Pirate’s Dagger

For an upcoming book, The Pirates of Andromeda, I created a card game based loosely on 7-Card Stud. Among other things, it lets you steal cards from the other players. I invite you to take a look and let me know what you think!

The rules are below, but here’s a PDF version.


Pirate’s Dagger

By W. H. Mitchell

Poker-style card game (similar to 7-card stud) played with a standard 52-card deck.

No jokers. No wild cards.

Card rankings run from Ace (lowest) to 10 (highest).

No face cards. Instead, face cards are treated as “Daggers”. Dagger cards are used to steal cards from another player’s hand. There are twelve Daggers in the deck.

During each stage (see Sequence of Play below), a player may use a Dagger card to steal a card from another player’s hand (in hand cards only). The stolen card is added to the stealing player’s in-hand cards and the Dagger card is discarded face up.

A Dagger card that’s part of a player’s face-up cards cannot be used to steal another player’s card. However, it can be used to gather the 5 Daggers cards required to instantly win (see Stage 6 below).

When a player has a card stolen, the player is dealt a new card from the deck.

One player acts as the Dealer during each game. At the start of the next game, the player to the left will become the new Dealer (clockwise around the table).

Sequence of Play

OBJECT: The best five-card poker hand, out of seven cards, wins the pot.

Stage 1

Each player must place an ante into the pot.

Each player is dealt one card face-up and two cards face-down (in the hand).

Dealer calls for Wagers/bets/folds until all pass

Dealer calls for the Steal or Pass and allows it to continue until everyone passes…

Stage 2

Each player is dealt one card face-down (3 total in hand and 1 face-up)

Dealer calls for Wagers/bets/folds until all pass

Dealer calls for the Steal or Pass and allows it to continue until everyone passes…

Stage 3

Each player is dealt one card face-down (4 total in hand and 1 face-up)

Dealer calls for Wagers/bets/folds until all pass

Dealer calls for the Steal or Pass and allows it to continue until everyone passes…

Stage 4

Each player is dealt one card face-down (5 total in hand and 1 face-up)

Dealer calls for Wagers/bets/folds until all pass

Dealer calls for the Steal or Pass and allows it to continue until everyone passes…

Stage 5

Each player is dealt a final card face-up (5 total in hand and 2 total face-up)

Dealer calls for Wagers/bets/folds until all pass

Dealer calls for the Steal or Pass and allows it to continue until everyone passes…

Stage 6 (Showdown)

Showdown (Every remaining player shows hand with first bettor or last raiser showing first).

Players can use any five of their seven cards to make their best hand. Daggers are not used when determining the best hand, unless the player has 5 Daggers (see below).

If a player at any time has 5 Daggers (in combination either in hand or face up), they may declare themselves the winner.

  • A player does not have to declare they have five Daggers immediately if they wish to increase the value of the hold. However, if another player gains five Daggers and declares victory first, that player wins the hold.

Tip: If a player does not believe they can gather five Dagger cards, they should use them instead to steal cards from other players.

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