# D4: Ducks Playing Poker

Duck Poker is a rarely practiced poker variant; it is not popular among humans because the outcome is entirely predetermined... however, ducks like it, because they enjoy watching humans helplessly follow directions.

Before you start, you'll need to do the following:

- Find four players and seat them around a square table. Give each player 40 chips.
- Place the Duck Board somewhere in view of the table. Place a live duck on the center square.
- Arrange a 52-card deck in the order specified below. Place the deck in the center of the table.
- Choose one player to deal first; have them deal the top card on the deck to each player in turn, moving clockwise. Continue until all four players have five cards each.

A round of Duck Poker proceeds as follows:

- Declare the game for the round. This is determined by the square on which the duck is standing on the Duck Board. This declaration lasts until the beginning of the next round, even if the duck moves during the round.
- Beginning with the player immediately to the left
of the dealer and proceeding clockwise, each player takes their
turn by doing the following:
- Look at your hand and determine (using the rules of the game you're playing) which card is the "key card."
- Find the number corresponding to that card in the Key Card Table. Follow the instruction with that number and then declare the end of your turn.

- Once all four players have taken a turn, all players show their hands and determine, using the rules of the game you're playing, who has the winning hand. That person takes half the chips in the pot; the other half are placed on the Duck Board, on whichever square currently contains the Duck (even if that square does not represent the game you're playing this round.)
- If there are no cards left in the deck at the end of a round (after the showdown), you can obtain your answer from the Duck Board. Otherwise, start a new round; whoever won the round that just ended is the new dealer (for purposes of determining turn order), but cards are not redealt; each player keeps their current hand (the one they just showed) for the next round.

**NOTES:** If an instruction tells you to draw a
card other than the top card, you should do so without changing the
order of the other cards in the deck. (For instance, if you are
told to draw the second card in the deck, the top card will stay
the same, the former third card will be the new second card, and so
forth.) If an instruction says to put chips in the pot, use chips
from your own stack unless it is specifically indicated otherwise.
A face card is a jack, queen, or king. For purposes of ranking,
aces are high, although as in poker they can be counted as low to
make a straight; all suits are equal for ranking purposes. The
capital of Zyzzlvaria is Nadeht.

It is highly recommended that you keep track of your progress turn by turn… having to start over would probably suck a lot.

### INDIVIDUAL GAME RULES

CROSSTALK POKER

**Key Card:**The lowest-ranked card which has the same rank as a card in the hand of the player to your left.**Showdown:**Each player arranges their five cards in a Greek cross, getting one point for each pair of adjacent cards of the same suit and/or rank. Whoever can obtain the highest score wins.CLASSIC POKER

**Key Card:**The highest-ranked card.**Showdown:**Best standard five-card poker hand wins.MATHEMATICIAN'S POKER

**Key Card:**The highest-ranked card with a rank that is a multiple of three (counting aces as 1 and face cards as 10).**Showdown:**Each player arranges their five cards, if possible, to form as large a 5-digit prime number as possible (counting aces as 1 and tens and face cards as 0). Highest prime wins.ENGAGEMENT POKER

**Key Card:**The card that has been in your hand the longest.**Showdown:**Each player adds the ranks of all diamonds in their hand (counting aces as 1 and face cards as 10). Highest sum wins.MULTICULTURAL POKER

**Key Card:**The highest-ranking card that does not have the same rank as another card in your hand.**Showdown:**Best standard five-card poker hand containing both red and black cards wins.LONELYHEARTS POKER

**Key Card:**The lowest-ranking card in your hand which is not a heart.**Showdown:**During the showdown, every heart in your hand counts as an ace of hearts. Worst standard five-card poker hand wins.DOUBLE BLACKJACK POKER

**Key Card:**The card in your hand which has the highest corresponding number on the Key Card Table not exceeding 42.**Showdown:**Each player adds the ranks of all cards in their hand (counting aces as 1 and face cards as 10.) Highest sum not exceeding 42 wins.TESTOSTERONE POKER

**Key Card:**The highest-ranking club in your hand.**Showdown:**Each player takes the total number of jacks and kings in their hand and subtracts the number of queens. Highest result wins.REY MISTERIO POKER

**Key Card:**Translate the rank of each card in your hand into Spanish, counting aces as "one" and face cards as something that translates to "Zyzzlvaria" in Spanish. The Key Card is the card that comes first alphabetically after translation.**Showdown:**Sixes, aces, and nines are wild. Best standard five-card poker hand wins.

### Initial order of cards (from top to bottom):

J of spades

8 of spades

8 of diamonds

2 of clubs

K of spades

Q of hearts

7 of clubs

8 of clubs

2 of diamonds

10 of diamonds

3 of hearts

5 of spades

10 of spades

J of diamonds

3 of diamonds

6 of hearts

Q of spades

9 of hearts

8 of hearts

4 of diamonds

A of spades

7 of diamonds

J of clubs

10 of clubs

3 of clubs

A of clubs

A of hearts

2 of hearts

5 of diamonds

Q of clubs

Q of diamonds

6 of clubs

9 of diamonds

4 of clubs

K of diamonds

4 of hearts

6 of diamonds

9 of spades

6 of spades

5 of hearts

A of diamonds

J of hearts

5 of clubs

3 of spades

10 of hearts

K of hearts

9 of clubs

7 of spades

2 of spades

7 of hearts

K of clubs

4 of spades

### Key Card Table

C | H | S | D | |
---|---|---|---|---|

A |
32 |
36 |
18 |
7 |

K |
9 |
14 |
38 |
5 |

Q |
41 |
8 |
12 |
16 |

J |
20 |
29 |
26 |
15 |

10 |
3 |
21 |
11 |
25 |

9 |
19 |
37 |
28 |
30 |

8 |
2 |
6 |
42 |
9 |

7 |
35 |
13 |
24 |
33 |

6 |
1 |
38 |
23 |
14 |

5 |
15 |
31 |
3 |
10 |

4 |
39 |
4 |
34 |
29 |

3 |
27 |
40 |
17 |
19 |

2 |
26 |
18 |
22 |
37 |

## Duck Board

* THIS END UP *

CROSS- TALK POKER |
CLASSIC POKER |
MATHEMA- TICIAN'S POKER |

ENGAGEMENT POKER |
MULTI- CULTURAL POKER |
LONELY- HEARTS POKER |

DOUBLE BLACKJACK POKER |
TESTOS- TERONE POKER |
REY MISTERIO POKER |

## INSTRUCTIONS

- Discard the highest-ranking card in your hand and draw the top card in the deck. There should be two pairs of squares on the Duck Board which have the same number of chips on them; one pair is a corner square and a non-corner square that each contain X chips, and one pair is two non-corner squares that each contain Y chips. Put Y of your chips in the pot and X chips in the lower-left square on the Board.
- Arrange your cards from highest to lowest and discard the middle one. Draw the closest card to the top of the deck which is not a club. If there are more than three clubs in a row on top of the deck, put eight chips in the pot and encourage the duck to move one space to the right; otherwise put twelve chips in the pot and encourage the duck to move one space to the left.
- You're feeling sneaky. Take ten chips from the square containing the duck; put one on each square of the Duck Board and add the tenth to your chip stack. Then discard the highest spade in your hand and draw the bottom card from the deck.
- The highest-ranking card in your hand is the
nickname of a
*Red Dwarf*character's alter ego… discard this card and draw the Nth card in the deck, where N is the number of letters in that character's first name. If that character's favorite food is curry, put five chips into the pot; otherwise, put in four. - Take one more than half the chips on the lower-left square of the Duck Board and toss them in a wastebasket, next to the unnecessary prescription that doctor gave you for déjà vu. What a charlatan he was! Discard the lowest-ranking card in your hand and draw the top card in the deck. Take one more than half the chips on the lower-left square of the Duck Board and toss them in a wastebasket, next to the unnecessary prescription that doctor gave you for déjà vu. What a charlatan he was!
- Boy, would you like the six of spades right now. If you were playing Magic: The Gathering, there is a card (discontinued after Revised) which would let you find the six of spades in the deck; this Magic card has a name appropriate to this year's Mystery Hunt. Discard the largest heart in your hand and draw the six of spades from wherever it is in the deck. Put X chips in the pot and Y chips on the square containing the duck, where X is the number of letters in the name of the Magic card, and Y is its converted mana cost.
- Divide your number of chips by four, and let N be the remainder. Arrange the cards in your hand by rank from highest to lowest; discard the Nth card, and draw the Nth card in the deck. Take N chips from each of the other players; take these chips plus one of your own, and place half of them in the pot and half of them in the center square of the Duck Board.
- Discard the lowest odd-numbered card in your hand. Draw the Nth card in the deck, where N is the number of chips that will be in the pot at the end of this instruction. Put (N/2) chips in the pot and (N/2) chips on the upper left square of the Duck Board.
- Take the chips on the lower-right square of the Duck Board and distribute them clockwise, one chip at a time, around the eight non-center squares of the Board, starting with the lower-middle square. Then do the same thing with the chips on the upper-left square, starting with the upper-middle square. Pay attention to which square contains the sixth chip you place in this manner… If the Duck Board is a telephone keypad containing the numbers 1 through 9, the number corresponding to that square is the rank of the card you should discard. Then count that number of cards from the top of the deck (cycling through to the beginning if necessary) and draw that card. Now put two chips in the po-- wait, you don't have any chips?? You deadbeat. Don't follow any of the above instructions; just discard a six, draw the top card in the deck, and stop wasting my time.
- One card in your hand has a number for a rank that is also a number when you turn it upside down. Discard this card. Draw the top card in the deck; this new card has a number for a rank that is also a number (call the latter N) when you turn it upside down. Put N chips in the pot. Turn the Duck Board upside down (without taking it off the table), encourage the duck to move two squares down, and turn the Board upside down again. You may want to take some Dramamine at this point.
- Discard the highest card in your hand which is not a face card or an ace. Draw the closest card to the top of the deck which is not a face card or an ace. Put into the pot every chip you have which is not a face card or an ace… no, just kidding. Just put ten chips in, unless the duck is on the top row of the Duck Board, in which case put in eight.
- Discard the lowest-ranking spade in your hand, and draw the Nth card in the deck, where N is the rank of the card you discarded. Encourage the duck to move into an orthogonally adjacent square, in which the number of chips is equal to neither the rank of the card you discarded nor the rank of the card you drew. Put M chips into the pot, where M is the number of chips in the duck's new square.
- Discard the card in your hand which is also the name of a song by Motörhead, and draw the bottom card of the deck. Because drawing from the bottom is alternative, and that's totally what Lemmy would do.
- It's analogy/geography time! "Bone" is to "bodes" as a popular Moxy Früvous song is to the card you should now discard before drawing the top card in the deck. The aforementioned song contains the name of a country (call it Country A); there is another smaller country (Country B) whose only borders are Country A and water. If you view the Duck Board as a map, with north pointing up, you can roughly represent Country B by two squares and Country A by the other seven. Encourage the duck to move to the northernmost of the two Country B squares (a knight's move away from its current position). Oh, and throw three chips in the pot while you're at it.
- Discard a red card from your hand with a rank that is also the name of a Robin Williams movie, and draw the top card in the deck. The name of a movie Williams made in 1995 begins with a number; take this number of chips from the player to your left and put half of them (rounding down) into the pot. Fun fact: Back in the day, Robin Williams was in movies that didn't suck. No, really. Ask your older siblings.
- Almost finished.... Discard any card you want from your hand and draw the top card in the deck. Place enough chips in the pot so that the number of chips in your stack is the same number of chips on the square with the duck. One of the squares on the Board should have eighteen chips on it; take two of those chips and put them in the center square; take another of these chips and put it in the square diametrically opposite from the square that had eighteen chips. Finally, place all your remaining chips in the lower-left square.
- Discard the lowest-ranking red card in your hand and draw the top card in the deck. You feel kind of sorry for the player with the smallest chip stack right now… put enough chips in the pot so that you are tied for last place. But you don't feel that sorry for him; steal one chip from that player and put it in the square in the top row of the Duck Board which is in the same column as the duck.
- Discard the card you drew last turn, and draw the top card in the deck. At the Wrestlemania of the same number as the rank of the card you just drew, count the number of matches that ended with a pinfall (as opposed to a submission, countout, or disqualification). Starting with the top card of the deck, count to three for each pinfall match, and look at the rank of the resulting card (but don't draw or move it). Put that number of chips into the pot.
- Two players have the same number of chips in front of them… they're probably Communists. Punish them by stealing five chips from each of them, and placing five chips on each of the corner squares of the Duck Board which contain neither chips nor waterfowl. Discard the highest-ranked card in your hand that has the same suit as your key card, then draw the top card in the deck and put four chips in the pot.
- Discard the lowest-ranked card in your hand. If the duck is in the rightmost column, draw the first card in the deck and encourage the duck to move one space to the left; otherwise, draw the second card in the deck and encourage the duck to move one space to the right. If the card you draw is black, put five chips in the pot; if it is red, put half of your chips in the pot.
- Discard the jack of diamonds and draw the closest card to the top of the deck which is not a diamond. (If there are no cards left in the deck which are not diamonds, take the lowest-ranking card in the deck instead.) Take three chips from the middle-left square of the Duck Board and move them to the square to the right of the square containing the duck.
- Discard the lowest-ranking black-- oh, I am so tired of writing these fake instructions. If you got to this one, you did something wrong. Sorry.
- Hey, how does it feel to be half done? Discard the black half of the pair in your hand and draw the top card in the deck. Put half of your chips in the pot. One of the two squares orthogonally adjacent to the square containing the duck contains an even number of chips; take half of these chips and put them in the other one of the two adjacent squares. Half a nice day.
- Discard the lowest-ranking heart in your hand, and draw the lowest-ranking heart in the deck. Take a chip from the lower-right square of the Duck Board and then put half your chips into the pot. Move four chips from the bottom-middle square of the Duck Board to the square containing the duck; then encourage the duck to move one space to the left or to the right, whichever destination square has fewer chips on it.
- Take the number of letters in the capital of Italy and subtract it from the number of letters in the capital of Zyzzlvaria. Discard a card from your hand which has the result as a rank; if there are multiple ways to do this, choose the one that is not a spade. Draw the third card from the deck, unless Escape From Zyzzlvaria was the best-selling game in Belgium in 2002.
- Discard the highest odd-numbered card in your hand and put that odd number of chips in the pot. If there are no odd numbered cards in your hand, discard your key card, and put into the pot the number of chips you took from the pot at the end of an earlier round. Draw the top card of the deck and encourage the duck to move one space to the left or right (whichever is possible).
- The seven in your hand has the same suit as one other card in your hand; discard the latter, and draw the top card from the deck. Put one chip in the pot for each spade in the hand of the player across from you, and put two chips on the square diametrically opposite the square containing the most chips.
- Discard the highest-ranking red card in your hand and draw the top card in the deck. I'm thinking of a number… If my number is odd, put three chips in the pot; if it's even, put four chips in the pot. If the number of chips in the pot is now odd, put two more chips into the pot; if it's even, put one more chip into the pot.
- Discard the four of hearts. Draw the top card in the deck. Put two chips in the pot. (Hey, they can't all be masterpieces.)
- Discard the only card in your hand with a rank usually written as a letter rather than a number. Draw the top card in the deck if you discarded a face card; otherwise, draw the second card in the deck. Put enough chips into the pot so that your chip stack and the pot have the same number of chips. If that number of chips is a square number, put two more chips on the center square of the Duck Board.
- If the pot is currently the largest it's been since you've been playing, discard your lowest-ranking card; otherwise, discard your highest-ranking card. If the sum of the numbers of all the instructions you have followed so far is divisible by seven, draw the third card in the deck; otherwise, draw the third card from the bottom. Put one chip into the pot.
- The number of chips in front of you is a two-digit number… multiply those two digits together and discard the card with that rank from your hand. Draw the top card from the deck, and then put enough chips in the pot so that your remaining number of chips is the aforementioned two-digit number with the digits reversed.
- When Bill, Johnny, and Ben lost an Oscar to Sean, Johnny was nominated for a character in your hand. Discard that card and draw the Nth card in the deck, where N is the total number of Oscars these four men have won in the last twenty years. One of the nominees was left off the above list… put a chip into the pot for every letter in that actor's first name.
- Discard the lowest face card in your hand, and draw the closest card to the top which does not have the same rank as another card in your hand. Put one-seventh of your chips on the square of the Duck Board which contains one-eighth as many chips as the pot.
- Discard your key card and draw the top card from the deck. If the card you draw is higher than your key card, put two chips in the pot and encourage the duck to move up one space; if the card you draw is lower than your key card; put four chips in the pot and encourage the duck to move down one space. (In the unlikely event the two cards have the same rank, do neither and sing your favorite Dan Katz song.)
- Discard the card in your hand which is prominently featured in a Disney animated film. If any two of your remaining cards have the same suit as each other, draw the top card from the deck and put six chips in the pot; otherwise, draw the bottom card from the deck and put eight chips in the pot.
- Let N be the number of face cards in your hand. Discard the lowest face card in your hand, and then draw the Nth card in the deck. Encourage the duck to move as many squares down as it can without leaving the Duck Board.
- Discard the lowest card in your hand. Concentrate
very hard on the deck… visualize a good hand… and then
draw the top card from the deck. If the scene you've just recreated
is from
*The Sting*, put one chip in the pot; if it's from*Maverick*, put three chips in; if it's from*Rounders*, put five chips in. - Put one-ninth of your chips in the pot; the resulting number of chips in the pot is the same as the rank of one of the cards in your hand. Discard that card and draw the top card in the deck. If that card is a six or a seven, put another one-ninth of your chips on the leftmost square on the Duck Board representing a game that has not yet been played.
- Discard the card you drew last turn. If your remaining four cards are all of different suits, draw the bottom card in the deck and put four chips in the center square of the Duck Board; otherwise, draw the top card in the deck and put four chips in the pot.
- You watch too much poker on TV. Put on sunglasses, say "I'm all in" in a really intimidating voice, and put all your chips in the pot. Then you remember you should actually see what your hand is… Discard your highest non-face card and draw the top card in the deck. Talk some trash to the duck by encouraging it to make a knight's move to a square containing a game that has not yet been played.
- Discard the lowest diamond in your hand. Draw the top card from the deck. If your new card is lower than the card you discarded, put five chips in the pot and encourage the duck to move up one space; if your new card is higher, put seven chips in and encourage the duck to move down one space. (If it's the same, place the duck in the chapel moat.)