About the German Game Grobhäusern

Grobhäusern is an historical rival game originating from Germany where players place bets and then compare their hands of four card combinations. The game is played by anything from two to eight players and uses one 32 card deck of piquet cards.

Dating back to the 18th century, Grobhäusern was played in the rural areas of Upper Saxony while various variations of the game were played elsewhere. The game was however illegal in many places around Germany and the rest of the world.

Different Variations of the German Game

A close variation of Grobhäusern is called Scherwenzel and is played with the same rules apart from the fact that the jack cards function as wildcards, which are called Wenzels, and the nine cards function as secondary Wenzels. Both variations of the game have been known to also use five cards instead of four. Scherwenzel was quite popular in the rural areas of Germany; Poland; Silesia and Bohemia during the 18th Century.

Another variation of the game Grobhäusern includes a higher combination than normal. This combination is called the Krikelkrakel. This combination consists of four consecutive card ranks with each rank being of a different suit. An example of this would be a seven of diamonds; an eight of spades; a nine of hearts and a ten of clubs.

Rules on How to Play Grobhäusern

Grobhäusern begins with each player being dealt two cards. The player with the eldest hand is the one to first place the minimum bet. From then on all the other players may either call or fold in turn. Calling the bet is placing the maximum bet that is in the pot thus far while folding means forfeiting the bet and leaving the round. The last player that calls may raise the stake in which a new round of calling or folding will begin. When all players have called and no player raises the stake the folded cards are reshuffled into the deck and another two cards are dealt.

With four cards in hand another round of raising the stakes, calling or folding occurs. When all remaining players have called and no more raises occur. then all of the players display their four cards. The winner of the pot is the player who holds the highest rank.

Card Ranks in Descending Order

At the top of the four card winning rank is the four of a kind hand where the four cards are of the same rank. The next highest winning rank is a flush where all four cards are of the same suit. The card values are counted if the hand needs to be compared with another flush in the case of a tie. There is then the three of a kind hand with three of the same ranking cards, three of the same suit and then two of the same suit.

Card values are counted when ties occur on the suit hands but if a tie is further evident the player who is seated earliest in play direction from the eldest hand will win.

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