“There are fifteen cards split up into three different suits; Light, Darkness and Shadow.”
You see that each card has a small picture on it, and a color that indicates its suit. In the corner, you see a number on each card, and you ask the satyr what it means.
“Just in case you are like wolfie and have a hard time keeping track of all the cards and how many points your hand is worth, you can use these numbers,” he explains.
“The best card of each suit is number one, going down to number five in decreasing value.” Cale growls at the cheap jab, but lets the satyr continue his explanation of the game.
“You get two cards in your hand. I then place three cards face down, like this,” he explains, handing out two cards to you, Rosalin and Cale each, and placing another three in front of him.
“You each place your bets - we usually play for small coins, more for the enjoyment of the game really - and you either call, raise or fold. Each turn of betting, I reveal another card of the house hand.” Saying so, he flips the hidden cards one by one.
You glance at your hand; one of your cards has the number one on it, and depicts a beautiful lady with blonde hair, wearing a crown and a blue gown - possibly a depiction of Lady Aria. The other one has the number four, and depicts a stag.
The cards on the ground show a sultry lady with lilac hair and impressive assets, a maiden in white and a strange creature made out of pure energy. “The Harlot of Darkness, D5. The Maiden of Light, L5. The Avatar of Shadow, S1.” For some reason, the last card gives you an unsettling feeling.
“The name of the game is to have the best hand, and make the most out of it. It’s a game of bluffing, really, but for now lets see your hands so I can explain the scoring.”
Rosalin and Cale show their cards:
Rosalin has three of Shadow (an old man) and two of Light (a knight of some sort).
Cale’s got one of Darkness (a red haired queen) and four of Light (a white horse).
“Rosie’s got nothing of value, so her hand defaults to the pair of five in the house deck. Not likely to win you anything, as it’s the worst possible hand you can get. Wolfie has more luck, since his Queen of Darkness gives him two pairs.”
You look at your hand again. If you understand the rules correctly, you have exactly the same hand. “Correct, you both have two pairs of one and five, and a four. Usually, this’d be a draw, but you have a special card, PC. The four of Shadow - the Shadow Stag - works as a wildcard. It can morph and take on the shape of any card, in almost all cases giving you a huge advantage.” Estevan puts your cards next to the house hand.
“In this case, you’d get a threekind of one and the pair of five, giving you a full house and winning you the game.”
- Least is a Pair
- After that comes Two Pairs
- Then Threekind
- Followed by the Mixed Cavalcade. That last one is when you have the cards one through five of any suits.
- Then comes Full House
- Followed by a Mixed Flush. This is when you have four cards of the same suit.
- Next is Fourkind - a hand only possibly with the stag.
- And lastly Full Cavalcade, which is when you have all the cards of one suit.
“Finally, a hand with the stag is not necessarily a win. If I have a hand that evaluates to a threekind, and you have a pair plus the stag, I will win the hand even if your threekind happens to be better than mine. The Shadow Stag can take on many forms, but is thus weaker than a pure hand.”
“That’s about it for the rules. The game itself is pretty simple, you just got to be able to quickly evaluate your hand and figure out if it’s worth betting on. Everyone ready?” You all nod.
“Here we go then!” the satyr says as he starts dealing out cards.