Sammy the snake has been the proprietor of the Prickly Pear Trading Post for as long as anyone can remember. He’s shrewd, silver tongued and fancies the art of the deal. Whatever you have to trade, from an old crow bait horse to gold dust, smooth talking, flannel mouthed Sammy is s-s-surely up for the deal.
Besides dickering for a living, Sammy runs a little side business in the back room for only his best patrons. Rumor has it that he likes to get his special customers (especially those upscale dudes from back East) all roostered up drunk before getting them scooped into a game of chance.
Take a seat and bend an elbow with the boys with a snort of first rate whiskey that’s as fine as cream gravy. Sammy is ready to show everybody a hog-killin’ good time!
Sammy gets his wiggle on and fetches the poker chips and a deck of cards. It’s time for serious players to fork over some cash to play. Are you in or out? It’s time to shoot Dude, or give up the gun!
In this game of chance, up to a dozen cowboys can play. To start, each puts an equal number of chips in the pot. Sammy’s the dealer and gives each player 3 cards, one at a time, face down. Cards are picked up and held in hand.
The player to Sammy’s left goes first. They can:
- • Trade a card by giving one card AND one chip to the dealer. The dealer places the card on the bottom of the deck face down and deals the player another card.
- • Barter with the player to his left. The player gives one card face down and receives one card face down from an opponent. Bartering is free.
Play moves clockwise around the table for an indefinite period of time with each player either trading or bartering to improve their hand by making one of the following winning combinations: (ranked from highest to lowest)
- 1. TRICON – 3 cards of the same value. Example: J, J, J
- 2. SEQUENCE – 3 cards, one suit, in descending order. Example: A, K, Q or 3, 2, A
- 3. FLUSH – Any 3 cards of one suit. Example: J, 4, 7 of spades
- 4. PAIR – 2 cards of the same value. Example: J of heart and J of diamonds
- 5. POINT- 2 cards in one suit of the highest total point value. Aces= 11 points, face cards = 10 points, regular cards = face value. Example: A of diamonds + 9 of diamonds = 20 points
The round ends when a player chooses to stay pat with the cards in hand. On their turn, in lieu of trading or bartering, they knock on the table. Immediately, all hands are shown and the highest ranking hand takes the pot! Yup, the whole kit and caboodle!
Sammy the dealer who collected all the chips from trading players must pay all players one chip UNLESS he is the winner and holds a pair or better.
Are you ready to test your trading and bartering skills? You could end up paying through the nose OR emerge snaky rich! Will Sammy prove to be the proverbial snake in the grass or someone to right the river with when it counts? Remember, where there’s a rattle, there’s a s-s-snake!!! Have fun!!!
Commerce instructions, Gibson, Walter B., Hoyles’s Encyclopedia of Games, 1974, Broadway Books, New York