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Poch is a card game for 3 to 6 players. It is played with a 32-card deck with four suits of ace, king, queen, jack, 10, 9, 8, and 7. Each player starts with the same number of coins (about 40). Before play begins each player places a coin in seven of the eight compartments on the board: A, K, Q, J, 10, K-Q (marriage), and 7-8-9 (sequence). The eighth compartment, Poch, is used later. After the initial ante is paid, each player is dealt 5 cards. The dealer then turns up a card from the deck as trump.
The game is played in three phases. You will be using the same hand of cards for each phase. The first phase is sweepstakes. Anyone holding the card or cards in the trump suit matching one of the seven compartments collects the coins from that compartment. If someone holds both the king and queen of trump, they collect the marriage compartment in addition to the king and queen compartments. If someone holds the seven, eight and nine of trump, they collect the sequence compartment. All unclaimed wagers are carried over to the next deal.
The second phase is similar to poker. Players take turns betting, raising the bet or dropping out. Bets are placed in the Poch compartment. Once every player has either matched the bet or dropped out, hands are compared. The winning hand is the one with the best combination: four of a kind, three of a kind, a pair, or no pair. In the case of ties, higher valued cards beat lower valued cards.
In the final phase, beginning with the winner of phase two, players take turns placing cards on the table trying not to exceed 31. Face cards count for 10, aces 1. If the next person cannot stay under 31 they do not play a card. The person who put down the last card receives a coin from each player and they then begin the next sequence by laying down a card. The first person to run out of cards receives one coin from each player for each card still remaining in their hand.
The game ends after each player has had a turn to be dealer. Any coins left on the board, after the last hand, are lost. (Option: On the last deal any coins left in the first seven compartments are moved to Poch and won in the second phase.) The player with the most coins is the winner.