|Pai Gow Magic|
Pai Gow Magic is a casual limited Magic: The Gathering mini-format that can be played with a single booster pack for each player. It is a quick way to enjoy opening boosters. Like Pai gow poker, it is named for the Pai gow game that is played with Chinese dominoes.
These are the rules as put forward by Frank Karsten: Each player opens a single booster pack, looks at the contents, and distributes the contents into 5 face-down piles of 3 cards each. Afterward, the order of the face-down piles is randomized, for instance by having the opponent rearrange them. You play 5 consecutive, separate games of Magic. In game 1, each player's first pile becomes their opening hand. In game 2, each player's second pile becomes their opening hand. And so on. There are no libraries, and you can't lose to decking. In every game, each player starts at 5 life. All players have access to an unlimited amount of mana in any combination of colors.
The player who is done first (with their distribution of cards into piles) gets to play first in the first game. In subsequent games, the loser of the previous game gets to play first. If the previous game was a draw, then the player who played first in the previous game gets to play first again. A player who wins 3 or more games automatically wins the match. In case of multiple draws, a player who ends up with more game wins than their opponent wins the match.
A varaiant called Booster Blitz is promoted by employees of Wizards of the Coast at conventions and local game stores. This version uses 4 piles instead of 5 and does not do "distribute quickly to play first".
- Frank Karsten (November 21, 2017). "Pai Gow Magic". ChannelFireball.
- WOTC R&D was at my LGS yesterday to demo a new format.. Reddit (July 8, 2019).