OBJECT OF SKIN: The object of Skin is to win bids and collect stakes from other players.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: Best with 6 players

MATERIALS: A standard deck of 52 cards, chips or money for bidding, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Banking Card Game



Skin is a banking game that is best played with 6 players. The goal of the game is to win bids to collect stakes from other players. You can do this as a player or as the bank which revolves its way around the table.

This is a bidding game so if there are maximum or minimum bids players would like set into place, this should be done before the game.


The first dealer AKA the banker is random it then passes to the right for each new deal. The banker will shuffle the cards and any player may cut the deck. The deck is then placed face down in front of the banker.

The banker will now deal a single card to the player to their right. The player may choose to keep the card as the card they will bet on or pass it. If passing it, it goes around the table anticlockwise until either it has been accepted by a player, or all players have passed it. If all players pass on the card it is flipped faceup into the center of the table and becomes a fresh card (discussed below).  

Card Ranking

There is no ranking of cards. The only thing viewed is if a card is equal in rank, regardless of suit.


Once a player chooses to accept a card the banker will deal themselves a card from the top. If it matches the player’s accepted card both cards are discarded and that rank of card is dead (discussed later).

If the cards do not match, then the player may propose a stake. It may be any amount they wish to bid a maximum of. The banker then must bet on the player’s card an amount up to the max stake stated by the player, and the player will match this amount on their card. Future bets all follow this routine.

After a player makes a bet on their card with the banker, they may place side bets for any other players who also have cards. These bets are placed out to the side and the bidding player may bid any amount to which the other player may accept all, some, or none of that bid. When a player loses, these side bids are paid out to the player who has not lost yet.

Following this, the banker will once again reveal a card and a few outcomes may happen depending on the card’s rank. The card may match a player’s card, the banker’s card, become a new fresh card, match a card in the center of the table, or match a dead card.

If it matches a player’s card that player has lost and must pay the banker their bids on their card and any side bets they have lost to their respective players.  A player may choose to take a central card from the table and make new bets with the dealer and side bids with players.

If the card matches the banker’s card, they have lost their bets and all players with bids on their cards will win these. If there are any remaining unsettled side bets the banker will need to continue the hand to resolve these. In this case, the banker can choose to accept either the next fresh card dealt or just reveal cards to resolve bets. If they choose to take a new card, players with cards remaining may choose to rebid with this new card but are not required to. Either way, cards are revealed until all side bids are resolved.

If a card is a fresh card, starting from the player who last received a card, it is offered to the next right player who does not have a card. They may accept or pass the card as before. If no one accepts the card or there are no players to accept it, it becomes a central card.

If a card matches a central card, those cards become dead cards, along with any card of the same rank.

If the card matches a dead rank, then it is discarded and a new card is drawn.


Once all bets and side bets are resolved the hand is completed and the new hand can be started by the new dealer.


The game ends when players wish to stop playing. It is a bidding game so players may cash out or join between hands. 

Amber Crook
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