The Chess Variant Pages




Gambler's Chess

By Tomas Forsman

Introduction

Ever sat in a room with your friends, a bunch of markers and a deck of card for an entire night? It’s rather capturing to try to win the entire pot, right? Now you can do this with your friends and a Chessboard instead.

Rules

Instead of money I’ll use markers and you can then decide the value of a marker depending on how much money you can afford to play around with.

When you make your first move you start by laying down an opening marker (ante). Then you lay down your challenge which is 1-5 markers. Then you make your move.

The other player then starts by laying down the obligatory opening maker. After that he has to answer your challenge and put down the equal amount of markers you used to challenge. That is followed by his/hers challenge, again ranging from 1-5 markers, which you have to answer the next time.

An example:

White:
    1 opening
    2 challenge
Pot = 3
Black:
    1 opening
    2 answer
    0 challenge
Pot = 6
White:
    1 opening
    0 answer
    2 challenge
Pot = 9
Black:
    1 opening
    2 answer
    2 challenge
Pot = 14
As you can see the pot goes up rather quickly and thus it might be a nice idea to keep the challenges low or nothing at the beginning of the game.

This sort of betting leads to many games ending with resigning when you feel you are loosing a game and thus adding the need of a poker face or perhaps we should call it ‘chess face’.

Variants

To keep the pot from going through the roof you can disregard the opening marker and only use challenges and answers.

To raise the bets you can raise the cap of a challenge. We have successfully mixed this system with many Chess variants including multiplayer variants.

Tip

If you have a good plan you can use a lower betting to fool your opponent that he is safe. Likewise you can use a higher betting to trick your opponent that you are up to something and are sure of success (not always a good idea though).

History

I came up with this since my friends thought the betting in Poker made it a better game then Chess. So I just implemented betting in Chess and it was an instant hit.



Written by Tomas Forsman. HTML Conversion by Peter Aronson.
WWW page created: August 4th, 2002.