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Three-Dragon Ante (ISBN 0-7869-4072-7) is a card game developed by Rob Heinsoo, and published by Wizards of the Coast in November 2005. The game is a combination of luck and skill, and blends concepts from traditional card games such as poker, hearts, and rummy.
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.
A card game is any game using playing cards as the primary device with which the game is played, be they traditional or game-specific. Countless card games exist, including families of related games. A small number of card games played with traditional decks have formally standardized rules, but most are folk games whose rules vary by region, culture, and person. Games using playing cards exploit the fact that cards are individually identifiable from one side only, so that each player knows only the cards he holds and not those held by anyone else. For this reason card games are often characterized as games of chance or “imperfect information”—as distinct from games of strategy or “perfect information,” where the current position is fully visible to all players throughout the game.
Based on Dungeons & Dragons, it is intended as a game in its own right or as an element in a role-playing campaign, and appears in some versions of Dungeons and Dragons as a game played by the wealthy for money.
Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game (RPG) originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. It was first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR). The game has been published by Wizards of the Coast since 1997. It was derived from miniature wargames, with a variation of the 1971 game Chainmail serving as the initial rule system. D&D's publication is commonly recognized as the beginning of modern role-playing games and the role-playing game industry.
In April 2010, Wizards of the Coast released a follow up game, Three-Dragon Ante: Emperor's Gambit, which added additional dragon types and was both playable alone, and with the original game cards.
The deck consists of 70 cards (plus two reference cards). The structure of the deck is reminiscent of standard playing card or Tarot decks. Each card in the deck represents either a dragon or a mortal, has a strength between 1 and 13, and a special ability or power. Six cards are initially dealt to each player. There is a maximum hand size of ten cards and players are not allowed to have more than the maximum at any time. Players keep their hands secret from the other players. The undealt cards are placed face-down into a draw pile from which players take new cards.
A 'playing card is a piece of specially prepared heavy paper, thin cardboard, plastic-coated paper, cotton-paper blend, or thin plastic, marked with distinguishing motifs and used as one of a set for playing card games. Playing cards are typically palm-sized for convenient handling, and were first invented in China during the Tang dynasty.
The tarot is a pack of playing cards, used from the mid-15th century in various parts of Europe to play games such as Italian tarocchini, French tarot and Austrian Königrufen. Many of these tarot card games are still played today. In the late 18th century, some Tarot packs began to be used in parallel for divination in the form of tarotology and cartomancy and, later, specialist packs were developed for such occult purposes.
The game is recommended for 2 to 6 players, each of whom begins with 50 points (called gold). The game is divided into gambits in which gold is added and subtracted from the stakes (similar to the pot in poker). Each gambit normally has three rounds (four or more can break ties). In each round, players play cards in front of them (comprising their flight). The strongest flight is the one with cards summing the highest numerical value. After each gambit, each player draws two cards. All ante cards and flights are then discarded. When the last card is drawn from the pile, you shuffle the discard pile and it replaces the draw pile.
Poker is a family of card games that combines gambling, strategy, and skill. All poker variants involve betting as an intrinsic part of play, and determine the winner of each hand according to the combinations of players' cards, at least some of which remain hidden until the end of the hand. Poker games vary in the number of cards dealt, the number of shared or "community" cards, the number of cards that remain hidden, and the betting procedures.
In a gambit, players initially choose a card from their hand to ante-up (see poker). The highest ante determines the amount of gold every player must pay to the stakes.
The player with the highest ante plays first, triggering the special ability of their dragon. The special powers of each card varies from allowing players to draw more cards or steal money - from the stakes or other players. In general, good dragons allow players to gain cards, whereas evil dragons allow players to get more gold from the pot or other players. Mortals are especially powerful, so players often maneuver to trigger their mortals' special power.
After the first card in the round is played, players play cards in clockwise order. If the value of the card is less than or equal to the one played before it in the round, it triggers. Otherwise, it does not. The highest dragon in a given round determines the leader of the next round. The first card played in every round always triggers.
Most gambits end after three rounds, though occasionally a tie extends it to four or more rounds. In either case, the strongest flight (sum of the values of each player's three cards) wins. Additionally, special flights (color or strength) allow players to earn extra gold or cards. Players must buy cards from the deck if they run out of cards. The cost of new cards is determined randomly by flipping the top card of the draw pile; the player pays its cost in gold. This commonly happens, since replacing cards can be difficult.
The game ends when one player's hoard runs out at the end of a gambit. Optional alternate endings are also suggested in the rules.
With few exceptions, each dragon has a strength and a color. A dragon's strength is shown in the top-left and bottom-right corners of the card. The color of the dragon determines its alignment and powers:
Only dragons count in special flights but house rules can allow three mortals to be played as a color flight called a fellowship.
Bahamut also has a normal power that triggers like the power of any regular dragon.
Dracolich: strength 10 and colorless.
Mortals are non-dragon cards, such as The Thief or The Druid. Mortals do not count in special flights but house rules can allow three mortals to be played as a color flight called a fellowship.
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The game's strategy centers on correctly estimating the value of one's hand in order to ante appropriately. The order of play is important, with prominent advantages going to the first player (whose card always triggers) and the players who get to play later in the round. It is particularly important to plan one's order of play in a gambit.
For example, players with weak hands should ante low and seek to steal as much gold from the stakes and other players as possible, generally by playing low-strength dragons. Also, playing strength and color flights, even if they are not successful in winning gambits, can be effective at gaining gold.
Players with high strength cards should not hesitate to ante high and make a play for the stakes. There are two advantages to this approach. First, the highest ante starts the first round, causing his or her first dragon to automatically trigger. Second, the highest strength dragon determines who starts the next round. As the card played by the first player in every round always triggers, playing higher than the opposition in late position can greatly aid one's chances.
One mortal, The Druid, allows the lowest strength flight to win the gambit (reversing the normal rules). Several strategies revolve around disguising one's intent to play the druid and other low-strength cards to unexpectedly run away with the stakes. The Thief, who allows the player to steal 7 gold from the stakes if it triggers, is also a powerful mortal card that helps players with weak hands. For players attempting to win the gambit by playing high cards, The Dragonslayer is another powerful mortal.
Finally, it is often in one's own interest to help other players, particularly to prevent them from losing (and thus ending the game). It is common to see players trailing the gold leader (but still conceivably competitive) to keep their comrades alive in the hope of catching up.
Critics of the game suggest that Three-Dragon Ante's major weakness is that the strategy varies so much according to the number of players. It is particularly important to win gambits in large games (4+ players), whereas stealing gold from the stakes is effective in games with only 2–3 players. Strength flights are also relatively more important in large games. Also, because the deck size is fixed, the rule-changing cards like The Druid come up more often in large games. This non-linear scaling causes game time to vary radically with the number of players. Games with 4+ players usually end within an hour, but games with fewer players can continue indefinitely. House rules, such as adjusting the effect of the strength flights or the starting gold given to each player, can help alleviate these problems. Another solution is to set a certain number of gambits as a match; the player with the most gold at the end of the match wins.
Another camp holds that the unexpected shifts in strategy caused by changes to the number of players is an asset rather than a weakness. It makes the game more versatile and forces players to compete in new ways and use the cards differently. While game length can be an issue, house rules (as suggested above and recommended in the rule book) are more than sufficient to counter this issue.
Five-card draw is a poker variant that is considered the simplest variant of poker, and is the basis for video poker. As a result, it is often the first variant learned by new players. It is commonly played in home games but rarely played in casino and tournament play. The variant is also offered by some online venues, although it is not as popular as other variants such as Seven-card stud and Texas hold 'em.
Magic: The Gathering is both a collectible and digital collectible card game created by Richard Garfield. Released in 1993 by Wizards of the Coast, Magic was the first trading card game to gain widespread acceptance, and it continues to thrive, with approximately twenty million players as of 2015, and over twenty billion Magic cards produced in the period from 2008 to 2016 alone.
Canasta is a card game of the rummy family of games believed to be a variant of 500 Rum. Although many variations exist for two, three, five or six players, it is most commonly played by four in two partnerships with two standard decks of cards. Players attempt to make melds of seven cards of the same rank and "go out" by playing all cards in their hand. It is the only partnership member of the family of Rummy games to achieve the status of a classic.
Shithead is a card game, the object of which is to lose all of one's cards, with the final player being the "shithead". The game is popular in many countries among backpackers and local pubs, and is therefore widespread. Although the basic structure of the game generally remains constant, there are regional variations to the game's original rules.
Uno is an American shedding-type card game that is played with a specially printed deck. The game's general principles put it into the Crazy Eights family of card games. The game was originally developed in 1971 by Merle Robbins in Reading, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati. It has been a Mattel brand since 1992. When his family and friends began to play more and more, he spent $8,000 to have 5,000 copies of the game made. He sold it from his barbershop at first, and local businesses began to sell it as well. Robins later sold the rights to UNO to a group of friends headed by Robert Tezak, a funeral parlor owner in Joliet, Illinois, for $50,000 plus royalties of 10 cents per game. Tezak formed International Games, Inc., to market UNO, with offices behind his funeral parlor. The games were produced by Lewis Saltzman of Saltzman Printers in Maywood, Illinois. In 1992, International Games became part of the Mattel family of companies. There can be 2-10 players.
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A Game of Thrones: The Card Game is an out-of-print collectible card game produced by Fantasy Flight Games. It is based on A Song of Ice and Fire, a series of novels written by George R. R. Martin. The first set was Westeros Edition and was released in August 2002. It has since won two Origins Awards. The game's primary designer is Eric Lang, the lead developer is Nate French, with Damon Stone serving as associate designer.
Rummy is a group of matching-card games notable for similar gameplay based on matching cards of the same rank or sequence and same suit. The basic goal in any form of rummy is to build melds which consists of sets, three or four of a kind of the same rank; or runs, three or more cards in sequence, of the same suit. If a player discards a card, making a run in the discard pile, it may not be taken up without taking all cards below the top card. The Mexican game of Conquian is considered by games scholar David Parlett to be ancestral to all rummy games, which itself is derived from a Chinese game called Khanhoo and, going further back, Mahjong. The Rummy principle of drawing and discarding with a view to melding appears in Chinese card games at least in the early 19th century, and perhaps as early as the 18th century, and is the essence of Mahjong.
A Game of Thrones is a strategy board game created by Christian T. Petersen and released by Fantasy Flight Games in 2003. The game is based on the A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series by George R. R. Martin. It was followed in 2004 by the expansion A Clash of Kings, and in 2006 by the expansion A Storm of Swords.
Redemption is a collectible card game based on the Bible. It involves Biblical characters, places, objects, and ideas. The object of the game is for a players Heroes to rescue Lost Souls by defeating an opponent's Evil Characters. The first player to rescue 5 Lost Souls wins the game. Redemption was first published in July 1995 by Cactus Game Design and its creator, Rob Anderson, continues to develop and produce the game and is the final authority on rulings.
Tiến lên, also known as Vietnamese cards, Thirteen, Killer 13, "'Bomb"', is a Vietnamese shedding-type card game devised in Southern China and Vietnam. It is similar to Zheng Shangyou, which uses a specially printed deck of cards, Big Two, and other "climbing" card games popular in many parts of Asia. Tien len, considered the national card game of Vietnam, is a game intended and best for four players.
Yaniv, also known as "Dhumbal" or "Jhyap," is an Israeli card game that is popular in Nepal. It is similar to Blackjack with some minor differences in the process of gameplay. Yaniv has many variations, ranging from two to five players in each.
Wyvern is an out-of-print collectible card game featuring dragons and wyverns battling for treasure. The game was produced by U.S. Games Systems, Inc., with the first, "Premiere Limited", card set launched in January 1995. In 1997, the "Kingdom Unlimited" edition was released, featuring 277 cards, and marking the end of production.
Grave Robbers from Outer Space (GROS) is a card game designed by Stephen Tassie and published out by Z-Man Games. GROS parodies movies and movie clichés, especially those from science fiction and horror movies. It is played with a specially designed 120 card deck.
Magic: The Gathering formats are various ways in which the Magic: The Gathering collectible card game can be played. Each format provides rules for deck construction and gameplay, with many confining the pool of permitted cards to those released in a specified group of Magic card sets. The DCI, the governing body that oversees official Magic competitive play, categorizes its tournament formats into Constructed and Limited.
The Catan Card Game, originally named The Settlers of Catan: The Card Game, is a card-game adaptation of The Settlers of Catan board game. It is a member of the Catan series of games, published by Kosmos in German, and by Mayfair Games in English. The Catan Card Game is a two-player game, although the rules can be accommodated as to allow players to share a set or for each player to have their own. Seven expansions of the Catan Card Game have been released.
Taki is a card game developed by Israeli game inventor Haim Shafir. The game is an advanced variant of the Crazy Eights with a special card deck and extended game options. In its basic form it resembles UNO. It was introduced in 1983 by Shafir Games. The game cards were designed by Israeli artist Ari Ron.
Egyptian Ratscrew is a card game of the matching family of games. The game is similar to the 19th century British card game Beggar-My-Neighbour, with the added concept of "slapping" cards when certain combinations are played, similar to and perhaps borrowed from Slapjack.
Star Realms is a card-based deck building science-fiction tabletop game, designed by Rob Dougherty and Darwin Kastle and published in 2014 by White Wizard Games. The game started out as a Kickstarter campaign in 2013. The goal of Star Realms is to destroy your opponent or opponents by purchasing cards using "trade" points and using these cards to attack your opponent's "authority" using your "combat" points. The game takes place in a distant future where different races compete to gain resources, trade and outmaneuver each other in a race to become ruler of the galaxy.