OBJECT OF DOWN AND BACK: The object of Down and Back is to have the winning combination in both two showdowns.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 5 players

MATERIALS: One 52-card deck, chips, or other forms of payment, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Bidding Card Game



Down and Back is a bidding style card game for 2 to 5 players. Players have individual hands of 7 cards, where over several rounds they attempt to make the best 4 card hand and 3 card hands for 2 showdowns at the end of the round. Players must all make bids before they know what their hands are, and to win the pot a player must win both showdowns in a round. 


Before dealing all players make the same ante into the pot. The amount should be discussed before the game begins. then the first dealer is chosen at random and passes clockwise for each new round. 

The dealer shuffles the deck and has the player to their right cut the deck. Then each player is dealt, clockwise, a 7-card hand. The next top card of the deck is flipped to start the discard pile and the remaining deck is placed in the center of the table for the stockpile. 

The players may now look and their hands and begin the game. 

Cards Ranking and Combinations

There is no ranking of suits and each suit ranks the same. King (high), Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and Ace (low). Ace is always low and cannot be used as a higher card in rank over the king. 


There are two stages of combinations. There are 4 card combinations and 3 card combinations. There are eight 4-card combinations and there are six 3-card combinations. They rank as described below. 

4-card Combinations

The highest-ranked 4-card combination is a 4 of a kind. It is made of 4 cards all the same rank and different suits. Four Kings is the highest and four Aces is the lowest.  

Second is a prial. It includes three cards all the same rank and either any card of the last suit needed or any face card. They are ranked based on the three of a kind. 

Third is a 4-card Bouncer. It includes 4 cards all the same suit in consecutive order. They are ranked based on the highest card included, and two equal hands of different suits will tie. 

Fourth is a 4-card run. This includes 4 cards in consecutive order but of any suit. They are ranked based on their highest card.

Fifth is a 4-card flush. This includes any four cards of the same suit. They are ranked based on high cards. 

Sixth is two pair. It includes two pairs of the same rank of cards. suits do not matter and for ranking the higher pairs are compared. 

Seventh is a pair. This includes a pair of cards and 2 other cards. The two other cards can be face cards or if neither are then the two cards must be of a different suit from each other and the pair of cards. if one face card is used the other card must be of a different suit than the pair of cards. to rank them start with the pair, the higher of the other cards, then the final card. 

Eighth and lowest is the high card. this includes any 4 cards. They are ranked dependent on the highest card available. 

3-card Combinations

Highest ranked is the Prial. This includes three cards of the same rank. 

Second is a 3-card bouncer. This includes three consecutive cards of the same suit. 

Third is the 3-card run. This includes three cards in consecutive order but of any suit. 

Fourth is a 3-card flush. This includes any three cards of the same suit. 

Fifth is a pair. This includes a pair of the same rank of card and either a face card or a card of a suit different from that of the pair. 

Sixth is the high card. This includes any three cards.


The game starts with the player to the dealer’s left and continues clockwise. During a player’s turn, they will first draw a card either from the stockpile or the discard pile. Then they must discard a card into the discard pile. It can be the card they just drew. 

After the dealer’s sixth turn the showdown will begin. 

If at any point the stock is emptied, the discard pile will be shuffled by the dealer and the top card used to make a new discard pile. 


Once the dealer has completed their sixth turn the showdown will start. Each player will separate their hands into their 4-card combination and their 3-card combinations. The 4-card commination is done fist. All players show their combinations together and they are compared to find the winner. The same is done for the 3-card combination.

If at any point there is a tie for the highest combination, the two players draw a random card from the stockpile and the highest card wins.

If a player wins both combinations they also win the pot, if no player wins both then the pot remains and the next round starts with players anteing again. 


The game ends whenever players wish it to. If looking for a winner, the player who has won the most money should be declared the winner. 

Amber Crook
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