Koen Hendrix
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Hi all,

I’ve created a classic card game for 3 to 5 players, tentatively called “Two Three Four”. It combines elements of Poker and Blitz/31/Scat, in a compact 35-card package with no extra bits required for scorekeeping.

After some refining and playtests with friends, I would like some strangers to give it a play. tips for any playtesting feedback!

The complete rules are posted in the WIP forum thread: TWO THREE FOUR - a new classic card game



Since the game is played with simple numbered cards, I thought it easiest to just tell you how to construct a deck from standard playing cards, rather than provide PnP files.

Creating a play deck is easy:

d10-1 Find two packs of playing cards with identical backs.

d10-2 Using cards from your two packs of standard playing cards, create a 30-card deck of:
* Five 2’s: two red and three black.
* Five 3’s: two red and three black.
* Five 4’s: two red and three black.
* Five 5’s: two red and three black.
* Five 6’s: two red and three black.
* Five 8’s: three red and two black.
(There are no 7’s).

d10-3 Besides the 30-card playing deck, you’ll need five aces (any colour), which will act as 1-point cards.

d10-4 All done! Go read the rules and play!
 
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Jamey Thompson
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Tried this out with the wife today, we played it as a 2-player and upped the knockout pt total to 21 pts. With just 2 players, we might have screwed the overall mechanic, but we never broke the game to the point that it didn't work.

1st game - once we realized that it was about colors not suits and "in a row" could skip back-and-forth on colors, it was a blast. She won 22-17 with a lot of back and forth on the rounds. Very little bluffing, mostly it was getting used to playing and searching for matches. With 2 players, we never got to the bottom of the draw pile.

2nd game - this time around, I skunked her 4 rounds in a row to be up 17-0. Those 3- and 4-red combinations came out brilliantly. Then bluffing popped up: first draw and bet! Wife came back 3 hands in a row and it was 17-14. Last hand I plunked down an 8 as the bet, just to be sure the game would be over, one way or the other.


Her comments: "it is fast, lots of luck involved, but fun."
My comments: "Nice mix of bluffing and luck. The kids are the next on the test list."
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Koen Hendrix
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Thanks Jamey! I'm very glad you enjoyed yourself even if the main mechanics were originally meant for more players

One question: did you ever fold? Because it seems like you don't. Maybe you're just both daring players I mean, you write "I plunked down an 8 as the bet, just to be sure the game would be over, one way or the other". But couldn't your wife just fold (if she had a bad hand) and take just 1 or 2 penalty points, hoping for a better hand next turn? Because that's what I'd probably do if you'd plunk down an 8...

In fact, in the (mostly four-player) games I've played, there was quite a lot of folding. Playing it safe while other players get eliminated. To discourage excessive folding, I created the special end-of-game victory rule: once there are only 2 players left, the one with the fewest penalty cards (rather than points) wins.

(But that obviously doesn't come into play in a 2-player game.)

Again, thanks for playtesting!
 
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Jamey Thompson
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Derp derp derp - no, we totally missed the point about folding.

Told the wife and she said, "Ah, that would make it more like poker. But I liked it this way (no folding) too."

I does have a different feel than to be able to squeeze out and fold to avoid a big card penalty. But there is something fun about playing when you know that you *could* drop a high point card and bluff that you had more just to try to rack up points quickly.

It'll be a house variant for us, for sure.
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Koen Hendrix
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You may be on to something here... With two players it's probably more fun (definitely more exciting) without folding.

With more players, the folding is essential I think. It powers the bluffing mechanic: players have to decide whether they think you're bluffing or not. And only the lowest hand gets the penalty points, so you don't bet on being the best, just not the worst.

But with just two players, it would often be attractive to fold... It would quickly lead to lots of games ending in a unexciting fold. Variant "no folding" rule for two players, sounds good, I'll have to try it out! meeple
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Koen Hendrix
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For printing convenience, I've put everything into a single PDF:

Complete rules and hand rankings (and deckbuilding instructions) PDF
 
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