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Come play Pazaak!

Amrekel's Avatar

05.02.2021 , 11:43 PM | #1
Using the /roll mechanic, I have devised a way to 'play Pazaak' in SWTOR! Thus far, those who have tested it with me have found it to be easy to follow and entertaining!

This may be a long post, but here is the system to play Pazaak that I have come up with:


For wagering matches, I recommend having a “dealer” who manages the game (i.e. knows the cards in both players' hands, checks their math, helps keep score).

For non-wagering matches, a dealer is not needed, but if you don’t trust the other player, you may consider having a dealer or just making known to each other what your playable cards are at the beginning.

I will include, as examples, a game dialog.


Players have two options to determine their four playable cards.

OPTION 1: The player chooses his/her cards, but has some limitations.
- The player may choose the cards, but is limited to only positive and negative cards:
o Possible cards are -6, -5, -4, -3, -2, -1, +1, +2, +3, +4, +5, +6

OPTION 2: The player uses the random roll system (/roll __) to generate the cards, with two rolls for each card.
- First roll is a “/roll 3”, with a roll of 1 meaning a positive card, a roll of 2 meaning a negative card, and a roll of 3 meaning a plus/minus card.
- Second roll is a “/roll 6”, with the roll determining the number of the card.
- Possible cards generated are -6, -5, -4, -3, -2, -1, +1, +2, +3, +4, +5, +6, ±1, ±2, ±3, ±4, ±5, ±6

No combinations of these two options are allowed (i.e. a player CANNOT choose two cards, and randomly generate two cards) – they MUST either choose all four cards or randomly generate all four cards.


Once both the players’ cards have been either chosen or generated, which player goes first in the beginning round will be determined via a “/roll 100”. The two players will both do a “/roll 100” and whoever rolls higher will go first.

After the first round, which player starts the round alternates (i.e. if Player 1 plays first in the first round, Player 2 will play first in the second round, then Player 1 for the third round, then Player 2 for the fourth round, etc.).


For each turn, the player will do a “/roll 10” to generate their draw. These numbers will be added to their total.

At the end of the turn, the player will state their total, and then state their action(s). A player may only play one card per turn, but may do two actions (i.e. play card, then either stand or end turn).

When one round is over, the next begins using the same format. The first player to win three rounds is the winner of the game. Tied rounds do not count as a win for either player.


SCENARIO: Player 1 and Player 2 have no dealer, and thus tell each other the cards in their hand at the beginning. They group invite each other (this allows them to see each other’s rolls) and begin to play.

PLAYER ONE chooses his cards, which are:
PLAYER TWO randomly generates his cards:

+6 -2 -1 +1
CARD 1: /roll 3 = 2 /roll 6 = 4

CARD 2: /roll 3 = 1 /roll 6 = 6

CARD 3: /roll 3 = 3 /roll 6 = 1

CARD 4: /roll 3 = 3 /roll 6 = 6

Thus, PLAYER TWO’s cards are:

-4 +6 ±1 ±6

PLAYER ONE: /roll 100 = 83
PLAYER TWO: /roll 100 = 55
(PLAYER ONE goes first, as he has the higher roll)
(PLAYER TWO goes second, as he rolled lower)

PLAYER ONE: /roll 10 = 7
PLAYER ONE: “TOTAL: 7 – end turn”
PLAYER TWO: /roll 10 = 10
PLAYER TWO: “TOTAL: 10 – end turn”
PLAYER ONE: /roll 10 = 2
PLAYER ONE: “TOTAL: 9 – end turn”
PLAYER TWO: /roll 10 = 7
PLAYER TWO: “TOTAL: 17 – stand”
PLAYER ONE: /roll 10 = 5
PLAYER ONE: “TOTAL: 14 – end turn”
PLAYER ONE: /roll 10 = 7
PLAYER ONE: “TOTAL: 21 – play -1 – NEW TOTAL: 20”


For games that have a dealer, the dealer’s job is to make certain that both players are playing fairly, adding their numbers correctly, and following Pazaak rules. If there is an audience to a high wager match, a dealer may announce the totals for the crowd and players after each turn. For example: “Player 1: 15 Player 2: 18 (stand)” would communicate to onlookers not in the players’ group that Player 2 has reached a total of 18 and chosen to stand (not receive any more cards), while Player 1 is currently at a total of 15 but still adding to his total via at least one more draw.

The results of the /roll will only be visible to the rolling player and those in their group - thus, to have a game you must enter into a group with your opponent and dealer (if you have one). In the case of one or both competitors randomly generating their playable cards, a dealer would have to have only one of the competitors in the group at a time so that the dealer can see the rolls, but the competitor cannot.

If you want to adapt these rules, you may do so! Please let me know if you think an adaptation adds to this game in any way!

And if you want to have a game of Pazaak, message me! I am primarily on the Star Forge server, and would jump at the opportunity for a friendly game or a wager!

mike_carton's Avatar

05.03.2021 , 09:50 AM | #2
I'm guessing you like Pazaak. Nice work. I hope you will care to add the rules of the game and they'll sticky the thread.
A "Forum troll" posts outrageous messages to bait people into answering, to sow discord and to derail the discussion. Don't feed the troll, add to your Ignore List.

Amrekel's Avatar

05.03.2021 , 01:34 PM | #3
The rules are pretty much the same as those found in the KOTOR series, with only a few exclusions/exceptions. Briefly, I will go into how the game is played:

Two players take turns drawing cards with random values between 1 and 10. These numbers add to a total for each player, and the goal is to hit 20, or as close as possible, without having a total exceeding 20 at the end of a turn (which would result in a bust and loss of a round). To assist, players each have four cards that can change the total, with their impact ranging from subtracting six to adding six to the total. The first player to win three rounds is declared the winner of the match. Ties do not contribute to the total wins for either player. And the four cards are not replaced at any point in the match - when they're gone, they're gone! So use them wisely!

Hope this helps - if you would like to do a practice round, let me know!

Dmnqwk's Avatar

05.04.2021 , 08:23 AM | #4
How come you're not adding in the special flip 2/4 and flip 3/6 cards, nor explaining about the rule of 9 meaning if a player has 9 cards before them they'll win, regardless of the score (provided they do not bust).

Amrekel's Avatar

05.04.2021 , 09:16 AM | #5
Because I had not thought of a way to add those cards into the game via the /roll system. There were a lot of cards in KOTOR that I didn't see how they could be represented (such as the tiebreaker card, cards that changed values of previous draws, and cards that added the value of the previously drawn card to the total). If you think of a way, please post it here, as I would love to incorporate it into my original post! But for the time being, I had figured that I would keep it simple.

As for the rule of 9 - you are welcome to incorporate it. I did not do so because with the format that this game would have, it's easy to track totals, but you can easily lose track of how many cards have been drawn, as it is not visually represented as it was in KOTOR.

Great questions! And if you have an idea you'd like to test out, I would love to do some practice rounds to see if it works!

Amrekel's Avatar

Yesterday , 07:53 PM | #6
As I have played with a handful of players, I realize that many more people than I thought have never played Pazaak, but would like to learn. So I will do my best to explain how to play in SWTOR and strategies that may help you.

The main objective of the game is to get your total in each round to be 20 or as close to 20 as you can get without going over. The two ways your total will change is by drawing a card at the beginning of your turn, or by playing one of your four playable cards. If you get close to 20, and don't want to risk going over 20 (resulting in a 'bust' and loss of the round), you may choose to 'stand', which means your total is final for the round - your opponent only has to be closer to 20 than you to win the round. If you hit 20, you automatically stand, as it would not make sense to draw or play any more cards. The first player to win three rounds is the winner of the game. Ties do not count as a win for either player.

Some helpful tips:
1 - Don't play your four playable cards unless you have to. Remember that these four cards are the only controllable changes to your total, so use them to get a good total that will be hard to beat, hit a total of 20, or to beat/tie an opponent.
2 - Keep track of how many cards your opponent has left, as this may influence their approach to the game. An opponent who has no cards is much more likely to stand at 16 (an easily beaten total) than an opponent with 4 cards.
3 - Never play a card that will place your total above 20, as you will both lose a round and lose that card.
4 - I would advise playing a few practice rounds of each approach to determining your four playable cards (limited choice or random generation) to figure out which one you prefer. One gives you control over the numbers you have, but the other has the potential to give you the flippable ± cards that can be used to either add or subtract that number from your total, depending on how you'd like to use it
5 - Always try to save the ± cards, as these can be played in twice as many situations as a straight positive or negative card can. So if you reach a total of 22, and have the choice of playing a -2 or a ±2, choose the -2.
6 - Remember that this game is a game of chance - you won't win every time. Some risks won't pay off, and others will. Don't get upset if things don't go your way, or if your opponent gets lucky.

Hope this helps those who have never played Pazaak!

And then a surprising amount of people did not know how the /roll system worked, so here goes:

For any roll, you type in "/roll", space, and then number for the max value that can be rolled. So a roll 20 would be typed "/roll 20" and a roll 10 would be typed "/roll 10". To see each others' rolls, you have to be in a group together.