Sabacc is an interesting case because it was a game created for the Star Wars movies! However, later on, the game was fully developed to be its own thing, and now you can play it without needing to go out of space. But how do you play Sabacc? Well, let’s find out, shall we?
What is The Sabacc Card Game?
Sabacc is similar to several classic card games like Poker and Blackjack. It uses a deck of 72-cards that you can play with two people or a larger group. What makes Sabacc a little tricky to play is that it has a lot of different rule variations.
The aim of the game is to win the Sabacc Pot and take the credits. The game is also normally played with one player acting as the dealer. But in this guide, we’ll cover the modern rules included with most card sets.
You will need the best value hand to win, but there are a few different ways you can achieve this. Sabacc, like Poker, will often take place over several rounds, and players will need to up the bet each round.
The first part is essentially the pot-building phase of the game. When one player announces their desire to call, one last round of betting takes place, and next, the players should get ready to show their hands.
Winning Sabacc cab is achieved with either a total of 23 or -23. Although if no one has one of these totals, then the closest to 23 will win! But this is just the basics of winning Sabacc; there is quite a bit more to learn about how the scoring works.
But we’ll save this for the rules section below. But before you look at the rules, let’s take a quick look at where you can get a Sabacc card set (don’t worry, you don’t need to go to a galaxy far, far away) and what’s included.
What You’ll Need To Play?
To play Sabacc, you’ll need to get a card set. You should be able to find one wherever Star Wars merchandise is sold, but if you’re having trouble, a card set is easy enough to find online. There are even a few different Sabacc card sets available, but the differences are purely cosmetic.
Now, before we jump into the rules so you can learn how to play Sabacc, let’s take a quick look at the cards. If you are used to playing card games like Solitaire and Rummy, then getting used to these new cards might take a bit of time, but after a few games, you’ll be using them like a pro!
The Sabacc Cards
You get 76 cards in the Sabacc card set; the cards are split into positive and negative decks. The positive cards are split into four decks: Sabers, Flasks, Coins, and Staves. These cards cover numbers 1 – 11, and there are also a variety of ranked/face cards. These cover the numbers 12 – 15.
Now the negative deck of cards works a little differently; for one thing, there are only 16 cards. There are two of each of the eight cards, and they cover 0 to negative 17. Learning the cards might take a little time: to help, we’ve listed both decks below.
- Numbers 1 – 11
- Commander Card (12)
- Mistress Card (13)
- Master Card (14)
- Ace Card (15)
- Idiot Card (0)
- Queen of Air and Darkness Card (-2)
- Endurance Card (-8)
- Balance Card (-11)
- Demise Card (-13)
- Moderation Card (-14)
- The Evil One Card (-15)
- The Star Card (-17)
Some Sabacc cards come with credit chips, but these aren’t always as such. So, to make Sabacc easier to play, chips or coins are recommended. They make the game more fun and easier to monitor/understand.
The best option is Poker Chips, which work brilliantly and are easy to find online.
Rules And Gameplay
The Aim of The Game
The aim of Sabacc is to win the pot! You do this by getting the best hand and then calling the bet. There are a lot of strategies involved when it comes to winning Sabacc, and while luck does play a part (like in most card games), over time, you’ll no doubt develop your own winning strategy.
To start the game, nominate one player to be the dealer. If you are playing with a larger group, say between 6 – 8 people, then the dealer can simply deal the cards and monitor the game or have their own hand as well.
The dealer should well shuffle the deck and deal out two cards to each player. Cards should be dealt one at a time and facedown. This starts the first game phase, where players can up their initial bet to get another card.
Players can decide to stick if they don’t want to raise the bet, this phase of betting and holding continues till one player announces their desire to call. When one player announces a call, one last betting phase is done; then, players move on to the next game phase.
Players reveal their hands when called, and the winner takes the pot! But winning in Sabacc can be achieved in several ways. We’ve listed the main winning conditions below to make this easier to understand.
- Pure Sabacc – A Total of 23 or -23
- Idiot Array – The Idiot Card and a 2 and 3 of any suit.
The Idiot Array will always beat the Pure Sabacc if two (or more) players have the same hands. If no one has either of those hands, the winner will be the player closest to 23. Now, this isn’t the only thing to know about playing Sabacc because you can also Bomb Out!
Bombing Out is done if you have a hand value that totals more than 23, less than -23, or exactly 0 when someone announces a call. If you Bomb Out, you must play an equal amount of chips into the pot.
If two or more players have equal winning hands, the game goes to a Sudden Demise! Both players are dealt an extra card in a Sudden Demise, and their hand totals are rechecked. The player with the best/ highest new hand will win the pot.
Sabacc might sound a little complicated, but it’s much easier to understand when you’re actually playing it. You might not win as many games as Han Solo at first, but winning the pot will be much easier after a few rounds!
Sabacc – An Intergalactic Card Game!
Sabacc is a unique Sci-Fi-inspired card game that is great fun for two players and even more fun with a larger group! Anyone looking for a new card game should get their friends together and play some Sabacc.