While visiting some family for the holidays we stumbled on this horse racing game you can play with a deck of cards and a wooden board. I do know Michaud Toys Inc makes the game (this was the wooden board we were using) and costs approximately $75. It really is a great product and the wood work was very detailed. All of the numbers were burnt into the wood. (image included courtesy of Michaud Toys). The edging is made out of Ash, while the center part of the board is made out of Birch. They also make a fantastic Rummoli board.
How to Play Horse Racing Game with Cards
To begin you will need a standard deck of 52 playing cards. You need to remove the Kings as well as the Jokers for this game to work. The dealer will deal a card to each player until the entire deck has been dealt. Some players will receive more cards than others – which is fine. The horse markers are also placed on the start line indicated on the game board.
The game begins with each player rolling the dice to determine the horse # that will scratch. There are a total of four scratches and each scratch requires you to pay a fixed amount for the number of cards you hold that match the number on the dice. The dealer would also move the horse back to the amount stated on the board that reflects the number of scratch.
- 1st scratch is worth $0.05
- 2nd scratch is worth $0.10
- 3rd scratch is worth $0.15
- 4th scratch is worth $0.20
The money above is just a general idea. You can change the bets to whatever you like but be careful, the more players you have in the game the more costly a round can cost. Especially if some of the more common outcomes on the dice have been scratched.
As an example – assume the outcome of the dice totaled eight and you held two eights in your hand. If this was the first scratch you would discard your two eights and pay $0.10 into the pot and move the horse to the first scratch mark indicated on the board. If this was the 2nd scratch, the amount would be $0.20 and so on. The horse would move to the 2nd scratch marker.
Once all of the scratches are done you can begin the game. Each player will take a turn rolling the dice. If the outcome of the dice is the same number as a horse that was scratched in the previous round, that player has to pay the pot the amount of the scratch as indicated on the board. If the outcome of the dice is one of the horses that wasn’t scratched, you move that horse up one spot.
This continues until one of the horses has reached the finish line.
When this happens you will need to collect the money and divide it into four, since there are four cards in play that match the number of the horse. Each player holding one of the cards wins 1/4 of the prize. If a player holds two or more of the same cards they will win 1/4 for each card in their hand.
Each horse has a different number of spaces to move before reaching the finish line. For example the #2 horse only has three spots, while the #7 horse needs to hit 8 times before it wins. This is because it is significantly more difficult to roll a two than it is a seven. The board takes into account the probability of the outcome of the dice.