Any number of people may play Liars Poker, but the optimal number of players seems to be three to six. The exact statement of some of these rules depends upon the number of players. Where necessary, we will use n to refer to the number of players.
To begin the game, each player obtains a random eight digit number. The most common method is to have each player choose a bill (of US currency, generally a one dollar bill (A more primitive version of Liars Poker is sometimes called "dollar poker.")). A player's number for that round is the serial number on the bill selected. Play begins as one player makes the opening bid. A typical bid might be "5 sevens." This means that the player estimates that the total number of sevens in all playersâ numbers, including his own, is at least 5. The turn then passes clockwise to the next player on the left. For his turn, each player must either make a stronger bid or challenge the previous bid. A bid is stronger if it calls for at least the same number of occurrences of a higher rank (e.g., "5 nines") or a greater number of occurrences (e.g., "6 threes"). The zero is considered the highest rank (usually referred to as "ten" as in "7 tens").
The allowance of rebids greatly extends the strategic scope of Liars Poker. The necessity to bluff and determine if others are bluffing are major features of the game.
When using US currency for playing Liars Poker, there are certain conventions the adherence to which demonstrates to others that a player is truly cultured. First, the selection of new bills for the next round must be done with proper decorum. When starting a new session, the choice of the first bill goes to the player whose fortunes as of late have been most disappointing; Thereafter, the final bidder from the previous round has the honor of choosing the first bill. The choice then rotates clockwise to the next player and continues around until all players have chosen their bills. In the first hand, the opening bidder is determined by looking at the two letters which flank the serial number. The lowest pair by alphabetical order is given the first bid. Thereafter, the final bidder of the previous hand starts off the bidding in the next round.
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