Casino Jupiter

We had been visiting Jupiter for the weekend, and while we were there, the Actuary insisted we visit the casino. “Casino Jupiter is the most famous casino in the known universe. If you’re on Jupiter, you have to go there, if only to say you’ve been.”

“OK,” I said, with a shrug. “Just as long as you don’t expect me to play anything.”

The casino itself wasn’t all that different from the ones I’d visited on Earth. It was made up of room after dimly lit room filled with tables of people trying desperately to strike it lucky. It was the games they were playing, however, that were unfamiliar.

The Actuary led me to a table in the back corner where 12 players, both human and alien, were playing some sort of card game.

“What are they playing?” I asked the Actuary.

“Poker,” he replied.

“No, they’re not. I’ve played poker before and it’s nothing at all like the game they’re playing.”

“Ah, but have you ever played Jovian Poker?”

I had to admit I hadn’t.

“Jovian Poker,” explained the Actuary, “uses a deck similar to Earth poker, but it only has 28 cards: 8 through to Ace in each of the four usual suits. 25 of these cards are dealt into a five by five grid with some of the cards face up and some of the suits revealed. Each player is assigned a single row, column or diagonal of the grid and they must announce their hand to the group. Once that’s out of the way, the players compete to see which of them will be the first to figure out the face values (rank and suit) and locations of all the cards that were dealt. You can place a bet on who you think the winner will be, if you like.”

“No, thank you,” I said. “I think I’ll keep my money. However, I would like to have a go at figuring out the cards for myself.”Puzzles_2014_08_Poker

For readers unfamiliar with poker, a list of the different poker hands can be found at



The solution to the nonogram given in Actuaries 192 is >Puzzles_2014_08_Nonogram_Soln

10 correct answers were submitted. The winner of this month’s prize, selected randomly from among the correct entries, was Min Chen, who will receive a $50 book voucher.

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