you might raise a quarter (up to fifty cents). Since you owed the pot 15 cents for calling and 25 for your raise, you would put 40 cents into the pot.

Fold

When you fold, you drop out of the current hand (losing any possibility of winning the pot), but you don’t have to put any money into the pot.

Betting continues until everyone calls or folds after a raise or initial bet.

Some Standard Betting Rules

In the group I play in, we ante a nickel. The maximum first bet is fifty cents, and the maximum raise is fifty cents. However, during one round of betting, raises may total no more than one dollar.

An Example Five Card Draw Hand.

Five card draw is one of the most common types of poker hands. Each player is dealt five cards, then a round of betting follows. Then each player may discard up to 3 cards (4 if your last card is an ace or wild card, in some circles) and get back (from the deck) as many cards as he/she discarded. Then there is another round of betting, and then hands are revealed (the showdown) and the highest hand wins the pot. So you are the dealer at a five card draw game (against four other players, Alex, Brad, Charley and Dennis (seated in that order to your left). Everyone puts a nickel into the pot (Ante) and you deal out 5 cards to each player.

You deal yourself a fairly good hand Ks-Kd-Jd-5c-3d. A pair of kings isn’t bad off the deal (not great, but not bad). Then the betting starts…

  • Alex ‘Checks’ (checking is basically calling when you don’t owe anything to the pot).
  • Brad bets a dime.
  • Charley calls (and puts a dime into the pot).
  • Dennis raises a dime (and puts twenty cents into the pot).
  • Well, it’s your turn. Twenty cents to you. You can fold, call or raise. Like I said before, pair of kings isn’t bad, not good but not bad. You call and put twenty cents into the pot.
  • Back to Alex, who grumbles and tosses his cards into the center of the table, folding. (Note, when folding, never show your cards to anyone).
  • Brad calls. The total bet is twenty cents, but he had already bet a dime, so he owes a dime, which he tosses into the pot.
  • Charley is in the same position as brad, and tosses a dime into the pot.

The round of betting is over. After Dennis’s raise, everyone else folded or called (there weren’t any raises) so, everyone is all square with the pot. Now everyone can discard up to 3 cards. Brad discards 3 cards, Charley discards one card, Dennis discards two cards. (You deal replacements to everyone) and now it’s your turn. You have a pair of kings, three spades, and no chance for a straight. It’s best to just keep the two kings and hope to get a 3rd or fourth king. You discard three cards, and your new hand is: Ks-Kd-Kc-4c-8h. Three Kings! A nice little hand.

What do you suppose the others were trying for? Well, Brad kept two cards, so he probably had a pair (just like you) but it probably wasn’t aces, so even if brad got a three of a kind, you probably beat him. Charley kept four cards, so he was probably trying for a straight or flush. (If Charley had four of a kind, he might have bet much harder). The big problem is Dennis. He raised earlier, and only drew two cards. He might be bluffing, but he could have had three of a kind off the deal… In any case, the second round of betting starts (with dealers left).

  • Brad bets a nickel.
  • Charley folds (I guess he didn’t get his straight or flush).
  • Dennis raises twenty cents (to a quarter total).
  • You call.
  • Brad looks at his cards, then calls (betting twenty cents).
  • Again, everyone called Dennis’s raise, so the round of betting is over.

Well, the betting is over, everyone reveals his hand:

  • You had Ks-Kd-Kc-4c-8h.
  • Brad had Jh-Jd-3c-3s-Ah.
  • Dennis had Qh-Qs-Qd-As-7s.

Well, the highest hand is three of a kind, and the highest three of a kind is your three kings. You win!

Conclusion After this and an hour of play, you’ll be right at home playing poker.

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