Big 2 poker can be played with two, three or four players with each player getting dealt player dealt 13 cards out of a standard 52 card deck. However, the game is best played with four players due to the fact that all the cards in the deck are dealt out so you know which cards have been played (and which cards haven’t!).
Starting the Game
All the players who are participating in the game are dealt 13 cards each (one quarter of a 52 card deck). The player who is holding the lowest card (which is either the 3 of hearts or clubs, depending on how the suits are ranked) is the first to act and may discard a “card set” of their choice (or pass). This “card set” can be a single card, a pair, “trips” or a five card combination. See how the card sets are ranked here.
The player clockwise from him is the next to act, they must play a higher card set which corresponds to what has been played previously (i.e. if the player who acted first played a pair, you must play a higher pair) or pass. The action continues in a clockwise manner until all players pass to the last set that was played. The player who played this set then gets to begin a new round by discarding a card set of their choice. Note that passing does not prevent you from playing again that same round.
This continues until someone discards their entire hand, once they do the hand is over. The player who discards their first hand is the winner of that deal. Penalty points are then paid to the winner and in many cases penalty points are also awarded to the player with the least amount of cards.
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