La Krap

Contributed by Paavo Suhonen (

(3 to 6 players)

The deck

The deck consists of the cards A-7 of two normal decks (that is 8 Aces, 8 Kings etc. two of each suit), one red joker, two black jokers, four 2's (one of each suit), and a blank card (the five of clubs can be used) - the "sheet". The cards rank in order from highest to lowest A, 10, K, Q, J, 9, 8, 7. The jokers are highest trumps and the red joker is higher than the black one. The 2's and the sheet are special cards and will be discussed later on.

The deal

Each player is dealt six cards face down, two cards at a time. The seventh card is dealt to each player face up and it declares the teams. Those, who get red cards play against those who get black ones. The jokers are a separate team and at this point the sheet is considered as a joker. If all the players would be in the same team, there will be no teams and everyone plays for themselves.

After this, the top card of the deck is turned over to indicate a game. If a card greater than a 9 is drawn, the play will be a trump game with the suit of the drawn card as trumps. If it is a 9,8 or 7, a game of null is played without trumps, but the jokers are the highest cards of the suit of the drawn card. If a red joker is drawn, it quadruples the score for the hand and another card is drawn to indicate game. Black jokers double the score. If a 2 is drawn a normal trump game is played, but with no right to exchange cards. If the sheet is drawn, there are no teams and a null is played with all the jokers counting as sheets.

The exchange

Every player has the right to exchange up to six cards from his hand into the ones in the deck. After the exchange, players have the right to expose up to 3 cards from their hand, but this must be done simultaneously.

The play

The play is a normal trick taking game with a few exceptions.

  1. If two identical cards are played in the same trick, they neutralise one another and will be treated as if neither of them was laid down on the trick. Example (Hearts as trumps): heartA-heartK-heartK-spade7-heartA. The spade seven would take the trick, since the Aces and kings have been neutralised.
  2. If a 2 is played in the trick, it neutralises the card played just before it if it is the same suit as the two. If not, the two is considered the lowest card of it's suit, this is also the case when the first card in a trick is a 2.
  3. If the sheet is played, it neutralises every card in the trick save the one played just before it. If the trick is started by the sheet, it just neutralises itself and does nothing.
  4. If all cards in the trick are neutralised, the trick is dead and the player on lead gets it.

There is no such thing as double neutralisation - i.e. a neutraliser card can't be neutralised, as it should be treated as though it had never entered the trick. There is also no obligation to follow the suit of a neutralised card. Example: heart9-spadeJ-heart9-? the next card should follow spades rather than hearts, as the hearts should be treated as though they had never been there.

After taking a trick a player can announce a marriage (the K and Q of the same suit) for 5 extra points for the team. The next trick must be started by either of the two cards.

The score

Every player in the team scores the same amount. A team's points consist of the tricks they have taken, the marriages they have announced and the number of opponents they have played against. The team gets 1 p. for every player who has taken 1 trick, 4 p. for each that has taken 2 tricks, 9 p. for 3 tricks, 16 p. for 4, 25 p. for 5, 36 for 6 and 49 p. for 7 tricks taken by one player. This and the 5 points scored for each announced marriage are added together and multiplied by the number of opponents the team has played against. The score for null is calculated in the same manner, but all points are negative.

Each player keeps a score of their own, as teams do change constantly. After a fixed number of rounds have been played, the player with the most points wins.

Last updated: 25th August 2003