First of all welcome to the world of Tagò, the new frontier of card games! Right away we have to say that this short description absolutely doesn’t have the intention to dissect the game of Tagò in the extent of 360°, suggesting tactics, analyzing probabilistic calculations or whatever, but just wants to be a modest attempt to help you understand how a hand of play unrolls and what are the most important aspects to keep in mind.
The Tagò is an absolutely new card game, which proposes competition between the players and not against the dealer, and includes a JACKPOT: it is a well-thought-out “skill game” that will cause strong emotions and allow you to apply your player skills; unpredictable and always different for each hand, it’s sophisticated enough to allow the use of skills and strategies dictated from memory and intelligence.
It can be learned it in a few minutes because simplicity is the cornerstone upon which all of its architecture is based, in turn accompanied by a mix of ingredients such as luck, skill, hazard and bluffing. The Tagò is an always “evolving” game in the sense that during the same hand one can go from feeling as the strongest … to the point of counting less than ZERO!
The game has been tested in different parts of the world, both in Europe and overseas, and proposed to a very diverse audience of players, and the enthusiastic result that has always been shown from the experience, it’s mainly due to the ease of learning and the “pathos” that it succeeds to inspire in those who venture in it.
Before starting the discussion, we would like to point out that wherever and in whatever context is played, the Tagò rules are, and will be always the same: whether you play it online or live, it will never happen to sit at a table and feel displaced because of variations or exceptions to the rules of which you are not aware, a practice that frequently happens with other games; always remember that only the Official Rules are the genuine ones.
The first part of this manual will serve to give you a general overview, so that you are able to face a game within a few minutes; the second part concerns the Official Rules, reported here in its entirety, which will allow you to explore in the best manner every treated aspect.
The Tagò is a game played with a deck of cards consisting of ten different numerical values ranging from zero to eight, including the middle, and all repeated three times, for a total of thirty cards.
The number of players goes from a minimum of two to a maximum of eight, and three cards are dealt to each participant, one covered and two uncovered, and in the same way, three cards are placed in front of the dealer’s position and well visible to all players: these three cards are called the POINT, because they are the target score for the current hand.
Regarding the aim of the game, in the vast majority of cases, it is to totalize, with their three cards, the same numerical value of the reference POINT, or to come as close as possible to it, by excess or by defect. That said, we anticipate that each player can see his covered card only before the last of the three rounds of bets, of which a “hand” is composed. In this case (figure 2) we see that the POINT is 41⁄2 and so the player who wins the hand is the No. 4, because he totalized 5, which is the closest score to the POINT.
… so everything to this point is really quite simple and clear but be careful though, because things are not always as they only appear. In fact to play to Tagò you must understand well one important rule, rightly considered the real game motor and that will often result to be a devastating variant: the rule of the pair!
Under this rule, the player who, within his three cards, is in possession of a pair, actually has two scores at his disposal:
• the first, as already seen above, given by the sum of his three cards;
• the second one, given from what remains with the elimination of the pair itself;
… of the two, it will automatically be considered the score which is closest to the POINT. For example in this show-down (fig.3), the player n ° 4, in possession of a pair of 6, has at his disposal both the 14 that the 2: in this case, given that the POINT of the hand in course, is a 21⁄2, it will be considered the 2, which will be also result to be the winning score of the hand.
The reason why this rule is so important, it is easily understood by looking at the image beside (Figure 4), on which is represented the same hand of the game as mentioned in fig.3 but during the second round of betting, the previous one , that is when each player has not viewed their covered card: while players No. 3,5 and 6 seem to have a great score, the player n ° 4, with 8 (6 + 2), now seems out of the game.
At the “showdown” however, thanks to the rule of the pair, it will be the latter who will result as the winner, completely overturning the predictions (Figure 3). (…always remember that each player can view his covered card only before the third and final round of betting).
Be careful, because a pair can also appear within the reference POINT and in this case as well it is necessary to define which of the two will be the score to be considered: this decision belongs to the first player of hand, identifiable by the cube in his posses , which of course will decide according to his personal needs.
In the example (Figure 5), in fact, if the first player of hand was the No. 3, 4, 6, he would definitely opt for POINT 16; while the No. 5 would certainly opt for the elimination of the pair of 7 and the continuation of the hand with POINT 2. This is another example that allows you to better understand why it is said that the Tagò is a game in continuous “evolution”… Now it’s so easy to understand why the rule of the pair is so fundamentally important in the economy of the game, whether it regards the player’s cards or those of the POINT: not only for the unpredictability that can impress in the match but also for the various strategic-tactical opportunities that it makes available to the player.
We said earlier that the aim of the game, in the vast majority of hands, (… but not all) is to attempt to score the same numerical value as the reference POINT (Figure 6) or to get as closest possible to it, by excess or defect (Figure 7).
The player No. 5 wins for VALUE, as he totalized 10, the same numeric value of POINT.
The player No. 5 wins for SCORE, as totalized 101⁄2, the score closest to the numeric value of the POINT.
There are, in fact, three scores that are fixed and stronger both than the SCORE and the VALUE: the most important in the Tagò game is ZERO, which consists of a trips of zeros, and that allows to win, in addition to the pot of the hand in progress, even the Jackpot or the possible MultiJackpot.
.. After the Zero there is the COPY, which is to have the three same cards as the POINT.
… even the player n ° 6 has totalized 11 (Value) but the No. 5 wins, because he has accomplished the COPY
… and finally, the TRIPS, three cards with the same numeric value: all except that of zeros, of course!
In the event that at the showdown, two or more players are holding a TRIPS, we would be faced with a situation of equality, since there is no TRIPS stronger than another.
A Tagò hand is composed of three rounds of betting.
1st Betting round: at this stage of the game the POINT is “provisional”, because one of his three cards is still covered and the same goes for the players’ cards.
This, in the image beside, is the situation of departure, as it appears immediately after the distribution of the cards and from where begins the game; it is certain that, with a POINT that is only provisional, it is still early to make a forecast, however you can already rely on the weight of what has appeared by raising the stakes and perhaps forcing the less ” hazardous” to quit”… In the example (figure 11), with a provisional POINT 6, players who seem best positioned are the n ° 2, 3, 4 and 7; No. 1 is positioned pretty bad and the same goes for the No. 5 and No. 8; the No. 6 could even quit. In the first round of betting only one raise is allowed, which means that once a player has made a raise, the others can only “cover up” the bet (call) or quit (fold). Remember that the minimal relaunch (raise) must always be at least the double of the previous bet.
2nd Betting round: is the stage of game preceded by the definition of the POINT, with the unveiling of its third card, a moment in the game that is very important and often decisive; here you have a more complete view of the values in stake, and the ability to calculate odds with better approximation.
In the second round of betting, it is easy to understand, how the definition of the reference POINT can completely overturn the previous values: who was feeling strong in the first round, now can even face the risk of having to quit, and vice versa; then if the case that a pair appears in the POINT, we would find ourselves in an even more unpredictable situation, with the first player at hand to act as arbiter … and certainly not an impartial one… But let’s look at how our hand might evolve: the 3rd card of the POINT is a 1⁄2 so we have the definitive POINT of 61⁄2. The No. 1 quits, and the No. 5 and 8 could do that as well, but both “dare”, hoping for a pair which would relaunch them; the others contend the play … and the No. 4 with the unveiled pair may force the game by raising the stakes high, thanks to the fact that the third 4 appears as not unveiled, and that even a 6 would be an excellent card. In the second round of betting two raises are allowed.
3rd Betting round: … and we have arrived to the moment of truth! With the unveiling of his own covered card, each player is aware of his score and thus, more than what is visible, it becomes crucial what you want to make the others to believe!!! … and the psychological aspect related to various strategies inherent to the bluff, here takes on a crucial importance.
Often he who has the most beautiful cards doesn’t win but the player that makes them seem as such in the eyes of others. For example, in the image beside, we take into account the player No. 4: he has a pair of 4 unveiled and the third 4 is not out yet; Of course, he knows that he doesn’t have a TRIPS because his covered card is only a measly 2, which serves no purpose, but others are not aware of this “small” detail, then, if he was to bet a considerable sum that would put all the others under strong pressure, perhaps causing them to quit; moreover, always the player No. 4, as already mentioned above, in addition to TRIPS, could even make a good score if the covered card was a 6. Another one who can gamble well is definitely the No. 5 which, in turn, can produce as much pressure on the opponents, by raising the stakes in an attempt to make them believe that he is in possession of a pair of 3, as in reality he is; however in contrast to the intentions of player No. 4, the latter hopes instead that no one believes in this eventuality … In the third and final round of betting, three raises are allowed.
1st betting round:
only two visible cards, both for the players and for the POINT 1 raise allowed
2nd betting round:
definition of the POINT 2 raises allowed
3rd round of betting:
viewing of one’s covered card 3 raises allowed
The minimum raise must always represent at least the double of the previous bet.
A particularly intriguing situation arises in cases of a draw: this can occur between two or more players who would win the showdown with the same SCORE (figure 14), the same VALUE (figure 15), a TRIPS and a COPY, although for the latter two, and for the latter in particular, it is a quite unique occurrence! In this juncture, even if only one of the parties concerned so requests, the pot is split; if, however, there is a unanimous agreement, we proceed to the execution of an additional 3rd round of betting, only attended by those who drew and according to the specifications described below: each player remaining in the race, discards one of their three cards, which will then be integrated with the rest of the “muck” and will be mixed together with all other cards, except for two unveiled cards that belong to each player still in the competition, and the three of the POINT, which remains unchanged; following the mixing, one hole card will then be dealt to each of the contenders, and the game will proceed again as planned for the 3rd round of betting; further bets will increment the already existing pot, making it even more desired. In case of an ulterior tie the game will continue with this same procedure until one player obtains the victory. In both of the examples below, the player No. 3 and No. 5 tie, therefore both reserving the option either to split the pot, or to opt for an adrenalinic “head to head”.
Arrived at this point, you should have enough knowledge to face, without too much trouble,
a Tagò game but, before you get serious, we advise you to get familiar
with the game through the “play for fun” mode, and primarily to view
the comprehensive educational videos available on our website.
Have Fun !!!
Tagò Technical Staff