Death Match Cribbage

This is a game that I invented in a restaurant at Whitby in 2005. To play you need a pack of cards and 6-10 players.


Deal a hand of five cards to every player, and discard the rest of the pack. Winning at Pesx is pretty easy, all you need to do is collect a winning hand of three-of-a-kind, or four cards in the same suit. The trick to the game is that you always hold your hand backwards, so you might not know you've won... Oh well.

The game takes place in two simple phases, in the first phase, you simply fan your cards out so everyone (apart form you!) can see your hand. During this part of the game, each player should look at the cards in the other players hands, and decide on one card to "steal". During this phase, anyone can declare themselves the winner, and if they have a winning hand they win and the game is over. If they do not have a winning hand then they are knocked out, and place their hand face up in a line in front of them. (The cards are still in play.)

In the rare event that a player collects both three of a kind and four cards in one suit, they win automatically, without the need to declare themselves a winner.

If no more players wish to declare a win, all players lay their cards face down in a line in front of them, so the cards form a rough circle around the table. At this point, everyone simultaneously indicates a card in the circle they wish to steal, and takes that card to add to their own hand. If two or more players choose to steal the same card, then those players do not steal any cards. When all cards have changed hands, the players pick up their hands and fan them out for the other players to see again. It is likely at this point that the hands are different sizes, this is not a problem.

To indicate which card you want, we recommend the following method: Number all the cards in the circle (discounting your own cards) clockwise, starting with the nearest card of the player on your left. Everyone then places their hands under the table, and holds their fingers up to indicate a number in binary (thumb = 1, index finger = 2, middle finger = 4, ring finger = 8, little finger = 16). All players reveal their hands on the count of three, as you would in rock paper scissors. It looks a bit silly, but that's part of the fun of the game.

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