Designed by Isaac Bickerstaff
Players 3-4
Length 30 min.
Extra Material None

Manipulate the cards in this trick-taking game to take as many tricks as you can, while avoiding the cursed suit.


Remove the Pawns and Courts from the deck.

Remove the 6 Aces from the deck and shuffle them together to form a draw pile. Do the same with the 6 Crowns.

Shuffle the remaining cards together and deal them out evenly to all players. The player on the dealer's left deals the first trick.

Game play

Flip over the top cards of the Ace and Crowns decks. The Ace card will determine the cursed suit, and the Crown card will determine the trump suit.

When a player leads a trick, he determines at that time which of the two suits on the card will be the suit led. Players who follow must play a card with that suit, regardless of whether or not it appears on the top or the bottom of the suits on the card. If a player does not have this suit in his hand, he may play any card he wishes. The highest card in the suit led wins the trick, unless trump has been played to the trick; in this case, the highest trump in the trick takes the trick. The situation may arise where a player follows suit and plays trump at the same time; in this situation, count the trick as having been trumped, even if this happens on the first card played to the trick, and the player does not declare that suit as the lead.

Players may not lead either the trump suit or the cursed suit until those suits have been broken by another player playing the suit as part of following a trick, or as a result of being void in the led suit.

Players should book their tricks as they win them.

At the end of the hand, players score 1 point for each trick they took, and -1 point for each card in the cursed suit that they took. Net out the scores and keep track of each player’s score.

Provided it is not the end of the game, the player on the previous dealer's left shuffles the number cards and deals the next hand.

The game ends when one player reaches -13 points. The player with the highest score wins.

Poison Nonesuch

In the The Decktet Book, the game appears as Poison Nonesuch. It works the same, except that it is played for exactly six hands and ends when the Ace and Crown piles are exhausted.


Thanks to P.D. Magnus for support and feedback on this design.


Game entry at BoardGameGeek.


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