Original Card Games by David Parlett

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COWPOKE


A pokery sort of game

Players 2-5   Cards 52   Type Building a Poker hand
I was trying to think of a novel way of collecting cards in melds other than the typical Rummy draw-and-discard mechanism, and came up with this one. but with no guarantee that it hasn't been done before. (As Goethe is supposed to have said, "Everything has been thought of before. The trick is to think of it again.") You can give it a structure by attaching either a scoring system or a betting system of your own devising. If only two are playing, you'll need a dummy third hand, as explained below.

From a well-shuffled 52-card pack deal one card face down to each player and stack the rest face down. Look at your own card without showing it to anyone else.

The aim of the game is to finish with the best five-card Poker hand.

Before play, agree on a ranking order of suits. (I favour clubs beat hearts beat spades beats diamonds, but there are 23 other possibilities for you to choose from.)

Each player in turn takes the top card of the stack, adds it to their hand, and then plays any card face down to the table. When all have done so the cards they played are turned up. Whoever played the highest-ranking card, or the higher suit of equally high cards, has first choice of taking one of the other players' cards (but not their own). The person whose card they took then takes one of the remaining cards (other than their own), and so on, till only two cards and players remain. Whichever of them put out the higher or better card chooses whether they both swap cards or keep the ones they put out.

You then all draw a third card and add it to your hand. Play as before, with the player of the highest or best of them having the first choice of which other card to take, and nobody other than the last two being allowed to take the card they put out.

Keep going till everyone has at least five cards and someone calls for a showdown, or until everyone has ten cards, when a showdown is compulsory. Everyone then reveals the best five-card Poker hand they can make from the cards they hold.

For two cowpokes

Initially deal an extra card to a dummy third hand. At each turn deal a new card face down to the dummy and when both live players have put out a card turn its latest card face up. Whichever of the two live players put out the higher or better card has a choice of which other card to take, and the other live player can take either of the two remaining.

Copyright © renewed 2017 by David Parlett