Siete y media

Text adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia

Siete y media is a card game that uses the Spanish, French and Catalan (Catalan Playing Cards) deck with just 40 cards (removing the 8s and 9s from the 48-card deck).

The game consists of getting seven and a half points or as close as possible. The cards are worth the same points as their face value, except for the Face cards that are worth half a point.

One of the players must be the Bank. The bank deals one card face down to each player and to him/herself. Each player bets and, in turn, can ask the bank for cards, on the condition that just one of his/her cards remains face down. Therefore, if he/she shows all his/her cards, the bank will give him/her the card face down and if he/she keeps one face down, the bank will give him/her another face up. You can stick at any time if you have seven and a half or below. If you have seven and a half or are bust, you must show the card facing down.

All players with a face card (half a point) as their first card may double, triple or quadruple on asking for another face card, two face cards or three face cards (consecutively)… until he/she is given a card that is not a face card. This means that with each face card he/she may play as if he/she were a different player, betting independently on each of the games.

When all of the players have played, it is the bank’s turn to turn over his/her card and play, on view to all other players, until he/she sticks or is bust. All those with more points than the bank win, without passing seven and a half. The player with seven and a half is given double what he/she has bet and, in some places, becomes the bank. The bank always wins in the event of a tie in points.

This game is very similar to Blackjack, which is extremely popular in casinos and is played with a French deck but with different scores and rules.


The most widespread form of betting:
The "bank" will indicate the amount to bet before the cards are dealt so that each player can bet that amount against him/her.
Any player to exceed 7.5 will always pay the bank the amount of the bet.
Any player to tie with the bank will pay the bank the amount of the bet.
Any player to obtain 7.5 will receive double the bet made by the bank.
When the bank gets 7.5, all players will pay the bank double the bet, except the player to have obtained 7.5, who will pay 4 times the amount of the bet.  
When the card dealt is a half and those immediately afterwards are halves, each one can be played as a different bet against the bank. Example: I am dealt a Knight, I hit and it is a Jack so I can choose to play two bets. I hit again and it is a King, I can then decide whether to play three bets and so on. When I receive no more halves, that card is the first bet. I am given a 6 and decide to stick with 6 and a half. I hit for the next card and am given a half, so I now have 1 in the second bet. I hit and am given a 7 so I am bust in the second bet and ask for a hit for the third bet…

an example of some of the face cards in the “Catalan Playing Cards”: