A quick and vibrant gambling game for 3 to 20 players.


Bandit uses the same core Trick Taking rules as Junni, but plays very differently. It is fast and rough and all about taking other people’s money.

Players are dealt a small hand of cards. They play to win a share of the pot. The more Tricks you win, the more of the pot you take. However if you fail to win a single hand, you must pay instead.


  • The Journey Deck - Nothing else is needed...
  • Coin - ...except the blood of civilization.

How To Play

A game of Bandit consists of a number of Hands.

A hand consists of four Tricks, in which players take turns to play a single card.

Here is how a Hand plays out.

1 - Seed The Pot

A little coin to start things off...

If the pot has less than 4 coins in it, each player must contribute 1 coin to the pot.

2 - Deal The Cards

A fee is paid. Cards are shared...

For the first hand, a dealer is elected randomly.

For subsequent hands, the role of dealer proceeds clockwise around the table.

The dealer should

  • Pay the Dealers Fee - They add 2 coins to the pot (They are also the Lead Player for the first round)
  • Divide the Pot - The money in the pot is split into a number of piles called Shares.
  • Shuffle the Deck
  • Deal - A hand of 4 cards is dealt to each player.

Shares are divided differently depending on the number of players at the table

  • 3-5 Players - The pot is divided into TWO equal shares (rounded down). Remainder stays in the pot.
  • 6+ Players - The pot is divided into FOUR equal shares (rounded down). Remainder stays in the pot.

3 - Bid

Decide if you can win or, at the very least, not lose...

Starting with the dealer, each player examines their hand and decides whether to Commit or Fold.

If a player Folds

  • They are out of the hand, taking no further part until the next deal.
  • They discard their hand (face down).
  • They can neither win nor lose coin until the next hand is dealt.

If the player Commits

  • They take part in each round.
  • They place a Bid on the table. The bid has coin matching one Share in the pot. (if they do very badly in the hand, they may lose their bid.
  • (A player cannot commit if they do not have enough money to pay a Share of the pot. If this is the case, they must fold)

If only one player commits, then they immediately take the entire pot (including the remainder). The round then ends.

4 - Play the Hand

Cards are played. Players vye. Tricks are taken. Victories are established...

For the basics of Trick Taking, see Below...

The dealer starts as Lead Player.

Four Tricks are played between all the Committed players. The winner of each trick establishes the Lead Player for the next

Each trick is stacked separately in front of the person who won it. They will be used for counting winnings...

5 - Claim Your Rewards

The spoils are divided among the triumphant. Those who risked and failed pay the price...

The rewards depend on how many tricks a player won.

First - Winners Take Their Shares.

Players take Shares from the pot dependant on how many tricks they won.

Second - Losers Pay Their Bid

Players who failed to win a single trick are considered Robbed. They must instead pay their Bid (One share) into the pot.

The way the shares are divided depends on the number of players at the table.

(This is the total players regardless of whether the committed or folded for the hand)

3 to 5 Players

The pot was divided into two shares (rounded down). Remainder stays in the pot.

  • 0 Tricks - Robbed. Pay in one share to the pot.
  • 1 Trick - No change. You neither make nor lose money.
  • 2-3 Tricks - Take one share from the pot.
  • 4 Tricks - Take the whole pot (including the remainder).

6+ Players

The pot was divided into four shares (rounded down). Remainder stays in the pot.

  • 0 Tricks - Robbed. Pay in one share to the pot.
  • 1-3 Tricks - Take a shares equal to the number of tricks won, from the pot.
  • 4 Tricks - Take the whole pot (including the remainder).

6 - Begin Again

And so the flow of coin continues...

That’s it. The game continues for as long as there are enough players to play.

A single hand takes only a few minutes. Players generally sit down to play for many.

If many players are robbed, the pot will slowly increase in size, increasing the risk.

If nobody is robbed, the pot will be emptied and must be re-seeded before the next hand.

Trick Taking

In a trick, each player chooses and plays one card. The cards are compared and the 'best' card wins, 'Taking the trick'. The winner gathers all the played cards into a stack which they keep as a trophy.

Round (Trick) Breakdown

  1. The Lead Player places a suit card, face up, on the table. This suit becomes the Lead suit.
    1. The lead player cannot lead with a trump until they have been Broken (see below).
    2. The lead player cannot lead with a barbarian unless they have no other cards. (if they do, they may declare any suit as lead)
  2. Play proceeds clockwise.
  3. Each player plays a card, face up, according to the following rules:
    1. The player MUST play a card from the lead suit if they have one.
    2. Otherwise, the player MUST play a trump if they have one. (Once this happens, trumps are Broken for the rest of the game)
    3. Otherwise, the player can play any card.
    4. (Players can always choose to play a barbarian instead, breaking the above rules. This is called an Excuse)
  4. One player is determined the winner and Takes the Trick.
    1. That player takes all the played cards and puts them in a stack before them. This is a Trick.
    2. Each Trick is placed in a separate stack. They serve no further purpose in the game, but are how players score.

Winning A Trick

When comparing cards:

  1. The highest Trump always wins.
  2. If there are no trumps, then the highest card of the Lead suit wins.
    1. Aces are low.
    2. Rooks beat numbered cards.
    3. Sages beat Rooks.
  3. Cards that are neither trumps or of the lead suit have no value.
  4. Barbarians have no value.

Breaking Trumps

As mentioned above, trumps are Broken when a player is forced to play one instead of the lead suit.

After this point, Players may choose to lead with trumps. This means that there is no lead suit.

'Inverted' Rooks and Sages

In the basic game, only the upright suit on Rooks and Sages is considered. The lower suit is ignored. (See ‘Arete Court’) for double suited court cards.

Good Graces (Errata)

As this is a game for coin, there are a number of points of common etiquette.

Mistakes - Mistakes count as an immediate forfeit of the hand. A player who makes a mistake must pay a share into the pot.

Joining the Table - It is customary to join a table only when the pot is about to be seeded. Otherwise the player should pay a Dealers fee and sit to the dealer’s right.

Leaving the Table - It is customary to leave the table only when you have just been dealer. If you wish to leave early, you should pay the dealers fee of 2 coins to the pot.

Abandoning the Game - If player wish to quit the game, but there is still money in the pot, it it divided equally among all players. Any remainder is generally tipped to the establishment.

Agreeing When to Abandon - In professional games, a pre-agreed abandon point will be set, either by time or by a number of hands.

Running Out of Money - If someone cannot afford to pay the Dealers Fee, they cannot continue to play and should leave the table. If paying the dealers fee would mean they could not afford to Bid, then the dealer may Show Pride - They do not pay the dealers fee, and instead the player to their left becomes Lead Player.


Dealer - A special player, responsible for dealing cards and dividing the pot. They have an advantage in the hand, but must also pay a fee.

Dealers Fee - The coin a dealer must put in the pot before they deal.

Leader/Lead Player - The player you begins the round, playing the ‘lead’ card and thus establishing the ‘lead suit.

Committing - Electing to take part in a round and risk your bid.

Folding - Electing not to take part in a round. Nothing is risked. Nothing can be gained.

The Pot - The space in the middle of the table where the shared pool of money played for goes.

A Share - A fraction of the pot, either a quarter or a half. Shares are won by winning tricks.

A Hand - A term for both the cards held by a single player, and for a game of Bandit

A Trick - A stack of cards won in a single round of play, or the act of playing a round.

A Bid - An amount of coin risked in a given hand. The bid is always the same amount as one Share in the pot.

Trumps - Any card from the sixth (and biggest) suit (mazes). The trump suit is higher valued than cards from other suits.

'Breaking' Trumps - The first time a player is forced to play a trump because they cannot follow suit.