This method consists of each player drawing a card from the shuffled and fanned deck. The general procedure is as follows:
|In this illustration the player drawing the 4 would be first dealer and would be the first to pick their choice of seats. The player picking the 8 would next pick their seat, followed by the player drawing the 10 and lastly the King.|
- To begin, each player may temporarily select any open seat at the table.
- Any player, usually by mutual consent, should be chosen to shuffle the cards in such a way that no cards are exposed and no player is able to view any cards in the deck. He then offers the deck to any other player to cut.
- Once shuffled and cut, the dealer should fan out the deck face down on the table.
- Each player would then pull a card from the fanned out deck on the table and place it face up in front of himself to expose its denomination to everyone at the table. The specific order in which the players draw the cards should not be an issue, other than that the dealer should select his card last. When drawing the players may not take any of the last four cards at either end of the spread deck.
- The player showing the lowest ranked card can then select the seat of their choice. For purposes of this draw, the ranking of the card denominations is as follows, from lowest to highest: Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King. In addition, the player who drew the lowest card is designated as the first dealer.
- If two or more of the drawn cards are of the same numerical rank, the suits of these specific cards can then be used to further rank these otherwise similarly ranked cards. For this purpose, the ranking of suits, amongst cards with the same marked denomination is as follows from low to high: Clubs (♣), Diamonds (♦), Hearts (♥) then Spades (♠).
- The player showing the second lowest card in the original draw would then select the seat of their choice other than one previously selected by the player who had selected the first lowest card. As with the first lowest drawn card, if there is a tie for the next lowest card, the suit of the card should be used to further rank any cards of the same numerical denomination.
- This continues from low to high ranking of the cards drawn until each player is seated around the table. Of course, when selecting their seat, no player choose a seat which has already been selected by a player who drew a lower ranked card.
In some locales this is changed somewhat, such that the player drawing the highest card instead gets first selection of seats and becomes the first dealer. The method itself is performed in exactly the same way, just the highest ranked card drawn becomes the first dealer and the seats are chosen in order from highest to lowest cards drawn (including a secondary rank of suit used for otherwise identically numerically ranked cards).
Cutting For High Card:
Another similar method for determining the first dealer and seating positions is to cut for high card. This can be done as follows:
As in other methods each active player should take any open seat at the table. This is only a temporary seating arrangement, so where they initially specifically sit is irrelevant.
Each player should then take the deck and after shuffling it, cut the deck in the normal manner. When making this cut, the player must ensure that at least 10 cards remain in the top and bottom packets of the cut.
The player would then display the bottom card of the top packet of their cut.
The cut card is then removed and the deck is then placed back together and passed to the next player such that they can make their own cut. After each player has had the opportunity to cut, the player showing the highest card becomes the first dealer in the game. In addition, seat selection proceeds in order from highest to lowest card cut. For purposes of this cut the ranking of the cards is as follows: (Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2).
- As in the previous method, if two or more players draw cards showing the same rank, these cards can be secondarily ranked based on their suit. The suit ranking, for further ranking of these specific cards would be, from highest to lowest: Spades, Hearts, Diamonds then Clubs.
- Using this method, the pack is often shuffled between each players draw, however in some cases, after an initial shuffle, each player removes his cut card, and with no shuffle hands the deck to the next player to cut.
Since each player will have the opportunity to cut for the high card, there need be no specific ordering for the players in making this cut for this high card.
Dealing for the Ace:
Another method which is sometimes used for determining the initial dealer and seating position is for the first appearance of a specific ranked card in a deal, usually an Ace.
Traditionally, this would be performed as follows.
Any player would gather and shuffle the deck and begin dealing the cards in rotation around the table. Each player would receive one card face up in front of themselves, dealt by the dealer in a clockwise rotation starting with the player to his immediate left, with the dealer receiving their card last. The dealer would continue dealing the cards around and around the table until a player receives an Ace. This would player would then instantly be granted the privilege of becoming the first dealer and selecting the first seat of their choice at the table. However, as this gives a distinct advantage to players who might receive cards earlier in the deal than others, the following method seems to be a more balanced procedure.
As in most other methods the players each takes any open seat at the card table. Since this is only a temporary seating arrangement, the specific seat at this point is unimportant.
The deck is thoroughly shuffled by any player and another player, who should be selected by unanimous decision, should then deal one card to each player face up in rotation, until every player has received one card.
If exactly one player is dealt an Ace, the player who received that Ace is immediately selected as the first dealer and also gets the first choice of seats at the table.
If more than one Ace or no Aces were dealt to any player, the dealer then deals out another round of cards, with each player receiving another card. In the same way if multiple Aces are dealt or no Aces are dealt in the round of cards, the dealer would deal yet another round of cards, one to each player. This would continue until exactly one player receives an Ace in the full round of the deal. When this happens that player is immediately set as the first dealer and may select their choice of seats at the table.
If the dealer gets to the point where there are less cards left in the deck than players to deal during this procedure, the cards are all gathered up, reshuffled and redealt again to attempt to determine the first dealer and choice of first seat.
Once the initial dealer is selected and that player has chosen their seat, the entire deck is again shuffled and the remaining players are then dealt one card each in the same procedure until exactly one player again receives an Ace. However, this time, since the first dealer has already been selected, this player simply selects their choice or remaining open seats at the table.
This continues with each remaining group of players until everyone is seated at the table and the card game can proceed.
Although this method is usually used with an Ace as the card dealt for, other denominations of cards are sometimes used instead, with the Jack being another commonly used denomination card used in this method.
Rotational Seat Fill:
Rotational seat fill is a way of determining the seating position that can be used in conjunction with any of the methods detailed above in determining the first dealer. The method selected (Fan Draw Method, Cut for High Card, Dealing for the Ace) is followed as described above for the selection of the first dealer. As indicated in those methods this first dealer would then select the seat of their choice at the table.
Where this method differs is in how the remaining seats are filled. The player, using the selected method above who was to have second choice of seats would instead sit to the immediate left of the first player seated (the first dealer). The third player in order would then sit to that players immediate left and so on around the table until everyone is seated at the table. In this way the seats at the table fill in a rotation around the table in order of rank of card rank received (from lowest to highest). Using this method, each player would obtain the privilege to deal in the same order as the ranking of those cards.
|The above diagram shows an example of rotational seating. The player drawing the deuce would have first choice of seats and become the first dealer. The remainder of the players, from highest to lowest cards drawn would then sit in counterclockwise in relation to that player.|
Note: This method is assuming a game is being played in which the direction of the deal and play rotates around the table in a clockwise direction. For some games and in some locales, the deal and standard direction of play is in a counter-clockwise direction. If this is the case, the next player would take the seat to the last players immediate right instead of left as described.
Specific Criteria: In less formal games or with a very casual group of players, sometimes other criteria might be used. This method is also often used in Children's card games. These criteria could consist of just about anything such as Youngest player plays or deals first, oldest player, player with the longest name, first player to arrive or any of almost countless other criteria. When using this method, generally the same criteria is used when starting a new game or session.
Alternate Method of Dealing with Ties when Drawing
In the methods given above for determining seats and first dealer, if two or more players draw a card of the same numerical face value, the cards can be the further ranked based on the suit of the card.
However, at some tables, the players may opt instead to use a redraw method instead.
Using this method, any players drawing cards of the same numerical rank would set these aside and draw another card in the proscribed manner. If any of these players again draw identical cards they would make another draw, continuing until the drawn cards were not of the same numerical ranking.
If, when drawing a new card, the player drawing obtains a card identical to someone else at the table who originally did not have a card matching anyone else, the player drawing the card must draw another card, but the original player retains his originally drawn card.
Uneven Number of Players
In some cases in which a game calls for an exact number of players, there may be more individuals than player slots allowed for in the game. This can be handled in a number of ways, dependent on the number of additional players wanting to participate in the game and the game to be played.
In most cases if there is enough players and available equipment (i.e. extra decks of cards) for some exact multiple of the number called for in the game to be played, the participants should be divided into equal sized groups and assigned to individual tables or games. This would generally be the preferred method as it allows all players to have an active role in the game. If there is any disagreement over how such to divide the players into the individual groups for play, players can all randomly draw one card from a face down, shuffled deck. The players, corresponding to the number of players needed for one full game of the game to be played, who draw the lowest ranking cards would all then be part of the first group. Similarly, the same number of players drawing the next highest such cards playing at the second table, and so on until all players have been so divided. The ranking of the individual cards would be the same as that used for any of the methods described above.
- In cases where there are not enough players to make an even multiple of games played, a similar method could be used, however the players drawing the lowest cards would sit out until the first game was completed, at which time these players would rotate into the game, with an equal number of other players rotating out for the next game. Thus, for example if you had 5 players and the game to be played called for 4 such players, the player drawing the highest ranked card of the five would sit out this hand. Rotation of the players would be in the same direction (clockwise or counterclockwise) as the direction of the deal and the play being used for the game. This rotation would continue around and around until the game session was complete. Sometimes, in this situation, the player drawing the lowest card would actually sit out for the first game but would deal the hand (not receiving any cards of course). This player would then be the first player to rotate in when the next game began. The dealer would normally sit next to the player receiving the next lowest card such that this player would receive the first card in the deal.
- If the Rotational Seat Fill method of seat determination (given above) is used, certain seat positions would not receive any cards during each hand. For example, if there was one extra player, the dealer himself would receive no cards in the first game. If there are two extra players, the dealer and the second player to that dealers left would receive no cards in that game. For additional extra players, each alternate seat from the dealer would not receive cards. At the conclusion of the game, the game would, in affect, rotate by one player to the left. Thus, the first player in the previous game would become the dealer (who receives no cards), the player to his immediate left would receive the first card in the deal, and so on.
In a similar manner, a number of specific games (including Skat, Schafkopf, Pinochle and several others) have special allowances for this situation. These games include rules which allow all players to be active participants in the game, but only certain individuals would receive cards on each deal.
All the players would take seats at the table and a draw for the first dealer would take place (using any of the methods given above).
If there were one extra player, the dealer would deal the cards, but would not deal any cards to himself during this hand. However, this player would still be considered an active participant in the hand. Thus, if any points or penalties are awarded or assessed to certain players (i.e. opponents of the high bidder), this individual would also share in this distribution.
At the completion of the hand, the deck would then rotate in the normal clockwise manner to the next dealer in turn.
The new dealer would then not deal himself any cards, but the player who was in the position of the previous dealer would receive cards as normal. In this way the deal would rotate around the table from hand to hand, with different players not receiving cards on each deal during the course of the game.
Similarly, if there were two extra players (i.e., with 5 players in a 3 hand game), neither the dealer nor the third individual to the dealers left (in a clockwise rotation around the table) would receive cards for the hand. These players would still participate in any applicable scoring penalties or awards during the hand. As before, at the completion of the hand, the deal would rotate and thus these two players would receive cards but the players to their immediate left would not during the new hand.
This method can work with any number of extra players that want to sit down to the game to be played. Usually the players not receiving cards should be in roughly alternating seats around the table, so that at most a player will never have to sit out more than one hand in a row.
When this method is used, it should be ensured that all players actively participate (receive cards) in an equal number of deals. At the end of the game, the player with the overall highest score would be determined to be the winner of the game. For games where this method is common, the description of the game will note this and describe the specifics for that particular game.
After the first hand is completed, the deal should rotate around the table, although generally the player seating positions do not change during the course of the game.
However, after a complete game, any active player may call for a new determination for current dealer and specific seating positions, using the same procedures as used originally for determination of these new seating positions and the first dealer.
In some games, rather then determination of a specific first dealer, there may instead be similar procedures to determine the first player. The same methods as described above can be used to determine this. In this case, this person would be the first to receive cards and would also have the privilege of making the first play during the hand. The first dealer would thus be the player immediately preceding the first player in the current rotation. The dealer would thus be the player to the first players immediate right in a clockwise rotation or the player to his immediate left in a counterclockwise play rotation.
In any case where a games rules provide specific instructions for selection of seating positions or determination of the first dealer, those instructions should take precedence and be used rather than any generic instructions given here.
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