The Name of the Game is Diamondback

From issue 1 of Swords of Cerebus ("The Name of the Game is Diamondback") and Cerebus #20, Dave created Diamondback. Thanks to Matt D for getting all the rules put together. Here is how you play, Diamondback. Here is this page, with pictures, in PDF format so you can print them out for later: Diamondback Rules, pdf 453 kb.

The deck consists of these cards:

From left to right: Magician, Priestess, Queen, King and Priest.

When playing with multiple players, different numbers of each card are needed:

Two Players Three Players Four Players
1 Magician 1 Magician 1 Magician
2 Priestesses 4 Priestesses 6 Priestesses
3 Queens 6 Queens 9 Queens
4 Kings 8 Kings 12 Kings
5 Priests 10 Priests 15 Priests

The Hands:

How To Play

The game begins with a draw for the high card. Winner deals the first hand, two cards face down to each player. Each player examines his cards and the dealer makes a wager, which must be matched by each of the other players. There is no ante in Diamondback. A player who folds on each hand can play all night and not lose a single coin. Having matched the dealer's wager, each player remaining in the game exposes one of his cards. The dealer then exposes one of his cards an initiates a new round of betting, each player choosing whether to match the dealer's wager or fold. It is up to the dealer to decide when the betting ceases and the other card is exposed to determine the winning hand. The best hand wins.

In the case of two players having identical hands as "best hand", the pot is carried over into the next hand. If there are three or four players in the game and two players have the identical "best hand", the post is divided between them. If all three or four players have identical "best hands", the pot is carried over into the next game.


Dealer's Diamondback: The only variation with an ante, established by the dealer, prior to dealing. Each player must match the ante, the cards are dealt and the dealer makes an initial wager. His opponents are then required to double that wager to remain in the game, or can choose to fold. one card is turned over by each player and the dealer makes another wager which his opponents are again required to double to remain in the game. The dealer decides when the wagering is finished and the other card is exposed. The winner becomes the new dealer.

Match Diamondback: The game continues until both or a majority of players agree to end it. Any player leaving the game before winning all the coins or before a consensus is reached forfeits his winnings into the pot for the next game.