a set-making Decktet game for 2 or more players
A double Decktet (two Decktets shuffled together) improves the game considerably, and is nearly required with more than two players. For six players, a triple Decktet may be used.
Overview: You bind sets or straights by playing the cards face up in front of you on your turn. The aim is to score points by binding as many cards as possible and having as few cards as possible left over when the hand ends.
There are two discard piles: The Ace Pile (the discard pile for aces) and the Discard Cue (the discard pile for number cards and crowns). The top card of the Ace Pile determines which straights may be bound. The Discard Cue is used as a draw pile, and players may draw as many cards as they want from the top of the stack. Cards in the Discard Cue should be set at a slight offset, so that players can see its entire contents.
Each player is dealt a hand of ten cards. The dealer then deals one card face up. If the face up card is an ace, then that card starts the Ace Pile and the dealer continues to turn cards until there is a non-ace to start the Discard Cue.
Play begins on the dealer's left.
On your turn, you draw, bind sets (if possible), and discard.
Draw: You may take the top card of the deck or any number of cards from the top of the Discard Cue. You may not draw from both on a single turn.
If you draw from the Discard Cue, you may take as few as one card as many as all the cards in the stack. However, you cannot take a card from the Discard Cue without taking every card on top of it.
Bind: If you have sets, complete straights, or partial straights in your hand, you may bind them by placing the cards on the table in front of you. You may bind any number of cards, but you are not required to bind cards on your turn.
A set is a group of three or more cards that have one of each suit between them without duplication. A set must have one and only one instance of each suit.
A complete straight is three or more cards in rank order that share a suit symbol. In order to bind a straight, the suit of straight must match the top card of the Ace Pile. If another Ace is discarded later, a straight that was already bound remains bound. If the Ace pile has no cards in it, you may not yet bind any straights.
For the purpose of straight order, Aces are before 2s; Crowns are after 9s.
A partial straight is one or two cards that can combine with cards already on the table to form a complete straight. Cards that are bound in sets may be used for this purpose, as can straights already bound. You may even use cards that were previously bound by other players. When you bind a partial straight, the partial straight goes in front of you; the cards you are using for the combination remain in front of the player who bound them.
All cards in a partial straight must match the suit of the top card of the Ace Pile.
You may not use just part of a bound straight to make a partial straight.
Example: There is a bound 4-5-6. You may play a 3 or 7 of the same suit as a partial straight. You may not play another 6 using the 4-5, however; they cannot be used apart from the entire sequence 4-5-6.
Discard: If you have any cards remaining, you must discard one. Aces are discarded in the Ace Pile. Any other card is added to the Discard Cue.
End of the hand
When a player has run out of cards, either by binding their last card or by discarding their last card, the hand is over.
If a player runs out of cards on their first turn, before every player has gotten a turn, remaining players may bind any set or straights in their hand. After the first turn, you're stuck with whatever is in your hand.
Scoring: You earn points for bound cards, and lose points for any unbound cards remaining in your hand at the end. Aces and Crowns are worth 1 point each; number cards are worth 2 points each regardless of rank. It is possible to have a negative score for the hand, if you have fewer bound points than unbound points.
With multiple rounds, play continues until one player reaches a target score. 50 is good for a short game; 100 for a longer game.
The extended deck
If you want to spice up the game, you can add the Pawns. The Excuse does not have a use in Bharg Deluxe.
Pawns: Pawns contribute all three of their suits to a set. If Pawns are in play, they are between 9s and Crowns for the purpose of straights; 8-9-Crown is not a straight without the intervening Pawn. Pawns are worth 3 points each at the end of the hand.
Original design: Cristyn Magnus
Playtesting: P.D. Magnus
As Bharg is to Gin, Bharg Deluxe is to 500 Rum.
The Decktet is ©2008-10 P.D. Magnus. Some rights reserved. The contents of this page and a version of the deck are offered as open content under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be negotiated.