Bastard Brag, Rules, How to Play

bastard bragBastard Brag is a variation of 3 card brag which gets it name from the frustration you feel when it doesn’t quite go to plan. Often hearing someone say “bastard” when a player knocks.

You can get all the 3 card brag rules on our dedicated page of 3 card brag rules. Here we just look at the difference between 3 card brag and Bastard Brag, it’s less famous cousin.

Bastard Brag, Dealing, Swapping Cards and Knocking

3 cards are dealt face down to each player in turn, and 3 cards communal cards are dealt into the middle. 2 of the communal cards are face up and 1 is face down .

The aim of the game is to make the best 3 brag hands you can, using your own cards and those which are in the middle. The communal cards are constantly changing as you’ll see.

The first player to act (to the left if the dealer, and then all players in turn – clockwise) must select a communal card and exchange it for one from their own hand. This continues until, one player “knocks” meaning they are happy with their hand.

As soon as a player knocks, play continues and all remaining players still have to exchange at least one card until it returns to the Knocking player, at this point all players show their hand and the best 3 card brag hand wins.

Money is won by either each player placing an ante in the pot at the start of the hand. Or by each player placing an ante in exchange for 3 lives, each time you have the worst 3 card brag hand, you lose one life. The last player alive wins the money in the pot.

Bastard Brag Quick Rules Guide:

  • Play always moves clockwise
  • 3 Card dealt face don to each player
  • 3 community card deal in the middle (2 face up, one face down)
  • No player can knock on the first round of betting.
  • You can only knock when betting returns to you i.e not as soon as you’ve exchanged cards
  • You can only swap 1 or all 3 of your cards for the community cards
  • The best hands are the same as those in 3 card brag.

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