Contributed by Carolyn Bryan (

Following are the rules for CardSen$e (a new game that is played with a standard deck of cards):


Objective:Avoid taking Qspade.
Payoff:Player who wins trick on which Qspade is played pays $100 to bank.
Rules of Play: No Trump. Dealer leads. Spades cannot be led at any time during game unless player on lead has only Spades in his hand.
Objective: Avoid winning the next-to-last and the last tricks.
Payoff: Player who takes next-to-last trick pays $50 to bank; Player who takes last trick pays $100 to bank.
Rules of Play: No Trump. Dealer leads first (any card he wants to lead).
Objective: Win as many tricks as possible.
Payoff: Banker gives the appropriately marked chip to the winner of each trick. At the completion of play, each player adds the numbers on his chips and multiplies this total by $10. This dollar amount is what the player receives from the bank. For example, if a player wins the 1st, 4th, and 11th tricks, then he would receive $160 from the bank (1+4+11 = 16 x $10 = $160). The 1st trick is worth $10; $20 for 2nd; $30 for 3rd; etc.
Rules of Play: Dealer names a Trump Suit or declares No Trump. The dealer leads first (any card he wants to lead). For challenging purposes only, the value of each trick is $50.
Objective: Play all of one's cards before any other player can play all of his.
Payoff: Bank Pays $100 to player who is 1st Out; Bank pays $50 to 2nd Out; 3rd Out receives nothing and pays nothing; 4th Out pays $50 to bank; 5th Out pays $75 to bank; 6th Out pays $100 to bank; 7th Out pays $125 to bank; 8th Out pays $150 to bank.
Rules of Play: Dealer names "Start Card" and designates Aces as High (above the Kings) or Low (below the deuces). The first card played must be one of the 4 "start cards." If dealer has a "start card," he plays first. The next card played can be the card on either side of the "start card" or one of the remaining "start cards." Example: The dealer call 9s as "start cards" and Aces Low. The first card played must be a 9; then the 8 or 10 of that suit may be played or one of the other 9s can be played. Play begins with the dealer and goes clockwise. If a player does not have a card that will play, he must pass. Only one card may be played at each turn. If a player fails to play when he can, he automatically is last, and each subsequent infraction by other players next to last, etc. However, penalized players must continue to finish the hand as if they did not renege. At the first moment a player has only one card remaining to play, if he fails to announce "last card "before the next play (which includes a "pass" call), he must pay $10 to each of the other players. Use the markers (1 thru 8) to identify the order of completion. If the 2s are designated start cards, then in those suits in which they have been removed, the start cards will be 3s.

General Instructions

The Game: CardSen$e is a game of winning or losing money during the play of 4 hands selected by each player as he deals. The 4 hands are Queen of Spades , Last 2, Tricks and FanTan. The objective is to have the most money at the end of the game. Depending on the number of players and the tempo of play, a game generally takes from 1 to 2 hours to complete. Good Luck!!

Beginning the Game: There are 3 skill levels by which CardSen$e can be played. Novice is the easiest and should be played by all new CardSen$e players regardless of their card expertise. This approach thoroughly familiarizes a player with all aspects of the 4 hands. Progression to the second level, Intermediate, then the highest level, Expert, can be individually determined as one's proficiency develops. All will soon enjoy the full measure of this extremely demanding game and spend many delightful hours with family and friends. However, CardSen$e is much like chess -- somewhat simple to learn the mechanics of play, but absolutely impossible to master.

Best suited for all new players of CardSen$e, pre-teens and inexperienced card players. Each player will play the 4 hands in the specific order outlined below. Challenging and Doubling are omitted from this level. Each player plays:
  • 1st Deal - Queen of Spades
  • 2nd Deal - Last 2
  • 3rd Deal - Tricks
  • 4th Deal - FanTan
Instead of playing the hands in a predetermined sequence, as in the Novice level, the judgment of the dealer is severely tested by allowing him to choose among the hands he has not played, the one which is most appropriate for the cards he has been dealt. For instance, if he has a lot of low cards, he might choose Last 2, if they are bunched -- FanTan, and if high cards with a long suit, Tricks. Remember, each of the 4 hands can be chosen only once by each player. Challenging and doubling are also omitted from this level.
The most complex, demanding level of all. It is played exactly as the Intermediate level except the "Challenging" and "Doubling" features are added.

The Setup: To begin the game, the scorecard is placed on the table for reference during the game and cards are removed from the deck, if necessary. Each player chooses a color for challenging and doubling cards (Expert only). A banker is selected to distribute 4-$25's, 4-$100's and 4-$500's to each player. Each player also receives markers for each of the 4 hands he will deal. As he selects a hand (when he is the dealer), he returns the marker for that hand to the banker. Using 2 decks of cards will speed the play by shuffling the 2nd deck to be used for the next hand while the dealer is dealing.

The Deal: Each player selects a card face-down from the deck to determine who deals first. The one with the highest card begins. After the 1st hand, the deal moves in a clockwise direction until each player has dealt 4 times.

Challenging & Doubling: These are features of side bets between 2 players. Once the hand is named by the dealer, the player to the dealer's immediate left declares whom (if anyone) he will challenge, based on his evaluation of his cards. By challenging, the risk is increased beyond the normal play by the difference in the result between the challenger and the one challenged. For example, if the challenger takes 6 tricks in Tricks and the player he challenges takes 2, then the challenger gains $200 (6 - 2 times $50/trick) from his opponent. Of course, the challenger may misjudge his holding and lose money if he does worse than his challenged opponent. If a double is made, the difference is doubled, so in the previous example the gain or loss is now $400 instead of $200. Challenging continues clockwise back to the dealer at which point those challenged have the option to pass or double. The dealer, since he has the advantage of naming the hand, can only challenge on his last hand, but he most certainly can double anyone brave enough to challenge him any time. As the game progresses, there is less risk in challenging the dealer because his choices become more restricted. Each player will give one of his challenge markers to each opponent that he challenges, and a doubling marker is used when applicable.

The Play: The dealer leads first to start the hand except in FanTan if he calls a "start card" which he does not have, then he must pass. After the initial lead, play continues in accordance with the hand rules.

Card Review: Once all of the cards played to a trick have been turned over, the players cannot review (look at again) the cards played.

The Payoff: After each hand is completed, the banker collects from or pays to each player as directed by the scorecard. Side bets are also settled and the deal proceeds to the left until all 4 hands have been dealt once by every player.

Half-time: At the completion of 2 hands dealt by every player, the game is half over. At this point, each player's money is counted, and the amount is announced to everyone. Strategies may be adjusted for the second half based on the various money counts at half-time.

Bankruptcy: If a player is unable to pay his debts at the completion of a hand, he can either borrow $2,500 from the bank and continue to play, or he can take only enough money from the bank to satisfy his debts and retire from the game.

Short Game: Selected hands can be eliminated by agreement of the players to reduce the duration of the game; however, hands selected to be played must be dealt once by everyone. A hand is either eliminated entirely or played by everyone; players cannot selectively choose the hands they will play individually.

Wagering: A simple formula can be used to accommodate those players who enjoy risking more than their egos when they play. The formula involves dividing each player's total amount of end-of game CardSen$e dollars by the total end-of-game CardSen$e dollars and then multiplying that percentage by the total contributed real money. For example, if 6 players each put $20 into the pot to begin the game (giving a total pot of $120), and the following results occurred, the payoff would be as illustrated:

     Player   CardSen$e Money                 Payoff

        1         $   885   ÷ 15,210 x 120 = $  7.00
        2         $ 3,430   ÷ 15,210 x 120 = $ 27.07
        3         $ 1,455   ÷ 15,210 x 120 = $ 11.50
        4         $ 2,635   ÷ 15,210 x 120 = $ 20.80
        5         $ 2,200   ÷ 15,210 x 120 = $ 17.37
        6         $ 4,595   ÷ 15,210 x 120 = $ 36.26

Total Ending      $15,210              Total $120.00
               CardSen$e Money                  Pot
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Last updated: 11th August 1998