Contributed by Florent Barraco

Epidemic is an trick avoidance game in which the goal is not to be infected by "virus" cards. A player becomes infected if he wins a trick that contains a virus, but he can give his virus to another player.

**Equipment:** a standard deck of 52 playing cards and a supply of chips

**Number of players:** 4 is recommended

**Number of rounds:** 4 or 8 or 16 (if you have nothing better to do !)

**Rules:**

At the beginning of the game every player has 0 points.

The dealer begins a round by dealing 13 cards to each player. At the beginning of each round the sevens are the viruses. Whoever holds the 7 of spades must say "I'm sick!" and must pick up one chip from the supply to signal to the other players that he is sick. This player leads to the first trick.

There are no trumps in this game, and classic trick taking rules apply: aces are high, twos are low, players must follow suit if they can, the highest card of the suit led wins the trick, the winner leads to the next trick.

If any player wins a trick that contain a virus, he must take one chip from the supply per virus won. The viruses are stored face up so that all players can see how many viruses remain.

If an infected player plays a virus in a trick that he doesn't win, he gives all his chips to the winner of the trick.

When all the sevens have been played, all players must announce how many sixes they hold. If there is at least one six in a player's hand, sixes become viruses. If not, everyone must announce, fives, then fours and so on until a virus is found. If no one has a 6, 5, 4, 3 or 2, carry on to A, then K, Q and so on.

When all the cards have been played the round ends. All the infected players must pay a number of points equal to the number of chips they have to every player who is not sick. If everybody is sick the round is a draw and no one pays.

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Last updated 16th March 2010