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[Harrow Deck] Adding a betting round to Towers


[I know that this really isn't about Pathfinder as such, but it seemed the most appropriate spot. :/ ]

I got a Harrow deck recently, and I really like it (except for the backs, but whatever). My favorite part about the whole thing is playing Towers. However, I think the game is missing something. RAW, hands are played open, so there's no bluffing going on. The skill is entirely in recognizing the board state and placing your cards optimally given what cards your opponents have. These changes are meant to add the challenge of bluffing and betting to the game.

The games is played in SPREADS and HANDS. A spread is a single game using all of the cards in the deck, until either there are no more legal plays available, or the deck runs out of cards and all hands have been played. A hand is a full round through each player.

Each spread has a new dealer. The new dealer is the player to the left of the dealer of the last spread. Spreads are balanced out at the end as in normal Towers

At the beginning of the hand, the dealer deals each player (himself included) 3 cards, face down. If the dealer cannot deal a full hand to each player (as in the sixth hand of a 3-player spread if none have fled), return all of those cards to the deck and end the hand and the spread.

Then, starting with the player to the dealer's right, each player may STAY or RAISE. The initial bet is 0. A player who stays does not increase the bet. A player that raises increases the bet by any amount, so long as they are able to pay that amount; as soon as the bet is raised, each player must immediately put that much into the POT or FLEE. When a player flees, he puts his hand into his balance just as in standard Towers, but instead of paying each other player he puts an amount equal to his balance into the pot.

Once each player has passed or raised, all remaining players, starting with the player to the dealer's left, play their hands as in normal Towers, except that player may not flee during this portion of the game. A player is NOT dealt new cards at the end of their turn.

When the hand is over, the player with the fewest new cards in their balance wins the pot. If there is a tie, no one gets the pot; it carries over into the next hand.

Note: New cards in balance should be kept separate from the balance until the end of the hand.

I'm not too familiar with gambling card games, so if I've made any bungling errors in design, feel free to correct me.

I'm worried that that betting rules conflict too much with the balance rules, or that the rules as they stand make it too easy to go into debt with the game. Of course, as a gambling game, the latter may well be a feature, not a bug.

Anyways, thoughts?

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