It’s finally time to revisit this subject because, earlier this year, yet another sabacc variant was revealed. This one is called Coruscant Shift, and it launched with Disney’s Galactic Starcruiser.
What Is Coruscant Shift Sabacc?
Coruscant Shift is a new variant of sabacc, the canon Star Wars card game that has been played on-screen as well as in books and comics by many beloved characters, including Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, and Zeb Orrelios. It was designed specifically for fans to play during their stay at Disney’s Galactic Starcruiser resort, AKA the Halcyon.
Prior to Coruscant Shift’s premiere at Disney’s Galactic Starcruiser resort, there were two versions of sabacc with real-life rules, cards, and dice: traditional and Corellian Spike (in the form of the Han Solo Card Game and Galaxy’s Edge Sabacc).
The Differences Between Coruscant Shift, Corellian Spike, And Traditional Sabacc
To outline the differences between these three popular variants of sabacc, we’re going to make our way through each phase of the game: the object, the cards, the game pieces, the setup, the rounds, and winning the game.
- Coruscant Shift: Score as close as possible to the number rolled on the numbered die with the total value of your selected cards.
- Corellian Spike: Get a score as close to 0 as possible with the total value of cards in your hand.
- Traditional: Get a score as close to -23 or +23 as possible with the total value of cards in your hand.
As you can see, the object of Corellian Spike and traditional sabacc are to reach a certain score with the cards in your whole hand. The goal of Coruscant Shift, on the other hand (no pun intended), is to reach a certain number that is determined by the roll of a numbered die.
Furthermore, in Coruscant Shift, you don’t have to use all the cards in your hand. You can select and reveal only the ones that will add up to a value that is as close as possible to the rolled number.
- Coruscant Shift: There are three suits – Circles, Triangles, and Squares – and 20 cards in each suit. 10 of the cards are green with positive values (+1 thru +10) and the other 10 are red with negative values (-1 thru -10). There are also 2 zero cards, which can count for any suit you choose.
- Corellian Spike: There are 62 cards in the deck. 30 cards are green with positive values and 30 of them are red with negative values. The last two cards are blue and worth zero. None of the cards have faces or suites.
- Traditional: There are 76 cards in the deck. 60 of the cards are divided into four suits. There are 15 cards in each suit numbered 1-15. The remaining 16 cards are divided into two sets of 8 and have either a negative or neutral value.
To sum it up, Coruscant Shift cards come in three suits, with 20 cards in each suit. 10 of the cards have negative values, and the other 10 cards have positive values. The values and color scheme are similar to Corellian Spike. However, in that version, there are no face cards.
The traditional version of sabacc, which has the greatest number of cards and suits, remains the most complex of all the real-life variants of the game to date.
The Game Pieces
- Coruscant Shift: The at-home version of Coruscant Shift comes with a gold die and a silver die. The gold die has number values on its faces: 0, 0, 5, -5, 10, and -10. The silver die shows the three suits: Circles, Triangles, and Squares. If you’re playing by Halcyon tournament rules, then you will also play with betting chips.
- Corellian Spike: In the Han Solo Card Game, you play with a pair of dice with faces on them and 24 cardboard bounty tokens. In the Galaxy’s Edge version of Corellian Spike, you only have a pair of dice with faces.
- Traditional: In traditional sabacc, you play with a pair of normal dice and chips or credit replicas for betting.
The setup of all three sabacc games is pretty similar in that you must choose a dealer. Whoever is sitting to the left of the dealer becomes the dealer in the next round, and so on.
The dealer then hands cards out to each player.
- Coruscant Shift: deals 5 cards
- Corellian Spike: deals 2 cards
- Traditional: deals 2 cards
Coruscant Shift’s 5 cards per player is a significant change from the older versions of the game, which only deal 2 cards per round.
Each version of sabacc comes with its own unique framework for rounds.
- Coruscant Shift:
- Sabacc Shift
- Reveal (you can also Fold if you decide your cards aren’t worth playing)
- Corellian Spike:
Coruscant Shift is the only version of sabacc where a sabacc shift is a guaranteed round. In Corellian Spike and the traditional variant, this only happens when the dice are rolled and land on the same faces.
Corellian Spike (3 rounds), similar to Coruscant Shift also have a limited number of rounds per hand whereas Traditional has an unlimited number.
Winning The Game
The number of times that the sabacc rounds must be replayed also vary depending on the variant you’re playing.
- Coruscant Shift: There are only two selection rounds before all players must reveal the cards they selected from their hands. Whoever’s selection is valued closest to the number rolled on the numbered die is the winner of the hand. Ties go to the person with the most symbols.
- Corellian Spike: The rounds are played through three times. At the end of the third pass, each player places their cards face up on the table. Whoever’s hand scores closest to 0 is the winner of the hand. In the Han Solo Card Game version, players continue to replay the rounds until all the bounty tokens are dispersed. Whoever has the highest value in bounty tokens is the overall winner.
- Traditional: The rounds may be repeated indefinitely until a player feels they have enough cards to score close to either -23 or +23.
Regarding Coruscant Shift, it’s clear that this variant was designed to allow guests on the Halcyon to each have a turn playing the dealer. It may also be quicker to play than the other two.
While Coruscant Shift, Corellian Spike, and traditional sabacc share several basic characteristics, like the values of the cards, the objective to reach a certain value with your hand, and choosing a dealer, they also differ in significant ways. For example, the deck sizes vary considerably between these three games. There are also differences in the potential duration of each type of sabacc and in how many cards are dealt.