It’s a card game where even if the odds are in your favour, you shouldn’t be too smug.
This is a gambling game in which a player bets on whether a third card will have a rank between those of the first two cards dealt. It is sometimes played as an option in Dealer’s Choice Poker or can be played as a game in its own right.
There are various betting formats. Perhaps the most usual one is where the dealer acts as banker, puts up a stake and plays against each of the other players in turn until either the pot is empty or a set number of deals have been played. Alternatively, all may contribute equally to the pot at the start and play until the pot is empty.
There is a casino version in which only one set of cards are dealt. Having seen the first two cards all players may bet against the house on the third card, and the payout is on a fixed scale of odds depending on the difference between the first two cards.
We’re going to describe the version used in home games with dealer as banker first.
Players and Cards
In Between is a game for two or more players. It is probably best for around 3 to 8. It is normally played with one standard 52-card deck of cards.
The rank of the cards in descending order is A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 (low). Suits are irrelevant. Deal and play are clockwise.
(There is a variant in which a player’s first Ace can be designated as low, below the 2.)
Begin by giving each participant an equal amount of chips to start the game. The dealer’s minimum stake – for example $100. It should be agreed before the game begins. Each player contributes one of their chips to the centre pot.
You must choose a dealer before you begin playing (he will also play the game along with the remaining players). The cards are shuffled and placed in front of the dealer, and the dealer deals them. The game will continue with the same dealer until either the pot is empty
In Between Card Game Rules
- The dealer deals two cards to the player face up. The player places a bet in chips next to the pot. The bet may be any amount up to the total that is in the pot at that moment. Or the player may ‘fold’, choosing not to place a bet.
- If the player bet, the dealer deals a third card to the player face up.
>> If the rank of the third card is between the first and second card, the player wins and takes an amount equal to the bet out of the pot.
>> If the third card is outside the range of the first two cards (higher than the higher card or lower than the lower card), the player loses and the bet is added to the pot.
>> If the third card is equal to either of the first two cards, the player loses double, and must pay twice the amount of the bet to the pot.
If anyone bets the whole pot and wins it, that is the end of the game. Otherwise, when everyone has had their turn, if there are more rounds to be played the dealer gathers the cards, they are shuffled and cut again, the chips in the pot remain there, and the dealer deals another round.
If the agreed number of rounds have been played and there are still chips in the pot the dealer collects the contents of the pot and the game ends (or it is the next player’s turn to deal).
Note that in this game there is no concept of ‘table stakes’. Players may introduce money into the game (buy more chips) whenever they wish to. The rationale is that unlike poker, this game never requires a player to bet more than they can afford to remain in the game, so there is no need to set an upper limit.
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