Seka, Seca, or Сека is a popular card game in Russian-speaking communities. Its main element is players betting on who has the best hand and adding to a jackpot, which makes Seka a gambling card game.
Theoretically, two to twelve players can join, but two to seven players are most common. The game Seka uses a 36-card deck with French suits.
The objective is to have the highest hand value, and thus, you need to know the scorable hands:
- all cards of one suit in your hand
- or three cards of the same rank
- or a pair of Aces
As part of a scorable hand, each card yields points as follows:
- Six to Ten: according to face value
- Jack, Queen, King: 10 points
- Ace: 1 or 11 points, depending on what is more favorable for the player.
- Joker (assigned at the round’s beginning): 11 points
The hand value is always determined to each player’s benefit. If a player has no triplet, no pair of Aces, and no cards of the same suit, the most valuable single card will determine their hand value.
To start a round, the dealer shuffles the deck and deals three cards to each player. Optionally, you can collectively choose one or two cards to act as a Joker in this round before dealing.
Then, each player checks their own cards, and then bidding begins. Bidding is the game’s main element. The game’s aim is to have the most valuable hand in order to win the jackpot in the end.
- So, if your hand scores highly, you can contribute a bet to the jackpot in order to stay in the game.
- But if your hand scores meagerly, it is reasonable to quit the game by folding and not contribute to the jackpot.
That means you add your hand cards to the undealt cards, you cannot re-enter the round, and you cannot win the round’s jackpot.
Bidding starts left to the dealer and continues clockwise, and each player decides whether they stay or fold.
The first player to stay chooses a bet to their liking. Any players staying after that can either match or raise the previous player’s bet. This continues until only two players are left.
With two players remaining, any of them can choose to reveal instead of continuing to bet or folding. During the reveal, the player matches the previous player’s bet before they both reveal and compare their hands:
- The player with the higher score out of the two wins the game and the jackpot.
- If their hand scores are equal, there can be a svara (a catfight) in which the remaining players are dealt cards anew and play following the same rules until a winner is determined.
- Alternatively, the players with equal scores after revealing can choose to split the jackpot equally among them.
The round can also end with all but one player folding. In that case, the remaining player gets to take the jackpot without comparing cards to other players. Because of that, bluffing with high initial bets can be seen in the game, too.