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The Jack-pot

If all the players reject their cards, declining to play, ante's stake
remains in the pool; and the deal passes to him. Before he deals, however,
he and every other player must put into the pool a sum equal to the ante.
The next hand is called a Jack-pot, and the game cannot be opened by any
player unless he has at least a pair of knaves in his hand. Any better
hand entitles him to open the game of course, but he must have at least
two knaves. If there be no players in a Jack-pot, the stakes still remain
in the pool, every player again puts in a sum equal to the ante, and the
deal passes on as before. In this second Jack-pot, however, two queens
is the lowest hand with which the game may be opened. If there are again
no players, the pool is again replenished, and the next game cannot be
opened with anything less than two kings; then the Jack-pot comes down to
two knaves again, and continues the same series of minimum hands--2 knaves,
2 queens, 2 kings--until the game is opened by a player holding the
requisite or a better hand. A Jack-pot having been opened, the winner
takes the accumulated pool, and the succeeding game reverts to the ordinary
conditions, i.e. may be opened by any player in his turn and without
reference to his hand. If a player open a Jack-pot, and all the other
players pass, he must, before he can claim the pool, show, by laying
his cards face upwards on the table, that he really does possess the
minimum hand necessary to open the game with. If he have the minimum hand,
or better, he takes the pool; but if he have not, the next game is a
Jack-pot, just as if the previous game had not been opened, and the
player who opened the game improperly must pay a sum double that of
the ante into the pool as a penalty.

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