Juse

This page is based on a description by Thushara Wickramasinghe.

Introduction

Juse is a competitive patience game which is popular in Sri Lanka. It may perhaps be related to the 19th century English game Muggins.

Players and Cards

A standard Anglo-American 52-card pack is used. The order of the cards is cyclic ...-A-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-J-Q-K-A-2-3-...

Any reasonable number of people can play. Often there are 3, 5 or 7 players, since there are not many other locally known games for these numbers. Deal and play are clockwise.

The Deal and Layout

The dealer shuffles the cards and deals them one at a time face down to the players, until just one card is left. Unless there are three players, some players will receive one more card than others. The players do not look at their cards but keep them in face down stacks in front of them. The last card is placed face up in the middle of the table to begin the foundation piles.

During the game, each player will have a face down draw pile and a face up discard pile and in the middle of the table there will be four centre piles, one for each suit. At the start, the players' discard piles and three of the centre piles are empty.

The four centre piles are built upwards in suit, each beginning with the same rank. For example if the diamond10 is the initial face up card, the other three centre piles must begin with the other three 10's and must be built in the order 10-J-Q-K-A-2 and so on, each pile ending with the 9 of its suit.

The discard piles are used by their owners for cards that cannot be placed elsewhere, but the other players can also add cards to these piles, building upwards irresepctive of suit.

The Play

The player to dealer's left plays first, after which players take turns in clockwise order until someone wins.

A turn consists of playing one or more cards from one's own draw or discard pile onto the centre piles or other players' discard piles until this is no longer possible. When unable to play anywhere else, the player plays a card from his or her draw pile onto his or her own discard pile, and this ends the turn.

There are the following possibilities.

  1. If a card is the same rank as the initial face up card, it can be played in the middle of the table to start a new centre pile.
  2. If a card is the the same suit and one higher then the top card of an existing centre pile, it can be played on top of that pile. For example the heartA can be played on the heartK or the club7 on the club6.
  3. If the card is one higher than the top card of an opponent's discard pile, it can be played on top of that pile irrespective of suit. For example the spade2 can be played on the diamondA or the heart5 on the diamond4.
  4. Any card can be played on top of one's own discard pile, ending the turn.

On your first turn, you have no discard pile, so you must begin by drawing a card from your face down draw pile. You look at this card. If it fits on a centre pile or an opponent's discard pile you play it there and draw another card. When you draw a card that does not fit anywhere else, you place it on your own discard pile and your turn ends, and the turn to play passes to the player on your left.

On subsequent turns, when you have a discard pile, if at any point during your turn the top card of your discard pile fits in the centre you must play it before touching your draw pile.

If there is more than more than one place where a card can be played, it must be placed on a centre pile if it fits. If it cannot be played in the centre but fits on more than one opponent's discard pile, it must be played on the discard pile of the opponent nearest to the left (the one whose next turn will be earliest).

A drawn card can only be placed on one's own discard pile if it cannot be played anywhere else. This ends the player's turn even if the card happens to 'fit' on that pile, being one higher than its previous top card.

Penalties

Any player who does not follow the above rules can be given a penalty. The bottommost card is taken from each player's face down pile and these cards are added to the bottom of the face down pile of the player who is penalized. Any card that was played incorrectly is returned to where it came from and this ends the penalized player's turn.

The following faults incur a penalty:

  • playing a card on a pile where it does not fit;
  • playing a card on an opponent's discard pile when it could have been played on a centre pile;
  • playing a card on the wrong opponent's discard pile;
  • putting a card on your own discard pile when it could have been played elsewhere;
  • touching your draw pile when you could have played the top card of your discard pile.

When a penalty is incurred, it is customary for the other players to say "Juse".

Emptying Piles and Ending the Game

When you play the last card of your draw pile in the centre or on another player's discard pile, you play any cards from your discard pile that can be played, and then turn your discard pile face down and continue your turn by drawing its top card.

If you draw the last card of your face down pile and cannot play it elsewhere, you add it to your discard pile and your turn ends as usual. At the start of your next turn, after playing any cards from your discard pile that can now be played, you trun it over to make a new draw pile and continue your turn by drawing its top card.

If one of your opponents gets a penalty while you have no draw pile, you give them the bottom card of your discard pile to place under their draw pile.

When a player gets rid of his or her last card, so that both draw pile and discard pile are empty, that player wins the game.

Hints

While other players are playing, it is a good idea check whether the top card of your face up pile can be played, so that you will not make the mistake of trying to draw from your face down pile when your discard is playable. Always pay attention to the ever changing position of face up cards.

Take care to remember the rank of bottommost card of the centre piles. Once two or three piles have started to grow, one might forget what the centre pile starting card is and fail to start a new pile when possible, thereby getting a penalty.