The unique thing about this card game, each area or ethnic usually has their own Capsa rules, so there’s no fixed rule about capsa. The way people play capsa will depend on the location and also occasion.
Capsa Game Types
There are three types of capsa similar games in Indonesia. Capsa Susun, Capsa Banting and Poker Jawa (Javanese poker). In general, the rules of the three games are quite similar from one to another such as four players, using international standard 52 cards, each player gets 13 cards.
The card scores and values are mostly the same where 3 diamond has the lowest and 2 spade is the highest score. The lowest is 3, 4, 5, 6 and so on until Ace card. Diamond, club, heart and spade is the order of card image from the lowest to the highest. 2 spade is the unbeatable card.
Although there are some differences in how to call the way the methods of discarding card, yet again in basic they are also the same such as rule of single, pair, double pair, threes, straight, flush, full house, straight flush and royal straight flush. Each game also has its own gameplay variation.
Following are three types of Capsa games available in Indonesia:
Poker Jawa (often abbreviated as PokJaw) is Javanese Poker in English. The rules of this game are quite similar with Capsa Banting or Big 2 Bonanza in general. However there are certain types of variations such as:
When discarding single card, players can have Ceria rule where cards with the same image will have the same score. For example: 3 diamond vs 3 spade vs 3 heart vs 3 club. This Ceria rule must be based on the agreement of all players and usually this rule can only apply for card 10 and below. It doesn’t apply to higher score card such as Jack, Queen and higher.
This rule applies when discarding double cards or Pair. There are two types of brother rules: long brother or brother/sister. Brother means a combination of successive double cards such as double 6, double 7, double 8 and so on. This long brother and brother/sister can only be countered by long brother and brother/sister card as well.
The main difference of Capsa Susun with the other two games is the player must stack 13 cards in the form of 3-5-5 and strategically arrange the cards into the highest score as possible then discards the combination of 3-5-5 cards all at one. Susun in English means ‘arrange or form’ which clearly shows how the game is played. Perhaps because people found it less challenging by discarding all cards all at once, this type of game isn’t as popular as the other capsa games.
Capsa Banting is the most popular Capsa game in Indonesia. The term of Capsa game is strongly connected with this game, most people know Capsa Banting with just “Capsa”.
Banting in English means slamming or throwing one card real hard to the game table. It is a game where the player discards card one by one, either it’s a single, pair, threes or other card combination. In this game, the player who manages to discard all of his/her cards fastest and beats the other players will become the winner.
Game starts with a player who got the lowest score card (3 diamond) discarding his/her card followed by the other player in clockwise. Each player must beat the discarded card score by discarding higher score card from his/her and so on. A player can pass his/her turn to discard card, usually it’s a sign that s/he doesn’t have good enough card to beat the score of the discarded card. The winner is the one who discards cards fastest.
- has higher score than the other players.
- holds the card with image that has more value than others, for example spade versus heart or club.
- gets dragon or 13 cards in a row which is 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 19, Jack, Queen, King, Ace and 2 regardless of the card image.
Methods of discarding card in Capsa Banting
Straight (or called as ‘withdraw’ in Indonesia): a series of card with successive numbers for example 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or from 9, 10, Jack, Queen and King. The score of straight card is determined by the last card on the arrangement. If player A has Straight card that consists of 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 while player B has 9, 10, Jack, Queen and King, then the winner is player B because his last card is King and player A only has 7. However, this last number rule isn’t fixed as there are many kinds of variation depends on local rule where the game is played.
Flush: A combination of five cards with the same card image. The highest flush depends on the card number and image.
Polo (or also called Full House): A combination between Pair and Threes where the higher Threes, the higher Polo score.
Four of a Kind (Also known as Piting): A combination of four cards with the same number with one random card. When a player wants to discard Piting card, the Big 2 (card number 2) will be bombed. This is another exciting variation of Capsa Banting. Bombing means turning the Big 2 into the lowest score and Ace will become the highest for a certain amount of time. To return the Big 2 into the highest score, another Piting card should be discarded.
Straight Flush: A combination of successive card with the same image. Royal Straight Flush is the combination of Straight Flush with the highest score card which is a formation of 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace.
There are many variations of Capsa game. Each ethnic, each area may have its own variation. Usually the players will ask and agree on basic rules before they play. Here are some examples of game variations:
There are many favorite cards games in Indonesia such as Truf, 41, Remi, Joker, Gaple (using domino cards), Milo, Blackjack and Capsa Banting (or known as only Capsa) is one of them. People from different background and demographics are familiar with almost all card games and usually play one of them on leisure times.
However if we search Capsa games on Google, most Indonesian bloggers who wrote articles about Capsa are young males, students either they are college, senior high school students or young workers. A blogger said that 90% of young males on his school love playing Capsa.
Most articles about Capsa games mentioned that they play Capsa for fun. Either when they are grouping together at school’s break, at friend’s house, while waiting on movie preview, cafes, campus at any leisure times when they were with friends.
Although some people play Capsa as one of gambling games but actually Capsa is more like friendly, fun and killing times type of game.