Although this game may sound confusing at first, most people will soon get the hang of it once you’ve played a quick round. You’ll need a deck of cards with all 8s, 9s and the red 10s removed, people, and the ever-important beer.
How to Play
Brain Damage is played just like Blackjack, but to 7.5 points. Face cards are worth half a point, Aces are worth a point, black 10s are wild and 2-7 are at their face value.
The cards are placed face down, and everyone picks a card to establish the order of dealing. The highest card deals first, and then dealing will continue from the next highest draw to the lowest. Black 10 is the highest card (7.5 points), followed by 7, 6 etc, down to Ace (1 point), then J,Q and K (worth half a point). You cannot leave the game until after you have dealt. That’s why dealing first is great… dealing last has been known to result in “Brain Damage”.
The dealer takes the deck, and deals 1 card face down to the first player, and 1 card face down to themselves. The player looks at their card, then bets any amount of beer, a large shot glass is usually a good limit. Keeping their card hidden from view, they can take as many hits as they want. However, if they go over 7.5, they must announce that fact, and then drink the bet. If the player gets a “5 card Charlie” (5 cards, not busted), they win immediately (that is, the dealer cannot draw and will lose even with a 10 in hand).
If the player does not go over 7.5 after they have taken as many hits as they want, the dealer will turn over their card, and then hits until they think they have beaten the other player. If the dealer busts, they drink the bet.
When the dealer is satisfied with they hand, the player turns over their card, and the lowest total drinks the bet. If the totals are tied, the player drinks. The dealer then goes to the next player, repeating the process until the deck is exhausted.
Play continues until everyone has dealt.