Commune (card game)

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Commune
Origin United States
Players 2 to 10
Age range 10+
Cards 52
Deck Anglo-American
Play Clockwise

Commune is a bluffing-based card game that requires knowledge of poker. It is best played in a large group of people, and does not require use of a table or playing surface. Gameplay is similar to Liar's dice or Liar's poker.

Gameplay[edit]

Object[edit]

The object of Commune is to be the last player remaining in the game. Players are removed from the game when they have received three penalties. Penalties are gathered through making invalid bids or calling valid bids.

Deal[edit]

At the beginning of each hand, each player is dealt one card more than the number of penalties they have. For example, a player with one penalty is dealt two cards. Players may look at their own cards, but must refrain from telling other players information about their hand. Twos are wild cards and may take on any value.

Bidding[edit]

Beginning with the player who last received a penalty, bidding proceeds clockwise. A bid is a poker hand that the bidder believes exists in the combined cards of all the players, known as the commune. Each successive bid must have a higher value than the previous, with the allowed hands being as follows:

  • High Card – e.g. "jack high" – valid if there is one or more card of the named rank in the commune
  • Pair – e.g. "two sixes" – valid if there are two or more cards of the named rank in the commune
  • Two Pair – e.g. "eights and fours" – valid if there are two or more cards of each of the named ranks in the commune
  • Three of a Kind – e.g. "three queens" – valid if there are three or more cards of the named rank in the commune
  • Straight – e.g. "straight to nine" – valid if all five consecutively numbered cards, up to and including the named rank, are in the commune
  • Full House – e.g. "fives over kings" – valid if there are three or more cards of the first named rank and two or more cards of the second named rank in the commune
  • Four of a Kind – e.g. "four aces" – valid if there are four or more cards of the named rank in the commune
  • Five of a Kind – e.g. "five sevens" – valid if there are five or more cards of the named rank in the commune

Note that flushes are not hands in Commune, because bidding gives no information about the suits of the cards in the commune. Also note that no bid may involve a two, for example, no player may bid "twos over queens" or "straight to six".

Calling[edit]

If a player believes that the previous bid is invalid, and does not exist in the commune, then he may announce so by declaring "call". When this happens, players reveal their cards and the validity of the bid is determined. If the bid was valid, the player who "called" receives a penalty. Otherwise, the bidder receives a penalty. The hand is then over and a new hand begins.

End Game[edit]

If a player receives three penalties then they are out. However, as players accrue more penalties, they receive more cards each hand and will thus have more information about the game, making it harder to force further penalties on them. Eventually, though, all players will receive their third penalty and drop out of the game. When only one player is left, that player is the winner.

Variations[edit]

Card Number Variations[edit]

A common variation when playing with two to four players is to play with up to 5 penalties, allowing the game to go on longer and for bigger hands to be bid. Another variation is that each player begins with 3 cards, and each penalty decreases the number of cards they are dealt. This makes for less drastic drops in the number of cards when a player drops out, but makes it easier for a player to lose as soon as they receive a few penalties.

Bidding Variations[edit]

Some variations allow flushes to be bid, as long as the bidder can name every rank in the flush, making it a rather rare bid. This also means that straight flushes can be bid, above four of a kinds but below five of a kinds. A final variation allows the bidding of hands larger than five cards: six of a kind, seven of a kind, and eight of a kind.