Ace Race

Created by Adam Mepham and Samantha Le

Ace Race is a game for two, three, four, or six players, in which the objective is to be the first to get rid of the cards in your hand onto a face up discard pile. It has some similarity to Crazy Eights, but has greater scope for strategy.

The game of Ace Race uses a standard 54 card deck (including two joker cards). Cards take on their numeric value with jokers and aces having no value and face cards having the following values: J=11, Q=12, K=13. The dealer deals (singly) 8 cards to each player if there are 6 players, and 12 cards to each player if there are 2-4 players.

The remaining cards are placed face down on the table. Up to 6 of these cards are up for bidding. The player to the left of the dealer has the first bid and bidding follows clockwise: the minimum bid is zero and the maximum is six. Each player must bid higher than the previous bidder or pass, and the player who bids the highest draws the number of cards corresponding to his/her bid from the undealt cards, adding them to his/her hand without showing them to the other players.  The bid winner is allowed to pick the first rule and play the first card (this play must be in accordance with the rule).  The chosen rule can be set without the possession of the corresponding Ace in hand.

The existing rule can be changed whenever an Ace is played into the discard pile. Some Ace cards correspond to multiple rules, any of which can be chosen. The player who set the new the rule is the first to play under that rule.  

If there are cards remaining after bidding, those cards become the draw pile. Every time an Ace is played, the discard pile is shuffled into the draw pile. If a player cannot discard a card or for strategic reasons opts not to, the player must take the top card from the draw pile. The player may discard that card, if possible and desired, or pass his/her turn to the next player. 

A player may break the existing rule for one turn and play a single card that would not otherwise be playable under the current rule so long as it is accompanied by a joker card.  The numeral or face card (2-K) is played atop the joker card and is the card which is played upon in the subsequent turn.


An Ace can be played at any turn, regardless of the rule in force. The player announces the new rule, according to the suit of the Ace played, and then plays a turn in accordance with the new rule, or draws a card if unable or unwilling to play.

HEARTS (2 potential rules)
Multiples: A play consists of either any two or more cards of the same numerical value (a multiple) or, if the previous play was a multiple, a card of the same numeric value as the previous play.
Series: A play consists of either exactly three cards in sequential order (such as 6-5-4 or 9-10-J) or, if the previous play was a three-card series, a single card adjacent in value to the last card of the series can be played. For example if a player plays 6, 7, 8 the next player may play a 7 or a 9 (but not a 5). If the same cards had been played in the order 8, 7, 6, the next player could play a 5 or a 7 but not a 9. An Ace cannot be played as part of a sequence, because it does not have a numerical value.
DIAMONDS (3 potential rules)
High: A play consists of any one card having the numeric value 10, 11, 12, or 13.
Medium: A play consists of any one card having the numeric value 6, 7, 8, or 9.
Low: A play consists of any one card having the numeric value 2, 3, 4, or 5.
CLUBS (2 potential rules)
Suits: When announcing the rule, the rule maker also announces a suit. So long as the rule is in force, each play consists of playing any one card of that suit.
Prime: A play consists of any one card whose value is a prime number: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11 or 13.
SPADES (2 options)
Above/Below: The rule maker plays any one card and announces whether the next card must be higher or lower in value. Each subsequent play consists of one card, and cards must be alternately higher or lower than the previous play. Note that if the rule maker plays a king and says higher or a two and says lower, no further plays are possible until someone plays a joker or and ace. 


Under certain conditions a player can give two cards of their choosing to any other player(s). A giveaway occurs in the following circumstances.

  1. A player who completes a set of four cards of equal value lying together on top of the discard pile can give away two cards. This is most likely to happen under the multiples rule, but could also happen under the High, Medium, Low or Prime rule.
  2. Under the Series rule, when a three-card series is played, if the next cards played are another three-card series with the same numerical values, the player of the second series can give away two cards.
  3. The winner of the previous game of Ace Race may give away two cards, after bidding is over and the first rule has been set.
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Last updated: 14th February 2012