Artefacts of Old
Gambling is normally achieved through opposed gamble checks, but occasionally a game may be played for whatever reason. Below are the common games and sources that betting can usually be done on.
Dejarik was played on a hologame table, which comprised a hologram generator within a table-sized cylindrical base, with a black-and-white checkerboard pattern on the top surface. When active, holomonsters – full-color, three-dimensional hologram playing pieces measuring between 5-30 cm tall – would be projected on the board. The pieces all resembled creatures, real and mythic, from throughout the galaxy, including the Mantellian Savrip, Grimtaash the Molator, Ghhhk, Houjix, Ng’ok, Kintan strider, K’lor’slug, and the M’onnok. These pieces, when moved by the player, actually acted out the moves as if really specimens of their species. If the pieces were not used for a certain amount of time or the game was abandoned by both players, they would simulate boredom.
Major dejarik tournaments included the Galactic Core Interzonals. The kintan strider death gambit was a notable tactic.
Another notable tactic was the fork, in which a player moved one holomonster to threaten at least two of the opponent’s, so that no matter what the opponent did one piece would be lost. It was considered a mistake in play to leave oneself vulnerable to a fork. The word fork came to be used as a generic term for facing a choice between two disasters: “We are well and truly forked.”
A bet is usually placed before a game starts if the game is subject to gambling. the bet is usually on which player is going to win.
Jubilee Wheel was a betting game popular in many casinos. It involved players betting on which of a 100 numbers would appear after a random spin of a giant wheel. Bets were placed on the number that the player believed the wheel would stop on. The wheel was then spun. Once the wheel stopped, a win indicator pointed to the winning number. Any player who picked the winning number won the entire pot, which could be split among multiple winners. If no player picked the correct number, any player within five of the winning number won from a pool of half the pot, with the rest going to the house.
The game of sabacc used a deck of seventy-six cards featuring sixty numbered cards divided into four suits, and two copies of eight special cards. Each player is dealt several cards which make up their hand, usually between two and five, depending on the set of rules in play at the table. The cards themselves are small, electronic devices with a display panel covering the surface of one side; this panel is capable of shifting the displayed suit and value of each card when told to do so by the computer running the game, or when a player has the option to manually shuffle the card’s value. In this fashion, a player can receive new cards of any possible suit or rank without actually having to take new cards from the deck itself.
The design of the card is due to the unique nature of the game’s chance factor; in sabacc, strategy is as much about the fact that other players may have better hands as it is about the fact that a player’s hand might change when they least expect it. The values of the cards in play are shuffled at random and without warning; depending on the variant in play, this can even happen after a game has been called, but before the cards have been shown or tallied. Standard sabacc also includes the concept of locking the values of cards so that they do not change. When played at a professional table or venue, the table itself generates an interference field that players can push a face-down card into, and cards within this field are not subjected to randomization pulses sent by the game. Amateur or private games that do not utilize a professional table instead use cards that may be individually frozen by means of a special button on the card, or by placing a small interference chip overtop the card, simulating the field’s effect. In some rule sets, however, the cards are randomized only when specifically chosen by the player, typically by pressing a spot on the card itself.
A typical game of sabacc is composed of several sequential rounds, and officially ends when a player wins with one of three special winning hands. At the beginning of each round, each player contributes an ante to the hand pot, which goes to the person with the winning hand at the conclusion of that round of play. The winner of a standard Sabacc hand is determined in the following fashion: the player who holds the hand with a value closest to |23| (with both +23 and -23 being possible) wins the hand, and therefore the hand pot. Since -21 is actually closer to -23 than 20 is to 23, -21 would trump positive 20; however, in a situation where both -21 and 21 are in play at the same time, the positive 21 would triumph. Players with a hand above 23 or below -23 are considered to have Bombed Out, thus losing the hand, and in some cases, being forced to pay into the sabacc pot.
The sabacc pot is another pot to which players must ante each hand. This special pot can be won only by winning a hand with one of the three trump scores; a pure sabacc of 23 (either +23 or -23, with the former trumping the latter), or by holding an Idiot’s Array. The Array is a special hand containing a card called The Idiot, worth zero, a Two of any suit, and a Three of the same suit. When laid out on the table, an Idiot’s Array is read, literally, as 023, and is considered the highest hand in the game, trumping even a pure sabacc of 23. A win with any of those three special hands will give that player both the hand pot and the sabacc pot, and is typically seen as the end of gameplay for a single game.
There are three different decks in pazaak: the main (or “table”) deck, composed of cards numbered 1-10 (the total cards in this deck is unbound, though it tended to have four of each number). There was also one side deck for each player in the game. These decks would be assembled by the players themselves and had to have exactly ten cards.
At the beginning of the game, each player would randomly select four cards from their side deck, making up their Hand. Then the first turn of the first player would start. The player would draw a card from the main deck and play it on the table. After that, the player could choose to either place a card down from their hand, or to end their turn. Only one hand card can be played per turn, and no more cards are ever drawn from the side deck.
When ending his turn, the player had two options:
End Turn: If the player ends their turn, they are bound to draw a new card from the main deck at the start of the next turn. This is repeated until either they stand, go bust, fill the table, or their score is exactly 20.
Stand: If the player stands, they keep their current sum till the end of the set and do not play any other cards. The opponent, however, can still continue playing cards, unless he has chosen to stand as well. Getting a sum of 20 automatically causes a player to stand.
Once his turn was over, play moves to the next player, and their turn is played in the same manner. Play passes between the two players until someone wins the set. There were three ways to win the set:
By outscore: After both players chose to stand, the player with the greatest score would win, provided that it was not over 20.
By going bust: If a player ended his turn with a score over 20, he was said to “bust”, and the other player won.
By filling the table: In some rare occasions, if a player could place 9 cards on the table without busting, he would receive an automatic win, regardless of the total numerical value of either his or his opponent’s cards.
In the event that a set is tied, no one gets a point for the set, and a new set is played. The first player to win three sets won the game, and whatever was being wagered.
From swoop races to tests of endurance, sports are numerous in star wars and are normally excellent ways to gamble.