Sabacc Card Deck and Game Build

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by Mean Obiwan, May 11, 2015.

  1. Mean Obiwan

    Mean Obiwan Well-Known Member

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    Well guys, a few years back I made this deck of Sabacc cards and ended up putting it on the shelf until the last few weeks. I always thought it would be awesome to have the game and play it with guests, but as you can imagine, adapting a fictional electronic game with droid dealers and electric cards to real life can be pretty difficult.
    Well after several confusing Saturday nights of trial and error playing with friends and a few internet sources, I now finally have a fully functional game of Sabacc. Ok, picture time!

    Old cigar box to hold the game

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    Some old poker chips to bet with

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    Back of the cards

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    Front of the cards, and some face cards

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    Chance cube to choose the dealer, dice for simulating the "shifting" of cards, and an optional piece I added called a "cheater"

    [​IMG]

    Anyway, that's it. A few years in the making, some trial and error, and what's now a pretty fun game to play. I already one a bracelet off a friend. Next is winning the Falcon.

    P.S, click the images for better resolution.
     
  2. Blue Leader

    Blue Leader Well-Known Member

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    That's a very interesting idea. A couple Star Wars Celebrations ago (5, I think, but it might have been Celebration 4) there was a gaming room and at one of the tables they had Pazaak set up. I can't exactly remember how it was played there, and I think they just used a regular set of playing cards, but it was pretty interesting.

    Honestly, I never could figure out why Hasbro has never released any physical card game versions of Sabacc or Pazaak, i think that would be pretty cool. Or a game of Dejarik.
     
  3. Mean Obiwan

    Mean Obiwan Well-Known Member

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    They should. I think it would be a great seller. With the gameplay I've adapted it's real fun to play. Even friends of mine who aren't diehard star wars fans really enjoy it.
    If I had a reliable way of printing off the cards I'd sell.
     
  4. cboath

    cboath Master Member

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    'In universe' can't the cards change after being dealt?
     
  5. Mean Obiwan

    Mean Obiwan Well-Known Member

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    Yep. To simulate this after the drawing phase, a player rolls the dice and if the numbers match then everyone gets a new hand.
     
  6. ARKM

    ARKM Sr Member

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    Very cool Mean Obiwan.

    With today's tech, both Sabacc and Pazaak could easily be made real. The problem however is that if used in real gambling, it would be easy to hack the firmware and cheat, install Bluetooth to cheat, etc. That and the fact that those games are associated with gambling in what is generally considered a family friendly/child oriented genre/franchise, might mean that we will never see licensed versions of those games. :(
     
  7. Mean Obiwan

    Mean Obiwan Well-Known Member

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    Very true. They might not want to sully any reputations. I think I read once where some brand created an official Sabacc, but I believe it didn't get very good reviews. I tried to keep mine as close to "in-universe" as I could.
     
  8. Tea

    Tea Well-Known Member

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    Very, very cool!! I love in-universe games.

    They were actually handing out free 'official' decks of Sabacc at the Cantina this past Celebration. I didn't get one and only found out after the show. I haven't seen much said about them? Here's a picture I found online though:

    Sabacc-e1429664370684.jpg

    I've actually been working on programming a playable Dejarik table, I thought when I had made more progress I might make a thread about it too. I've been basing the program off of the rules found here: http://dhost.info/rissa/Holochess/
     
  9. Trooper_trent

    Trooper_trent Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This would've been cool if it ever got released.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
    Tea likes this.
  10. Mean Obiwan

    Mean Obiwan Well-Known Member

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    Awesome stuff, guys. That's pretty cool about the celebration. The cards are cool, but with my game, I wanted it to be so in-universe that to a non-star wars fan, they wouldn't be able to make the connection with the game and the movies. Something where only fans would know right off.
     
  11. DakGibralter

    DakGibralter Member

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    This is super interesting to read! Good work.

    A friend of mine (who is a game designer) and I worked for a long time trying to figure out a playable version of Sabacc that had stakes, odds and the oft-cited randomness that made sense and left room for skill and strategy. It was very difficult, since most of the EU mentions of it aren't concerned at all with how what they were writing would actually play.

    Interesting to see that we had a very similar dealer/shifting dice mechanic to yours, Mean Obiwan.

    Our biggest problems involved the "shifting" mechanic, which required a lot of time-consuming dealing and often kept people from betting big for fear of losing everything (the randomness is exciting in theory but we couldn't find the perfect way to make betting big seem like a good idea). The other big problem was the odds, which are so crucial to an interesting game and were elusive to us based on trying to adhere to the text.

    I'd love to know what rules you came up with! Did the "official" decks list any actual rules, or were they just a collector's item?
     
  12. Mean Obiwan

    Mean Obiwan Well-Known Member

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    Glad you're interested! Well, DakGibralter, about all of my rules pertain to almost everything I've read about the game, the only rules that were altered were the ones that just had to be adapted to real life to make it playable.
    The shifting phase we have works quite well in my game. It's an alteration of someone else's rule. Mine is such that at the end of the drawing phase after everyone's had their turn, a player rolls the dice and if the numbers match a shift occurs. Doing this once at the end of a drawing phase keeps the chance of a shift fairly low, yet very possible so it keeps the suspense.
    Should anyone here want me to list my full set of rules I'll post them. I only ask first because it'd be an extensive post.
     
  13. Mean Obiwan

    Mean Obiwan Well-Known Member

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    Found something interesting today. Some of you may be interested as well. I found a site where you can order custom made professional playing cards AND chip.
    Definitely gonna look into this for my Sabacc game.
     
  14. DakGibralter

    DakGibralter Member

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    I would love to hear your full set of rules - everything I've heard sounds like we built a very similar game!

     
  15. Mean Obiwan

    Mean Obiwan Well-Known Member

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    They could be very similar. Here's what we have for our game.
    Ok, to choose the dealer we take out the chance cube, everyone calls out what color they think it will land on, then through process of elimitation, a dealer is determined for that game.
    Next step, everyone takes turns rolling the dice to see who gets the cheater (if players want to use it, it's just an optional accessory) the player with the lowest value gets the cheater.
    Now every player must ante into the hand pot and the special Sabacc pot. The hand pot will be won by someone at the end of the rounds, the Sabacc pot can only be won by having 1 of 3 special hands, but we'll go into that later.
    After the antes are placed, each player is dealt two cards, after looking over their hand everyone places a bet. After this betting phase, the last player to bet rolls the dice, if the numbers match, a shift occurs and everyone gets a new hand and then moves on to the drawing phase. If no shift takes place, players keep their hand and the drawing phase still commences.
    Players may now choose to discard a card, discard and draw a new card, just draw a new card, or simply stay.
    Then another betting round occurs. These phases continue up until the third betting phase. During the third phase, players place their last bet into the hand pot, a shift then may or may not occur. Then everyone shows their hand. The player with a hand closest to 23 or -23 is the winner of this round. If a player wins with a pure Sabacc of 23 or -23, they win both pots and it's seen ad the end of that game.
    There's more details, but I'm late being somewhere, I'll post more soon.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
  16. Mean Obiwan

    Mean Obiwan Well-Known Member

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    Ok, no more time limit, so let's get into some finer details. I explained the basic rules and phases of play.
    I'm sure everyone here knows about the 3 winning special hands. A 23, -23 or the idiots array, which is the idiot face card (value 0) a two of any suit and a three of the same suit, reading 0,2,3 thus trumping any other winning hand.
    Now while trial testing the game, we kept having some unexpected occuences happening that required some form of action or rules that were never covered in anything we read. For instance, what happens if two players win with 21 or 23? Well, I read about an option called a sudden demise, where tied winners were dealt one more card and whoever had the best new hand won, well we didn't like that, because both winners 100% of the time bombed out (going over 23 or under -23) and thus lost their winnings to the sabacc pot. Now while that was more in-universe, it was very discouraging to guests, so we (by we I mean myself, the wife and a good friend) figured, hey, what's the point of different suits if they don't have higher values than others? So by assigning values to suits, players who tied compare hands, and whoever has better suits with higher values wins. For example, 11 of sabres would beat a 12 of staves. So that's what we resolved to do for ties, so potential winners are still excited that they have a chance and don't lose interest.
    Now on to the cheater that I mentioned. I read that in-universe real cheaters used a small electronic device called a "cheater" so I wanted to incorporate that ad an optional accessory if players want to use it. I already explained how players can get it, now using it. We had to come up with something that would give the player with the cheater an unfair advantage, yet not completely discourage other players into just folding because they know the cheater will take all the winnings. So, to make it work we decided that the cheater will allow a player to add up to three, or subtract up to three from their hand. However, to prevent everyone from quitting, we decided the the cheater can only win you the hand pot, not the sabacc pot, even with a perfect 23 or -23. We don't want people to not enjoy the game knowing it's over before it starts.
    I think that's about all I got.
     
  17. PoopaPapaPalps

    PoopaPapaPalps Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I just substitute Pazaak with a real-life game: Blackjack.
     
  18. Starwoid

    Starwoid Well-Known Member

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    There is one set of the Sabacc cards from Anaheim on ebay right now. $220! Wish someone here got a set and we could just scan the images...
     

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