Original Card Games by David Parlett

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MINIMISèRE

De minimis non curat lex

Players 3-6 (5 best)   Cards 25 (36 for 6 players)   Type Plain tricks
This is one of my oldest original card games. It was basically designed for five but works reasonably well for other numbers. Although all numerical versions are essentially the same, the rules are easier to describe and follow if presented separately according to how many play. The five-hander is presented first, but it can also be played by six, four, or three.
Cards
Deal five cards each from a 25-card pack consisting of A-K-Q-J-10-2 in each suit, plus one Joker. (You can replace the Deuce with a Nine if you prefer.)
Object
To win three or four tricks, but not all five. Alternatively, to win none.
Play
The player at dealer's left leads to the first trick and the winner of each trick leads to the next. You must follow suit if you can but may play any card (including the Joker) if you can't. There are no trumps, and the trick is normally taken by the highest card of the suit led. However:
• If a Deuce is led it ranks highest of its suit and wins the trick. Otherwise it ranks lowest, and loses.
• If the Joker is led it wins the trick, and the followers can play as they please.
Score
For winning...
 1 trick, score 1 2 tricks score 2 0 tricks score 5 3 tricks score 6 4 tricks score 8 5 tricks score 0
Bid the Lot
If you think you can win all five tricks you can bid "The Lot" upon playing to the first trick. If successful, you score 10 points and everyone else scores zero. If not, you score zero and everyone else scores 5, regardless of how many tricks they win.
Game
Game is 25 points, but if there is a tie for first place play as many more deals as necessary to establish a winner. The turn to deal passes to the left.
MINIMISèRE FOR 4 OR 6 PLAYERS
Cards
Deal six cards each from -
• (if four play) a 25-card pack consisting of A-K-Q-J-10-2 in each suit, plus one Joker. You can replace the Deuce with a Nine if you prefer.
• (if six play) a 36-card pack consisting of A-K-Q-J-10-9-8-7-2 in each suit and no Joker.
Object
To win at least four tricks, but not all six. Alternatively, to win none.
Play
The player at dealer's left leads to the first trick and the winner of each trick leads to the next. You must follow suit if you can but may play any card (including the Joker) if you can't. There are no trumps, and the trick is normally taken by the highest card of the suit led. However:
• If a Deuce is led it ranks highest of its suit and wins the trick. Otherwise it ranks lowest, and loses.
• If the Joker is led it wins the trick, and the followers can play as they please. Otherwise it loses.
Score
For winning...
 1 trick, score 1 2 tricks score 2 3 tricks score 3 0 tricks score 6 4 tricks score 8 5 tricks score 10 6 tricks score 0
Bid the Lot
If you think you can win all six tricks you can bid "The Lot" upon playing to the first trick. If successful, you score 12 points and everyone else scores zero. If not, you score zero and everyone else scores 6, regardless of how many tricks they win.
Game
Game is 25 points, but if there is a tie for first place play as many more deals as necessary to establish a winner. The turn to deal passes to the left.
MINIMISèRE FOR 3 PLAYERS
Cards
Deal seven cards each from a 21-card pack consisting of A-K-Q-J-10 in each suit, plus one Joker.
Object
To win at least four tricks, but not all seven. Alternatively, to win none.
Play
The player at dealer's left leads to the first trick and the winner of each trick leads to the next. You must follow suit if you can but may play any card if you can't. The trick is taken by the highest card of the suit led and the winner of each trick leads to the next. There is no trump suit.

The Joker.
If you lead the Joker, it wins the trick, and the others may play as they please.
If you play it second to a trick, it loses.
If you play it third to a trick, it either wins or loses, as you decree.

(You can only play it second or third if unable to follow suit to the card led.)
Score
For winning...
 1 trick, score 1 2 tricks score 2 3 tricks score 3 0 tricks score 7 4 tricks score 8 5 tricks score 10 6 tricks score 12 7 tricks score 0
Game
Game is any agreed target (such as 31) or any agreed number of deals (such as nine). The turn to deal passes to the left.
Copyright © renewed 2017 by David Parlett