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Does anyone recognize this layout? It's a home made board with arranged cards. I know it was played by 6 players, and pennies were placed by each player on the "kitty" that's shellacked on the board. Sorry, that's about all I remember. My parents and their friends played it on a regular basis circa 1970's. Thanks for any input.

  • 2
    Are those cards supposed to be there from the beginning of the game or could this layout be some kind of 'snapshot' of a game in progress?
    – npst
    Jul 28, 2017 at 15:13
  • 1
    Are your parents still around to ask? (Sorry if that's a sensitive question.)
    – corsiKa
    Jul 28, 2017 at 17:45
  • I notice that we only have Aces, deuces, and 10-K on the board. Could it be a reduced deck size? I thought it was Pinochle at first, but there are no deuces in that. Jul 28, 2017 at 19:15
  • Would also help to know the country this game was played in, respectively nationality of players Aug 11, 2017 at 10:12

2 Answers 2


This looks like a board that could be played similarly to the commercialized version of Rummoli (Canada).


Essentially, a number of hands are distributed to all players + a spare kitty hand (usually called widow in this game, but kitty, crib, or dead hand also can be heard).

4 phases to the game:

  1. Ante: Everyone drops a penny (or whatever) into each of the nine pots. Your board seems to have 12.
  2. Swap: The dealer can choose to keep his hand or swap it for the kitty. Otherwise, it can be auctioned off: whoever is willing to pay most among nondealers pays the amount to a central pot (although in this context could go right on the cat).
  3. Poker pot (doesn't seem to be a thing on your board): One of the 9 pots is awarded to whoever can show the best poker hand among 5 of his best cards beating any other person's best cards.
  4. Playing out: Whoever wins the poker pot phase (again, difference with your board) draws out the lowest card in hand, e.g. 4 of clubs. Any player can/should play the 5 of clubs. Then the next card in sequence and suit draws out cards until no one plays the next card. Last person to play the card in the previous sequence then must play his lowest card from an oppositely coloured suit (from clubs: either hearts or diamonds but not spades) or pass. This goes on until a person clears his hand down to zero cards. This person would win the central pot, and get paid out for opponent's dead cards. Having said all that, there's a few things to remember, which is where the other pots come in:
  5. The other pots. When playing out, if you manage to play any of the cards on the board, you can claim from the pots. It's that simple. Commercial Rummoli pays out to: 10 of spades, jack of diamonds, queen of clubs, king of hearts, ace of spades, as well as any person able to play both the king+ace of diamonds or 789 together in any suit. These comprise the 7 card pots in Rummoli. Any card not played (by virtue of being in the kitty, not played due to being outmaneuvered, split between multiple players, or locked in hand due to a deadlock) leaves the pots intact, and grow on the next hand, and so on.
  6. When a deadlock occurs, people must pay the central pot the number of cards' worth in coins, making the next pot bigger. This usually occurs if there is an inordinate number of one colour of dead cards in the kitty.

Differences between the commercial version and the table I see here:

  1. The deuces: it makes sense to probably incentivize the reward of playing the twos of each suit as it makes you less likely to have the tail end of the sequence.
  2. Sequence pot: 89T of diamonds.
  3. Double diamond: QK instead of KA.
  4. Tenner: Ten of hearts instead of spades.
  5. No poker pot.

Otherwise, the resemblances are too similar for it to be something else.

Essentially, it's not the most neurostimulating game, but it does teach some basic decision-making (keep a hand with 1 pot to claim, or swap for a chance at better/more?) and failed probability (if you have the ace of spades and someone finishes with their king, you get nothing!). Great game to stimulate 6-14 year olds as well as some social gaming among adults or a family mix of sorts. The game is usually played with 50 "tokens", but could easily be 50 cents or 50 dimes. There's a possibility of some house rules applying as well as if someone forgets to claim their pot, how to deal with it locally (it's usually dead within a certain period x of playing the card (either as you play it, or before the cards are discarded for the next sequence of cards).

Hope this helps you with what you need to know!

  • 3
    It also looks like it has elements of Tripoli. pagat.com/stops/3in1.html
    – LeppyR64
    Jul 31, 2017 at 11:25
  • 1
    @LeppyR64 That looks closer than Rummoli. Post it as an answer
    – Zags
    Jul 31, 2017 at 18:08

Could be a derivative of the German/French game Pochen, see https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poch , an early Poker-like game.

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