Buffalo Bayou Backhand

Backhand for beginners
Game Rules
  • All existing rules for Backhand, the card game will be observed in this invention, except where rule modifications are expressly noted in the body of this document.
  • The dealer is dealt three show cards face up, from right to left first. These show cards make up the dealer hand and are never replaced or substituted under any circumstances during the hand. The player hand is then dealt on the row below the dealer hand, from right to left, face up and positioned adjacent to the bottom left hand corner of the first dealer hand show card (starting from the left, as shown in Diagram 1).
  • The dealer hand is dealt in the beginning of the hand and remain in place until the hand is over. Dealer show cards are positioned on the row above the player’s first two dealt cards, but start just after the second card (from the right) in the player’s hand on the row below. (See Diagram 1).
Backhand for beginners
  • Initial hand value – The player's initial hand value is calculated by adding the numerical values of the first two cards dealt from the deck (e.g. in Diagram 1: 6 clubs + 2 diamonds = an initial hand value of 8). Note: As in backhand, suits still have no impact on the game.
  • Player Total – This is the added numerical values of all the cards dealt to the player, except for the last card dealt to the player. Discarded initial player aces are not counted. The backhand card is never included in the ‘player total’.
  • Total Hand Value – This is the sum total numerical value of all the cards dealt to the player including the initial player hand, the backhand card and any hit cards. This is used to determine if/when the player has busted or not (e.g. in Diagram 1: the initial hand value is 8. If the player takes a hit card, the total hand value would include both cards in the initial player hand and the value of the hit card to be dealt next).
  • Dealer Total – The dealer total is the added numerical values of the last card dealt to the player, and the dealer show card directly above it. The dealer total is compared to the player total throughout the hand to determine who has the advantage in the hand. Once the backhand card is dealt, whoever has the advantage will win the hand. If both the player and dealer totals are of equal value after the backhand card is played, the hand will result in a stalemate (no winner) and the hand is over. In the case of a five card hand, the player would win according to existing backhand rules. This is still the case in Buffalo Bayou backhand.
  • As mentioned earlier, every time a card is dealt to the player (either a hit card or a backhand card) the player total and dealer totals are compared to determine the advantage in the hand. Backhand rules still apply to hit cards, so in this invention if the hit card causes the player hand to bust, the player loses the hand. If it doesn’t, the player is presented the option to take another hit card or call backhand. A player shall not be dealt more than five cards in a hand, including the backhand card. If the player successfully hits to five cards without busting, the player wins the hand. If the hit card is an ace, it is valued at 1 when calculating the player total hand value and at 1 or 11 when calculating the dealer total. This is another rule modification with respect to the value of aces. In backhand, the ace is always valued at 1. But in Buffalo Bayou backhand, the value of the ace depends on what it is being used to calculate.
  • In the case of a push hand, the player still has the option to either take a hit card or push the hand away for another hand. If the player decides to play the push hand by taking a hit card, the hit card is used to calculate both the player total hand value and the dealer total. If the hit card in said push hand is an ace, the ace is valued at 1 when calculating the player’s total hand value and 1 or 11 when calculating the dealer total. Whatever the hit card turns out to be, if the player has the advantage, the player wins the push hand. If the dealer has the advantage, the dealer wins the push hand. If the player decides to play a push hand in Buffalo Bayou backhand, it is mathematically impossible for both the player and dealer totals to be equal and the player hand not to bust at the same time.
  • Aces are used for many things in this game and their value depends on their use.
  • When an ace is dealt as a dealer’s show card, it can be valued at 1 or 11, to the dealer’s advantage
  • Dealer aces are any aces dealt during the game which are not a part of the initial player hand.
  • If a backhand card is an ace, it’s valued at 1 or 11, which ever value gives the advantage to the dealer when calculating the dealer total; but valued at only 1 for the player when calculating the player’s total hand value.
  • If a hit card is an ace, it’s valued at 1 or 11, which ever value gives the advantage to the dealer when calculating the dealer total; but valued at only 1 for the player when calculating the player’s total hand value.
  • Player aces are aces that are a part of the initial player hand after the Ace Rule is satisfied. Player aces are always valued at 1.
  • Initial player aces are aces that are contained in the initial player hand prior to the Ace Rule being satisfied. Therefore, they are not the same as player aces. Per the Ace Rule, initial player aces are discarded and replaced immediately after the initial player hand is dealt.

To ensure fairness when playing with a single deck, the deck should be reshuffled after the conclusion of each hand.

 

How to play
  • In Example 1, the dealer’s show cards are 8-9-2 and are dealt from right to left first. The initial player hand is always dealt after the player hand. There are no dealer aces on the board yet. The initial player hand is position on the bottom row, just to the bottom left corner of the dealer hand. The initial player hand does not include any initial player aces. The initial player hand contains 6-2, so the initial hand value is 8 and the hand type is a low hand. Just as in backhand, the only hand option available to the player is to take a hit card. Once the hit card is dealt, the total hand value, dealer total and player totals are calculated to determine advantage in the hand or if the player hand has busted. The player will play the hand in the usual manner according to standard backhand rules; except in this invention, the winner or loser in the hand is determined in the following ways:

  • Player’s successful backhand play + player total advantage over the dealer total; player wins the hand
  • Successful five card hand; player wins the hand
  • Successful push hand + player total advantage over dealer total; player wins the hand
  • Unsuccessful backhand or hit play; player loses hand
  • Player’s successful backhand play + dealer total advantage over the player total; dealer wins the hand
  • Unsuccessful push play; player loses the hand
  • In Example 1a, the hit card is a K (numerical value = 10), total hand value of 18. The hand options (per existing backhand rules) are to take a hit card or call backhand.

  • In Example 1b, the player chose to call backhand. The backhand card is a Q (numerical value = 10) and a new hand value of 28. This is a successful backhand, but in this invention, the winner is determined by who has the advantage in the hand by comparing the dealer total and player total, after the backhand card is called. Since the dealer total is higher than the player total, the dealer has the advantage and the hand results in a loss for the player.

  • In Example 2, the initial hand value is 8, dealer hand contains 8-9-2 and there are no initial player aces. The only hand option available to the player is to take a hit card. The hit card is 4 so the total hand value is 12, the dealer total is 12, the player total is 8 and the hand options available to the player is to take a hit or call backhand. Right now the player must determine whether their current player total would beat the dealer total if they were to call backhand. A successful backhand in this case would be a backhand card with a numerical value of at least 10. But the resulting dealer total would be 19 which would give the dealer the advantage and result in a loss for our player; therefore, is wouldn’t make sense for our player to call backhand at this point.

  • Example 2a shows that our player chose to take another hit card. The hit card is 8, the new total hand value is 20, the new dealer total is 17, the new player total is 12 and the dealer currently has the advantage. The hand options for our player is to take a hit card or call backhand. But as you can see, the dealer’s last show card is a 2, so if our player decides to call backhand (and the backhand call is successful), the resulting player total would be 20 and a sure win for our player!

  • Example 2b shows a winning hand for our player. A successful backhand play + advantage over the dealer total, was the key!

  • Example 3 shows a dealer hand of Q-Q-7, and an initial player hand of A-8. Per the Ace Rule, the A will be discarded and replaced prior to moving forward in the hand. Example 3a shows the new initial player hand to be K-8, initial hand value 18, and a push hand type. Hand options for the player are to take a hit card or push the hand away in exchange for a new hand.

  • In Example 3b, the player chooses to take a hit card. The hit card is an ace. This ace is a ‘dealer ace’ so it’s value depends on what it is being used to calculate. When calculating the dealer total, said ace will be valued at 1 or 11 to the advantage of the dealer. When calculating the total hand value, it is valued at 1. Immediately, you see that the advantage has swung in the favor of the dealer. The dealer total is 21 and the player total is 18. Remember, in this invention, if a player decides to play a push hand by taking a hit card the player shall take only one hit card. Whatever the hit card turns out to be, if the player total is greater than the dealer total, the player will win the hand. If the dealer has the advantage, the dealer wins the push hand. So in this hand, our player has a successful backhand, but the player total is lower than the resulting dealer total. Therefore, our player has lost the hand!