Contributed by Kyle Hoffmaier
Hornipex is a game for 2 to 6 players using a standard 52-card deck without jokers. The objective is to be the first to get rid of all the cards from your hand by playing them to a central 'play pile'. The rules governing which cards can be played and their effects are quite elaborate. They are listed below under 'connections'.
To begin the game, eight cards are dealt to each player, one card is placed face up on the table to begin the play pile and the remainder of the deck is stacked face down beside it.
The player to dealer's left plays first and the turn to play passes clockwise. At your turn you may play one or more cards from your hand face up on top of the play pile and you may be required to draw new cards from the deck and add them to your hand. The card(s) that may be played and the drawing of cards depends on the card(s) that are on top of the play pile.
Your turn ends when you cannot or do not wish to play any more cards to the play pile, or when you play a card that causes your turn to end according to the rules below. Then the turn passes to the next player to the left.
If you are unable to play a card on your turn, or unable to play an additional card hwne required to do so, you must draw one card and the turn passes to the next player.
If the deck runs out, the cards of the play pile are shuffled, except for the top two cards which are left in place, and the shuffled cards are stacked face down to make a new deck.
These are the rules governing cards that may be played. For this purpose the cards have numerical values: 2-10 face value, J=11, Q=12, K=13, A=14. 'Top card' means the card currently on top of the play pile.
Cards with special abilities only acquire those abilities when placed by a player. If a 7, 9, 10, J or Q is turned up when the cards are dealt it just counts as a normal card of that value and the first player follows normal connection rules. However 8's and Aces are still equivalent (see 'Eight' below): if an Eight is turned up, the first player can treat it asd a Ace (and for example follow with the King of the same suit), and if an Ace is turned up it can similarly be treated as an Eight.
A card may be played if it is one rank higher or one lower than the top card and the same suit. For example if the top card is the 3 you may play the 4 and then the 5.
A card may be played if it is the same rank as the top card (but of course a different suit). For example if the top card is the 5 you may play the 5 (copy) and then the 5 (copy) and then the 4 (adjacent).
If you end your turn with a copy, leaving two or three equal ranked cards on top of the play pile and playing no more cards, you must draw one card from the deck. The next player may then continue playing as though any of the equal cards is the top card of the play pile, ignoring the equal cards played after it. For example if you end your turn by playing the 4 and then the 4 you draw a card and the next player may begin her turn by playing the 3 (adjacent to the 4).
If at any point all four cards of one rank are together on top of the play pile, for example 7 7 7 7, the whole play pile is discarded and the current player's turn ends. The next player can begin his turn by playing any card.
Divide or Multiply by whole number
If the top card is a number card (2-10) you may play a number card of the same suit whose value is obtained by multiplying or dividing the value of the top card by any whole number. For example if the top card is the 3 you may play the 6 (×2) or the 9 (×3). If the top card is the 10 you can play the 5 (÷2) or the 2 (÷5 or because it is a wild card - see below). Division and multiplication cannot be used to play a Jack, Queen, King or Ace, or when the top card is a Jack, Queen, King or Ace.
Add, Subtract or Multiply the top two cards
The values of top two cards of the play pile can be added or subtracted or multiplied to play a card of the same suit with value equal to their sum or difference. This connection can involve number cards, pictures or Aces. For example if the top two cards are 4 7 you could play the J (4+7=11) or the 3 (7-4=3). If the top two cards are 4 3 you could add them to play the 7 or multiply them to play the Q.
If the top cards are 9 3 you can add them to play the Q next, but after the Queen you cannot play the 4 next since division of the top two cards is not a connection and a picture cannot be divided by a whole number to make a connection.
If the previous player ended his turn with a copy you can add the top two cards and play a card of the total value in either suit. For example if at the start of your turn the top cards are 6 6 you can begin with the Q or the Q.
Twos, Tens, Aces
The 2, 10, and Ace are 'wild cards' in the sense that they can played when any card of the same suit is on top of the pile.
If you end your turn with a 'wild card' copy you do not have to draw a card.
Whenever a 10 is played, the next player in turn must draw four cards.
Therefore, if you end your turn by playing two 10's, you do not draw any cards but the next player must draw four cards - two cards for each 10.
Whenever a Seven is played, the next player (to the left of the person who played the 7) must draw one card.
An Eight is equivalent to an Ace. That means, for example that:
- Like an Ace, an Eight can always be played on any card of the same suit.
- If you end your turn with two Eights (a copy), you don't have to draw a card.
- If the top cards of the play pile are 2 A the next play could be 4 (8÷2) or 6 (8-2) or 7 (adjacent to 8 or 14÷2) or 9 (adjacent to 8) or 10 (wild) or Q (14-2) or K (adjacent).
If you play a Nine you may follow it with any card of the same suit or another Nine. If you are unable to play on your own Nine you must draw one card. Drawing a card uses up the power of the Nine and your turn ends: the following player must continue using normal connection rules.
If you play Jack you must follow it with another card, which may be any card of any suit. If unable to do this (because the Jack was your last card - generally a mistake) you must draw one card. Drawing a card uses up the power of the Jack and your turn ends: the following player must continue using normal connection rules.
Queens are played in the normal way, but after a Queen if the next card played is a Jack or King (adjacent), the player must draw one card.
End of the Game
The first player who manages to play all their cvards, ending their turn with an empty hand, wins the game.
Note that if you play all your cards but your final play requires you to draw a card - for example if you end with a non-wild copy or a Jack or a Nine - this does not end the game and you have not won. You have to draw and the game continues.
It is a good idea to get rid of all your cards that are not wild cards, Nines or Jacks.
Once you see a way to finish or to end your turn with just one wild card, break all precautions and win.
Do not play so as to put four equal cards together on top of the pile - this gives the next player too great an advantage.
Do not end your turn with a copy if you can avoid it.