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Welcome to the Roaring Twenties! You are a notorious gangster boss, and it is the heyday of organized crime in Chicago.


  • 20 hexagonal "business" tiles
  • 75 gangster cards
  • 6 special cards
  • 6 rules summary cards
  • 4 shootout markers
  • 1 rules booklet

Object of the Game

Your goal is to take control of the best legal and illegal sources of profit: speakeasies, gambling houses, jazz clubs, and breweries/distilleries.

You could send a couple of your boys over to intimidate the business owners and steer them towards your rackets. But sometimes it's easier just to take over at the gambling table!

If you're the first boss to control 3 businesses of the same type, or 4 different types of businesses, or any 5 businesses, then you'll become the "big boss" of Chicago Poker!

Game Elements


The 20 business tiles depict speakeasies, gambling houses, jazz clubs, and breweries /distilleries.

When you play gangster cards on a business, you will place them by the side of the hexagon showing your gangster boss name.Your rules summary card shows your gangster boss,so it's easy to see which player is playing which gangster.

Gangster Cards

The gangster cards are placed next to the different businesses to create valuable poker combinations to take control of the businesses.

Special Cards

Each special card can be played to take the special action indicated by the card.

Rules Summary Cards

The rules summary cards name the different gangster bosses from Chicago who fight for control of the various businesses in the city.

These cards also list the possible poker combinations you can play, ranked in scoring order.

Shootout Markers

The shootout markers ("bullets") mark businesses where ultimate control will be decided on the following game turn.


  • Give each player a rules summary card. This card shows which gangster boss that player will represent in the game. Keep your summary card in front of you as a reminder of which boss you are playing.

    During the game, you will place your gangster cards next to the side of each business with your gangster boss showing. Any unused rules summary cards can be returned to the box. They are not used in the game.

  • Take all the gangster cards and special cards (81cards total) and shuffle them together. Deal 5 cards to each player to form his starting hand.

    Keep your hand of cards hidden from your opponents until you play them.Place the remaining cards face down within easy reach. This will be the draw deck.

  • Shuffle all of the business tiles. Place a number of business tiles face up in the middle of the table (based on the number of players). Place the remaining business tiles face down to form a draw pile.

    It is recommended that you place the tiles so they are all pointing in the same direction. That will make it easier for players to find their gangster boss name.

  • Choose a first player randomly.

Game Play

Chicago Poker is played in a series of turns. Each player completes his entire turn, followed by the other players in clockwise order.

Turn In Detail:

During your turn,you must take exactly 3 actions. For each action you may choose between:

  • Action I: Recruit a Gangster (draw a card) or

  • Action II: Exert Influence (play a card)

You may take your actions in any order you choose. For example, you could draw a card, then play one of your cards, and then draw another card.

Exception: During the first game turn, the first player takes only one action and the second player takes only two actions. Afterward, each player takes three actions during his turn.

Action I: Recruit a Gangster

Draw the top card from the draw deck and add it to your hand. If the draw deck is exhausted, reshuffle all the cards in the discard pile to form a new draw deck.

Important: At the end of your turn, you may not have more than seven cards in your hand. You may not draw a card if it would cause you to have eight or more cards in hand at the end of your turn.

Action Ii: Exert Influence

Play a gangster card on a business or play a special card from your hand.

Gangster Cards

Place your gangster card next to one of the face-up businesses by the edge showing your gangster boss. Play the card face up (with the gangster visible) or face down, as shown on the business you are influencing:

  • Speakeasy: The first 2 cards you play here are played face down. The last 3 cards are played face up.

  • Jazz Club: The first 3 cards you play here are played face up. The last 2 cards are played face down.

  • Brewery/Distillery: All cards at a brewery/distillery are played face up.

  • Gambling House: The first, third and fifth card you play at a Gambling House are played face-up, the second and fourth cards are played face down.

Note: You may always look at your own face-down cards!

Play your cards in a column below the name of your gangster boss.Play them so that the number of cards you have played at each business can be counted, and so the value and color of all face-up cards are clearly visible. You may never have more than 5 cards on any one business.

When you play your fifth card on a business, take a shootout marker and place it on top of your cards next to this business.

The shootout will be resolved at the beginning of your next turn. Other players may still play cards at this business on their turns!

Special Cards

Special cards are not played on businesses.When you play a special card, it takes effect immediately. The card is then discarded. There are two Police Raid, one Liquidation, one Limousine, one Revolver, and one Bribery card.

  • Liquidation: Choose any business in play, and any other player who has gangster cards at that business. The chosen player must discard the last card he played on that business.

    If a player has 5 cards with a shootout marker on them, his cards at that business are immune to the Liquidation card. You may still choose a different victim at that business.

  • Police Raid: Choose any business in play, and any other player who has gangster cards at that business. You may examine all of the face-down cards controlled by that player at that business.

  • Limousine: You may move up to 4 of your gangster cards from any one business of your choice to any one other business, placing them in the order of your choice. Y

    ou must obey the face-up or face-down placing rules for the business you moved the cards to, which may mean that some cards will need to be flipped over after the move. You may not move cards that are beneath a shootout marker.

  • Revolver: You may take 2 extra actions this turn. Note that playing the Revolver takes an action,so the effect of this card is similar to getting 4 actions this turn.

  • Bribery: Search the discard pile and select any 1card and add it to your hand. Then, shuffle the discard pile and draw deck together, forming a new draw deck.


At the beginning of your turn, if there is a shootout marker at any business (or businesses!) on top of your gangster cards,the shootout (or shootouts!) is resolved before you take your actions for the turn.

The winner of the shootout gains control of the business. First, turn all cards of all players at that business (even players who have less than 5 cards) face up.

Note: Players who have less than 5 cards may win a business depending on their poker hand. The best hand wins the shootout and takes control of the business.

The value of hands is similar to standard poker, with the addition of the "Chicago Poker" and "Rainbow Straight" hands (see the chart below or your rules summary card).

If you win a shootout, take the business tile and place it face up in front of you-you now "control" that business! All gangster cards played on this business are discarded, and a new business tile is drawn from the deck and placed face up on the table.

Just like in standard poker, tiebreakers for hands of the same rank are as follows:

  • Chicago Poker: Four or Three of a Kind: The rank of the cards in the Chicago Poker, four or three of a kind determines the winning hand.Example: A Chicago Poker with five "9zs" is more valuable than a Chicago Poker with five "4zs".

  • Full House: The rank of the cards in the three of a kind determines the winning hand.Example: Three "8zs" and two "1zs" are more valuable than three '^s" and two '^s".

  • Straight Flush, Rainbow Straight, Straight: The rank of the highest card determines the winning hand. Example: Astraight with a "12" as highest card is more valuable than a straight with a "9"as highest card.

  • Flush: The rank of the highest card, then of the next highest card, etc.determines the winning hand. Example: Aflush with a "11" as highest card is more valuable than a flush with a "8"as highest card.

  • Two Pairs: The rank of the highest pair, then of the other pair, then of the single card determines the winner. Example: Two pairs consisting of two "11zs"and two "6zs" are more valuable than two pairs consisting of two "11zs" and two "2zs".

  • Pair: The rank of the pair, then of the highest other card, etc. determines the winning hand. Example:A pair of two "9zs" is more valuable than a pair of two "7zs".

  • High Card: The rank of the highest card, then of the second-highest card etc.determines the winning hand.

If, after tiebreakers are considered, two (or more) hands are still equal, each tied player simultaneously plays another card face down from his hand (a "reinforcing gangster" is sent). These cards are then revealed and the highest one wins the shootout. All used cards are discarded and replacement cards are drawn from the deck.

If there is still a tie after revealing the reinforcements, each tied player again plays a card from his hand (and draws a replacement card afterwards) and compares the values until one player wins the shootout.

End of the Game

The game immediately ends when a single player either:

  • controls three businesses of the same kind
  • controls four different types of businesses (a speakeasy, a jazz club, a gambling house and a brewery/ distillery) or
  • controls any five businesses.

This player wins the game.

Note: For shorter games (especially with five or six players), you may play until one player has taken only 2 businesses of the same kind or any 3 businesses.

Special Case

If there are no more business tiles in the draw pile, the game continues with only the remaining face-up businesses available.

If there is still no clear winner after the last business becomes controlled, then the winner of the game is the player who took control of that last business, even if there are other players who have control of more businesses!


To play a more tactical game of Chicago Poker, remove the 6 special cards and play only with the 75 gangster cards.

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