Number of Players: 2 or more
Cards Used: 1 full deck of 40 kabufuda cards
Game Length: Not set
Goal: To get as close to 9 as possible
Oicho-Kabu is based on and very similiar to the game of Baccarat. One player becomes the dealer and the other players compete with him to win bets. The name of Oicho-Kabu means 8-9 using the Japanese kabufuda names for the numbers 1 to 10.
The first thing the players need to do is decide the ground rules for the game. They need to decide whether, in the case of a tie, the dealer wins or if the round is a push and all bets are returned, and what the maximum bet for the round is.
The maximum bet is the amount that all of the players are allowed to bet combined. If the maximum bet is 100 points and one player bets 50 points, the remaining players can only bet a total of 50 points. It is allowed for one player to bet all of the points for the round, but it is considered very rude.
At the beginning of each round of play the dealer is decided by having each player draw a card from the deck. The player with the lowest card becomes the dealer. The dealer should sit opposite from the other players. The other players should sit in the order of their drawn cards, from right to left. There is an advantage to sitting to the right of the dealer.
Play now begins. The dealer shuffles the deck and passes it to each player. Any player can shuffle or cut the deck as they wish. Once they are all satisfied, the dealer deals one card face down to each player. These cards are not used in the game itself, but they give each player a small insight for the rest of the game.
Once each player has looked at their card the dealer deals four cards (regardless of the number of players) face-up left to right on the table. This is known as the first field.
At this point the players begin betting. Going counter-clockwise from the player to the right of the dealer, each player chooses what cards they wish to bet on. Any player can bet on any number of the four cards, and players can bet on the same card. Players can bet in any way they like; they do not have to bet the same amount on each card. Of course, the players have to remain within the previously established maximum bet for the round. Each player's bet is placed on the card he is betting on. If two players bet on the same card their bets should be kept seperate.
Once betting has concluded, the dealer draws one card to form his hand. He is allowed to draw either the top card of the deck, the bottom card of the deck, or the fourth card from the top. He places the card face down in front of himself without looking at it.
The dealer now deals 4 cards face-down underneath the first field, forming a 2nd field. At this point the table looks like this (the card at the bottom is the dealer's face-down card):
Once all the players have learned their current totals, the dealer asks each player (going right to left) if they would like any more cards. If they do, the dealer places a third card (the 3rd field) face-up underneath the 2nd field. If there is more than 1 player betting on a particular card, the first player asked gets to make the decision whether or not a third card is desired. Because one player gets to make a decision that can affect the bet of many players, there are two rules in Oicho-Kabu that apply to all of the players (including the dealer): players are not allowed to take a 3rd card if their current total is 7 or higher, and they are required to take another card if their total is 3 or less.
After all the necessary third cards have been dealt, the dealer deals himself a second face-down card, taking either the top or bottom card of the deck, or the card 4th from the top. He looks at his two cards and decides whether or not he wants a third.
If the players chose to take two more cards and the dealer did not, at this point the table would look like this:
To continue the above example, once we turn over all of the cards we get this:
There are two more special rules for Oicho-Kabu. If the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd field are the same, then any one has bet on that card wins, and receives triple their bet. An example: