Contributed by John Mitchell (

  • For 2 to 5 players each playing for himself.
    • For 2- 4 players A - 9 (24 cards)
    • For 5 players A - 8 and two 7s (30 cards)
  • 15 chips (or as agreed ) to each player
  • 4 cards dealt to each
  • Dealer throws 4 poker dice (dice whose faces are A, K, Q, J, 10, 9)

Phase one (object to get 4 cards which match dice on table by rank (suit is immaterial) or prepare a hand which will win phase 2)

  • Each player in turn, starting with the player to the left of the dealer, may discard one card and take one from the stock or pass. Each player may take up to two cards in this way.
  • Once all players have exercised their right to take two more cards, the player to the left of the dealer may bid for the opportunity to throw one or more dice. Each chip entitles the successful bidder to two throws of the dice. A bid of one chip into the 'pot' entitles one die to be thrown twice or two to be thrown once each; a bid of two chips entitles one die to be thrown four times; or two to be thrown twice; or one to be thrown once and one to be thrown three times and so on. A player may bid as many chips as he wishes. Players bid successively round the table until the highest bid is reached. A player may bid more than once. The highest bidder places the number of counters bid into the pot.
  • A successful bidder does not have to throw any dice again (he may have bid to prevent another player from throwing the dice) . The successful bidder may then throw the dice up to as many times as he has bid for. As mentioned above he does not have to throw again and, having started, may stop when he wishes. If the highest bidder already has in his hand cards which match the four dice by rank (suit is immaterial) he simply lays down his hand to demonstrate his matching cards and is then paid as indicated below.
  • If more than one player has four cards which match the dice, the player with the highest ranking card wins. The suits for this purpose are ranked Spades, Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds
  • If no-one wishes to bid, any player whose cards match the four dice (suit is immaterial, it is only rank which counts - eg 3 Jacks and a ten) lays down his hand to demonstrate his matching cards.
  • The payout is as follows
      Four of a kind8 chips from each player
      Any sequence6 chips from each player
      Three of a kind5 chips from each player
      Two pairs4 chips from each player
      One pair3 chips from each player
      For any other combination   2 chips from each player
  • If no player has cards which match the four dice there is no score for this part of the game.

Phase two (object to declare the 'highest' hand)

  • Starting with the player to the left of the dealer players declare their hands (giving only such details as are necessary to determine the winner)
  • Hands are ranked as follows
    • Four of a kind
    • Any sequence of 4 cards in the same suit
    • Three of a kind
    • Any sequence of 4 cards comprising more than one suit
    • A hand with cards of only one suit
    • Two pairs
    • One pair
  • The winner of this phase receives 2 chips from each player

Phase three (object to win most tricks)

  • The winner of phase two leads to the first trick. The card led determines the trump for this round. Successive players must follow suit if they can; if not they may trump or discard at will.
  • Player winning most tricks takes pot if there is anything in the pot at that stage (this will depend on whether there was bidding in phase one or phase four of the previous round which, at that stage, have not been claimed).
  • If two or more players tie for most tricks the pot is left
  • Players claim the tricks they win in this phase, the cards won in this way go on to become the players' hands in phase four.

Phase four (object to get 4 cards which match dice on table)

  • Once all tricks have been played out and the pot (if any) claimed, players repeat the bidding process of phase one but on the basis of the dice now on the table (they may have been re-thrown in phase one) and the cards now held (which may be significantly different from those in phase one)
  • Players with the less than four cards at this stage (because they have won an insufficient number of tricks) cannot, of course, participate in bidding or claiming in this phase.
  • Payouts as in phase one


  • Once one player has lost all 15 chips, the winner is the player with most chips in hand. This point is not reached until the end of a hand (given that players may lose their last chip(s) in phase one only to get one/some back in subsequent phases.)
Home Page > Invented Games > Sleepless
Last updated: 25th August 2003