For those that have played Golf, KOMBIO® can be described as Golf with abilities or powers. For those that haven't it's worth describing Golf:
Four-Card Golf game (known as Polish Polka or Polish Poker) employs a standard 52-card deck and accommodates two to eight or more players, with four being considered optimal. In games with eight or more players, two decks can be combined. The deal and gameplay proceed in a clockwise direction.
The dealer distributes four cards to each player one at a time. Players arrange their cards face down in a square formation. The remaining undealt cards constitute a face-down drawing stock at the center of the table, and the top card is turned face up to initiate the discard pile. Before play commences, each player may once glance at the two nearest cards in their layout without revealing them. After this, the layout cards cannot be viewed again until they are discarded during play or scored at the end.
Play begins with the player to the left of the dealer, progressing clockwise. On their turn, a player must either draw the top card from the face-down stock, draw the top discard, or knock to conclude the play.
If a player draws a card, they can use it to replace one of their layout cards without inspecting them beforehand. The drawn card is placed face down in the layout, and the card it replaces is discarded face up on the discard pile. Subsequently, it becomes the next player's turn. If a player draws a card from the stock but decides not to use it, they can discard it face up, and play moves to the next player. However, if they choose to take the discard, they must use it to replace one of their layout cards.
If a player knocks, their turn ends. Other players have one additional normal turn in which they draw a card from the stock or discard pile but cannot knock before the play concludes.
During scoring at the end of the game, each player turns their square of four cards face up and tallies points:
- Numerical cards score their face value (Ace=1, Two=2, etc.).
- Jacks or Queens each score 10 points.
- Kings score zero points.
The player with the lowest cumulative score after nine deals emerges as the winner.
Some variations of standard 4-card Golf include: some of these include:
Six-Card (Polish Poker/Polka), Eight-Card, Nine-Card and Ten-Card Golf: Similar to the standard game, but players are dealt six, eight, nine or ten cards respectively instead of four. This adds complexity and strategic depth to the gameplay.
Knock Poker: This variation combines elements of Golf with poker, allowing players to build poker hands with their cards and aiming for the lowest poker hand ranking.
Elimination Golf: Players are eliminated when they accumulate a certain number of penalty points, and the last remaining player is declared the winner.
Target Golf: Players aim for specific target scores, and the first player to reach or exceed the target is eliminated. The last remaining player is the winner.
Team Golf: Players form teams, and the team with the lowest combined score at the end of the game wins. This variation encourages collaboration and teamwork.
These variations, among many others, offer players different challenges, strategies, and levels of complexity, making Golf a versatile and adaptable card game enjoyed by people with varying preferences and skill levels. Players can experiment with different rules, such as: viewing cards, replacing cards, turning cards face up, methods to end play, alternative scoring etc. to create their own unique versions of the game.
With all the variations and differences in gameplay, one of the goals when creating KOMBIO® was to standardize a particular rule set while incorporating new rules and cards that make the game distinct. Many of these differences involve the omittance of standard Golf rules in addition to creating a speed element (matching atop the discard pile) and increasing dynamics by allowing players to view, swap and match with one another's cards. Arguably, one of the most influential cards within a KOMBIO® deck is the highest valued yet most powerful, the 14. This card allows players to double look and swap (if desired) and is an example of unique and new matching card games.