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The Ultimate Cards with Friends Gambling Game

Updated on November 16, 2016
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John applies his scientific and research skills to develop guide for finance and home budgets, from saving on power, to stock market indices

Are you and your friends tired of Poker and Blackjack, Twenty-one or other game you now play?

Do you want an exciting alternative?

Well why not try "Seven and a Half"

I have Googled for this game and only found a Spanish game Ludoteka - Seven and a Half played with a Spanish pack of cards. This is not a gambling game. Perhaps the game described below is derived from this Spanish Game using a standard pack of cards. Sette-e-Mezzo (Seven and a Half), is an Italian card game similar to blackjack.

This game is only played with 8's, 9's, 10's, and face cards. All face cards were counted as the "half" and the King of diamonds was always the wild card. This is also not a gambling game.


Perhaps the game described below is known as something else, but anyway it is a onderful game.

The Basic Concept

The game is related to Blackjack or Twenty-one. The cards are assigned a value and you need to get to 'Seven and a Half' without exceeding it.

Take a basic pack of cards and remove the following cards:

8, 9 of all suits and the Jokers.

Values of the remaining cards

The Ace card has a value of 1.
The cards - 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 have their face values.
The 10, Jack, Queen and King have a value of one half.

So there is a pack of 44 cards, with 16 cards having a value of one half.

There are various ways of getting 'Seven and a Half'

7 + King, 7 + 10, 7 + Queen
6 + Ace + Queen
4 + Ace + Queen + 10 + King + Jack + King

How the Game is played

  • Choose a DEALER (who has a special role and way of winning that is explained later).
  • Each player has to add an agreed amount to the POT at the start of each DEAL
  • Each player is dealt 2 cards face-down by the DEALER who also deals himself 2 cards, face-down.
  • Each of the players picks up their cards.
  • The DEALER plays with each of the players in the game in sequence.
  • The first player can ask for a replacement of one or two cards they were originally dealt, or keep their cards.
  • After the swap the first player makes his or her bet. There is only one bet at the start of the play. The bet can be any amount up to the total size of the POT. If the player bets the POT and wins he collects all the POT and he becomes the DEALER for the next round of the game. If the player wins he takes the amount bet from the POT. If the player loses he adds the amount bet to the POT.
  • The player can then ask for another card, and another etc. until they are satisfied and say 'Close'. If the players cards go over 'Seven and a Half' they have BUSTED and their bet is added to the POT, and the DEALER moves on to play with the next player.
  • If the player has not busted, the DEALER turns over his or her two cards. All the DEALER's cards are shown face-up.
  • The DEALER can add one or more cards until the cards are as close to "Seven and a Half' without exceeding it. The DEALER then says "PAY Seven" or whatever the score which is half above the DEALER's score of cards ( in this case 6 1/2). If there is a tie the DEALER wins, and so the extra 1/2 is added. If the DEALER busts the player wins and collects his or her bet from the pot.
  • After dealing with the first player, the played cards are gathered together, and added to the bottom of the pack face-up (this is very important for knowing when all of the pack has been played).
  • The DEALER then moves on to play with the next player in turn. If the DEALER as no cards in front of them, he or she deals himself two cards face down. If the previous player has busted before the DEALER has to play his or her cards, the two cards will already be there face-down.
  • When all of the players have played in turn, the DEALER starts the next round - still using the same pack. At the start of each round all the players contribute a small amount to the POT. If a face-up card appears at the top of the pack, the DEALER shuffles the pack and starts again.

What is the role of the dealer?

This is where the game gets very interesting!

At the start of the game the players decide how many times through the pack will be completed before the DEALER wins everything that remains in the POT.

This will depend on the number of players and how large the POT will become. It may be 4 or 5 times.

The dealer is required to let all the players know how many times through the pack has been completed and when only 10 cards remain in the last run through the pack before the DEALER wins the POT.

It is obvious that as this point gets closer and closer, the tension will build.

None of the DEALER's money is in the POT and yet, he of she can win it ALL!

The POT is the key to the tension and gambling pressure in the game. As it gets larger and larger, the bets will increase. Players know how much of their money is in the POT and they want to win it back.

Being the DEALER is a wonderful advantage and is the way to make a lot of money. You can only become the DEALER by betting the POT and winning the hand.

Why is it Such a Good Game?

  • Its a fantastic bluffing game because the dealer plays with each player in turn.
  • As the pot builds and it gets closer to the time when the DEALER 'takes All' - the tension builds and players become more daring.
  • The pot can build dramatically in a short period of time.

Why not try it and let me know what you think? Anyone heard of it before? Know of a better Game?

© 2011 Dr. John Anderson


Submit a Comment

  • Kristen Howe profile image

    Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

    Interesting hub, John. That's a new card game for me. Voted up!

  • profile image

    scott paxton 5 years ago

    Playing gambling games online for the purpose of earning a living or for just pure excitement is entirely within your potential and it may just be possible if you learn some easy rules about the various online gambling games like casino and poker. However, it takes a great combination of talent, gusto, staying power, respect and the right kind of temper to succeed in these gambling games online.

  • profile image

    alberich 7 years ago

    Yet another great hub!