Winston Draft

winston draft sm2The main idea of drafting a card game is to let everyone make their own deck using a shared pool of cards. The cards are chosen and divided by the players. Each player ends up having their own card pool using cards they chose. They can make their own deck of cards with cards from their own card pool.

Drafting is most popular with six to eight players, but it is also possible to have a two player draft using a Winston Draft, which was originally developed by Richard Garfield for Magic: the Gathering, as can be seen here.

Winston Draft Rules

Each player will choose what cards they want for their own card pool, and make their own thirty card deck using their own card pool. Each deck can have up to three colors. Multicolored cards are always allowed as well.

1. Get a main stack of 84 cards.

Get a pile of 84 random cards. For example, you can mix two Crazier Eights games together, such as Crazier Eights: Olympus & Pantheon. (That would be 87 cards. You can either remove three of the cards at random, or just use some extra cards.)

2. Make three one-card piles.

Take three cards from the main stack, and make three piles, with one card per pile. These are the piles used for the picks.

winston draft sm
3. Choose who goes first.

Randomly determine the first player to make a choice.

4. Take turns picking cards.

Players take turns picking cards.

The first pile is the one closest to the main stack. During your turn, take the first pile and look at all the cards there. You may pick that pile, or move on to the next pile.

If you pick the pile, remove the cards, put them in your personal card pool, and add a new card to the card pile from the main stack.

If you don’t pick a pile that you look at, put the pile back, add a card to the pile from the main stack, and take a look at the next pile. If you reject all three card piles, draw random card from the main stack.

If you want to reject all the remaining piles and only one card is left in the main stack, you can take the card that is left in the main pile.

After a player makes their pick, their turn is over, and the opponent takes a turn to pick.

Continue this process until zero cards are left.

5. Make your deck.

Each player makes a 30-card deck using their personal card pool. Each deck is restricted to three colors. You choose three colors and only use cards with those colors for your deck. You can use any multi-colored cards you want because they have at least one of the three colors.

6. Play the game.

You both get to play games of Crazier Eights using your personal decks. Each of you use your own, separate discard pile.

When you discard a card, it has to match the color or rank of the top card of your own discard pile, or it must be an eight. (Eights are wiled, as usual.)

Each card in your deck is considered to be a card you “own.” If you are using any cards owned by your opponent, make sure they are added back to the owner’s deck after each game.

Version 0.6 © 2021 James Wallace Gray

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