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Scatterbrain

Contributed by Rob Dufour

Players: Only 4

Deck: All 52 Cards

Object: To be the first player to score 100 points.

Scoring:      Completing a straight10 points
Guessing card in hand2 points
Guessing hole card20 points
"Pure" straight (straight that is all black or all red)   x 2
"Top" straight (straight that is all the same suit) x 3

Dealing: The dealer deals 7 cards to each of the four players, placing them face up in front of the players so that everyone can see them. Once these cards have been dealt, the dealer decides when everyone should pick up their cards. With all 7 cards in their hands, each player discards one card face down on the table next to them. This is called the player's hole card. After everyone has discarded their hole card, a card is flipped up from the remaining deck to start the discard pile and play begins, starting to the dealerís left.

Playing the hand: The first object of the hand is to collect a straight or "run" consisting of all 7 of your cards (the 6 cards in your hand plus your hole card). This straight can be of mixed suits, for example: 2 of diamonds, 3 of clubs, 4 of spades, 5 of hearts. An ace can be used as a high or low card, but not both.

When it is your turn, you can either pick up the top card from the remaining deck, or the top of the discard pile. After picking up a card, you must discard one face up on top of the discard pile. The discard pile must have all of its cards showing at all times. Your hole card cannot be discarded or traded. It must remain on the table at all times. You may look at your hole card whenever you wish.

Scoring a Straight: Once you have a straight of seven cards, you may show your hand face up on the table and say "Scatterbrain". A straight is worth 10 points. If your straight is "Pure" (all red or all black), all your points are doubled for that round. If you straight is "Top" (all the same suit), all your points are tripled for that round.

Play continues after someone has scored a straight. When it is the turn of a player who has scored a straight, he may guess any card that is not shown on the discard pile or face up. If he were to say "6 of diamonds", and an opponent has a 6 of diamonds in his hand, the opponent must give him this card and pick up a new card from the deck to replace it (this is worth 2 points to the player who guessed the card). The player who received the 6 of diamonds would would then leave it face up for everyone to see. If he were to say "6 of diamonds", and an opponent has a 6 of diamonds as the hole card, the opponent must give him his whole hand face down with the hole card face up. This is worth 20 points to the player who guessed the hole card and the opponent is out of the hand. The player who guessed correctly may not look at the rest of the opponent's hand. If he were to say "6 of diamonds" and this card is not a hole card nor in anyone's hand, nothing happens. Play continues until the deck is exhausted.

The Deck Ends: If the deck ends before anyone has scored a straight, the following applies. The player whose next turn it was can guess any card. If the card is one of the hole cards, then he scores 20 points and the hand ends. If the card is in the hand of one of his opponents, the card is put down face up on the discard pile and no points are scored. Players then keep guessing cards in turn until someone guesses a hole card. When a hole card is guessed, the player scores 20 points and the hand is over.

If the deck ends after at least one person has a straight, the following applies. The next person with a straight can guess a card. If he guesses a card in someoneís hand, no points are scored. If he guesses a hole card, he gets 20 points, and the next person who scored a straight can guesses. After all players with a straight have guessed once with the deck exhausted, the hand ends.

Mercy Hand: If after dealing out all the cards face up at the beginning of a hand, and a player has a straight already, the points are scored for his/her hand and the cards are re-dealt by the same dealer.

End of Game: Deals are played until one or more players have a total score of 100 points or more at the end of the play of a hand. The player with the highest score then wins. In the event of a tie for highest score, further hands are played with all four players taking part, until there is a single winner.


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Last updated 11th August 2004