House Always Wins


Emma Roudabush





Partial Answers

Card Counting Movie: Keep going

Trade card - Sounds like a good idea.

GC Notes:

GC to update day-of-game.


Teams will see a variety of poker tables (1 for RC and 2 for RTM). At each table, there will be a dealer and a shady looking mob boss/high roller character. The boss will have a comically large pile of all types of chips and is the only one with black chips.

On the wall nearby, there hangs two signs, one giving a key to chip color and the other denoting the casino rules. The content to them are as follows:

Chip ColorDenomination

Casino Rules:

  1. Must have a player card to play

  2. Max Bet: $50

  3. No folding

  4. In the case of a tie, the house wins


The puzzle is a Texas Hold’em type card game. However, instead of real playing cards, the card decks have letters on them. Players win by spelling words with their cards and the cards on the table. The longest word wins (if 2 words are the same length, the alphabetically first one wins).

Here's the order of a round:

  1. Initial Deal: Each player gets 2 cards, both face down.

  2. Initial Bet: The boss opens with a bet that's a clue to what to do (see below). Everyone else calls or raises.

  3. Dealer deals four cards face up, like in Texas Hold-em

  4. Dealer gets distracted, (chatting with the boss or something), allowing players to cheat.

  5. Final bet: Boss always raises to 50.

  6. Card reveal and word prompting

Ultimately, players need to get the one chip they don't have: the black chip (and leave the table with it). The decks are pre-rigged so that we know what words everyone at the table can make. Unless the players do something, the Boss will always win (except when the interns cheat, which they are supposed to do in order to solve the puzzle).

Boss Bet Ordering:

Boss bets the following at the first of the two betting rounds, always going to max bet (1 black chip with the answer) at the second round:

  • 20

  • 18

  • 1

  • 4

  • 5

  • 3

  • 1

  • 18

  • 4

This encodes "TRADE CARD." If they sneakily trade the right card with their partner during the distraction phase, they will win a hand. If players try to cheat outside of the distraction phase, either the Boss or the Dealer should call them out ("Hey! I see you cheating", or "Sir/Ma'am, cheating is obviously not allowed at a casino") and invalidate their hands for the round.

End Game:

If they win a hand, the team gets a black chip from the Boss. At the end of the deck, the dealer kicks the team out and tears up their player card. The black chip contains the following clue (if they look at the "underside" of the chip): "Card Counting Movie"--which is 21.


It sometimes matters which cards the interns trade: for most scenarios, no matter what, one of them will have a word that can beat the Boss. However, there are certain ones where only one switch will yield a winning word.


<<DECK ORDER.docx>>



NOTE: One of the answers is "amebas" which is the alternate plural form of amoebas

Machine generated alternative text: ameba or amoeba [uh-mee-buh] Word Origin See more synonyms on noun, plural amebas, amebae [uh-mee-bee] (Show IPA) any of numerous freshwater, marine, or parasitic 1. one-celled protozoa of the order Amoebida, characterized by a granular nucleus surrounded by a jellylike mass of cytoplasm that forms temporary extensions, or pseudopodia, by which the organism moves, engulfs food particles, and forms food vacuoles.