Marshall Poker - card game rules
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Marshall Poker

The inventor Gary Thompson describes this as "A Climbing Poker variant for 5 players".

Goal: To remain Marshall for five consecutive hands.

Cards: a standard 52 card deck + Jokers.

Setup: A hand of standard draw poker is first played to determine rank. Highest hand has highest rank, on down. Rank is as follows: Marshall, Deputy, Storekeeper, Town Drunk, Bandit. It is suggested that players sit in rank order, but as there is frequent change in rank, this is not necessary, and may be replaced by tokens, placards, etc.

Deal: Storekeeper is always dealer. Seven cards are dealt to the Marshall, six to the Deputy, five to the Storekeeper, four to the Drunk, and three to the Bandit.

Play: Players must attempt to make the best poker hand possible.

The Marshall goes first, and may force a trade of up to three cards with the Bandit, selecting them at random from the Bandit's hand. The Bandit does not have to forfeit jokers.

Next, the Deputy may trade up to two cards belonging to the Drunk. Once again, jokers are exempt.

The Storekeeper plays next, and may make up to three offers to trade cards, of the form: "Who will give me something for a two of spades?" or "Does anyone have a two of spades to trade?" Rank and suit must both be mentioned. In neither case may the other card in the exchange be revealed.

The Drunk makes no play.

Finally, the Bandit may choose to draw a new hand of three cards from the remaining stock. This is all or nothing, no draws of 1 or 2 are allowed.

After the Bandit has made their play, the hands are revealed. Highest hand is now Marshall, and so on, down to Bandit.

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Last updated: 13th January 2007