By THLord Deryk Archer 

I just want to say I hope everybody had an awesome New Year! I want to start the year by bringing back an old game: archery poker. I like to cut the cards in half to make the game quite challenging. The cards are glued to a cardboard backing.

There are two ways to set up the board. One is to just throw the cards down and spread them out however they land.

random cardsThe other method is to organize them in 6 columns of 9. Since that makes 54 cards, you have to add the two jokers as wild cards.

Aces in corners gridThe way I like to set up the board is to put the four aces in the four corners. Also, make sure there’s plenty of room between the cards so an arrow cannot hit two cards at the same time. This also means shooters may miss cards completely.

Now you have to decide what game of poker you wish to play. I prefer five card draw, which means each archer gets 8 arrows and throws out the three least valuable shots. An archer may not score on the same card twice in a given round.

This is an all-day game – the archers shoot until they get a hand they like and then turn the hand in to the Marshall in charge. The archer may not turn in another hand unless he is knocked off by another shooter. If he’s outshot, then he may shoot again for a higher hand. The scoring hands are as follows in ascending order of value:

  • 1 pair
  • 2 pair
  • 3 of a kind
  • a straight
  • a flush
  • a full house
  • four of a kind
  • a straight flush
  • a Royal flush
  • five-of-a-kind (only in a wildcard game)

This month’s safety tip: stay in shape! Every day, draw the bow at least 10 times and hold it for a 5-count each time you draw. This will keep those muscles in your back and arms in shape. Remember not to dry fire it (loose the string without an arrow on it).

Also, I would like to say that at this year’s spring archery muster at Their Highnesses’ castle, we will be repelling an  invading army. This year’s moving target will be a man coming up a ladder to take the wall, so you’ll get to shoot him down.

As always, I look forward to some feedback. If there’s something you need to know, or would like to see or shoot at, please feel free to ask me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/joseph.bartlow.

Til next time, in service.

THL Deryk