Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
22 Posts

Decktet» Forums » Variants

Subject: Snakebit: A 3-Handed Trick-Taking Game for 3 Players rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: decktet_game [+] [View All]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
I sat down with my Decktet this weekend and tried to hack together a trick-taking game. I gave it a try last night, and it seemed to work well enough for me to put it out there for some other folks to try. I consider this a work in progress, so any feedback is welcome. It's kind of a Sticheln lite, so if you like that game, I would appreciate it if you could give this one a try.

So, I present Snakebit!

Setup
Remove the Pawns, Crowns, and Courts from the deck.

Remove the 6 Aces from the deck and shuffle them together to form a draw pile.

Remove the Excuse and set it next to the Ace deck.

Shuffle the remaining cards together and deal them out evenly to all players (all players should receive 8 cards).

Play
Flip over the top two cards of the Ace deck. The first card will determine the trump suit, and the second card will determine the cursed suit; use the Excuse to mark the cursed suit. The player to the left of the dealer starts the first hand.

When a player leads a trick, he determines at that time which of the two suits on the card will be the suit led. The other suit on the lead card is ignored for purposes of trump, if applicable. Players who follow must play a card with that suit, regardless of whether or not it appears on the top or the bottom of the suits on the card. If a player does not have this suit in his hand, he may play any card he wishes. The highest card in the suit led wins the trick, unless trump has been played to the trick; in the case, the highest trump in the trick takes the trick. The situation may arise where a player follows suit and plays trump at the same time; in this situation, count the trick as having been trumped.

Players should book their tricks as they win them.

Scoring
At the end of the hand, players score 1 point for each trick they took, and -1 point for each card in the cursed suit that they took. Net out the scores and keep track of each player’s score.

Game End
The game ends at the end of the third hand. The player with the highest score wins.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
K Septyn
United States
Unspecified
Michigan
flag msg tools
SEKRIT MESSAGE SSSHHHHHHHHH
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My instinct suggests this game should have bidding.

My instinct is often wrong. zombie
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nate Straight

Covington
Louisiana
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Cool. Thanks for posting it.

Do you have the Decktet book?

If so, have you read Nonesuch?

This is essentially Nonesuch + pain.

Verkisto wrote:
Setup
Remove the Pawns and Kings from the deck.


"Crowns".

And you should also note to remove the Courts from the deck, for those who have them.

Quote:
Play
Flip over the top two cards of the Ace deck. The first card will determine the trump suit, and the second card will determine the cursed suit; use the Excuse to mark the cursed suit.


I think this would be the interesting place for Septyn's suggested bidding to take place, if you wanted to try something. Players would perhaps bid [perhaps number of tricks?] for the right to choose which is the curse and which is trump.

Quote:
When a player leads a trick, he determines at that time which of the two suits on the card will be the suit led. The other suit on the lead card is ignored for purposes of trump, if applicable. Players who follow must play a card with that suit, regardless of whether or not it appears on the top or the bottom of the suits on the card. If a player does not have this suit in his hand, he may play any card he wishes. The highest card in the suit led wins the trick, unless trump has been played to the trick; in the case, the highest trump in the trick takes the trick. The situation may arise where a player follows suit and plays trump at the same time; in this situation, count the trick as having been trumped.


Almost exactly the same as Nonesuch, if you care.

http://www.decktet.com/webapp/nonesuch.php


Quote:
Scoring
At the end of the hand, players score 1 point for each trick they took, and -1 point for each card in the cursed suit that they took. Net out the scores and keep track of each player’s score.


Interesting. The total score [of all players] is inevitably going to be zero. There will always be at least one player with negative points. This is almost a three-way tug-of-war style of scoring.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
NateStraight wrote:
Do you have the Decktet book?

If so, have you read Nonesuch?

This is essentially Nonesuch + pain.

Ah, no. I used the Wiki and the .pdf file here on the geek to make sure I wasn't duplicating something that already existed. Nonesuch isn't listed in either one.

Quote:
And you should also note to remove the Courts from the deck, for those who have them.

Noted. I don't think I have those in my deck.

Quote:
I think this would be the interesting place for Septyn's suggested bidding to take place, if you wanted to try something. Players would perhaps bid [perhaps number of tricks?] for the right to choose which is the curse and which is trump.

Hm, not a bad idea. I was trying to avoid bidding, because I don't like games where you bid cards out of hand, but maybe bidding points would be a way to note that.

Quote:
Interesting. The total score [of all players] is inevitably going to be zero. There will always be at least one player with negative points. This is almost a three-way tug-of-war style of scoring.

Yeah, this was what I found to be most interesting about the game. It wasn't planned, but I knew that there were 8 tricks to take, and 8 negative points to score, netting out to 0. It just didn't register that the scores from each hand would net out to 0.

Do you think it's different enough from Nonesuch to justify it being a new ruleset?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
P.D. Magnus
United States
Albany
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This looks neat.

NateStraight wrote:

This is essentially Nonesuch + pain.


FWIW, there are a few differences:

Nonesuch plays with the entire basic deck, including Aces and Crowns. I'm always inclined to use the entire basic deck, but leaving out the Crowns in this game does make some difference: It makes it the case, as Nate notes, that the total score of all players will be zero; with Crowns, the total would always be one.

In Nonesuch, a lead is still trump even if you call the other suit (but you can't lead trump until they've been broken). So Nonesuch allows the strange play of leading a non-trump and trumping in on your own trick. In this game, calling the other suit cancels the trumpiness. This makes the game a bit simpler.

In any case, the Nonesuch reference chart will be handy here.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
P.D. Magnus
United States
Albany
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Verkisto wrote:

Ah, no. I used the Wiki and the .pdf file here on the geek to make sure I wasn't duplicating something that already existed. Nonesuch isn't listed in either one.


Sorry about that. The wiki really should contain at least a mention of anything Decktet related. I recently added a page for Goblin Market; even though the rules aren't available on-line, it should at least be mentioned in the wiki. I hadn't gotten to Nonesuch before, but I just cut and pasted the rules from the webapp page.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
P.D. Magnus
United States
Albany
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Verkisto wrote:

Quote:
Interesting. The total score [of all players] is inevitably going to be zero. There will always be at least one player with negative points. This is almost a three-way tug-of-war style of scoring.

Yeah, this was what I found to be most interesting about the game.


Since you are pulling the Crowns from the deck, here's a possible use for them: Draw a Crown to determine trump suit and an Ace to determine the pain suit.

This would mean that the trump and pain cards would be clearly distinguishable. It would also sometimes make trump and pain be the same suit; an excruciating outcome which might be fun the 1 in 6 hands that it happens.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
pmagnus wrote:
In Nonesuch, a lead is still trump even if you call the other suit (but you can't lead trump until they've been broken). So Nonesuch allows the strange play of leading a non-trump and trumping in on your own trick.

This is actually how we played the game last night, and I thought it was a little weird, so I decided to change it to the current rule. I could see it going either way, though. At the very least, fewer exceptions in the rules make them easier to remember.

I like the idea of the Crowns and the Aces being used to determine the suits, but I also like the idea of bidding for which is which. I'll have to try the game both ways to get an idea for how they both play to see which I prefer.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nate Straight

Covington
Louisiana
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
pmagnus wrote:
It would also sometimes make trump and pain be the same suit; an excruciating outcome which might be fun the 1 in 6 hands that it happens.


That would be awesome.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Mucchiello
United States
Edison
New Jersey
flag msg tools
designer
Septyn wrote:
My instinct suggests this game should have bidding.

My instinct is often wrong. zombie

Most trick taking games should. But I wonder how high the scoring can be in this game. Certain combinations of suits will nullify 3 of cards (since they share the trump and the dump suit).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
P.D. Magnus
United States
Albany
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jmucchiello wrote:
Septyn wrote:
My instinct suggests this game should have bidding. ...

Most trick taking games should. ...


Hmm... games about avoiding bad suits (like Hearts) typically don't have bidding.

Sticheln doesn't have bidding either, does it?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
K Septyn
United States
Unspecified
Michigan
flag msg tools
SEKRIT MESSAGE SSSHHHHHHHHH
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Septyn wrote:
My instinct suggests this game should have bidding.

My instinct is often wrong. zombie


My thoughts on bidding were that only the bidder would score that hand, either by the value of (tricks - curse) or the value of the bid (hadn't really thought that part out). The non-bidders wouldn't score at all, except maybe in the case where the bidder is set back for failing the bid--they'd get to score tricks taken, ignoring the curse.

Doing that bypasses the zero-sum involved here. Zero-sum feels boring to me, I'd rather play toward a point goal.

One thought I didn't post was that the bidder would be able to exchange the trump ace for a card in his hand. This would also break the zero-sum, and give the bidder a slight advantage by giving him lowest trump guaranteed.

I also thought about that 3-hander with "matadors", game multipliers, different game contracts and such, but I was at work, and now it's 1:20am and my copy of Parlett is way over there....
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
P.D. Magnus
United States
Albany
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Septyn wrote:

I also thought about that 3-hander with "matadors", game multipliers, different game contracts and such, but I was at work, and now it's 1:20am and my copy of Parlett is way over there....


Although this may count as hijacking the thread, I've been working on a three-player trick-taking game for a while. I've pasted in rules for the latest, untested version.

To say something on topic first: I am not sure that bidding would work with the pain suit. Even if you have a really good hand and know that you'll come out ahead of other players, whether you will want to take tricks or duck pain cards depends on how the hand plays out; so it would be hard to guess how many points you will take.

Side note: Isaac's game (as written) could be played with four players instead of three.


COALITION NONESUCH

This is a trick-taking game for exactly three players. One player commits to taking a number of tricks, and the other two try to stop the first.

A game consists of six deals; each player deals twice. Successful bids in the latter three deals are worth somewhat more than successful bids in the first half.

BIDDING

Randomly decide who will deal the first hand.

The dealer shuffles the basic deck, deals cards out eleven cards to each player, and deals the remaining three cards face up to the middle of the table.

After looking at cards but before play begins, the player on the dealer's left bids. They should bid a number of tricks that they think they can take, along with a qualifier of either LOW, FLAT, or STEEP.

A bid of LOW means that the player will take the three face up cards, select one to give to each of their opponents, and keep the third. The extra card is added to each player's hand, so a round played LOW will have twelve tricks.

A bid of FLAT means that the three face up cards will be set aside. A round played FLAT will have eleven tricks.

A bid of STEEP means that the opponent on the bidder's left will take the three face up and distribute them.

The player on their left must then either bid higher number, pass, or challenge. Then the dealer has these same choices. If either of them bid higher, then the original bidder may bid again or challenge. And so on, until one player had made a high bid which is either passed or challenged by both of the other players.

For the purpose of raising a bid, a larger number of tricks beats any smaller number. At the same number level, a FLAT bid beats a LOW bid; a STEEP bid beats a FLAT or LOW bid.

A CHALLENGE increases the stakes of the hand. If the bidder does not make their bid, then the player who called challenge will get extra points for stopping them --- but if the bidder does make their bid, they score extra for doing so.

Once a high bid has been settled, the high bidder names a suit which will be the trump suit for the hand. Then the face up cards are distributed as per the bid (low, flat, or steep; see above).

The player on the high bidder's left leads the first trick.

TRICK PLAY

When a card is led, the player who led it must select and announce one of the suits on the card. If the lead is an Ace or Crown, there is no choice --- just say what the suit is. For number cards, you need to select which suit other players will be required to follow.

Clockwise around the table, each player plays a card that has the named suit. Players who have no cards of the named suit may play any card from their hand.

If no trump was played, then the highest card of the named suit wins the trick. If any trumps were played, then the highest trump wins the trick. (As usual: Aces are low, and Crowns are high.)

For the purpose of following suit, all that matters is the named suit. But a card counts as trump if it has the trump suit, even if trump is different from the named suit.

Example: Suns are trump. Tarrant plays 7-Moon-Leaf and calls Moons. Each subsequent player must play a Moon card if they have one. Raphael plays 4-Moon-Sun which both follows suit (Moons) and is a trump card (Suns). Unless someone else plays a higher trump, Raphael will win the trick.

The winner of the trick leads the next trick.

You may not lead a card with the trump suit until a trump card has been played in the hand, unless you have nothing but trumps in your hand. Once any player has played a trump, either following suit with a cross-suited card or when they had no cards that would follow suit, then it is permissible to lead with a trump card.


If the high bidder has won as many tricks as their bid --- or if the other two players have won enough tricks that making the bid becomes impossible --- then the hand is over. Do not play out the remaining tricks, because they make no difference in the scoring.

SCORING

If the high bidder took the number of tricks that they bid, then they score points equal to the twice their bid. If the bid was challenged, then the player gets a bonus equal to the bid for each challenge. If it is the fourth, fifth, or sixth deal (the last half of the game) then a successful gets a bonus equal to the bid.

If the other players together took enough tricks so that making the bid is impossible, then they each score points equal to the bid. If a player challenged, then they score a further bonus equal to the bid. Note that if one player challenged and the other simply passed, then only the player who challenged scores the bonus.

The game ends after the sixth deal. The player with the highest score wins. If there is a tie for highest score, then each player may claim to have won while harbouring a smouldering enmity for one another.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nate Straight

Covington
Louisiana
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
pmagnus wrote:
Septyn wrote:

I also thought about that 3-hander with "matadors", game multipliers, different game contracts and such, but I was at work, and now it's 1:20am and my copy of Parlett is way over there....


Although this may count as hijacking the thread, I've been working on a three-player trick-taking game for a while. I've pasted in rules for the latest, untested version.


I'm also working on a 3-player trick-taker for the Decktet [to fill in the gap left by my 2-player and 4-player trick-takers!]...

Fortunately, it's nothing at all like yours or Isaac's!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
K Septyn
United States
Unspecified
Michigan
flag msg tools
SEKRIT MESSAGE SSSHHHHHHHHH
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
pmagnus wrote:
For the purpose of following suit, all that matters is the named suit. But a card counts as trump if it has the trump suit, even if trump is different from the named suit.

Example: Suns are trump. Tarrant plays 7-Moon-Sun and calls Moons. Each subsequent player must play a Moon card if they have one. Raphael plays 4-Moon-Sun which both follows suit (Moons) and is a trump card (Suns). Unless someone else plays a higher trump, Raphael will win the trick.


Suns are trump.
Tarrant plays 7-Moon-Sun and calls Moons.
Raphael plays 4-Moon-Sun which both follows suit (Moons) and is a trump card (Suns).
Raphael will win the trick.

"But a card counts as trump if it has the trump suit, even if trump is different from the named suit."

Shouldn't Tarrant win the trick in this case? His 7-of-trump beats the 4-of-trump. It doesn't seem right that the rules apply to the person following the trick but not the person leading the trick.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
P.D. Magnus
United States
Albany
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Septyn wrote:

Shouldn't Tarrant win the trick in this case?


Oops. The version you quote describes a card which does not exist! I made a typo in changing the rules from suit symbols (for typesetting) to plain text (for the forum). Tarrant's lead should be 7-Moon-Leaf.

I've changed the post above.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
P.D. Magnus
United States
Albany
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I got a chance to try Isaac's game on Thursday, but with four players.

Since there are only six tricks (with four players) but still eight poison cards, the total points among all players each hand is -2. We decided to play until someone sunk to -10. That required 13 hands, and that didn't seem to be too long; everyone was still having a good time when John finally jumped from -7 to -10. I had hovered just over zero for quite a while, but ended up at -2; the other final scores were -8 and -6.

The game was fun and chaotic. There were definitely opportunities for clever card play, and also moments when having the wrong card would force you to take a trick with four poison cards in it. So there was a lot of laughing and cheering at the turns of fate.

Because they'd played Nonesuch before, I introduced the game as 'Poison Nonesuch'. Somehow we ended up with the motto: In Hearts, you can shoot the moon. In Poison Nonesuch, the moon shoots you!

Players could occasionally get a positive score, but never more than +1. (This happened 8s time out of 52 player-hands.) Usually, doing well just meant breaking even. (This happened 25 out of 52 times.) The worst hand anyone had was -4 (once); players got -3 several times.

We played so that a player could not lead trump until trump had been broken. Similarly, a player could not lead pain until pain had been broken.

We used the Crown rule that I suggested upthread, and there were several hands in which the trump suit and the poison suit were the same. Hands like this were neat, because the strategy was different. You could lead any non-poison card without worrying about taking poison; with careful play, this opportunity could be exploited for a poison-free (and so positive value) trick. At the same time, you wanted to get rid of your poison cards without be forced to take too many others in the same trick.

I can see how there would be a bit less chaos and more room for control with three players, and I look forward to trying it.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
Thanks for playing, and for offering your feedback! I'm glad to hear that the players enjoyed it.

I like the idea of extending the game beyond 3 hands. The main reason I limited it to 3 hands to begin with was because everything else revolved around 3, and I just wanted to make that stick. Extending the hands means the game lasts a little longer, gives players a few more opportunities to recover from a bad hand, and even gives players a reason to use the crown/ace decks to determine the pain and trump suits. I liked the idea, but wasn't sure if it put too many cards into a game that I only planned to last 3 hands. Did the game take longer than 6 rounds? I might change the endgame condition to -13 points, just to keep running with the curse theme.

I also like adding the rules about breaking trump and pain. I forget these rules are common to public domain trick-taking games, and don't think to include them. With the double-suited cards, though, I expect it doesn't take long for that to happen.

Thanks again! Your comments are encouraging.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
P.D. Magnus
United States
Albany
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Verkisto wrote:
Did the game take longer than 6 rounds?


Yes. No? Maybe!?! I'm not quite sure what counts as a 'round'.

We flipped a random Ace and Crown to determine trump and pain, and we set the remaining Aces and Crowns aside. Dealing out the number cards made for 6 card hands, so each hand was six tricks.

It took thirteen hands before someone got to -10.

Everyone dealt at least three times, and one player dealt a fourth time.

Quote:

I also like adding the rules about breaking trump and pain. I forget these rules are common to public domain trick-taking games, and don't think to include them. With the double-suited cards, though, I expect it doesn't take long for that to happen.


It usually didn't take long. We decided to play that way one of the first hands. It was my lead, and the only pain card in my hand was a 2. So I led the 2 and called the pain suit. Being able to do this first thing was too much.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
I'm probably jumping the gun a bit, but I went ahead and created a BGG entry for the game: Snakebit.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
P.D. Magnus
United States
Albany
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You should probably add it to the Wiki, too!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
P.D. Magnus
United States
Albany
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've also added a BGG database entry for Nonesuch
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.