9 Card Brag is a traditional British card game. Nowhere near as popular as 3 card brag, but never the less it was played in many homes up and down the Country. Card games brought families together at Christmas, millions played traditional games with everyone involved.
9 card brag seems a little complicated, rest assured it really isn’t. Here a break down.
Each player is dealt 1 card face up. The player with the highest card is the dealer.
If 2 or more players have the same value card, those players are dealt a further card to see who is the dealer.
Ante’s and betting: Each player places 4 bets on each game of hand. 1 bet for each hand and a further bet to “the pot”. the best way to view this is as 4 separate pots.
Split the ante’s or bets into 4 separate pot i.e Pot 1, pot 2, pot 3 and lets call the last a bonus pot.
Dealing the cards: Each player is dealt 9 cards, face down, action is always clockwise and cards are dealt 1 at a time.
Each player splits their 9 card into 3 x 3 card brag hands.
9 Card brag is almost 3 games in one. Starting from the left of the dealer each player shows the best of their brag hands, the highest wins pot 1
The second round follows the same – Starting with the winner of round 1= each player shows their second best brag hand, highest hand wins pot 2
3rd and final round – Starting with the winner of round 3 = all players show their final and worse 3 card brag hand – highest hand wins yet again.
Should a player win all 3 rounds in a game of 9 car brag, he or she also wins the bonus pot.
The hands rank the same as in all brag games, 3 card brag being the most popular. 3 x 3s is the highest hand as the whole game revolves around the number 3, 3 of a kind is known as a prial. The 3 card is only really important in a prial, a running flush or a run. Hands lower than this just play on face value.
The real skill in 9 card brag is deciding which way to split your hands! You can go for a guaranteed winner in round 1. Or perhaps break that up to make 2 stronger hands? could this give you a better chance of winning 2 and maybe all 3 pots.
The decision on splitting hands is a hard one. The best way to see it is that in round 1, any running flush should be good enough,. that said Prials are quite common in 9 card brag. For this reason you may be quite often beaten in round 1, but successful in rounds 2 and 3.
The main thing to pay attention too is the way the other players split their cards. You will see a pattern which will give you an advantage over them by knowing how they tend to think.