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Oklahoma may be played by any number of players from two to five, but is generally considered best when played by three.
            Two packs of cards and one Joker are shuffled together, making in all a pack of 105 cards. The cards rank in the order from Ace to 2, but the Joker and all the 2s are wild and may represent any card that the holder chooses, and when making sequences the Ace may be high, as in A K Q …, or low, as in …3 2 A, but not round the corner, as in …2 A K…
            Thirteen cards are dealt to each player.  The rest of the pack (the stock) is placed face downwards on the table, and the top card of it is turned face upwards and placed alongside it.
            The object of the game is to form sequences of three or more consecutive cards of the same suit, or sets of three or four cards of the same rank regardless of suits.

            When the deal has been completed, the player on the left of the dealer has the right to take the exposed card into his hand or refuse it; if he refuses it, the player on his left has the same option; and so on.  If a player takes the exposed card, he must immediately meld it with two or more cards in his hand, discards face upwards on the table a card from his hand, and expose his meld on the table in front of him.
If  no player takes the exposed card, the play begins with the player on the left of the dealer, who takes the top card of the stock into his hand.  He may or may not meld, and, whether he does or not, he discards a card from his hand face upwards on top of the exposed card.

The play continues round the poker table in this way, each player taking in his turn either the top card of the stock or the top card of the discard pile.  When a player takes the top card of the discard pile he must immediately meld it, by adding it to one of his previous melds, by exchanging it for the Joker if he has already exposing them on the table as a meld.  He then takes into his hand the rest of the cards in the discard pile, and may make further  melds out of them before he discards from his hand.
A sequence may be melded up to fourteen cards 9a complete suit with an Ace at each end) but not more than four cards of the same rank may be melded together as a set.
When melding with the Joker or one of the 2s, the player must announce the precise cards they represent.  At a later turn a player may exchange the Joker for the card it represents, but he cannot exchange a 2, nor can be exchange the Joker if it is in the meld of another player.
A player may discard any card that he chooses, except a Queen of Spades which must be retained in the hand if the player holds any other card that he can discard.
The deal ends when a player has no cards left in his hand (goes out).  The discard, however, must be made after melding so that if a player is left with 4 4 ♠ 4 ♣ in his poker hand, he cannot go out, because if he melded them he would be left with no card to discard.
When play ends, the cards in a player’s meld count in his favor, those left in his hand count against him.


Melded in hand


+ 100

- 200

Q ♠

+ 50

- 100


+ 20

- 20

2 (representing KQJ 10 9 8 including Q ♠ )

+ 10

- 20

K Q (excluding Q ♠ ) J 10 9 8

+ 10

- 10

7 6 5 4 3

+ 5

- 5

2 (representing  7 6 5 4 3 or 2)



            The player who goes out receives a bonus of 100 points, but if a player draws the last card of the stock and discards without going out, the scores are totaled but no player receives the bonus. 
            A player who goes out on his first turn does not receive the bonus.  A player who goes out on his second or later turn is said to go out concealed and receives an additional bonus of 250 points, which, however, does not count towards reaching the game score.
            The game score is 1,000 points, and the player who first reaches it receives a bonus of 200 points.  If two or more players reach 1,000 points or more in the same deal, the highest score wins, and if there is a tie the bonus of 200 points is divided between them.


Ombre is a Spanish game of considerable antiquity.  It was introduced into England by Katherine of Braganza, who married Charles Ii in 1662, and it immediately became very popular.  Nowadays it is rarely played in Great Britain, but it is popular in Denmark (which saw the publication of a book about it in 1965) and it is played in Spain under the name of trefillo and in Latin America as rocamber.  It deserves to be more popular.
            The gameis played with a pack of forty cards i.e. the regular pack from which the 10s, 9s and 8s have been removed.  It is not a difficult game to play, but it is first necessary to master the rather involved and unusual order of the cards.
            In plian suits the cards in the red suits rank in the order: K Q J A 2 3 4 5 6 7 ; those in the black suits rank in the normal order: A K Q J 7 6 5 4 3 2.

            In trump suits if a red suit is trumps the order of the cards is: A ♠ (Spadille), 7 (Manille),  A ♣ (Basto), A (Punto),, K Q J 2 3 4 5 6; if a black suit is trumps the order of the cards is :  A ♠ (Spadille), 2 (Manille), A ♣ (Basto), K Q J 7 6 5 4 3.
            The three top trumps, Spadille, Mandille and Basto, are collectively known as Matadores.  The holder of one need not follow suit with it to a trump lead, but he must play one if a higher matadore is led and his hand contains no other trump card.
            To determine the dealer, a card is dealt face upwards to each player in turn, and he who is first to receive a black Ace is dealer.  It is here to be noted that, as in all games of Spanish origin, in dealing and play the game progresses anti-clockwise.
            Nine cards are dealt to each player in bundles of three.  The remaining thirteen cards are placed face downwards in the centre of the table.


Each deal is complete in itself.  One player (ombre) plays against the other two playing in partnership.  The player on the right of the dealer has first option of being ombre.  It carries two privileges: he names the trump suit, he may discard from his hand as many cards as he chooses and draw fresh cards from the stock.  If the player on the right of the dealer wishes to become ombre he says ‘I play’.  His right-hand neighbor may then announce that he wishes to become  ombre, and, by so doing, he tacitly agrees that he will play without exchanging any of his cards.  The first player may then reconsider the poker position, and is entitled to remain ombre if he is willing to play without exchanging any of his cards.  If the second player passes, the third player (the dealer ) may announce that he wishes to play without discarding.  Again, the first player has a right to reconsider and may remain ombre without discarding. 
            If all three players pass, that is to say, if none wishes to play ombre the deal is abandoned.

            If the first player is allowed to play ombre unopposed, he discards as many cards as he chooses from  his hand, and draws cards from the stock to replace them.  The second player does the same, and then the dealer.  If any cards are left in the stock after the same, and then the dealer.  If any cards are left in the stock after the three players have made exchanges, the dealer is entitled to look at them.  If he does he must show them to the other two players: if he does not, the other two may not.
            Ombre now names the trump suit and leads a card.  The game proceeds, anti-clockwise ,every player following suit, if he can, to the led card, or trumping or discarding if he cannot.  The winner of a trick leads to the next, until all nine tricks have been played.

            At the beginning of a deal each player puts an agreed sum in a pool.  Now ….
            Sacardo.  If ombre wins more tricks than either of his opponent individually, he takes all that is in the pool.
            Codille.  If one of the opponents wins more tricks than ombre, ombre pays him a sum equal to the amount in the pool, and the amount in the pool is carried forward to the next deal.
            Puesta.  If ombre and one, or both, of his reading hands win the same number of tricks, ombre doubles the amount in the pool and it is carried forward to the next deal.
            The deal does not pass in rotation.  After every deal the dealer for the next is determined by dealing the cards, face upwards, until one player receives a black Ace.
            The deal that follows is a simple one to illustrate the mechanics of the game:

West                            North                           East
♥ K 7                           ♥ none                         ♥  4 5 6
6                               7                               2 3 4 5
♠ 7 5                            ♠ J 6 4 3 2                   ♠ Q
♣ Ma Ba  K 5             ♣ Q J 6                       ♣ 7

North deals.
            West says: ‘I play’.  East and North pass.
            West discards 7♥ 6  7♠  5♠.  He draws 3 ♥ Q A 4♣.
            East discards 4♥ 5♥ 6♥.  His hand is of no value and he hopes  to end with a void suit.  He draws Q ♥ A ♥ Spa.
            North discards 7 J ♠ 6♠ 4♠ 3♠ 2♠.  He draws J ♥ 2♥ K J K ♠ 3♣.
            The hands are now:
West                            North                           East
♥ K 3                           ♥ J 2                           ♥  Q A
Q A                          K J                           2 3 4 5
♠ none                         ♠ K                              ♠ Q
♣ Ma Ba  K 5 4          ♣ Q J 6 3                    ♣ Spa  7

            West names Clubs as the trump suit.
            His hand is none too good, but the lead of a trump is called for.  He, therefore, leads K ♣, and East wins with Spadille, because West would hardly have led the King of trumps if he did not hold Manille, and probably Basto as well.  East has no better return than 7 ♣, on which North plays the Jack.  West allows it to win, by playing 4 ♣, because he is aware that North holds the more dangerous hand, and that sooner or later a trick in trumps must be lost to him.  North must keep his top Diamonds and K ♠, and he cannot safely lead a Heart.  He, therefore, leads a Club.  West wins with Basto, draws North’s last trump with Manille, and continues with 5 ♣.  It puts North on the spot.  If he discards J , West  will lead the suit and later win K ♥ and a Diamond; if North discards 2 ♥ or K ♠, West will win K ♥ and a Diamond; if North discards 2 ♥ or K ♠, West will win k ♥, and continue with 3 ♥, so that he will either win Q , or North and East will divide their tricks three-two.  Either way it is sacardo, and West  scoops the pool.






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