OBJECTIVE OF SEEP: Capture cards and earn points!
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4 players (fixed partnerships)
NUMBER OF CARDS: 52 card deck
RANK OF CARDS: K (high), Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A
TYPE OF GAME: Fishing
AUDIENCE: All Ages
INTRODUCTION TO SEEP
Seep, which is also commonly referred to as Sip, Sweep, Shiv, and Siv, is a game with many similarities to Casino. The four-player version of Seep, as described below, is played in Northern India.
The game is played with 4 players in partnerships. Partners should sit across from each other during play.
The goal of Seep is to collect or capture valuable cards in the layout which is on the game table (or the floor). The play ends once a team has reached a 100+ point lead on the other teams, this is referred to as a bazzi. Prior to play, the teams can decide on how many games or bazzis they wish to play.
How to Capture
To capture cards, play one card from hand and pick up 1+ cards, or group of cards, with a capture value that is equivalent to the card in hand. So, the card in hand allows you to capture cards of equal rank from the layout.
2-10: Face value
While capturing cards, players can build them into piles or houses. Houses can be captured only as a unit. Cards that are on the floor and not in a house are called loose cards.
Once the game has finished, the value of the captured cards is summed:
- Cards that are Spades have point values equal to their capture value.
- Aces in the other suits also have a value of 1 point.
- The Ten of Diamonds has a value of 6 points.
The remaining 17 cards in the deck have no point value, if captured, they are worthless. There is a total of 100 points in the deck.
There is also the option to score for a sweep. A sweep happens if a player can capture all the cards in the layout in one turn. Typically, a sweep is worth a flat 50 points. However, if a successful sweep occurs at the beginning of play it is worth only 25 points. Sweeps on the last play have no point value.
THE DEAL & THE BID
The first dealer is chosen randomly, by whatever mechanisms players wish to employ. After, hands are dealt by one member of the losing team. If teams are neck and neck, the original dealer resumes their post. Once a game has concluded, or a baazi, the deal passes to the partner of the player who had the next turn, if the game had not ended.
The dealer shuffles the deck and lets the player to their right cut. After, the dealer gives the player to their right 4 cards and deals 4 cards to the floor or table.
That player, the player to the dealer’s right, examines the cards dealt to the table. If possible, they “bid for a house” based on those four cards. To bid, it must be between 9 and 13 and correspond to a capture value of a card in hand. However, if the player cannot bid because they have no cards higher ranking than 8, they reveal their hand, throw in their cards, and the deal and bid are repeated. This continues until they are able to make a legal bid.
Once the player to the right of the dealer has bid, the 4 cards on the floor are revealed, by being turned face-up for all players to see. Now, the player who bid must do one of these three things (see below under the subtitles play and houses for further explanation):
- Form a house with a value equal to their bid by capturing cards from the floor with one in hand.
- Play a card that’s equal to the bid value. Capture cards on the floor of equal value.
- Throw down your card equal to the bid value. This card remains loose, on the floor.
Once this has been completed, the dealer finishes the deal by dealing out the remaining cards in sets of four, moving from right to left. The player to the dealer’s right will have a hand of 11 cards (since they already played one) and the other players will have 12.
THE PLAY OF SEEP
Real play begins after the deal and bid are completed, and it starts with the player to the right of the bidder (or the dealer’s partner). Play continues moving to the right or counterclockwise. Turns include playing a single card in hand, so each player has 12 turns. A single game continues until players have empty hands.
Basic moves during a turn:
- Creating or adding on to a house. The card used in play either constructs a new house or is added to a house that already exists.
- Capturing cards and houses. If the card that is played is the same capture value as a house or any number of cards on the table, all those cards may be captured in a single play. Captured cards should be stored collectively between partners, and piled in front of one member.
- Throwing down a loose card. Cards played which are unable to capture any other cards or cannot be incorporated into a house remains on the floor, it is a loose card.
Loose cards and cards in houses should be face-up so they may be readily seen by all players. All players reserve the right to thumb through houses and check their contents. Captured cards can also be examined within the turn they are captured. However, once the next player has initiated their turn, the card can no longer be inspected.
Houses or ghar (Hindi) are piles with 2 or more cards in them. Houses can only be captured in a single unit. The smallest capture value of a house is 9 and the largest is 13 (king). Players can only create houses if they have a card in hand equal to its capture value, since that card is required to pick it up later and earn points.
Each house on the floor must have 1 owner (at least). The owner is the player who created or established the house unless the house was broken, which is described below. If a house is broken, the last player who broke it is the new owner. Cemented houses can have more than one owner. This occurs if it is cemented by an opponent of the original owner. Players who own a house should always keep the capture card of equal value in their hand unless the house is captured or broken.
A house (uncemented) has a pile of cards which when summed equal the capture value. For example, a 5 and a 6 have a capture value of 11 (Jack).
A cemented house has more than 1 card or sets of card equal to the capture value. For example, a K cemented house could contain the following:
- 3, 10
- 5, 4, 4
- A, 6, 2, 2
Houses can be broken if a player adds a card to it that increases its capture value. The card must come from the player’s hand and not the floor. However, houses that are cemented can’t be broken.
There cannot be multiple houses with an equal capture value on the floor at once, they must be combined into a cemented house. Loose cards with an equal capture value to a house must automatically be consolidated into the house. If the house exists first, the loose card may capture it or be added to it.
Creating a House
To create a normal house, play a card from hand and add it to 1+ loose cards in a pile. These cards must add to the capture value of the house. Houses capture values must be either 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. Players must also have a card equal to the capture value in hand in order to create the house. You can only establish a house for yourself, never your teammate.
Houses are broken by adding a card from hand to it thereby increasing the value of the house. In order to do so, players must have a card in hand equal to the house’s new capture value. You are not permitted to break houses you own.
Houses can be turned into cemented houses in one of three ways:
- Adding a card to the house of equal capture value.
- Capturing multiple cards from the floor, including other houses, which are equal to the capture value of a card in hand.
- Break an ordinary house owned by another player to make its new capture value equal to a house you own/are cementing.
Loose cards from the floor which equal or sum the capture value of a house you own can also be captured and added to cement an ordinary house.
Players can add cards to cemented houses during their turn which are of equal value. At least one card must come from your hand. If the house is owned by an opponent, you must have a card in hand equal the capture value of the house to add to it. However, if the house is owned by your partner you may freely add to it.
THE END GAME & SCORING
The game ends once everyone has played all their cards in hand. All houses should have been captured, since players must capture them with the capture card of equal value they are required to hold on to. Loose cards may still be on the floor at end game, however they are added to the capture pile of the team who last picked up cards from the floor.
Each team score their captured cards (Spades, 10 of Diamonds, and all aces) as outlined above as well as bonus points for sweeps that may have occurred. Granted both teams scored at least 9, the difference between the scores is calculated.
The differences are recorded and accumulate throughout successive deals. Once a team has a 100 point lead they have won a Bazzi. After, the difference goes back to zero and the bazzi repeats.
If a team scores less than 9 points they automatically lose the bass and the next deal resets the difference.