Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Wolverhampton Blackjack

The arcane game of Wolverhampton Blackjack is not, as most people might assume, anything like the classic casino card game where players aim to make a total count of 21 from the cards that they are dealt.

In Wolverhampton Blackjack, a maximum of 7 players can participate. Each player is initially given 7 cards. The remaining deck is put to one side and will be used when players need to pick up further cards. One card is played face up as the communal card, which the next card laid down must follow on from.

The main aim is for players for them to get rid of their cards as quickly as possible by making sequences/runs of cards that follow on from the communal card.

For instance, if the communal card is a four of clubs, then the following player will need to place another four or another card of the same suit:

The forfeit for being unable to place a card is the requirement to pick up another card from the remainder of the deck. When the deck is emptied, the cards in the 'communal card' pile are turned over, with the exception of the current communal card, and they then become the new 'deck' from which players take their forfeit cards.

All cards put down by the player are placed face-up on top of the current communal card. The final card the player puts down will then become the next communal card.

Sequences allowing a player to place more than one card can be made by playing further cards of the same value, or by creating runs where you can place a card valued one number higher but matches the suit of the current communal card.

The first player to offload all of his/her cards will be declared the winner. The last will be known as the loser and forever mocked or made to complete a forfeit (such as putting a brew on)

To hamper opponents, certain cards have 'special' properties' which affect the state of play. Should a player lay one of these cards down as the final card of his turn, the following player may be adversely affected:

Special Cards:

2s - the following player must pick up two cards from the unused deck, which they must add to his existing hand.
8s - in a game with more than two people, 8 makes the following player miss a turn - unless they can produce another 8.
Black Jacks- Laying down the eponymous blackjack forces the following player to pick up 5 cards to add to their hand.
Red Jacks - Cancels out the requirement to pick cards up. A card to be kept for protection
Queens - In a game of two or more players, a queen reverses the direction of play
Kings - Allows the player to have another go before their turn is finished
Aces - Allows the player to change the suit that the following player needs to choose. Can be placed on any card.

The Blackjack Bust.

Blackjacks and 2s can be played together in sequence. In such cases the pickup amounts are added together. As there are two black-jacks and four 2s, a player could potentially be forced to pick up a maximum of 18 cards.

Should a player be facing a pick up, but has another 2 or another blackjack, they can pass on the pick up requirement to the next player along long with the added value of the card that they used too.

Red-Jacks are used to cancel out any pickups a player may be facing, so are worth hanging on to.

So that's Wolverhampton Blackjack 'in a nutshell'. If you can follow these rules, give it a go.

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