heart  club  PARCELLUS  diamond  spade 

Number of Players: Three.

The Deck: 24 Cards (strip out 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).

Other Equipment: The surplus cards may be used for scoring.

Object: To capture as many cards, in as many parcels, as possible.

The Deal: Cards are dealt into four piles of six cards; one pile for each player, and one "common" deck.

The Pass: Players pick up their own piles and look at their cards. Each player chooses three cards from her hand and passes them to the player on her left. Players must choose which cards to pass before seeing the cards they receive from their right-hand opponent.

The Play: The dealer turns the first card from the common deck face up. The player to her left may either add the next higher card of the same colour (adding to the parcel) or pass. The next player may also add to this with the next higher card of the same colour or pass. An Ace may be followed by a nine. A player may pass even where she could play a consecutive card. Play continues until all three players pass.

Once this pass occurs, the last player that contributed to the parcel captures it, and turns up the next card from the common deck. The next player to the left is the first to play on this new card. If the parcel is one card, all players passing, then the player that turned up the card captures it and turns up another.

If a player runs out of cards, she is automatically assumed to pass for the remainder of the deal.

For example West turns up Jspade, North plays Qclub, South passes, West plays Kclub, North passes, South plays Aspade, West passes, North plays 9club, South plays 10club, West passes, North passes, South passes. South scores 6 points, one parcel, and turns up the next card from the common deck.

The Scoring: Each card captured is worth one point, except for the Jheart, which is worth three points. The player who captures the most parcels (of one or more cards) in a deal receives six bonus points. If there is a tie for greatest number of parcels, then the bonus is shared equally among the two or three that tied.

To Win: A match is played to 30 points. Highest score past this total wins.

If scores are tied, or if no player has reached 30 points, once the six parcels are decided the deal as outlined above is rotated, and the direction of the pass is alternated.

© Matthew Shields 2008

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Last updated: 10th March 2008