New #OneGameAMonth: Impossible Poker

For Global Game Jam 2015 at MAGFest, our team created a new social card game where everyone playing does not know the rules to the game. Enter Impossible Poker, a game about deciphering the rules of the game. It can be played with 4 or more players, a pack of playing cards, some tokens, and 2 makeshift cards/pieces of paper saying yes or no on one side, and blank on the other.

The full instructions can be read (along with a smart random rules generator to see some example rules) at the Impossible Poker game page, but here is the quick summary of the rules.

  1. At the start of the game, designate one person as the RuleMaster who creates a secret rule.
  2. Each player is handed out cards until they have five cards in their hands, or until there are no cards left to draw from.
  3. Each player plays a card.  Based on the RuleMaster’s secret rule and the game’s default rules (the highest valued card wins), the RuleMaster declares which card won.
  4. The RuleMaster will take the played cards and stack them for the players to see.  The top card of this stack should be the card that won.
  5. Repeat step 2 through 4 until the 3rd round.
  6. On every 3rd round, the players can either ask 1 yes-or-no question (e.g. does the color of the card matter?), in which the RuleMaster will answer privately with the yes or no cards, or make 1 guess on the rules (e.g. is the rule, “the closest value to 4 wins?”), in which the RuleMaster will answer whether the player is correct or not publicly.
  7. If no-one guesses correctly, the game resumes, repeating step 2-6.
  8. Players can guess or ask a yes-no question at any time, but each individual has only have 3 chances to do this.  In doing so, they must pay one token to ask this question to the RuleMaster.  The RuleMaster will answer in the same fashion they would on every 3rd round.
  9. Should a player run out of all 3 chances, they must wait for the next 3rd round.
  10. The first player to guess the game’s rule wins, and get to be the next RuleMaster.

It’s very fun (and challenging!) to play, and can be setup both cheaply and quickly.  Try it out with your friends!

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