When Challenging another player to a game of Pazaak, the first order of business is to make a wager on the match. Use the directional pad to change the amount wagered, and press the A button to accept the bet and begin the match.
Once the wager has been locked in, the side deck for the match must be selected from the currently available cards in the deck. A basic Pazaak deck has two of each card numbered +1 to +5 available to create a side deck. The side deck must consist of 10 cards. Use the directional pad to highlight a card and press the Y button to add it to the side deck. Cards can be removed from the side deck by pulling the right trigger to switch the selection, highlighting the card to be removed, and pressing the Y button. Press the A button to proceed to the game once 10 cards are in the side deck.
The object of the game is to have the face up cards total higher than the opponent's hand without exceeding a total of 10. If a player's total is greater than 20 at the end of a turn (a 'bust'), the opponent wins the set. A player must win three sets to win the match. When the match begins, four of the cards from the side deck will be randomly drawn to form the player's hand during the match. Additional side deck cards can be found with values from +/- 1 to +/- 6.
The first player draws a card from the main deck and plays it face up to begin the turn. This is done automatically. After each card is played, an additional card can be played from the hand by highlighting the card and pressing the X button. Playing a hand card is optional. Also, you can only play one hand card per turn. The player can also press the A button to end the turn, OR press the Y button to stand with the current total. This continues until one player wins the set. Ties do not count.
Cards from the player's hand can only be used once, so the four cards must last the entire match.
Tip: if the total is over 20 after the draw and there is a negative card in the side deck, you can play it to bring your total back under 20.
For more tips and detailed strategies, please see our user-submitted Pazaak Strategies