|Designed by||David L. Van Slyke|
a tableau building game
Deal each player six cards. Deal one card face down in the middle of the table and another card face up crossways on top of it. The remaining cards form the draw pile.
The player to the left of the dealer takes the first turn.
The first player places a card to the left or right of the initial card. Subsequent players may place cards on the left or right side of this main line. Later in the game, there may be cross lines that allow cards to be played up or down.
On your turn, choose one card from your hand and place it to extend one of the lines of cards. The card you play must match at least one suit with the card adjacent to it in line.
If you do not have a card that can be legally played, then you must draw a card. You may play it immediately if possible. Then it is the next players' turn.
If there are no cards left in the draw pile when a player is supposed to draw, the player does not draw and play continues.
Cross lines: If you play a card in the main line that is the same rank as the initial face up card, then you open a cross line. Subsequent cards may be played up or down from the cross card. The main line may still be continued to the left or right of the cross card.
Note that the initial face up card is not a cross card. Cards played in cross lines (up or down from cross cards) cannot start cross lines.
Straights: If the card you played forms a continuous run of cards in rank order, then you score the length of the run. Aces are before 2s, Crowns are after 9s, and straights do not wrap around.
For example: If the initial card is a 5 and you play a 6 next to it, then you score two points. If the next player plays a 7 next to the 6, then they score three points.
It does not matter if the straight goes left-to-right, right-to-left, or (on cross lines) up-down, but all the cards must be in the same line.
Elevensies: If the card you play and the card at the opposite end of the line add to 11, then every opponent must draw a card. (In a four-player game without partners, only your opponent with the fewest cards in hand must draw.)
Biscuits: If the card you played in the main left-to-right line and matches the card at the other end of the main line, it's called a hot biscuit and is worth 2 points.
If the card you played is on an up-to-down cross line and matches the card at the other end of that cross line, it's called a hot cross biscuit and is worth 4 points.
If the card you played matches the end of another line, then it's a biscuit worth 1 point.
It is possible to score multiple biscuits in a single turn. For example: You play a Crown at the top of a cross line that already has a Crown at the bottom of it; there is also a Crown at one end of the main line. This scores 5 (=4 for the hot cross biscuit + 1 for the biscuit).
The hand ends when a player has no cards remaining in their hand.
If you play the last card in your hand, then you score 5 points, plus a bonus for the cards remaining in your opponents' hands: 1 for each Ace or Crown, 2 for each number card.
If the draw pile is exhausted and no player is able to make any further plays, then the game is stale. The hand ends. There is no penalty for cards left in your hand if this happens.
The extended deck
If you want to spice up the game, you can add in the Excuse, Pawns, or Courts. Just shuffle them in at the beginning of the game.
The Excuse may be played in any line, regardless of suit. Any card may be played next to it. Playing the Excuse card does not score any points, and it may not be included in a straight.
Pawns: For the purpose of elevensies, Pawns may count either 1 or 10. This means that a Pawn can make elevensies with an Ace at the other end of the line, with a Crown, or with another Pawn. For the purpose of straights, Pawns are between 9s and Crowns. When a player goes out, they score a bonus of 3 for each Pawn remaining in opponents' hands.
Courts: If you play with both Pawns and Courts, then Pawns do not use the rules for Pawns above. Instead, a Pawn and a Court together make elevensies; neither makes elevensies with any other rank. For straights, the order of cards is 9-Pawn-Court-Crown.
Partner Biscuit: A four-player game is best with partners who combine their scores. Use the rules for standard Biscuit with the following differences: An elevensies play makes both your two opponents draw, but not your partner. When a player goes out, any cards remaining in their partner's hand are a penalty rather than a bonus.
Original design: David Van Slyke
Rules text: P.D. Magnus
Playtesting: Cristyn Magnus