Liar's Pai Gow

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Liar's Pai-Gow is a game of bluff and misdirection. Each player is dealt a set of eight Pai-Gow tiles, which he may inspect, but which are private from the rest of the game. Play proceeds around the table with players making statements about tiles which they (or someone else) hold. A statement is of the form "I say that I have more than X of (some category) in my hand". Permissible categories are: total pips, color (white/red/mixed), and pips on individual tiles. Each statement must overcall the last statement of the same category; "more than 37 pips total" is a different category from "more than 3 sevens", which is different from "more than 4 red tiles" (tiles with any red pips).

When a statement is made, any player may challenge it, with opportunities passing around the table to the left. A challenged player may either surrender one tile to the challenger, or reveal enough tiles to prove the claim. When a claim is proved, the challenger must drop (remove from the game) two tiles of his choice; the claimant draws two tiles from the unchosen tiles, and may at his option drop two tiles and replace them from the unchosen tiles. If there are no unchosen tiles left when a vindicated claimant is entitled to draw, the claimant may draw two randomly chosen tiles from the challenger; his option to drop two tiles does not permit him to draw more tiles from the challenger. (He may still drop them for no compensation if he wishes.)

Liar's Pai-Gow is a game in which it is advisable to establish a strong position early, as a player who becomes tile-poor early in the game will have difficulty making credible claims.

Typical tables for Liar's Pai-Gow are in the 3-7 player range.

The mechanic of Liar's Pai-Gow is this:

The game proceeds in rounds. For each round, each player rolls Int with Gambling and Bluff skill. (Other skills may be applicable, depending on the environment.) The inverse of the player's rank in that round is added to a running total of points; if two or more players are tied for successes, the rank slots that they would have taken up as a group are averaged among them. At the end of each round, if there is a single player in last place, he is out of the game; if two are tied for last, nobody drops out. The game continues until only one player is left. The game is usually winner-take-all.

A sample game:

(Format: Player, successes -> rank points)

Round 1:
A: 6 -> 2
B: 5 -> 1
C: 7 -> 3
D: 9 -> 4
B drops out.

Round 2:
A: 7 2 +2 -> 4
C: 6 1 +3 -> 4
D: 9 3 +4 -> 7
Nobody drops out

Round 3:
A: 6 1.5 +4 -> 6.5
C: 8 3 +4 -> 7
D: 6 1.5 +7 -> 8.5
A drops out

Round 4:

C: 8 2 +7 -> 9
D: 6 1 +8.5 -> 9.5
D Wins

Note that C was apparently doomed by the end of Round 3, because he was 1.5 points behind D, and could not gain more than 1 point in Round 4. However, there probably are shticks that would have allowed him to do something.

It is permitted to end the game by negotiation, dividing the stakes as agreed. Serious Liar's Pai-Gow players consider negotiations as more of a probing and deception effort than as a serious offer to divide the stakes. It is permissible to concede in heads-up play; concession prior to that is not permitted.