Fallout New Vegas – Complete Guide To Playing And Winning At Caravan

Published on January 10th, 2011

One of the ways to gain precious in is to play . This guide will tell you all you need to know about the card game, including tips on how to win.


The are a few rules for Caravan, but once they’re broken down they’re not
too hard to abide by.

• Each deck must have at least 30 cards. Cards can be found all over the wasteland and can be bought, stolen or looted from NPC’s.

• Duplicate cards are allowed but only if they are from diffrent decks For instance, you cannot have two Kings of Spades from a Lucky 38 deck but you can have one King of Spades from a Lucky 38 deck and one King of Spades from a Gomorrah deck.

• Card piles (or caravans) must be in ascending or descending order or be of the same suit. The suit of the caravan is determined by the first card played in that pile.

• You CANNOT play two of the same value in a row, regardless of suit.

• Face cards have no numeric value, but will affect the totals in different ways.

How to Play

The object of the game is to form three piles of cards (or caravans) whosetotal is at least 21 but not more than 26. The first player to have two pileswithin those values AND those values are greater than the opponents wins the hand.

Example: In this example, the top row is the AI, the bottom row is the player. These are end values only.

25 19 16

10 26 26

With these end values, the player will win the hand. Even though the computer wins the first hand, the player wins the last two hands and will win the game.


The game begins with a betting screen. The computer (from now on will be AI) ante up a bet. You now have the ability to match his bet or raise the bet. You may raise the bet as much as you like, even to every cap you have which is why this game is so great for making caps really fast. You can literally make thousands of caps in less than an hour. Once you have agreed on a bet, push the “accept” button and you will now be able to go and build a deck.

Build Your Deck

You can now go and build a deck. Be warned that this is the last screen where you can change your mind and stop playing the game without losing caps. As stated earlier, the deck must contain at least 30 cards. Sort through your deck and choose the cards that you want to play with. The game will save your choice of cards for the future if you like playing with the same hand over and over. If you like to keep things interesting, have the computer randomize your deck. This adds an extra level of difficulty for seasoned players. When you are happy with your deck, push the “Play Caravan” button to begin the game.

Playing the Game

Once play has started, the AI will play the first move. The AI will always start the game. The AI will lay a card in one of it’s piles. Now it is your turn. There are now three options that you can take. The first is to discard cards that are in your deck. On this first turn, you can discard as many cards as you like. After this turn though, you can only discard one card at a time. Keep this in mind as it plays into strategies later on.

The second option you have is to play a card. Easy enough, choose the card you want to play and lay it in one of the three piles. Keep in mind that the pile must be in ascending or descending numerical order or that the suit is same as that first card you play. A good tip is to NOT play a card in the middle of the deck such as a 5, 6 or 7, unless you plan on using suits only.

The third and final option is to forfeit the game. You will lose any caps that you have bet if you choose this option.

Once your first move is over, the AI will make their second move and will begin building their piles. Turns alternate and the options each turn are basically the same. The only difference being that you may only discard one card at a time now which also counts as your turn, and you can now discard a pile of cards. This is useful for if you happen to go over 26 on a pile.

When either you or the AI have two piles between 21 and 26 that are greater than the opponents, then the game is over and that person will win.

If there is a tie, there are a couple of things you can do to break it. The first is to use a face card to modify a total. Use a jack to lower your opponents total or a king to raise it.

Card Values

All numeric cards are their face value. Easy enough, now for the face cards and jokers which really can throw a monkey wrench into the system. All face cards and jokers are modifiers and have no numeric values EXCEPT the ace.

Jokers: Jokers can be played on all numeric cards and the ace. They have no effect on face cards. A joker played on an ace will remove all other cards of that suit from the table, except for face cards. A joker played on a 2-10 will remove all other 2-10 from the table.

Ace: Has a vaule of one.

Jack: Jacks can be played against an ace and the 2-10 cards. A jack will remove the card it’s played on AND any face cards attached to it. Let’s say you play a Jack on a 2 and directly above the two is a King, the jack will remove the two and the King.

Queen: Queens can be played against an ace and the 2-10 cards. Queens are a real pain in the ass to explain. Easilyest, is that it will change the direction of the hand. That is, it will change the direction from ascending to descending or vice versa.

King: Kings can be played against an ace and the 2-10 cards. Kings will double of the value of the card it was played on. If you pair the King with a 6, the 6 will now be worth 12. Multiple Kings can be played with a multiplicative effect. So if you play another King on the same six, the value will be 24.

You can play the face cards in your opponents hand also so use this to your advantage.

Quick & Easy Win Guide

There is a sure fire method of winning every hand of Caravan there is. Be warned though, this a cheap method of playing the game and it takes all strategy out of the game. Still curious? Here it goes.

When building your deck, take all four 10′s, 9′s and 7′s. These three cards add up to 26 when played together. That will leave you with 12 cards. Pick 18 other cards to make 30 in your deck.

Now, in the first round, discard all the non 10, 9 and 7 cards until you get three 10′s, three 9′s and two 7′s in your hand. You can safely discard one 10 one 9 and two 7′s if you must to get this setup.

Once the game has started, start each of your piles with the 10. The AI will concentrate on building one pile. You start building on the other two piles that the AI is currently ignoring, putting a 9 and then a 7 on each one. This adds up to 26 and once the second pile equals 26, you should win the hand!

I’m not sure if this was oversight on the programmers part, but this little trick makes this game insanely easy.

Thanks to Joe Kennedy.

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