Pidro for three persons
Many have tried to play Pidro by three persons when the fourth has been missing. Most 3-person versions are quite poor, like the one where the dummy player plays his cards by random.
A three person version of Pidro that actually works quite well
The main idea of this version is that one single person + dummy plays against two actual persons. The single player controls he dummy in the playing phase but the dummy can not bid in the bidding phase. All the dummy's cards are revealed when he plays his first card. Other than that the standard rules of Pidro are used.
Here is a short example how it plays out. Lets say that the person left of the single player deals. The cards are dealt and the dummy starts the bidding. He passes, of course, since he is not allowed to bid. Nobody is allowed to look at his cards yet. The next player bids 7. The single player passes and so does the dealer. Hearts is chosen.
Players buy new cards normally. On his turn the dummy's cards are revealed to all and all his non-hearts are discaded. He buys new cards to complete a hand of six cards but the new cards are dealt face down and remain hidden until it is his turn to play.
So now the bidder, in this example the person left of the dummy, opens play. The single player and the bidder's partner play normally without yet knowing all the dummy player's cards. On the dummy's turn all his cards are revealed and the single player plays a card of the dummy's trumps. From here on the game continues normally and the single player controls all that the dummy plays.
In the case that the dummy is dealer none of his cards are revealed when buying new cards. When he plays his first cards his hand, and the rest of the deck he bought, is revealed.
If the dummy is dealer and nobody bids, the dummy has to bid six. The single player chooses the trump without knowing the dummy's hand.
The advantage of controlling the dummy's play is actually quite well balanced by the disavantage of him not bidding. The game turns out to be more even than one might think and offers a nice gameplay. It is not quite the "real Pidro", of course but it is an interesting game in its own right.
Try this out
Trade places during one session so that each of the three players plays the role of the single player. Sum up the wins and losses and you have a winner for the evening. The loser pays the beer.
Copyright Carl Stenholm, Niklas Indola
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