Indian Poker

Indian Poker is a game of a small amount of tactics and a reasonable amount of needing to pay attention.

Indian Poker starts by the dealer shuffling, cutting, then showing a card to everyone. This is the death card. When everyone has had a chance to see the death card (which is not the same thing as actually having seen it), the deck is re-shuffled. A single card is then dealt to each player, face down. The dealer then says something like “ladies and gentlemen, please raise your cards” (not using honorifics to get the attention of those present is considered a bluff)), at which point each player raises their card, face out, and holds it against their forehead, without having looked at it.

There follows a round of bidding, during which players to the left of the dealer must sequentially say a number between 1 and 4, at least as high as the highest number said so far, or drop out; folding incurs a fine equal to the player's last bid, or a minimum of 1. Practically, someone says “4” almost immediately. Fines are in fingers.

When everyone has folded or agreed the same bid value, the remaining player(s) with the lowest card rank lose, and drink the bid fine. The rank of the the death card is considered lower than all other ranks. Additionally, any player with a card of the “death suit” (the suit of the death card) drinks an additional finger fine.

If a player accidentally looks at their card, they are given a second card, drinks any fine incurred by either of them, and is obliged not to drop out of the bidding process.