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Suns to Moons

Contributed by Paul Michael Hines

Brief Description of Game: This game can be played with any deck of standard cards, 2 – Ace, including two Jokers. The game can be played by 2 or more people. Extra decks can be added if there are not enough cards. The game is math oriented, requiring the player to be able to add positive and negative numbers. This is a great game for learning how to add, especially with negatives.


Five cards are dealt out to each player face down, and then one card is placed horizontally in the center face up. This center card shows the initial value of the deck. If a 4 is placed then the first value of the deck is 4.

The values of the cards are 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J(11), Q(12), K(13), A(14 or 1). The value of the Ace is either 14 or one, at the player’s discretion.

The player to the right of the dealer is the first to go, and players take turns counter-clockwise around the table. After the play is over and the hand is scored, the player to the right of the dealer will become the new dealer.

A turn consists of playing one card face up in the center, overlapping the cards previously played there. These overlapped cards form the "deck" and each card added changes the value of the deck. A card played horizontally (parallel to the initial card) adds value to the deck, and a card played vertically (at right angles to the initial card) subtracts value from it. Each card may be used as either positive or negative but the player cannot make the value of the deck exceed 10 or -10 unless the player has no choice. For example if the current deck value is 1 and a player has nothing but kings, the new value would have to be -12 or +14.

The goal of the game is to make the value of the deck equal to the point score of the player who currently has the highest score. For example if the player who is currently in the lead has a score of 5, the object is to make the deck value equal to 5. At the start of the game no one has any points, the highest player’s score at the beginning is 0, and therefore the goal is to get to 0.

Goal is 0: 11(11) – 4(7) – 2(5) + 2(7) – 10(-3) + 8(5) – 5(0)
Note: Current score is inside parenthesis.

When one player achieves the goal, they are awarded 1 point, added to their score. So in the second game one player will have a score of 1 and the goal will be to get to 1.

Goal is 2: 4(4) – 7(-3) + 9(6) – 12(-6) + 3(-3) + 3(0) – 4(-4) + 9(5) – 3(2)

Five new cards are dealt to any person who uses all of their cards, but not until that happens.

At the end of the round, when the goal is reached and the winner scores a point, the used cards (the dealt cards and the turned up deck cards) will be put into a junk pile. The cards for the next round will be dealt from the unused card pile. The junk cards will be combined with the unused card pile and reshuffled when there are not enough cards to be dealt out.

The Joker card is used to remove the value of the previous card. The Joker card should played so as to conceal the previous card. The player who plays a Joker is able to play the Joker and 1 other card. In some cases you may have a Joker and a card which will force you to exceed 10 or -10, the Joker card must be used first. If a Joker is laid down as the very first card then the initial value of the deck is 0.

Goal is 2: 7(7) – 10(-3) + 6(3) +6(9) – 4(5) – 13(-8) + 13(5) ~JOKER~ - 9(-4) +4(0) + 2(2)

The shortest round allowed is two turns, or the third card. If the goal is reached with fewer than three cards in the deck, this does not count as a win. Play continues and the goal must be reached again, with a deck of three or more cards. In particular, if the initial center card happens to be equal to the goal (for example if the center card is a joker in the first deal), this has no effect on the play. The goal must be reached again with a deck of three or more cards.

Goal is 4: 11(11) – 12(-1) + 5(4)

The game is finished when a player reaches a total score of 10. The scoring is simple: at the beginning each player has 0 and each additional round that player wins they get 1 point.

Player 1’s score is 2, Player 2’s score is 3. The goal of the next round will be to get 3.

Note: The game may seem a little challenging or difficult to at the beginning, especially to keep track of the values and the value of J, Q, K, A, but the game will get easier as you play.


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Last updated: 4th August 2011