Gambling is a popular pastime in any culture, and Calsin is certainly no different. Played mostly in Sintison, the card game "Gambit" is used for both casual play and high-stakes wagers.
The deck is composed of 57 cards, which are as follows:
2 Dragon Hunters
In "Gambit," players compete to put together the highest-scoring hand possible. Scoring is as follows:
Numerically: - In this method of scoring, each card is assigned a value based on the rarity of the card: 1 card in deck: 10 points 2 cards: 8 points 3 cards: 5 points 4 cards: 3 points 5 cards: 1 point 6+: 0 points - When points are tallied, cards will compound based on their rarity. All cards of the same tier will be totaled, then EACH card will become worth the sum total of that grouping. - For example, if a final hand contains three cards worth 1 point and two cards worth 3 points. The scoring would work as follows: 3 cards x 1 point apiece = 3 points. These three cards now become worth 3 points apiece, making them score 9 points total. Meanwhile: 2 cards x 3 points apiece = 6. These two cards now become worth 6 points apiece, making them score 12. Thus, this hand would score 21 points in total. - In the event that two hands tie for the winning position, the highest card from each hand is compared to the above list, with the highest card taking the pot. In the event that this still results in a tie, the second-highest card from each hand is compared to the above list, until a winner is found. If the two hands are identical, the hand ends, with the current pot forming the basis of the next hand's pot.
It should be noted that over time, many specific card combinations have been given shorthanded names to describe their value. For example, 1 card of every top-tiered card is known as "The Kingdom." These names do not affect scoring, but are used at times to quickly denote the value of a hand.
There are, of course, many different ways of playing. Some of the most popular are as follows:
Sintison's Gambit Every player is dealt two cards. The player to the right of the dealer then takes their turn, with play proceeding in that direction until the dealer's turn once more. Players may make a bid, pass, or raise the pot. On the first round, two cards are dealt. On the second round, two more. On the third and final round, only one more card is dealt. After all rounds have been completed and a winner determined, the person to the right of the dealer becomes the dealer, with play proceeding as long as desired. - It should be noted that this is by far the most common method of play, as it is one of the simplest versions that still requires an amount of skill in knowing when to bet and when to fold.
Orcish Bloodlust: Every player is dealt two cards. The player to the right of the dealer then takes their turn, with play proceeding in that direction until the dealer's turn once more. Players may make a bid, pass, or raise the pot. In addition, players may choose to lay one or more cards face-down on the table. These are "sacrificed" cards, and may not be touched again until the end of the hand. Play continues for three rounds, dealing out cards before the rounds start. On the first round, two cards are dealt. On the second round, two more. On the third and final round, only one more card is dealt. The primary twist of this mode is that the dealer has a special action which they may perform on their turn, known as a "Bloodlust." If they choose to do this, all cards NOT on the table must be discarded, and new cards dealt out to equal what the player had already been holding. After all rounds have been completed and a winner determined, the person to the right of the dealer becomes the dealer, with play proceeding as long as desired. - This method of play is common among more casual players and lower taverns, with many higher-class citizens considering it below their dignity. Skilled sharks, however, have learned how to use this particular mechanic to their benefit, winning great fortunes by skimming parlors and taverns in lower-class areas.
Sailor's Plight All players involved bet an ante, then three cards are dealt to every player. Cards are then exposed, with the winner taking the pot. In the case of a tie for a win, the two winners split the pot, and play continues. - This version is often credited as being invented by sailors who needed a fast-paced game to play while in rough waters. In reality, it was probably created initially by card counters trying to quickly scam people out of their money and was subsequently adapted into a proper version of the game.
Dwarven Fortress Five cards are dealt onto the table, face-up. Every player is then dealt a single card and required to make an ante. The player to the right of the dealer then takes their turn, with play proceeding in that direction until the game's end. Players may make a bid, pass, or raise the pot. In addition, they may choose to either draw one card from the deck or draw from the face-up cards. Play ends when the last player has five cards in hand. - Another variant likely invented by scam artists, individuals with a keen memory can do far better at this mode than those without such skills.
There do exist countless other variants, of course, but none are quite so popular or widespread as the above versions. Regardless, "Gambit" stands strong as the single most popular gambling game on the continent.