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Bisko-Bobo

Contributed by Richard and Robert Peluso

Bisko Bobo is an intricate card game with many twists and turns along the way. There is never a certain winner from the beginning. Remember the Bisko saying: 'A Bisk is not always a Bisk'.

Players and Cards

The game can be played with 2-6 people. An even number of players is recommended, although three players can prove quite interesting. The game is played with regular playing cards. The deck should be separated in to high and low cards. Most of the game is played using only the high cards. The low cards are used only for the Bingo-Bango phase. The division of the deck depends on the number of players:

playershigh cardslow cards
2 or 3AKQJT98765432
4AKQJT98765432
5AKQJT98765432
6AKQJT98765432

Bisks

The object of the game is to have the highest value Bisk. The values in ascending order are as follows:

The last few of these are extremely rare.

If two players have the same type of Bisk, the one with the better suit wins. Suits rank in ascending order: Club, Hearts, Diamond, Spade. In the case of Bisks with more than one suit, compare the highest suit first, then the lower suit. If there is a tie for suits, then the Bisk with the highest ranked card in the highest suit wins, counting ace as high.

Examples:

Opening Bisk

The dealer deals one card to each player face up in a clockwise fashion. This phase is called the Opening Bisk. The dealer then deals another card face up to every player. Then he places one card face down in the middle. This card is called the Wet Bisk, and its use will be explained later.

If your two cards are of the same suit, you have a Bisk. If they are different, you have a Tuck, and you must turn the second card sideways and tuck it under the first card, hence the name. In the course of the game, you may acquire several upright cards and several sideways "tucked" cards. To make it clear to everyone which is which they are arranged like this:

how to tuck cards

Risky-Bisk

Now we enter the second phase of the game, otherwise known as Risky-Bisk. Each player will be dealt one extra card in one of two ways. One of these ways is a Jingo, whilst the other is a Flingo.

A player who was dealt a Bisk during the Opening Bisk phase must now be dealt a Jingo. A player who was dealt a Tuck may choose a Flingo or a Jingo. Players choose in clockwise order, starting to the left of the dealer. Choices are restricted by the requirement that there cannot be exactly one player in the game who is dealt a Jingo. This means that:

  1. If you are the dealer and dealt yourself a tuck, then if everyone else has chosen a Flingo you must also choose a Flingo.
  2. If you are the dealer and exactly one other player has chosen a Jingo, you must choose a Jingo.
  3. If you are the second to last player (right of the dealer), all the players before you have chosen a Flingo, and the dealer has a Bisko, you must choose a Jingo (since the dealer is forced to choose a Jingo).

If the player chooses a Flingo, their card is flung face up on the table. If this card matches the suit of the non-tucked card in their opening hand, they now have a Bisko, and because they chose to play a Flingo they receive an extra face up card straightaway for their bravery. If the flung card does not match the suit of the non-tucked card, no reward card is given.

The other choice is a Jingo. If a player chooses to accept a Jingo they will be given their card face down, which they can look at at their own leisure.

Flingo or Jingo cards are dealt as soon as the player's choice is made. So you can see the result of your right-hand opponent's Flingo before making your own choice.

Bingo-Bango

When all the players chose either Jingo or Flingo a new phase emerges, called Bingo-Bango. In this phase each player who chose to Jingo is dealt a card face-up from the shuffled deck of low cards. Beginning with the person whose Bingo-Bango card is the highest rank, and continuing in descending order, each player has a chance to exchange his Jingo card with the Jingo card of a player whose Bingo-Bango card is lower. If two or more players have equal ranked Bingo-Bango cards, suit decides in the Bisko-Bobo order: Spade (high), Diamond, Heart, Club (low).

You cannot choose to exchange with a player whose Bingo-Bango is higher than yours. No player can exchange more than once, so you cannot exchange your card if someone has already exchanged with you, and you cannot exchange with a player whose Jingo card has already been exchanged. The player you choose, within these constraints, cannot refuse to exchange with you.

After all trades are complete, the Bingo-Bango cards are discarded. Now each Jingo player places their card down face up. They can choose whether to place the card in the Bisko row, or in the tucked card position, to achieve a Bobo (note, you should only place the card in the tucked row if it is possible to achieve an immediate Bobo - i.e. two tucked cards of the same suit).

Note that the only cards that can be tucked are

All other cards dealt to a player must be placed in the Bisko row.

Bedtime Bisk

The third stage of the game is called Bedtime Bisk, and it is a vital part of the total outcome. Each player is dealt an additional card face up, however if you achieved a Bisko in the Opening Bisk phase, you receive two cards (note: the cards you receive in this phase cannot be placed in your Bobo section).

Flipped Bisk

The final and most important phase of the game is called Flipped Bisk. In this phase the only thing to do is turn over the Wet Bisk, the final and most vital card. The Wet Bisk's value is contributed to every ones hand, so it is possible to give every player a Bisk, or a higher value Bisk.

But there is yet a final twist to come. If the Wet Bisk is any Jack, your cards are immediately reversed. Your Bobos become Biskos and your Biskos become Bobos. This final twist proves that Bobos should not be overlooked. Even having only one card (this could be your tucked card from the beginning) in your Bobo could win you the game.

Result

If the Wet Bisk is not a Jack, each player combines their upright (Bisko) cards with the Wet Bisk.

If the Wet Bisk is a Jack, each player combines their tucked (Bobo) cards with the Wet Bisk.

The holder of the best combination wins.

If no one has even a Bisk, the holder of the highest suit wins, or the highest card of that suit, if more than one player has the same high suit.

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Now that you have learned and mastered the rules of Bisko Bobo, grab a few friends and play the hottest card game in town. Remember, 'A Bisk is not always a Bisk!'


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Last updated 21st January 2005