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Ian Gonzalez
Ian Gonzalez

Joker Game

My in-laws have a board game called Joker. It involves drawing standard playing cards and moving marbles around a board. The strategy is to keep track of the number of spaces between marbles and desired locations and try to keep as many options open based on probabilities of cards being drawn. My wife's brother-in-law, Greg Gonsalves, made a board for me. Greg has always been handy with tools and led the maker movement long before its recent blossoming.

Joker Game


The Joker game is a runner designed in the style of the famous movie of the same name. Perhaps everyone has watched or at least heard about this psychological thriller. In the game, you run through the city of Gotham and try your best not to get caught by the police. Along the way, you may also come across trees, garbage cans and even a coal-fired boiler. To avoid colliding with these elements, jump or bend over, depending on the situation.

As you may or may not recall from my review of Batman: Return of the Joker on the NES, I liked it quite a bit. It was a complete package of great controls, graphics, and music that made it a little slice of classic NES heaven. Reason stood to believe then that a version of the game from Sunsoft on the Game Boy that arrived several months after the console game would offer a similar experience, but on an understandably smaller scale. Boy, was I wrong.

Pegs and Jokers is a North American race game for four, six or eight players, using playing-cards to move pegs around a board. It is also sometimes known as Jokers and Pegs. Some board designs use marbles instead of pegs as the playing pieces in which case it may be called Marbles and Jokers or Jokers and Marbles.

Pegs and Jokers is clearly derived ultimately from the Indian race game Pachisi, a race game using dice for movement, probably via its American derivative Sorry!, in which pawns are moved according to cards drawn from a special deck.

Pegs and Jokers is a partnership game played with standard playing-cards on boards that are generally home-made. It allows extra scope for strategy by giving players a choice of cards to play. Each player has five pegs, and the winners are the first team to move all their pegs from their START area to their HOME areas.

Standard decks of cards are used, with two jokers in each deck. Three decks (162 cards including 6 jokers) may be enough for up to six players: eight players should use four decks (216 cards including 8 jokers).

Four players use a four-sided board; six players use a six-sided board; eight players use an eight-sided board - one side for each player, each associated with a different color. Each player has five pegs in the color that corresponds to the side of the board nearest to them. Each side of the board has a straight section of track 18 units long: there is a corner hole at each end, shared between two adjacent sides, and 17 holes between them. The 8th hole after the corner is the "come out" position for the pegs on that side, and next to it is the colored "start" area with five holes where the pegs of that color are stored at the start of the game. The 3rd hole after the corner is the "in-spot" for that color, and branching off at the "in-spot" is a colored private track of 5 holes, which is the "home" or "safe" area or "castle", where the pegs end their journey. The diagram below shows one side of the board.

Some people use coloured golf tees as the pegs for this game. Others use the small colored plastic bulbs that fit into ceramic christmas trees - supplies of these bulbs can be obtained from Ceramic Art Space.

If you have any card (except a joker) that allows you to move a peg, you must play such a card, even if the move is disadvantageous. However, if you have no cards (except jokers) that enable you to move you may discard one card of your choice without moving and draw a card to replace it. This ends your turn. Discarding without moving normally happens only at the start of the game, when a player has no aces or pictures to move any peg out of the start area.

In order to move your peg out of your start area, you must play a jack, queen, king, ace (to move it to its "come out" hole) or a joker (to move it to the hole occupied by a peg of a different color anywhere on the main track).

When you play a joker, you move any one of your pegs (for example one in the start area) into a hole on the main track that is occupied by another player's peg, belonging either to a partner or to an opponent. This has the effect of sending that peg to its in-spot or start area respectively, as described above. A joker cannot be used to move to an empty hole, so if there are no pegs of any colour on the main track a joker cannot be played.

For a team to win the game, all its pegs must be in their respective home areas. Pegs move along the home tracks in the usual way. Since they cannot land on or pass over each other, the first peg to arrive must eventually be moved all the way to the end of the home track to leave room for the others, the second to the next space behind it and so on.

This more interesting version of Pegs and Jokers developed in Arizona, from where it has spread to Texas and perhaps other places. It uses four full decks of cards including 8 Jokers. The rules differ from the basic game as follows:

Here is a brief summary of the Arizona Rules in the form of printable PDF. New players may find it useful to refer to this during their first few games. Brad Clark has provided a Spanish translation of the summary sheet.

As in most card games, players are not allowed to reveal the cards in their hands to partners or opponents. It is sometimes very tempting to offer advice or suggest moves to your partners, or to seek advice when it is your move, especially when playing by the Arizona rules which allow players to move any of their team's pegs. This kind of table talk almost inevitably gives away information about the cards held by the players, and is not allowed in games between experienced players.

When teaching the game to beginners, this rule may be relaxed to allow possible moves to be discussed by the team. In this case, when discussing moves, players should do their best to avoid exchanging information about the cards that they hold.

In the rule sheet distributed by Wizard Woodworks a two is a special card that can either moves a peg forward 2 or exchange two different coloured pegs on the main track. Other rules are in the basic game, except that as in the Arizona version players first play a card, then move and draw a replacement card at the end of their turn, and nines can be split, moving one peg/marble forward and another backward.

Eileen Becker from Alaska describes a variation in which a 10 can be used to move a peg either forward 10 spaces or backward 1 space. Apart from this the game is similar to the basic game described on this page, but using the "counting rule" from the North Carolina rules, allowing a player to come out with any card on the fourth turn after being stuck for three turns.

Ian Terry describes the Bluffing Joker variant, played in Florida, in which the basic rules are identical to the regular game, except that all cards played are played face-down. The player may declare the face-down card to be whatever they desire.

Jonathon Greenall has been writing for many years and has written for several websites, poetry collections, and short fiction collections. They're also an analog game designer who has written and published several popular roleplaying games. A lifelong anime fan ever since their first exposures to Sailor Moon and Revolutionary Girl Utena, Jonathon loves talking about anime, from big hits to the weird and wonderful corners that are often overlooked.

The Charitable and Non-Profit Gaming Act 1999 allows a promotional game to be conducted by a publican or a club licensee. By definition, a promotional game is a game conducted to promote goods and services.

This game is very easy to solve. Neither ship has any incentive to cooperate and (Detonate, Detonate) becomes the dominant strategy. In addition, there is even more incentive to detonate first as you can potentially save your own ship if you do it before the other ship. Thus, in this particular matrix one or both ships would have exploded and The Joker would have accomplished his goal of showing that people are just as evil as he is when put under certain circumstances.

Each of the eight spies we're playing a round of poker, when a ninth individual joined named Sakura. He's just a solider who provides details regarding the advance of D-Agency. The game however goes ahead between them as such:

When I first saw that poker game, I was like wow those spies are really good , because Sakuma had really good cards and still lost. When he lost he became the "Joker". Then they explained the game to me and I knew I was watching a good anime without a doubt.

Most people found the PlayStation and N64 versions disappointing for the lack of stages, only having five. There was no way to save progress and no checkpoints which meant if the player died at any stage of the game they had to restart from the beginning of the stage.

Alice in Borderland season 2 ended with the reveal of a Joker card, something that was missing from the show so far. After two seasons of facing several deadly games inspired by playing cards, Arisu and his friends beat all the Face Card games and concluded the Borderland challenge. Their prize was to choose between staying in Borderland or not, a choice that led to Arisu and most of the Alice in Borderland characters waking up in the real world in what appeared to be a definitive ending. 041b061a72


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