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Subject: Exhausted draw pile with no completed building piles rss

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Brian Diggs
United States
Vancouver
Washington
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I was playing a four person game of Skip-bo the other day when a situation came up that was not covered in the rules. I will explain how we dealt with it and solicit opinions as to other/better ways to do it.

Early in the game, no one had played any cards off of their stock piles, nor had anyone even started any building piles. However, we had exhausted the draw pile. Normally, you just reshuffle the completed building piles when this happens to make a new draw pile. But we had no completed building piles.

In somewhat similar situations to this in the past, we have just pulled all the cards below the topmost card on all the building piles, shuffled them together, and made a new draw pile out of that. In this case, we didn't even have any building piles started so that solution would not work.

Our solution was to pull five cards from the bottom of everyone's stock piles, shuffle them and make that the new draw pile. Five was just an arbitrary number we agreed on. Does anyone know of any better way out of this situation? Or a good reason for a specific number of cards to draw?

I will add one more thing that we did not think was really relevant, but for discussion, some may. One team did have a couple of 1's and a Skip-Bo and so could have played. However, that team could not build a pile up to either one of their stock number or beyond the other team's stock numbers. That is, they could make a play, but only one that benefited their opponents, not themselves in any way. We decided that forcing that team to play their cards did not seem reasonable because 1) at no other point in the game are you ever forced to play any cards, especially not only to your opponents advantage and 2) this would still leave the problem unresolved in the case where no one had a legal play. It seemed an inelegant solution that did not completely solve the problem and so was dismissed.

Has anyone else run into this situation and did you come up with a different solution?
 
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Henk-Jan van der Ploeg
Netherlands
Opperdoes
Noord-Holland
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I've never been in a situation like this, but if I ever would, I'd either force myself or the others to play a card, even though that would give someone else an advantage, you need to get the game started.

Neither solution is in the rules, but sometimes you need to read the rules as guidelines and make the best of it.

Alternatively you can always start a whole new game of course.

 
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brian
United States
Cedar Lake
Indiana
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We were dangerously close of the same situation last night in a 6-player game. I think the way you dealt with it was probably the best solution. The more players you have, the less cards in your stock pile. So pulling X amount of cards off the bottom of the pile is within the flavor of the game. So having less cards in your stock pile is a perfectly rational way to go.

Forcing a player to play their cards seems wrong to me on so many levels. 1) You shouldn't have known their cards, so you shouldn't comment on if they played them or not. 2) No player is forced to play a card anyway, if they feel it is in their best interest to wait. 3) It just seems wrong that the person who actually lucked out with a few good cards get penalized right off the bat. All of these seem out of sorts with the spirit of the game.

Just my two cents!
 
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Matt Hoskins
United States
OKC
Oklahoma
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We've run into this problem before with 4 players. We did the same thing you did - we pulled cards from the bottom of everyone's draw pile to make a new deck. Since this happened we've changed the number of cards we deal out to 25 per player with 4 players,20 per player for five players and 15 per player for 6 players.
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James Davis
Australia
Canberra
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matthewjhoskins wrote:
We've run into this problem before with 4 players. We did the same thing you did - we pulled cards from the bottom of everyone's draw pile to make a new deck. Since this happened we've changed the number of cards we deal out to 25 per player with 4 players,20 per player for five players and 15 per player for 6 players.


that is what i was going to recommend, just use less cards in your stock pile.
 
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Dmitry Goretsky
Ukraine
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Trollsfire wrote:
I will add one more thing that we did not think was really relevant, but for discussion, some may. One team did have a couple of 1's and a Skip-Bo and so could have played. However, that team could not build a pile up to either one of their stock number or beyond the other team's stock numbers. That is, they could make a play, but only one that benefited their opponents, not themselves in any way. We decided that forcing that team to play their cards did not seem reasonable because 1) at no other point in the game are you ever forced to play any cards, especially not only to your opponents advantage and 2) this would still leave the problem unresolved in the case where no one had a legal play. It seemed an inelegant solution that did not completely solve the problem and so was dismissed.

You MUST play your 1 or you won't have any legal plays
 
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