So how does it work?
Combat begins with allocating a certain amount of CPs to Initiative, called the Ante. The more points you put into the Ante, the higher the character's initiative. The character MUST Ante to participate in Combat, but they need only Ante once. Any points spent in the Ante are set aside are automatically put back into the characters XPot (experience pot) and cannot be used later during bidding.
What you ante is the character's initiative for the entire battle. However, at the start of any following round, a player can choose to add more points to their Ante, thereby increasing their place in the battle order.
Dealers Note: If a PC and their opponent have the same Ante, the PC goes first. The only difference is if a player only Antes one point, they act AFTER all opponents.
Jonny (15 Combat) is fighting a Fireclown (Combat 12). At the start of the round Jonny antes 2 points, while the Fireclown antes 1 point. This leaves Jonny with 14 CPs for the fight, while the Fireclown now has 11.
The Character with the highest Ante goes first and chooses their opponent. The Dealer then deals one card, face-down, to the player and one to herself (as the Opponent). You may look at your card, but do not show it to your opponent. The attacker then begins the round by choosing one of the following options, known as a Bid--
RAISE: Allocating a number of CPs. Except for the opening Bid, each raise must be at least one CP higher than their opponent's previous bid.
TAP: The character does not wish to Bid any further points and is sticking with their last Bid. Their opponent then has one last chance to make a Bid of their choice and the cards are revealed.
BUY: For 6 CPs the character can BUY an additional card. This card is dealt Face Up and its value is added to their Bid. Players may only Buy one card at a time (but are allowed to Buy additional cards each time the Bid comes back to them).
ALL IN: The character bids all their remaining CPs. If the character going All In has more points than their opponent, their opponent must go All In or Fold. If the character going ALL IN has fewer points than their opponent, the opponent may make one last Bid of their choice. The round is now over and the cards are revealed.
CALL: To call the character must equal the amount of CPs bid by their opponent. The opponent then has one last chance to make a Bid of their choice and the cards are revealed.
FOLD: The character stops the bidding and no CPs are lost by either side. If the attacking character folds, nothing happens and the next round begins. But if a defending character folds, they will take damage as normal.
Once the Bidding is done the cards are revealed. The value of the card is added to the number of points bid and the person with the highest number wins.
To begin, the cards are dealt face down, one to Jonny's player and one to the Dealer who controls the Fireclown. Jonny has the highest Ante so he begins by making an opening Bid of 2 points. The Fireclown Raises with 3 points. Jonny then Raises to 4. The Fireclown now Taps which ends his Bidding for that round with 3 Points. Jonny has one last chance to make a Bid, but decides to stay where he is with 4 points.
The cards are revealed and the Fireclown had a 10 which gives him a total of 13 points. Tommy had an 8, which means he has a total of 12 points. Since Jonny was attacking, he has failed to hit the Fireclown.
The next round begins. Jonny now has 9 points (15 to start-2 for Ante -4 Bid). To play with. The Fireclown has 8 points (12 to start-1 for Ante -3 Bid).