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Subject: Rules for Indian Chief rss

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Stven Carlberg
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Indian Chief

The card game of 7 scores for 2-8 players.

Materials:

For 4-8 players, use two standard decks of 52. With 2-3 players, use just one deck.

Pencil and paper will be needed to keep score.

Time

With 2-3 players, a game might last as little as 10 minutes. Play is simultaneous, so even with 4-8 players it ought not run more than 20.

How to Play:

Begin by dealing each player 8 cards, face down.

The game lasts just 7 rounds. Over the course of the game each player will make 7 different melds. Each meld requires a different number of cards and has different rules for scoring points.

The 7 melds take their names from a Mother Goose rhyme:

5 cards - Rich Man
3 cards - Poor Man
2 cards - Beggar Man
1 card - Thief
6 cards - Doctor
4 cards - Lawyer
7 cards - Indian Chief

During the 7 rounds, a player makes each meld once and once only, but they can be made in any order. After each round the hands refill to 8 cards. The game is over at the end of the seventh round, i.e., once everyone has made all 7 melds.

All the players choose at the same time which meld they will make from their 8 cards and which cards they will use in that meld. When everyone is ready, the players all simultaneously reveal the melds they have decided to make on that round.

The scorekeeper will need to keep track not only of the points scored on each hand but also of which type of meld it was.

Refilling to 8 cards:

The players leave their melds face-up until the cards for the new round have been dealt from the remainder of the deck. Then the remainder of the deck is shuffled together with the face-up cards to form the supply for the next hand.

The 7 Melds

Here are the 7 different melds in order of number of cards required:

1. Thief. Meld any single card and score the face value for that card. (For all "face values" in the game, aces count 1 and face cards count 10.)

The Thief's special power is that, after everyone's scores for the hand have been recorded, the player who played the Thief may elect, instead of being dealt a new card from the deck, to "steal" a card someone else has melded on that hand.

Once a Thief decides to steal a card, the player takes it into hand and replaces it in the other player's meld with the card melded as Thief. Thus it is available to be stolen by another Thief, if any.

If more than one Thief is in play, the honor of the first steal goes to the lower or lowest number. If there is a tie and they cannot agree to take different cards, neither Thief gets to steal.

2. Beggar Man. Meld 2 cards and hope for sympathy. This symbolizes two outstretched supplicating hands.

For each card someone else melds on the same round that matches the rank of one of your two cards, score 2 points.

3. Poor Man. Melding 3 cards, here is your chance to profit by the sweat of your brow. The spade is the symbol of your toil. Meld any 3 cards, but score the face values only of the spades you play.

4. Lawyer. The Law is exact. Meld 4 cards, and if their face values add up to exactly 25, score 25 points. Otherwise score nothing.

5. Rich Man. Even a Rich Man has to pay taxes! Meld any 5 cards, add their face values together and score the total as a negative number.

6. Doctor. The 6 cards melded as the Doctor must meet very stringent requirements, or they will score nothing. All 3 of these conditions must be met:

(a) No two cards can be of the same rank. (Because a Doctor needs wide and varied knowledge.)

(b) At least one of the 6 cards must be a heart. (Because a Doctor needs to have a heart!)

(c) One of the 6 cards must be an ace. (Because a Doctor should be an ace!)

If these three conditions are met, then the player picks one suit and scores 10 points for each card in that suit among his 6 cards. (Because a Doctor needs to be good at his specialty.)

7. Indian Chief. The Indian Chief is a compound meld, being comprised of two discrete parts: A five-card poker hand and a two-card chemin-de-fer hand.

(a) To score the chemin-de-fer hand, add the face value of the two cards together and count just the last digit of the total. (For example, a 7 and an 8 added together make 15, so are worth 5.)

(b) To score the remaining 5 cards in the meld, find the best poker hand that can be made and score as follows:

50 for five of a kind (if two decks are in play)
45 for a straight flush
40 for four of a kind
35 for a full house
30 for a flush
25 for a straight
20 for three of a kind
15 for two pairs
10 for one pair
5 for no pair

Remember: The 7 melds can be played in any order. After the 7 rounds are played and scored, the winner is the player with the most points.

Stven Carlberg

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Stven Carlberg
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Just to add a note that it's essential that you follow the rules under "Refilling to 8 Cards" about reshuffling after {dealing the refills and then picking up the melds from each round}! Otherwise the juicy, important cards (the aces, in particular) won't be in circulation as much as they need to be.

Of course it's mandatory to have an ace for the Doctor meld, but they can come in mighty handy with Rich Man (since aces count 1), Lawyer, and Indian Chief as well.

Thanks for playing!
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Questions about Thief
1) Can Thief steal a card from another thief's meld?

2) Can Thief steal a card of his own meld?
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Stven Carlberg
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Yes, a Thief can steal a card from another Thief's meld.

No, a Thief cannot steal his own card. (But if that card is in front of him as a marker because another Thief stole *his* card, then yes, he can take that card that was originally the other Thief's.)

Typically the main reason I choose to play Thief at a particular moment is that I'm looking to swap for one more card in order to play one of the more difficult melds next. For instance, I might need a heart so I can meld Doctor, or a low card so I can meld Rich Man. So the last thing I want is to get the same card back. If I don't see what I want showing in the other players' melds, I'd rather take my chances with the random card from the deck.

Thanks for playing!
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Jim Bolland
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We tried this tonight with 3 players and really enjoyed it. I have some rule questions:

1) If I play a pair for Beggar Man, do I score 4 points for each match?

Example: I play two 9s and someone else has a single 9 in their meld. Do I score 2 points or 4 points? (The rules as you wrote them would say 2 points.)

2) When more than one player is the Thief, is the value or the rank of their cards used to determine if there is a tie?

Example: I play a Queen and one opponent plays a King. Are we tied (because the Queen and King have the same value), or do I steal first (because my Queen has a lower rank than my opponent's King)?

We thought it would be best if value determines ties - if you are a greedy thief who plays a 10 or face card, your risk of a tie is much higher.

3) For Indian Chief's poker hands, are Aces low or high or either?

This only really matters for straights and straight flushes. In poker, Aces are high. Your rules state that Aces are low (value 1) for everything else.
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Stven Carlberg
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1) No. As you noticed, it is "for each card someone else melds" that matches your play that the 2 points are scored. The intention is to discourage people from playing pairs as Beggar Man.

2) I see what you're saying about wanting to discourage the 10-point play as Thief, but the reason for this tiebreaker by lower number is really to keep the game moving along. It's quicker if the player with the Jack can just say "I'll take that Ace of Hearts, thank you," than if a conversation involving "Which card do *you* want?" has to take place with the player with the Queen.

3) You should follow the standard rules of poker. Now, in saying this, I realize there are regional variations. In all the poker games I remember playing, an ace counted as either low or high for a straight. But if your crowd has a firm convention that aces can only be high in a straight, that's the way you should play it.

Thanks for playing!
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Kaiwen Zhang
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In the player aids by riddell, there is a cryptic rule about repeating melds and scoring 0 on one subsequent meld. Is this part of the rules?

I can't understand how that would work either... seems like you would want to keep repeating the indian chef and score big points while zeroing crappy melds like the beggar man...

I thought you're simply not allowed to repeat the same meld.
 
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Stven Carlberg
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You're simply not allowed to repeat the same meld. Apparently the maker of the player aid has some other ideas, but I'm not really in favor of them.
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Mike
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I assume that riddell's extra rules are for deciding what to do if someone makes a mistake and tries to use the same meld twice (accidentally). At that point, it's too late to say, "You aren't allowed to do that. Do something else." Thus, the penalty he thought up is to score zero points for one of your remaining melds. It can't be for the one you are trying to use because (as a practical matter) that would give you zeros on two separate melds. Note that if you only have the Rich Man left, his rules force you to use the middle five cards in your hand.
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Pablo Schulman
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I have a question concerning the beggar: Do I score points for both cards in my meld or only for one of them?

Example: I play a two of diamonds and a three of hearts as my beggar meld. There are 2 three's and 4 two's on all my opponent's melds. Do I score (4x2)+(2x2)=12 or only (4x2)=8
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Stven Carlberg
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You do score points for both cards in your Beggar Man meld.
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PK WADDLE
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Oops !! thank you Sven !! I was so thrilled to finally play this the other night ( See my list ) but I was doing this wrong-- BOTH cards score !! cool !! thanks !!
 
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Pablo Schulman
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Cool. Nice game by the way, I've been enjoying playing it.
 
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Stven Carlberg
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Thanks! Glad you're enjoying the game!

Let's try to make this rule a little less problematic to understand:

2. Beggar Man. Meld 2 cards and hope for sympathy. This symbolizes two outstretched supplicating hands.

For each card someone else melds on the same round that matches the rank of EITHER of your two cards, score 2 points.
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