With the introduction of the Gold Rush expansion, there is no FAQ on how to handle Lucky Duke/Horse Shoes with Rum.

Lucky Duke says each time he "draws!" flip the top two cards and chose one. Horse Shoes says whenever you "draw!", you reveal 1 additional card and choose the result. Rum says "Draw!" 4 cards: you regain 1 life point for each different Suit revealed.

So how do these interact? It's not clear if Rum means to draw 4 cards, or draw 4 times. My play group has ruled that it is intended to draw 1 card 4 times, which would mean Lucky Duke and Horse Shoes would take full advantage of it. But that may not be the case; it's hard to say since Lucky Duke was created before there were any cards that had a draw of multiple cards.

Here are the different ways I can see this working.

1) Based on the wording of Lucky Duke he only draws two cards for Rum and would draw a 3rd card if he had Horse Shoes, putting his use of Rum at a disadvantage compared to all other characters. This would also mean all other characters would draw 5 cards from Rum and they would chose the 4 that they would want.

2) Based on the assumption that Rum is intended to draw 1 card 4 times, Lucky Duke would get 4 draws of 2 cards, and chose one after each two card draw to determine how much life he gets back. If he has Horse Shoes he would draw 3 each time and any other character would draw 2 each time.

From my searches I have seen people arguing for both sides. Personally I'm thinking the second choice is right since it seems that Lucky Duke should have an advantage when it comes to draws.

2 Answers 2


Another possibility:

This doesn't follow the letter of the rules, but since it's a translation, I think it might be more appropriate to attempt to follow the spirit of the rules.

There's several characters (most, even) whose special abilities essentially are like having a "built-in" item. Willy the Kid has a built-in Volcanic, Paul Regret has a built-in Mustang. I think the intention for Lucky Duke is to have built-in Horse Shoes. Although the wording is different on Lucky Duke and Horse Shoes, for any standard single-card "Draw", the effect of either one is the same.

Continuing with this logic, the correct way for Lucky Duke to use Rum, would be to draw an extra card, for 5 total. And if he has Horse Shoes, then he gets one more for 6. This is much like Jourdonnais, who has a built-in barrel. (Okay, Jourdonnais' ability isn't exactly a barrel since it only applies to Bang! cards, but it's darn close.)

This isn't official, but in addition to the reasons above, I think it makes sense from a balance perspective. Lucky Duke definitely shouldn't have a disadvantage for a luck-based card like Rum, but drawing 8 cards is perhaps too good. See the probability discussion below, and you can decide for yourself how good Lucky Duke's ability should be.

Probability simulations:

From our comments, I got curious about how much of an advantaged each of these methods would allow. I coded it up and a million simulations of each. As I suspected, the drawing two-at-time method is nicest (but it's not as much of an improvement over drawing 5 and choosing 4 as I would have thought). The means (and standard deviations) are in the table below, and the graph below that shows the distribution of unique suits obtained under each rule. If anyone wants to see the code, leave a comment and I'll edit it into my answer.

Draw 4   Draw5   Draw 8
   2.7     3.1      3.3
  (0.63)  (0.64)   (0.56)

rum distribution

Under the draw 5 rule and the draw 8 rule you're the odds of gaining 3 life are about the same (58.8% and 59.9%, respectively), but you see an increased chance of only gaining 2 life in the Draw5 rule.

  Gain    Draw 4   Draw5   Draw 8
2 life    30%      15%      6%
3 life    58%      59%     60%
4 life    11%      26%     34%

I abbreviated the draw-2-at-a-time rule to "draw 8", but I modeled it appropriately as two-at-a-time, picking one of the first 2 randomly, then for each subsequent two cards picking randomly unless one suit was already selected and the other wasn't. Each set of draws was from a 52-card deck with 13 of each suit. I'm not sure exactly how many cards Bang uses, but it's probably close enough.

  • Drawing 2(3) cards at a time is really not that much more powerful then drawing an extra 1(2) cards. In fact it can actually be a disadvantage. For example if the first draw you get a heart and a diamond and chose hearts and with your second draw you draw 2 hearts it would potentially cause you to gain less life then if you could chose from all 5(6) cards at once.
    – Joe W
    Aug 27, 2013 at 17:37
  • You are right, it can help but it can also hurt depending on the draw.
    – Joe W
    Aug 27, 2013 at 18:27
  • Very interesting but I think there is one thing to take into consideration that Lucy Duke only has 4 bullets so he could only get back 4 life if he was the sheriff. Also if you where to account for the horseshoe then you are still limited to players who are the sheriff or a couple of ones that have 5+ bullets such as Big Spence to take advantage of getting 4 health from rum. For most cases I am not sure if there is a real difference between getting back 3 or 4 life (heck even between getting back 2,3 or 4 life for the 3 bullet characters).
    – Joe W
    Aug 27, 2013 at 22:58
  • Thinking about it I think the bigger concern for rum and how many cards you flip is how many cards get burned in the flip.
    – Joe W
    Aug 27, 2013 at 22:59

This is not directly the answer but may help you solve your issue. From the FAQ of www.Mayfairgames.com


Q: Can you explain how Lucky Duke’s ability works? Does he use it every time he draws cards? A: Lucky Duke can be a little confusing because of an unfortunate limitation in English that does not, apparently, exist in Italian. The problem comes from the definitions of "draw!"

At the beginning of your turn, you draw cards and add them to your hand. Lucky Duke's ability has NO EFFECT on this type of draw. Similarly, his ability does not impact Wells Fargo, the Stage Coach, or Panic! In fact, his ability ONLY affects the second meaning of "draw!"

Sometimes, like when you have the dynamite, you are called to "draw!" as in "draw, pardner" in a gunfight. It's supposed to be a pun, but it didn't translate so well. In game terms, this means that you flip the top card and look at the suit in the corner to see if you get the result you are hoping for.

Lucky Duke's ability allows him two chances to get a favorable result during this kind of "draw!" So, if you have dynamite, and you flip over a 3 of spades, Lucky Duke can use his ability to flip the second card to see if it saves him from the dynamite. Then, both "draw!" cards are discarded, just like normal.

  • This doesn't help at all since the draw that it is talking about is a single card where in the case of rum it is 4 cards and the question is does that mean draw 4 cards at once or draw 4 times.
    – Joe W
    Aug 27, 2013 at 17:39
  • The point I'm trying to bring is that the Lucky Duke's have no effect in the situation since it's effect happen only when we flip card to determine effect.
    – Kanius
    Aug 27, 2013 at 18:16
  • 1
    That is what the Gold Rush card Rum does. DRAW! 4 and for each different suit you gain 1 life. It really isn't different then any other DRAW! Card since you are flipping for an effect.
    – Joe W
    Aug 27, 2013 at 18:20

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .