One player is designated the banker. After the other players have bet an amount, the banker deals six cards from a standard 52-card deck to each player and to herself. These six cards must be separated into three hands: one with three cards, one with two, and one with one.
Three-card hands are ranked as in standard Brag, except that the highest prial is 6-6-6, then A-A-A, K-K-K, ... 2-2-2. In the two-carder, the only possible combinations are pair and high card, while the one card is simply a high card. The two-card hand may not outrank the three-card, and the one-card may not outrank either. (For example, it's possible to split A♠-6♠-3♦ A♣-5♥ A♦, since Ace-6 beats Ace-5, which beats a lone Ace.*)
In Poker terms, the hand ranking from high to low is:
- 6-6-6 (or 7-7-7, in the 7-card variants)
- Three of a kind
- Straight flush (3-2-A highest)
- Straight (3-2-A highest)
- High card
Once all players have placed their three hands face down on the table, clearly separated, they are turned over and compared with the banker's hands: three cards to three cards, two to two, one to one. If a player wins two or three of these comparisons over the banker, their bet pays even money. Tied comparisons are decided in the banker's favor; given the high likelihood of a tie in the one-card hand, it is vital that players take turns banking.
Getting the perfect hand (6-6-6 A-A A) is a one in 1,272,407½ chance.
*This is probably the best strategy, in fact; playing the prial here would leave you with rubbish in the other hands.
Seven-Card Swedish Brag
Each player is dealt seven cards, which are split three-two-one; the seventh card is discarded. 7-7-7 is the highest prial.
Another variation could be to split three-three-one, with no discards. After doing some thinking and testing, I've found this might be the best option for introducing the game to regular gamblers. Call it a cross between Three Card Poker and Pai Gow Poker.
Banking Six Card Brag
A less convoluted variant, which is - as the name implies - simply a banking adaptation of Six Card Brag. Six cards are split into two Brag hands. 6-6-6 is the highest prial. The high hand is compared with the banker's high hand, and the low hand with the low hand. Even money for winning both, while winning one and losing one is a push.
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This page was last updated 2016-12-07.