Bethseda’s next RPG is stepping up yet a new game, but this time it won’t rely on you pushing buttons, only your luck. In Fallout: New Vegas you’ll get to try your hand at a mini-game called “Caravan,” which is essentially similar to the rules in blackjack. Interestingly enough, you can start training your bluff abilities even before the game is released.
In Caravan, you’ll be taking it head to head with another player while attempting to build “caravans,” or piles of cards that add up to values between 21 and 26. What you’ll need to start is 2 complete decks of 52 cards, and a buddy from whom you won’t mind taking his lunch money. We’ve got the full rules below for Fallout’s Caravan courtesy of IGN, so no excuses if your luck gets turned on you.
And if you’re lacking the cards to get started, don’t forget that the New Vegas Collector’s Edition will have that covered as it includes a customized print edition of poker cards.
Caravan is played with two players building three opposing piles (or “caravans”) of numbered cards. The goal is to outbid your opponent’s caravan with the highest value of numbered cards without being too light (under 21) or overburdened (over 26).
The game begins with each player taking eight cards from their deck and placing either one numerical card or ace, on each caravan. Players may not discard during this initial round.
Once both players have started their three caravans, each player may do one of the following on their turn: 1. Play one card and draw a new card from his or her deck to their hand, 2. Discard one card from their hand and draw a new card from his or her deck, or 3. Disband one of their three caravans by removing all cards from that pile.
Caravans have a direction, either ascending or descending numerically, and a suit. The suit is determined with the first card placed on a caravan, the direction by the second. All subsequent cards must continue the numerical direction or match the suit of the previous card. Cards of the same numerical value cannot be played in sequence, regardless of suit. Face cards can be attached to numeric cards in any caravan and affects them in various ways.
Joker – Played against Ace, 2-10. Effects change based on whether it is an ace or numbered card (see below). Multiple jokers may be played on the same card.
Ace – Value of 1. Jokers played on aces remove all other non-face cards of the ace’s suit from the table. E.g. a joker played on an Ace of spades removes all spades (except face cards and that card, specifically) from the table.
2-10 – Listed value. Jokers played on these cards remove all other cards of this value from the table. E.g. a joker played on a 4 of hearts removes all 4s (other than that card, specifically) from the table.
Jack – Played against Ace, 2-10. Removes that card, along with any face cards attached to it.
Queen – Played against Ace, 2-10. Reverses the current direction of the hand, changes the current suit of the hand. Multiple queens may be played on the same card.
King – Played against Ace, 2-10. Adds the value of that card again. E.g. a king played on a 9 adds 9 to that hand. Multiple kings may be played on the same card for multiplicative effects. E.g. 4 + king = 8. 4 + two kings = 16.
How to Win
A player’s caravan is considered sold when the value of its cards is over 21 and under 26. The other player may still outbid by increasing the value of their opposing pile while still staying within the 21 – 26 range. When each of the three competing caravans has sold, the game is over. In the event that one of the three caravan values are tied between players, the game continues until all three caravans have sold. The player with two or more sales wins the pot.
Fallout: New Vegas is still set to open the tables this October 19th, giving you plenty of time to work on that poker face.