Ahh, a game dear to my heart.
The game is called Liar’s Poker. Aces are 1’s and 10’s are zeros. There are no “face cards” because a serial number is just numbers. Up to about 8ish people can play. Here is how the game works:
Serial numbers start with a letter. Whoever has the “highest” letter (A is higher than B, etc…) begins the bidding. A bid is a claim that the number of each “card” will be found between ALL the dollar bills of every player when the bidding ends. So if I bid three 5’s, then I’m claiming that between all the bills, there will be at least three 5’s. The next player must either call “bullshit” if he doesn’t believe that all bills will contain three 5’s, or bid higher. A higher bid consists of the same number of a higher number (with 0 being the highest as it represents a 10) or a greater number of any number. So, if someone bids “three 5’s” the next person must bid either three 6’s, 7’s, 8’s, etc… or 4
of any number. Like poker, high cards beat low cards, and four of a kind beats three of a kind.
At some point, let’s say around a bid of five of a kind in a two player game, somone will call “bullshit” because they don’t believe that both bills will have the number of “cards.” At that time, the serial numbers are revealed to see if the last bid was true. So if the bid is five 4’s and the next person calls bullshit, the serial numbers are revealed and if there are 5 4’s between all the bills, the bidder wins and takes everyones bill. If the bidder loses, he must pay everyone a dollar or whatever the betting bills were. So if player 1 has 3 fours in his serial number and player 2 has at least 2, the bidder wins.
Now the strategy works like this:
When you bid, the obvious guess is that your bidding on something that your bill contains. So if you bid 3 2’s, you probably have at least 2, hoping the other guy will have 1. On the other hand you can bid a number of “cards” that you don’t have in your hand hoping the other guy will feel comfortable upping the amount of that number at which time you can safely call “bullshit.” So if I bid 3 2’s, the opponent may suspect that I have at least 2 or 3 2’s on my bill. If he has one, he may feel comfortable upping the bid to 4 2’s. Since you have none, that’s a great time to call “bullshit.” You bluffed him into thinking you had 2’s.
I used to play it all the time. Against an unskilled player I could win probably 90% of the time. Against a skilled player I still won about 65% of the time. It’s a great game. Sorry for the overly complex explanation. If you have any questions let me know. Or if you want to play an example game for no money.