The Trumplust Card Game

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Trumplust is a trick-taking card game I created especially for my Mythos Deck of Cards project.

The rules are inspired by the French Belote, a game I used to play a lot as a kid, and the Finnish Marjapussi, which I discovered just few days ago.

It can be played by 2 to 4 people and requires a 32 card deck. The cards are dealt counter-clockwise in 3 rounds. Each player receives a packet of 3 cards, then 2, and in the last round another 3. If there are less than 4 players, the remaining cards are left aside face down for the duration of the play.

General Rules

Contrary to Belote, there is no bidding part and the trump suit is declared during the play by announcing a pairing of face cards from a common suit. Such announcement can only be made by the initiator of the trick (the one who plays the first card or the one who has won the preceding trick).

The players must follow suit. If following is impossible, a trump card must be played. If the dominant suit is a trump suit, each card must be followed by a higher-ranking one. When more than one player cannot follow suit, over-trumping is obligatory and the trick is awarded to the player with the highest-ranking trump card. The winner of a trick starts the next one.

Once a trump suit has been declared, it remains in force until the end of the play unless the pairing which initiated it is dissolved by an Ace from the opposite suit. This triggers a switch of the trump suit from that of the dissolved pair to that of the opposite Ace. Only one pairing can take place during a play.

Opposites

Each suit is associated with a cardinal direction. Spades (♠) represent North, Clubs (♣) – East, Hearts () – South and Diamonds () – West. Thus, Spades are opposite to Hearts, Clubs to Diamonds.

Ranking

Plain Suit

The order of cards in a plain suit is A (11 points), 10 (10 points), K (4 points), Q (3 points), J (2 points), 9 (no points), 8 (no points), and 7 (no points).

Trump Suit

When a trump suit is declared, the order of cards for this specific suit is changed to J (20 points), 9 (14 points), A (11 points), 10 (10 points), K (4 points), Q (3 points), 8 (no points), and 7 (no points).

Pairing

Several types of pairings can be used to declare a trump suit and win extra points.

Fling Pairing

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A fling takes place between a King and a Queen from the same suit. It is announced at the beginning of a turn by playing the Queen and showing the King. It’s worth 20 points, except in the following cases:

If the opponent has an opposite Ace, he may dissolve the pair by playing it. The just declared trump suit switches to the opposite one and the Queen is taken by the Ace.

for K♠+Q♠ the opposite is A♥,
for K♥+Q♥ the opposite is A♠,
for K♦+Q♦ the opposite is A♣,
for K♣+Q♣ the opposite is A♦.

If the opponent has a Jack from the same suit as the announced pair, he may steal the points by playing it. The declared trump suit remains unchanged. The move is called Possession.

Affair Pairing

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An affair takes place between a Jack and a Queen from the same suit. It is announced at the beginning of a turn by playing the Jack and showing the Queen. It’s worth 20 points, except in the following cases:

If the opponent has an opposite Ace, he may dissolve the pair by playing it. In this case the just declared trump suit switches to the opposite one, thus the Jack is taken by the Ace.

for J♠+Q♠ the opposite is A♥,
for J♥+Q♥ the opposite is A♠,
for J♦+Q♦ the opposite is A♣,
for J♣+Q♣ the opposite is A♦.

If the opponent has a King from the same suit as the announced pair, he may steal the points by playing it. The declared trump suit remains unchanged, therefore the King is taken by the Jack. The move is called Sacrifice.

Bond Pairing

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A bond takes place between a King and a Jack from the same suit. It is announced at the beginning of a turn by playing the Jack and showing the King. It’s worth 20 points, except in the following cases:

If the opponent has an opposite Ace, he may dissolve the pair by playing it. In this case the just declared trump suit switches to the opposite one, thus the Jack is taken by the Ace.

for K♠+J♠ the opposite is A♥,
for K♥+J♥ the opposite is A♠,
for K♦+J♦ the opposite is A♣,
for K♣+J♣ the opposite is A♦.

If the opponent has a Queen from the same suit as the announced pair, he may steal the points by playing it. The declared trump suit remains unchanged, therefore the Queen is taken by the Jack. The move is called Meddle.

Melds

A meld consists of 3 or more cards with successive ranks, following the sequence A K Q J 10 9 8 7. Melds can be announced only at the beginning of the play, during the first trick.

Tierce

A tierce is a sequence of three cards. It’s worth 20 points.

Quarte

A quarte is a sequence of four cards and is worth 50 points.

Quint

A quint is a sequence of five cards and is worth 100 points.

Flush

A flush is a sequence of six or more cards and is worth 120 points. However, when a flush is announced, its opposite suit automatically becomes the trump suit and remains in force until the end.

Carré

A carré consists of four cards with the same rank owned by the same player. It is announced during the first trick and is worth 50 points, regardless of the ranking of the cards. The announcement automatically triggers an All Trumps rule which remains in force until the end.

Scoring

10 points are always awarded to the winner of the final trick.

Apart from the various possible melds and carré bonuses, a play with no trumps has 130 points. A play with a declared trump suit has 162 points if the pairing is dissolved by an opposite Ace. If the pairing isn’t dissolved or is stolen by a matching face card, the minimal amount of points is 182 (162 plus the value of the pairing). An All Trumps play has 258 points. The player who manages to score more points wins. If the play is a tie, all the points are awarded to the winner of the next one.

Last updated on 04/07/2013, adding redesigned cards.

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