Original Card Games by David Parlett

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STUCCO


A meandering game of perfect information

Players 2   Cards 32   Type Card-shedding by matching
How far ahead can you see?
Cards
32, with cyclic ranking AKQJ10987. (Ace and Seven can be played consecutively in either order.)
Object
To play the last card to a spread of cards played face up to the table.
Start
Deal all the cards out so each player has sixteen. To decide who starts, both players select a card from their hand and reveal them simultaneously. If both cards are the same colour (red or black) then non-dealer starts; if different, dealer starts. The starter's card is left face up on the table as the first card played and the other is returned to its player's hand. The non-starter then plays the second card to the spread, and play thereafter alternates.
Play
Each new card played must be, relative to the previous card, either -
  • The next higher card of the same suit, or
  • The next lower card of the other suit of the same colour, or
  • A card of the same rank but opposite colour.
Example. If the last card played was heartQ, the next must be heartK or diamondJ or spadeQ or clubQ.
You must play if you can, and may pass only if you cannot play. If you play a card that your opponent cannot follow, you may play again, and keep doing so as long as this situation obtains, or until you are both stuck, or both decide it would be more fun to sit and watch paint dry.

As it is important to be able to keep track of who has played what, each player's cards should be vertically offset from those played by the other, like this:

Example
South is "stucco" after the 10 of hearts

Score
Whoever plays the last card to the spread scores 1 point for each card they played to it, multiplied by the number of cards played consecutively on their last turn (often one, sometimes two, rarely three or more). For example, in the illustration above, North scores 12 x 2 = 24. (Incidentally, North played twice at his first turn as South was unable to respond to the opening spade8.)
Game
Play up to 100 points, or keep going till the paint dries.
Copyright © renewed 2017 by David Parlett