Created by Gavin Clarke 

This game is for two players, using a Standard international 52-card deck plus two Jokers.
A scorecard is available with space for six rounds of play space. Players circle the relevant point values and add them. 

Each player is dealt a hand of 8 cards that they can look at, plus two face-down safety cards that may not be viewed until later in the game.

The goal of Jokers is to have the most points at the end of an agreed number of rounds. Each rounds takes about 5-10 minutes to play. A round is won by collecting a 'full hand' - a hand that consists entirely of sets (3 or 4 equal ranked cards) and runs (sequences of 3 or more consecutive cards in suit, Aces counting as low, next to the Two). The same card cannot be used in a set and a run at the same time. For example:

  • All run: all 8 cards make up a run (ex. Aheart,2heart,3heart,4heart,5heart,6heart,7heart,8heart)
  • Run full house: two runs of any length (ex. 5diamond 6diamond,7diamond,8diamond,9diamond; Jspade,Qspade,Kspade)
  • Match full house: two 4 card matches  (ex. Adiamond,Aspade,Aclub,Aheart; 9spade, 9heart, 9diamond,9club)
  • Match half house: a 4 match and short run (ex. 9spade, 9heart, 9diamond,9club; 4heart,5heart,6heart,7heart)
  • Run half house: 3 match and long run (ex. Aspade,Aclub,Aheart; 3heart,4heart,5heart,6heart,7heart)

In order to get a full hand you must 'trade' cards, by discarding unwanted cards and drawing cards that you want to keep.
On each turn, you get two trades. To perform a trade you take all the cards in your hand that you do not want and pace them face up on the discard pile. Then you draw the same number of cards that you discarded from the top of the draw pile. Once you've done two trades your turn is over. You should always have 8 cards in your hand after each trade.

There are two ways that a round can end.

  1. One of the players achieves a full hand and declares it, winning the round after which the other player gets just one more turn to make two trades. The other player has lost even if they also manage to make a full hand.
  2. There are no cards remaining in the deck so that further trades are not possible. In this case both players have lost.

Jokers are the best cards in the entire deck because they can be used as wild cards. They can take the place of any card in the deck. If you have two jokers in your hand at the end of a round you will score double joker points.

Safety cards are the two extra face-down cards that you are dealt but are not allowed to look at. If there is a card in the discard pile that you want, then when it is your turn you may turn one of your safety cards face up. The value of the safety card determines how deep into the discard pile you can go (Ace=1, Pip cards face value, Jack=11, Queen=12, King=13). You have two options:

  1. Take one card from the discard pile, up to and including the depth indicated by the safety card and add it to your hand. Then discard the safety card and discard one card from your hand, or
  2. Take the safety card itself and add it to your hand. then discard one card from your hand.

After you have used a safety card it is gone for the rest of that round (unless you or your opponent uses another safety card to recover it from the discard pile). Using a safety card does not count as a trade.

A color win or loss occurs when all your cards are the same color at the end of the round. Jokers count for whatever color you want them to. 

If you have both jokers in your hand at the end of the round you get 5 extra bonus points.

Full hand (win): a full hand is the hand you get for getting to a full hand first you win the round. Once you win the round the other player still gets one turn to do what they can to get more points. If you win the round you get 20 points plus whatever points you get for hand you have:

Round win: 20
All run (8-card run): 100
Run full house (two runs): 60
Match full house (two sets): 65
Match half house (4-card set plus run): 50
Run half house (3-card set plus run): 55
Color win: 15
Double joker: 5

Lost hand: you have a lost hand is when the other player is the first to declare a full hand, or when the deck runs out before either player has declared a full hand. You still get points for whatever hand you have but not as many, and the scoring system is different.

Short run (3-4 cards): 20  
Long run (5-7 cards): 40  
All run loss (8 cards): 75  
Match (3 cards): 10  
First 30  
Second 4-card Match: 35  
Color loss: 15  
Double joker: 5  
Extra cards (not used in a set or run) -5 subtract 5 points for each extra card

Note that a lost hand can score more points than winning hand in some cases.

At the end of the agreed number of rounds, you total up all the points and the player with more points is the winner.

Last updated: 13th November 2019