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ROUNDUP!

RULES v. 3 ( last edit 2.20.2009)

CREDITS

  • Created by Thomas Gale, © 2003 - 2010
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STATS

  • Number of Players: best with 4 (but worth a try with 2-6)
  • Duration: 10-30 min
  • Atmosphere: sequencing card game
  • Theme: order out of chaos

COMPONENTS

  • deck of 52 cards (remove jokers)
  • score sheet + pencil

INTRODUCTION

Players are trying to make order of chaos, by rounding up the scattered fragments and sequencing them in perfect harmony.... but as it best suits their interests. This is a mix of UNO, patience, bridge and every other card game.

HOW TO WIN

Multiple rounds are played in a game. The first player to reach a score of 10 or more wins the game.

During a single round of play each may score up to 4 points.

  • 3 points for guessing correctly which of the 4 suits (hearts, clubs, diamonds, spades) is the last to be closed.
    • If there is a tie between 2 players then each player guessing correctly gets 2 points.
    • If there is a tie among 3 players then each player guessing correctly gets 1 point.
    • If there is a tie among 4 or more players then each player guessing correctly gets 0 points.
  • 1 point for the player whose hand is emptied first. (both face-up and face down).

PLAY SETUP

DEAL -- Shuffle and deal all 52 cards among the players (13 apiece if 4). Players may look at their own hands and should always keep their face-down hands hidden from others.

MAKE BIDS -- Each player now makes a bid or, in other words, a guess as to which suit will be the last stack to be closed. A "Closed Suit" or "Closed Stack" means that all numbered cards of a particular suit have been played from 1 to 10 in a stack. (Similar to how patience cards are stacked except the face cards are not included.)

A player makes a bid by selecting a numbered card (not a face card) from her hand and placing it face-down before her. A player can't bid on a suit if they have no cards of that suit. Once all players have done so, the face-down cards are turned face-up. The scorekeeper then makes a note of which suit each player is rooting for to be the "closing suit".

FACE-UP AND FACE-DOWN HANDS -- The face-up cards become the beginning "face-up hand" for each respective player. The "face-up hand" is a term to describe cards that are face up on the table but are still considered part of a player's hand. Each player has her own face-up hand. A player may never play from another's hand. The "face-down hand" is a term for the remaining cards in a player's hand that are kept secret.

DETERMINE 1ST PLAYER -- The player with the lowest numbered card in her face-up hand goes first. If it is a tie, then those involved must each select a card from her own face-down hand to transfer to her face-up hand. Again, the player with the lowest card in her face-up hand goes first. This continues until the tie is broken.

Play then proceeds clockwise.

PLAY

ADDING TO STACKS -- During play players take turns placing cards from their hands onto stacks of a particular suit. There are only four stacks (hearts, diamonds, clubs, spades). Each stack must be sequenced, starting with 1 and ending with 10. Once a stack reaches 10 cards it is closed. A player may never play cards onto the stacks during another player's turn. "Playing a number card" means transferring a card from your hand to the appropriate stack thereby continuing the consecutive sequence of that suit.

TAKING A TURN -- A play is made by making one (and only one) of the following actions:

PLAY ONE OR MORE NUMBER CARD(S) FROM YOUR FACE-UP HAND- If possible and legal, a player must play at least 1 card from her face-up hand. A player may choose to play more than one if possible.

PLAY A NUMBER CARD FROM YOUR FACE-DOWN HAND-Assuming no face-up card is playable from her hand, then the player may opt to add a card from her face-down hand to the one of the 4 stacks of sequenced suits. This must be done according to the same rules (stacking in sequence on the appropriate suit). A player may choose to not play from their face-down hand for strategic reasons, but this is considered a PASS and the player must pay the penalty.

PASS- If a player has no possible play in her face-up hand, and chooses not to play from her face-down hand (or is unable), then that player may pass. BUT there is a penalty for passing: the player must transfer a numbered card of her own choosing from her face-down hand to her face-up hand. If she has only face cards (J,Q,K), and chooses not to play one then she must discard one of her face cards to the discard pile. If all of a players cards are already in their face-up hand then there is no penalty.

PLAY A FACE CARD-Face cards are special and are never added to the stacks nor transferred to the face-up hand. They are placed in a discard pile immediately after use (whether or not effective). The suit of a face-card is irrelevant. Face-cards can only be played when the player has no possible plays in her face-up hand. A player may only play one face card during her turn. Used face cards are collected in a common discard pile. When playing a face card it forces another targeted player to transfer a card from their face-down hand to their face-up hand.

  • JACK= random draw from a target player's face-down hand... the targeted player must transfer a random card to his face-up hand. If it is a face card, then it is discarded along with the Jack.
  • QUEEN= player declares any 1 of the four suits... and the targeted player must transfer a card of that named suit to his face-up hand or discard a face-card of that suit. If target has none of that suit then no transfer or discard is needed.
  • KING= player declares a number... and the targeted player must transfer a card of that named number to his face-up hand. If target has none of that number then no transfer is needed.

The game ends when all four suit stacks are closed (all number cards sequenced 1-10 in 4 suit specific piles).

Reminders:

  • You may never play from face up hand and face down hand in the same turn. Only one action per turn.
  • You must take the "play face up card" action if possible.

STRATEGY

  • Sometimes two or more players can bid for the same suit, in which case they are typically allied as it would be mutually beneficial for them to cooperate.
  • Sometimes it is advantageous to pass and suffer the penalty, so that you can hold cards in your suit. This is in defense to the queen and jack. In the case of the Jack, the more cards in your hand the less likely the wrong one will be chosen randomly. And in the case of the queen, the more of a particular suit you hold then the less likely the ace or a blocking card will be drawn out.
  • Sometimes it is also advantageous to hold number cards of a different suit, in defense of the king.
  • You can also use face cards of the preferred suit defensively against queen attacks.
  • If you feel there's no way you can win your bid for suit, then try to get the 1 point for emptying your hand first.

 

roundup diagram

 

NOTES AND DEVELOPMENT HISTORY

VERSION 1 - Originally, the goal was to guess the 1st suit to close (instead of last) but the tension didn't work out as well and the game didn't end neatly with all stacks filled. Originally the face cards were included in the sequenced stacks and had no special abilities, but too many cards were transferred to the face-up hand and the game stagnated as people were able to hold the ace. Also the pass rule changed. Formerly a player could opt to pass and play the "current jack rule", that is to force a target player to draw randomly. This was kinda cool in a backstabby way, but it was too much and it happened that every player was passing rather than adding to the stacks. Now with fewer cards and less backstabbing opportunities the sequences are filled faster and the face-up hand isn't as crowded. Even though the face card rules are slightly trickier to remember, they help give a bit more character to the game.

VERSION 2. Even though this is the second version I have yet to play it with anyone other than 4 imaginary clones of myself. So it probably needs more testing. If someone is dealt more face cards are they sure to win most of the time? Which face card is most useful?

VERSION 3. Just switching over to new format with minor clarifications.

Please, please let me know if you actually played this game. Email: tomgale@)yahoo.com

 
 

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