These are the rules for a card game called Blücher, also known as Forwards. The game can arguably trace its origins to the 17th centrury Spanish game, Cacho. The addition of dice adds a variable dimension so that no two hands are alike. The game uses mechanisms that should be familiar to any player of Blackjack (21, Pontoon) and Poker (any variant as it is the betting style that is used). It is a game for between 3 and 10 players (or nine players if you use the Spanish deck).
Components you will need:
- 1 ordinary deck of playing cards with the jokers excluded. Germanic or Spanish cards work equally well: all you need to do is work out the relative value of the suits (so in the Anglo-French style deck the Bridge order is, from best to worst: Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs. For Spanish suits use Swords, Cups, Clubs, Coins.)
- [However, for an authentic challenge, you might like to try the 5 suit deck that will be produced for Jurassic Reich]
- Five 6 sided dice
- Betting chips.
The objective of the game is to get as close to a Target number as possible using only three cards, using dice to find the target, and then exchanging cards and conducting poker-stye betting. The best hand when all hands are revealed is the winner, and takes the entire pot.
- Every player is dealt 3 cards face down
- The player to the left of the Dealer is the First player. The First player decides how many dice to roll, from 1 to 5 (based on the judgement he makes on his hand). He tells the group how many dice he plans to roll, and puts one card face down in front of himself. This is his Hole card. Once placed it cannot be changed. He then makes a bet into the pot
- Every player that wants to continue playing must match this bet into the pot and similarly place a card face down as their Hole card
- The first player now rolls the number of dice he declared. The resulting score is the Target
- Starting with the First player, each player may: 1) discard a card from the 2 cards they hold and receive a new one from the Dealer; this costs the player a betting token that is paid to the pot, 2) raise a bet – and just like Poker, each player that wants to keep playing must See this bet by matching it, 3) quit playing the hand (termed Folding in Poker)
- The round of bidding travels only once around the players: the First player, for example, could not Raise on a Raise. In other words, each player gets one chance to Raise in a sequence
- This optional card exchange and bidding sequence occurs two more times, corresponding to the notional three cards that are held
- At the end of the third round of bidding, the remaining players expose their Hole card and, using one or both of their hand cards, make up a hand that is as close as possible to the target number
- The winner of the round is the player who’s chosen hand consists of the fewest cards that sum to a value close or equal to the target (but not exceeding it). This player takes the pot and becomes the Dealer for the next round.
- Where multiple players would appear to have equal claims ( for example, both have 2 cards that add up to the target exactly), the suit of the highest card in the hand is used to determine winner (Spades, Hearts, Diamonds and Clubs, or Swords, Cups, Clubs and Coins)
- In the French deck an Ace is worth 1. All face cards are worth 10. In a Spanish deck the cards have their value printed on them.
- Once the cards are finally shown, if all all the remaining players have Bust (totals more than the target – they were all bluffing and no one had a valid claim) then the least wrong player takes one token from the pot for every other player. The rest of the pots rides, or jackpots for the next hand.
- The winner of the last hand is the Dealer for the next hand
- The Dealer decides how much it costs to buy a card. This must be declared before the cards are dealt – if not, the default is the lowest denomination in play. This value cannot be changed during a hand
- The First player states the betting limit for all players for the hand before rolling the dice.
Try this, I urge you, and provide playtest feedback. You saw it here first.