Nicholas Whately, a charcter in the game. Dave Williams, designer of the Doomtown game.

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Challenge is a form of poker. The game requires a pack of standard playing cards and tokens such as chips or coins. It may be played with anywhere from 2 to 16 people.
A three round game alternating high and low.
The game begins by dealing three cards to each player, starting Round I. The game has multiple rounds each with independent showdowns (comparisons of the three cards held by the wagering players and payoff to winner). These showdowns are won by the player with the lowest cards in Rds I and III, the "Low Rounds," and by the player with the highest cards in Rds II and IV, the "High Rounds".

The ranking of the hands.
Low hands are ranked without reference to straights or flushes; thus, ace, 2, 3 is lowest. High hands are ranked in the following descending order: trips, straightflush, flush, straight, pair; thus, three aces is highest.

The building of the pot.
Before each of the first four rounds each player puts a token in the pot by placing it in front of him. Thus, in Rd I everyone will have one token in front of him, in Rd II -- two, Rd III -- three and Rd IV -- 4, and the pot will equal the number of the round times the number of players. The pot does not, in this variation, ever increase beyond four times the number of players.

Rotating the action.
In Rd I the player to the left of the dealer is the first to act, in Rd II the next player to the left, in Rd III the next and so on. The order of play is to the left (clockwise).

Drawing cards.
After the first round, players may either keep the cards they were dealt or discard any or all of them and draw replacements.

Going Out.
The initial choice is whether to pass or to wager that one's hand is the best (low in Low Rounds; high in High Rounds). A player wagers by revealing two cards of his choosing. This is called "going out". Each of the other players must then, in order, choose whether to pass, challenge or rechallenge. A player that passed going out may still challenge or rechallenge. The player going out is required to respond to a rechallenge, however, all players make their pass, challenge or rechallenge choice first. If all players pass the player going out wins the pot, the deal is over and there are no more rounds.

Challenge and Rechallenge.
If there is a challenge but no rechallenge the round proceeds to showdown. At the showdown the player going out shows all three of his cards to his challenger(s) but not the other players, and his challenger(s) show all three of his cards to the player going out but not to any other players, not even other challengers. The loser at the showdown then pays the winner from his stack. The payment is equal to the total amount of the pot. If there are rechallenges, the player going out responds to all of them in the order they are made. He may drop, accept or rechallenge back. If the player going out drops, he must pay the pot to the rechallenger without looking at the rechallenger's cards. An accepted rechallenge is settled by a showdown by way of viewing of cards as described above. If there is a rechallenge back, sometimes called a re-rechallenge, the initial rechallenger must drop (and pay double the pot), accept (for 4 times the pot) or rechallenge back (to 8 times the pot). There maybe an unlimited number of these re-rechallenges. Payment at showdown is equal to double the pot times the number of rechallenges.

The end of the game
If nobody goes out in a round then cards are drawn and play proceeds to the next round. If after Rd IV nobody has won the pot, the further rounds continue alternating between low and high with the first to act moving leftward with the existing pot.
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