Odds

A game for three or more players, contributed by Jacob Soener

Objective

The object of the game is to collect the best hand, with as few even cards as possible, and by this means to be the last surviving player, when the others have lost all their lives.

Setup

A standard 52-card deck with two jokers is used. Cards 2 to 10 have face value, aces are 1, jokers are 11 and picture cards (K,Q,J) are 10.

Each player begins with 4 lives. The lives are represented by some object: it could be paper shreds or even 1 dollar bills.

The Play

Each player is dealt six cards. The remaining cards are stacked face down to form the stock. The game is played counter-clockwise.

Beginning with the player to the right of the dealer, each player in turn has three options:

  1. Trade a card with another player. To trade, you select a card from your hand to trade and place it face down, and select another player to trade with. You then pick a card unseen from the other player's hand, which is spread face down. In exchange for this card, the other player gets the card that you placed face down.
  2. Draw the top card from the stock and discard one card face up on the discard pile. It is possible to discard the same card that you drew.
  3. Call "odds". In this case you do not get to exchange a card. Each other player has one more turn and then the play ends.

Note that cards cannot be taken from the discard pile.

The Show

The play continues until either

  • a player has called "odds", after which every other player has had a turn, or
  • everyone has had five turns.

Then all the cards are shown. The player with the best hand, according to the values below, keeps all his or her lives, and the other players each lose a life.

A player who has lost all his or her lives is out of the game. Further deals are played until there is only one player left in. This player is the winner.

Value of Hands

In all these hand types, only odd cards (A, 3, 5, 7, 9, Joker) can be used. Even cards are all equally worthless. Below are the hand types, from highest to lowest. Suits are irrelevant, and 'x' indicates any card that does not create a higher hand type.

Hand Type Explanation Example
two-four a four of a kind and a pair 5-5-5-5-9-9
two threes two threes of a kind 7-7-7-3-3-3
six odds a sequence of six consecutive odd cards A-3-5-7-9-Joker
three twos three pairs 9-9-5-5-3-3
two-three a pair and a three of a kind A-A-7-7-7-x
five odds a sequence of five consecutive odd cards 3-5-7-9-Joker-x
two twos two pairs of equal odd cards 9-9-5-5-x-x
four odds a sequence of four consecutive odd cards A-3-5-7-x-x
jokers both jokers Joker-Joker-x-x-x-x
four pair four equal odd cards 5-5-5-5-x-x
three pair three equal odd cards 9-9-9-x-x-x
three odds a sequence of three consecutive odd cards 5-7-9-x-x-x
two pair one pair of equal odd cards 3-3-x-x-x-x
two odds two consecutive odd cards 9-Joker-x-x-x-x

Hands of the same type are compared by adding up the values of the cards in the combination. For example 9-9-5-5-3-10 is worth 28, so beats Joker-Joker-A-A-2-2, qhich is worth only 24.

If the values are equal then the hand with fewer even cards is better. For example 9-9-9-4-3-2 beats 9-9-9-10-10-10.

If the values and the number of even cards are equal, then the tieing players draw cards to decide which is better.