Anyone else playing this game? So much fun and addictive and really a perfect compliment to cigars/drinks and hanging out with friends. If there is interest from the card guys out there I will post a thorough list of rules and play guide. Game is amazing and has replaced holdem at my cigar lounge as what we play late at night!
Ok here is a guide!
Will do my best to give clear instructions, but post with specific questions and I will do my best to answer and possibly post some pics.
2-4 players. By the end of the hand each player will have 13 total cards. Those cards must be divided into a three separate poker hands; a 3 three card hand (top) a 5 card hand (middle) and a 5 card hand (bottom). Strength of hand follows normal poker rules (straights/flushes do not count in three card hand). The main rule is that your bottom hand must be stronger than your middle hand which must be stronger than your top hand. Otherwise your hand is void. By stronger I mean a better poker hand. For example a valid hand would be a flush on bottom, two pair in the middle and one pair up top. A void hand could be a full house on bottom, A high in the middle and pair of twos up top.
Simple enough but you are probably wondering how could someone ever void in the above example just put the twos in the middle and the A high up top right? Well it’s not quite that easy. . .
Gameplay: Lets assume there are 4 players (A,B,C,D)
A is the dealer. He deals five cards to each player. B is to A's immediate left and is the first player to "set" his hand. B will look at his five cards and put them face up in front of him into any of his three hands (Top middle or bottom). Once set though, those cards are locked in and cannot be moved. Suppose B gets dealt AcAs6h6c10c. Good setting options include putting AA66 on bottom (one spot open) and 10 in middle (four spots open) leaving all three top spots open; or AA10 on bottom (two spots open) and 66 in middle (three spots open) again leaving top open. Once B sets his hand C goes next. Notice C has the advantage of seeing B's cards. Suppose C has three clubs and was thinking of going for a flush on bottom. Well now he sees that A already has three clubs and should probably set with a different strategy. Once C sets then D sets and finally the dealer (A). After all cards are set A will deal each player one card face down. B sets his new card into any of his three hands C, D and A follow suit. This continues until all of the cards are dealt or in a game with less then four players until each player has 13 cards. At this point everyone has a three card top hand a five card middle and a five card bottom. Now we score!
Scoring: This is done in three stages. First all players compare top hands then middle then bottom. The strongest top hand wins one point from all three other players. (+3). The second strongest top hand wins one point from the two players he beats and pays one to the top hand for a net of (+1). The third strongest hand collects from the last place top hand but pays one to each of the two stronger hands for a (-1) net. Finally, the worst hand pays everyone one (-3). In a four handed game is it faster to have the worst hand pay 3 to the best hand and second to last pays second 1. Note you end up with the same result.
Scoring process is repeated for the middle hand and then the bottom. If any player gets first in all three hands they scoop/sweep and collect a three point bonus from everyone else. If any player has a void hand they pay 6 points to everyone. In a four handed game voiding will cost your 18 points (6 to all three other players!) plus royalty bonuses which are explained below.
Royalties: In addition to the above mentioned scoring there are royalty bonuses for making strong hands. This makes the game much more fun as it encourages players to go for strong hands instead of just playing to never void. A royalty gets paid by all other players. If you void you do not collect any royalties, but still have to pay out any royalties. In the back row a straight is +2 from all players; flush +4; full house +6; Quads +10; Straight flush +15 and Royal Flush +25. Royalties are doubled for the middle row (but recall you cannot void!). On top you get +1 for a pair of sixes and one additional point for each higher pair up to +9 for Aces. 66=1; 77=2; 88=3 etc . . .Any Trips up top is worth +20.
Easiest way to play is to use poker chips and have each chip worth one point. If playing for $ decide how much you want to play for and buy in like a normal game. We usually play for $1/point. There is one other little rule wrinkle that I will add after everyone gets the regular gameplay. But these are the basic rules and enough to get you addicted I promise! Post questions and I will do my best to answer! Enjoy!