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Big Two

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A Chinese climbing-style card game using poker hands. Challenge 2006 2nd Place.


The object of Big Two is to be the first to get rid of all of your cards, by playing them to the table. There are four types of legal play: single cards, pairs, triples and five card groups. A combination can only be beaten by a better combination with the SAME number of cards.

Single cards are ranked two (high), ace (second highest), down to three (low). Between cards of the same rank a higher suit beats a lower suit. Suites are ranked spades (high), hearts, clubs, and diamonds (low).

A pair is two cards of equal rank. Twos are highest and threes are lowest. Any higher ranked pair beats one with lower ranks. Between equal ranked pairs, the one containing the highest suit is better.

Triples are similar to pairs, but with three cards of equal rank.

There are five types of playable five-card combinations. In ascending order they are: straight, flush, full house, four of a kind, straight flush. These hands are same as in poker, with a few exceptions:

  • Twos are always high.
  • Hands that are otherwise equal are ordered by suit.
  • Flushes are always ordered by suit first, and then by card ranks.
  • Ace-low straights are not allowed. In a straight, three is always low, two is always high, and ace is the second highest rank. This is the "Hong Kong" variant, which I prefer and is easier to program besides.

The player who holds the three of diamonds begins and must play this card, either by itself or as part of a legal combination. Play continues clockwise. At your turn you must either pass (play no cards) or beat the previous play by playing a higher combination of the same number of cards. This continues for several circuits if necessary, until all but one of the players pass in succession, no one being able or willing to beat the last play. When this happens, the heap of played cards is set aside, and the person who played highest begins again by playing any card or legal combination of cards.

Development is hosted at http://sourceforge.net/projects/bigtwo-gg

Download the source code: http://downloads.sourceforge.net/bigtwo-gg/bigtwo-src-29.zip

Instructions adapted from http://www.pagat.com/climbing/bigtwo.html
Card graphics courtesy of Three Rings Design, Inc.
Copyright (c) 2005 Chris Nokleberg

Created: Aug 2, 2005
Last updated: Jul 17, 2012

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