Contributed by Tom Acker


To have the most amount of "convicts" in your "prison".


A standard 52-card deck is used, with aces ranking low (below twos) and kings high.

Someone starts out as the dealer. The dealer will deal out one card face down to each player. The player will keep this card and put it in his "prison". Then the game starts.

The dealer first starts with himself he either "passes" or "hunts" . If he passes it's the next person's turn . If he hunts he deals a card face up in the center. This card is now know as a "convict", that is his convict and now it is the next players turn.

The next player can either "pass" or "hunt". If he hunts, the dealer deals him a card face up and he is trying to catch a "criminal", that is to be dealt a higher number than any player before him. For example: If player 1 hunts and gets a 6, it's now player 2's turn. He hunts and gets an 8. Now he would be winning so far.

Next it would be the next players turn and he has the same options: to pass or hunt. When everyone has had a turn to pass or hunt, whichever of the hunters has the highest face up card wins all the "convicts" (face up cards) and he puts them face down in his prison.

If two or more hunters have equally high cards, the dealer deals each of them another card and these new cards decide who wins all the convicts.

The turn to deal then passes to the left, the dealer passing on the undealt portion of the pack. The new dealer has the first option to hunt or pass in this new round.

The Twist:

There are certain cards that you don't want to have. When one of these special cards is dealt, the current hunt ends - the players after you have no chance to pass or hunt and whoever has the highest face up card takes all the face up cards and puts them in their prison. These special cards are the red jacks and the red aces and here is what they do.

Red Jack (Liberators):

They are "liberators". When you hunt and are dealt one, it frees all your "convicts" from your prison. These convicts are shuffled back into the deck while the red jack is put into the prison with the lowest number of convicts (the red jack doesn't free these convicts he is stuck there until the other jack frees him). At the end of the game red jacks count as 3 points.

Red Ace (Inspectors):

When you are dealt a red ace, the inspector passes judgment on your prison and if you have more than 12 convicts you must release half of them (rounded up, if you had an odd number of prisoners). If you have less than 12 convicts than you get to take convicts from other players prisons until you get 12 convicts. As far as possible, you must take equal numbers of convicts from each other player's prison. If an opponent's proson is empty, you continue taking equally from the others, until the number of prisoners you need is less than the number of players with prisoners available. Then you take one further prisoner from the players who have most to reach your quota of 12.

There are also cards that help you, namely:

Black Kings ( District Attorneys):

These people if dealt to you immediately win the current hunt for you. No further cards are dealt to other players, and you win all the convincts in the hunt, plus 5 extra cards directly dealt into your prison from the top of the deck. The black king goes into your prison after use.

Keeping score:

Score is as follows. All cards are worth 1 point if they are in your prison with the exception of these cards:

  • Red Jacks: 3 points
  • Red Aces: 2 points
  • Any 2 (red or black): 4 points

The game ends when the dealer runs out of cards to deal. Whoever then has the most points wins the game.

Home Page > Invented Games > Jailbreak
Last updated: 29th May 2005