No Kentucky Derby? Try This Horse Racing Card Game Instead
There is a fun and easy card game you can play this weekend that will lessen the blow of no Kentucky Derby, which is always scheduled for the first weekend of May. This is a game for adults because once you remove the alcohol there's just no point. Regardless, all you need a full deck of cards and something to drink.
In short, players are betting on Aces (the horses) but only one person will be touching the cards and controlling the pace of the game (the race). This person is the announcer and has the important job of calling the action, flipping the cards, and moving the horses. He or she may be allowed to bet as well, as this is a game of chance.
You need a full deck of cards, including the Joker. The announcer will remove all four Aces from the deck of cards and shuffle the remaining deck. He or she will then lay each Ace side-by-side face-up and a card face-down next to the Ace furthers to the left. Then the announcer will lay another card face-down above the first unturned card. This will begin the link and can contain as many cards as you like but 10 cards is usually a decent amount. The setup will resemble an "L."
| _A_ _A_ _A_ _A_
Players will bet a number of drinks on their horse of choice. In some versions, bettors can bet any number of drinks they choose and in other versions, the finishing horses have a set value; 1st= 20 drinks, 2nd= 15 drinks, 3rd = 10 drinks. (I prefer the first option.) Bettors may also take advantage of the trifecta, daily double, and things like which horse will leave the "gate" first.
Here are "official" instructions from Wikipedia, so you know you are getting the best possible information.
Once all bets are in, the announcer begins the race. He flips over the top card of the remaining deck. Only the suit of this card matters; the ace of that suit moves forward to the first link. Each time a horse moves up to a new link for the first time (and only the first time), the announcer flips over the card on the side of that link. The suit shown on this sideboard card must move back one space (falter). Thus in an eight-link horserace, there are eight instances of faltering that can totally change the outcome of the game. As a rule, any horse in the gates can not be knocked back any further by faltering. Another variation is Stumble in which all horses except the leader move forward one space if a designated wild card is flipped over, such as the Joker.
If you need a visual, the follow video will kind of help, but all the cards in front of the Aces are totally unnecessary. What you would do is flip the remaining cards in the deck for whatever suit it is would bring the matching horse a move forward.
JB Love is ½ of Q98.5's Lil Zim & JB In The Morning, weekday mornings from 5:00 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram.