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Pokex

Contributed by Gabriel Schwartz (gabeschw@voyager.net)

Overview

Pokex is a trick-taking game that involves poker hands.

Players

Four, in two partnerships. Partners sit across from each other.

Cards

A standard deck of 54 cards (both jokers included). Cards rank exactly as in standard poker: The two is low and the ace is high, but can be used low in the case of an A-2-3-4-5 straight or straight flush. Jokers are always wild.

Rank of Hands

The hands rank exactly as in standard poker - five of a kind (high), straight flush, four of a kind, full house, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pairs, pair, high card (low). Wild cards can be used to represent any card. In cases where there are two identical hands under standard poker rules, the hand using fewer wild cards wins. If the two hands both contain the same number of wilds, they are considered tied.

Dealing the Cards

Each hand, the dealer deals 12 cards to each of the four players and 6 cards face-up to the center. This uses up the entire deck of 54.

Bidding and Naming the Wild Rank

After the cards are dealt, the bidding phase of the hand begins. Starting with the player to the dealer's left, each player in turn may increase the current high bid or pass. A bid is simply a declaration of the number of tricks, out of a possible six, that the player and his partner will attempt to win during the hand. One is the minimum bid, and six is the maximum. The bidding ends when one player makes a bid and the other three players subsequently pass. This player then becomes the declarer; the two opponents are the defenders. At this point, the declarer names one card rank as wild. All four cards of this rank, along with the two jokers, will be wild in the upcoming hand. If all four players pass, the hand is played with no wild rank, and each partnership scores as if they are the defenders (see Scoring).

Playing the Game

The dealer shifts over the leftmost of the six face-up cards to indicate that it is active for the current trick. The player to the declarer's right leads all six tricks in the hand, and is followed clockwise by each of the other three players. On a player's turn, he lays down in front of him two cards face-up. After all four players (ending with the declarer's partner) have played, the winner of the trick is determined by comparing two five-card poker hands. These hands consist of a player's two cards, his partner's two cards, and the single active card in the center. The partnership with the higher of the two hands wins the trick, and the active center card should be turned face down and laid either horizontally or vertically to indicate the winning partnership. Repeat this same procedure for all six center cards, in order. Remember that the player to the declarer's right will always lead, regardless of who won the previous trick. In the case of a tie between the two poker hands (see Rank of Hands), the trick is awarded to the declarer's partnership.

Scoring

When all six tricks have been completed, points are awarded as follows:

Ending the Game

A game is played to 33 points.

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Last updated 1st August 2003