Fallout: New Vegas -- How to Play Caravan

The Friend's List on XBox Live is perhaps one of those convenient aspects to the service that you do not really appreciate until you need it -- for example when a new game is released and you are looking for someone to play it with, the Friend's List is, well... Your Friend!

Chances are really good that you will quickly get an idea of who you can play with once you suss out who has the game -- and the List makes it even easier if they happen to be playing the game when you look, because it indicates that in its summary -- which brings me to the point of this.

Lately I have been playing Fallout: New Vegas quite a bit, and as a result of that, I have been getting a lot of messages from people on my Friend's List, but not for the reason you might think. First of all, FNV does not have a multi-player side to it, so it is not that... What it is -- almost invariably -- is a simple question asked in a variety of ways: "How the HELL do you play Caravan?!"

If you are not into FNV just yet you probably have no notion what Caravan is, so I will start with that: Caravan is a card game that you play inside the game. Actually there is really no reason why you could not play it in real life, and it will not surprise me if, when PAX East rolls around in February, there are a lot of people playing it with real decks of cards! Because it uses the standard deck of playing cards up to a point, as the game is something of a cross between poker and crazy 8's.

Contents of this Helpful Article

  • The Basic Facts of Caravan

    • Building a Deck

    • Rules

    • Card Values

    • Winning

  • Starting Out

  • Actual Game Play

  • Starting a Game

  • The Secret Ways of Face Cards

  • Your Best Strategy

  • Using Caravan as a source for Caps

  • Card Collecting

  • Caravan Card Merchants

The Basic Facts of Caravan

The introduction that you get to Caravan in the game is simple -- too simple really -- as it is basically a text file that you receive, along with a deck of cards -- from Ringo, the bloke that you rescue in the petrol station. The file he gives you reads:

- - - - - - - - - -


Caravan decks are comprised of at least 30 cards from one or more traditional playing card sets. The deck may have any number of cards of any type that suits a player's strategy, although it cannot have duplicate cards from the same set. For example, a King of Spades from Set A and a King of Spades from Set B deck is acceptable, but more than one King of Spades from Set A would be illegal.


Caravan is played with two players building three opposing piles (or "caravans") of numbered cards. The goal is to outbid your opponent's caravan with the highest value of numbered cards without being too light (under 21) or overburdened (over 26).

The game begins with each player taking eight cards from their deck and placing either one numerical card or ace on each caravan. Players may not discard during this initial round.

Once both players have started their three caravans, each player may do ONE of the following on their turn:

1. Play one card and draw a new card from his or her deck to their hand.

2. Discard one card from their hand and draw a new card from his or her deck.

3. Disband one of their three caravans by removing all cards from that pile.

Caravans have a direction, either ascending or descending numerically, and a suit. The suit is determined with the first card placed on a caravan, the direction by the second. All subsequent cards must continue the numerical direction or match the suit of the previous card. Cards of the same numerical value cannot be played in sequence, regardless of suit. Face cards can be attached to numeric cards in any caravan and affects them in various ways.

Posted: 22nd Nov 2010 by CMBF
Fallout: New Vegas, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC,