Magicians Poker is poker but better. Magicians poker is the brainchild of past president Samuel Leworthy. What would happen if magicians played poker against each other? They’d all probably cheat! So why not make the cheating part of the game? And with that magicians poker was born.
The idea is that cheating is allowed, however if you’re caught cheating you have to pay a penalty in chips to whomever catches you! Simple.
The catch is that there is a penalty for false accusations as well…
Courtesy of Samuel Leworthy, the Nottingham University Magic Society Magicians Poker rules are reproduced below for all to see:
Magicians poker rules
If a player’s card is accidentally dealt face up it is discarded to the burn pile, the next card is dealt to the player and the dealer is docked 10 chips due to incompetence. As mentioned earlier burn cards must be discarded before any communal cards are dealt.
Calling people out:
If you believe that another player has been cheating you can call them out, different types of cheating have different penalties associated with them and different rewards for spotting them. If you incorrectly call someone out then you must give them 20 chips. You must specify which category the cheating falls into when you accuse someone. Multiple people cannot call the same person out for the same thing at the same time. Only the first person to call someone out gets the reward if they are right or punished if they are wrong.
Anyone who is still playing the current hand can call people out for breaking any rule (with the exception of stealing chips which has its own rules), however, if you have folded you can no longer call people out for cheating. If someone cheats in between hands anyone can call them out.
You can only call people out for cheating within one round of betting of them cheating. For example if someone cheated as or just after the flop was dealt you can call them out any time before the round of betting after the next card, the turn, has been dealt ends. You cannot accuse someone of cheating after they have revealed their cards unless you believe that the cheating took place as the cards were revealed.
Peeking cards is where you look at any cards that you aren’t supposed to have knowledge of. This includes cards in the deck, other people’s hands and the cards of anyone who has folded who does not want to reveal their cards. If someone is caught peaking they forfeit the current hand and must pay the accuser 20 chips.
If a player holds their cards in such a way that you can naturally see them without moving then this does not count as peeking, that player is just incompetent.
Rigging the deck:
This form of cheating includes false dealing or false shuffling to ensure that certain players get certain cards when dealing. It also includes making certain that select cards appear among the communal cards. If you are caught rigging hands you will be disqualified from the current hand and must give the person that called you out 50 chips. Please note that while shuffling, constantly maintaining the location of one or more cards throughout your entire shuffle does count as rigging the deck even if you don’t know what the cards are.
Keeping extra cards:
If a player is keeping extra cards hidden on their person or chair outside of a deck box then they can be accused of this (having cards held in the original plastic covering surrounding the deck box is permitted and counts a cards being kept in the box). These can be cards from the deck being used in the game or from your own personal playing cards (assuming that they match the deck in play). If you are caught keeping extra cards you must give the accuser 20 chips and surrender any extra cards in your possession, you can still carry on playing the hand.
Placing a card on someone’s person in order to call them out for keeping extra cards is allowed, however you must wait at least 30 seconds between planting a card and calling someone out for having extra cards. If you are caught planting cards you must pay the accuser 20 chips.
Swapping cards is when you swap a card in your or someone else’s hand with another card. If caught you are disqualified from the hand and must give the accuser 100 chips.
Playing an incorrect amount of chips:
This is playing less chips than required by the rules. It can refer to putting chips in the pot during a round of betting or paying someone else as punishment for cheating etc. If you are called out on this you must pay whoever you attempted to short-change the amount that you owe and you must pay the same amount to the person that called you out. Claiming that you have put money into the pot when you have not is something you can do and also falls into this category.
Stealing chips either from the pot or from another player is another way to cheat. If you are correctly accused of this you must pay whoever you stole chips from the amount that you stole and you must give the same amount to your accuser.
Getting caught adding marked cards to play or marking cards currently in play carries a penalty of 50 chips, paid to the accuser. Any cards marked by the accused are then removed from the deck or a fresh deck is used depending on the quantity of cards marked. That player is also disqualified from the current hand if applicable. Deliberately crimping cards also carries this penalty.
Due to the lasting nature of marked cards if someone notices that one or more cards in play are marked they can make a general accusation of marked cards to the group and any marked cards are then removed by all the players who added them. In the case of a successful general accusation no one is penalised, for an unsuccessful general accusation the accuser must add 20 chips to the pot. Accusing a specific person of adding marked cards is also allowed as an alternative and follows the standard procedure for calling people out.
Inserting cards with completely different style backs into the deck or advertising cards does not count as adding marked cards into the deck and they can only be called out through the swapping cards or rigging the deck rules.
Adding your own cards to play is allowed (as long as you don’t get caught) this can result in duplicate cards being used in a single hand consequently the best hand in magicians poker is now 5 of a kind
Players may temporarily leave the game at any time to get more drinks etc. you are not allowed to steal chips from the player or swap their cards while they are absent
Jokers are removed from the deck at the beginning of play, if a player receives a joker in their hand or one is played to the table it is a null card and cannot contribute to any hand. If multiple jokers are present they do not count a pair, three of a kind etc. Jokers do not get removed from the deck upon discovery unless someone is caught in the process of adding them to the game. Other special cards such as double backed cards, advertising cards and credit cards follow the same rules as jokers and also cannot be removed from the deck without cheating.
Needless to say this game does rely on honesty so if you have cheated and someone calls you out please do admit it.
Obviously all the above penalties can be increased or decreased based on how many chips each player starts with…