Horse Race

How to Play Horse Race

Horse Race is a simple game played with a deck of cards.  Players pick and bet on their horse, then the dealer flips over cards, advancing individual horses by card suits.

What You Need

  • 1 Deck of Cards
  • A Table
  • 1 Dealer & any number of Betting Players

Let the Race Begin!

The Dealer lays all 4 Aces in a row.  These are the horses.

Dealer then lays out an 8 card “handicap” face down along one side, which will serve as the side of the track.

Players now place bets, usually 1 to 5 drinks, then drink their own bet as their wager.  The dealer then turns over the handicap card along the side. Each handicap card will multiply that suit’s bet.  So, if a player bet 2 drinks on Spades, and 1 spade is turned over in the handicap, they give away 4 drinks if the spade wins (2 drinks times 2). If 2 spades are turned over, they’d give away 6 upon winning (2 wager x 3 = 6).

Each handicap lessens the likelihood of the horse winning, hence the handicap.  5 of the same handicap will render a horse lame, unable to win the race.

Once betting has been completed, the dealer flips over the handicap cards.  Then it’s time to race!

The dealer now begins to flip cards off the deck.  Each suit advances its ace one spot along the 8 card handicap track. Once the ace passes (not matches) the last card in the handicap, it wins. The aces start one card before the handicap (the starting line).

For added entertainment, the Dealer should call the race in his or her best race announcer voice.

Alternate Rules

The game is often played using the handicap cards as “falter” cards.  This can be done in one of two different ways.

#1 – When the lead horse reaches a new row, that handicap card is flipped.  The horse of that suit will drop back one row (and player should drink)

#2 – Handicap cards are flipped as horses clear a row.  Once the last horse leaves a row, that handicap card is flipped.  Playing this way would mean not every handicap card (falter card) is flipped.

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