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CAPTURE RULES v. 2 ( last edit 9.11.2007)



  • Created by Jim DuBois, © 2000 - 2007
  • Jim's website:
  • All copyrights belong to the attributed creators. All rights reserved.
  • Please do not redistribute in any form without permission.
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  • Number of Players: 2
  • Duration: 10-30 min
  • Atmosphere: light card game
  • Theme: abstracted card capturing


  • deck of 52 cards (no jokers)


Capture is a card game for 2 players. You must capture more cards than the other player by the end of one play through the deck. Play proceeds via 5 columns in a round. If you have the best scoring hand in a column, you get all the cards in it.


  • Deal 1 card face up to the non-dealer, then one face up to the dealer, parallel to the other card. Do this five times, so that in effect there are five columns between the two players.
  • Then deal five face down cards to each player, these are for the player to look at and then distribute as they see fit face down, one on each column, just behind their face up card.
  • Each column is played separately in a round. Players turn over their face down cards in a column simultaneously, and see who wins.
  • To win a column, you must have the highest and lowest cards in it. If you had a 3 and a jack and the other player had a 5 and a 9, you would have the highest and lowest in the column.
  • Aces count as high or low, whichever would serve the player better.
  • If neither player has the highest and lowest cards, the column is drawn for this round, and continued next round.
  • Another way to win a column is to have either 2, 3 or 4 of a kind [matching in value, not suit] in it. This beats even having high and low, and is the only way to capture a set of cards with an ace in it.
  • If both players have a matched set, then they cancel each other out, and the highest and lowest are again looked for. So if you have a pair of aces, and the other player has a pair of twos, neither would win from that. But if one player has a pair, and the other player has 2 pairs, the 2 pairs player wins.
  • 3 of a kind beats 2 of a kind (and a pair), and 4 of a kind beats 3 of a kind.


Once a round has been played through, deal out face cards to fill up the number of columns to 5. If there were 3 drawn columns in the last round, you would deal out 2 new face up columns for this round. Then deal out the 5 face down cards as usual.


At the end of the game, there may not be enough cards to deal out 5 columns, or to give 5 face down cards to each player. Count the cards left, and try to make the number match up. So if there were 8 cards left, you could deal out 2 face up to each player, then 4 face down to each player.

If there are more columns than face down cards, players may still play their face down card on any column to try and win it, even if the opposing player doesn't play a face down card on it as well.


Below is an example of a the first round before cards are flipped, but after both players have assigned cards from their hands:

Below is an example after 2 columns have been flipped. Neither player won column A so the cards stay for the next round. The top player wins all cards in column B (b/c Queen is higher than Jack and 3 is lower than 7, both highest and lowest values). They would continue play by then flipping and comparing with the next column of pairs.


VERSION 1 - This game was invented by Jim Dubois. Jim's website:


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