Farmer

Farmer is a gambling game for two to eight players that highly resembles Blackjack in terms of its core game play. The primary difference in game play is that, in Farmer, the goal score is 16 rather than 21. Betting is radically different in Farmer, however, and instead of all bets being paid out from the central bank, money is anted into a central pot which is taken by those who obtain a score of exactly sixteen.

Object of Farmer

The object of Farmer is to be the player who gets closest to a count of 16 without going over.

Setup

Farmer uses a special 45-card deck. Starting with a standard deck, like Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards, remove all the 8s and all the 6s except for the 6♥. You will also need something to bet with, like poker chips. Players should agree to the amount of the ante (which also equals the amount of all other transactions in the game).

In order to determine the first dealer, any player may shuffle the deck and begin dealing cards face up, one at a time, to each player. The player that the 6♥ is dealt to is the first dealer, called the farmer.

All players ante to the pot, which is called the farm. The farmer shuffles and deals one card face down to each player, starting with the player to their left.

Game play

Players look at their cards, evaluating their scores. Aces are worth one, face cards are worth ten, and all other cards are worth their face value. After a player draws, scores for each card are added to obtain the score for the hand.

Starting with the player to the farmer’s left, each player is given the opportunity to draw cards. Each player is required to draw at least one card. Players do not actually draw the cards from the stock, they merely say “Hit”, and are dealt an additional card, face up, by the farmer. When they are satisfied with their hand, they say “I stay”. If a player should exceed a score of sixteen, called busting, they do not announce this publicly; they simply stay. After the player has stayed, the next player to the left is given an opportunity to draw, and so on, with the farmer drawing last.

After all players have drawn, the players’ face-down cards are revealed, and the hands are evaluated. If a single player has a score of exactly sixteen, they win the farm. If there’s a tie, with multiple players holding a score of sixteen, the following rules are checked, in this order, to determine who wins:

  1. The player with the 6♥ wins.
  2. If none of the players hold the 6♥, the player with the fewest cards wins.
  3. If there are players tied for the fewest number of cards, the farmer wins.
  4. If the farmer is not involved in the tie, the first player to the left of the farmer wins.

If there are no players with a score of exactly sixteen, the farm remains for the next deal. Each player with a lower score pays the amount of the ante to the player who is closest to sixteen without going over. If there are multiple players tied for closest to sixteen, these payoffs are aggregated into a side pot, which is then split as evenly as possible amongst the players (with any remainder going into the farm).

Regardless of whether the farm was won or not, all players that have busted pay the amount of the ante to the farmer (except for the farmer, who of course cannot pay himself).

If the farm was won, the player that won it becomes the farmer on the next deal. If not, the same farmer deals again. Either way, all players must ante again before the start of the next deal.

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