Contributed by Michael Daniel (tern01@hotmail.com), who writes: "I made this game because my children wanted Yu-Gi-Oh cards and I really couldn't afford it. Turns out that not only my children but their friends at school love the game. One reason they like it so much is, the children are allowed to bring standard playing cards to school but not trading cards because of stealing , fighting, and such. I hope you like it."

(For two or more players)


To make your opponent(s) run out of cards in their deck before you run out of cards in your deck.


Each player receives a standard deck of 52 playing cards. Each deck should have a different back.



Each player shuffles a deck of cards, passes it to their left, and draws five cards from the deck they’ve been passed.

Play goes around the table clockwise, with players attacking and using Special Cards on the player on their left and defending from their right.

In the first round, only the last player to go can attack.

At the beginning of their turn, the player whose turn it is draws a card from their deck.

When someone is not able to draw the required number of cards from their deck, they can no longer play and lose. The remaining players keep playing until there is one player left.

When cards are sent from a deck to a discard pile, they are turned over one at a time so everyone playing can see.

Playing Attack/Defense Cards

A player can lay down only one Attack/Defense card on their turn but can play as many of the other cards as they wish.

Cards laid vertically are in Attack position. Cards laid horizontally are in Defense position.

Cards must be played face up in the attack position but can be played face up or face down in the Defense position.

Once per turn, at any time during their turn, a player can change the position of one or more of their cards from defense to attack or vice versa. If a card is changed from a defense position to an attack position, it must be turn face up. Once a card is face up it can not be turned face down, no matter what position it is in.

A player may have a maximum of five Attack/Defense cards on the table.


A player attacks and destroys an opponent’s Attack/Defense Card by attacking with an Attack/Defense Card higher than their opponent’s Attack/Defense Card.

A player can use any or all their Attack/Defense Cards on the table in the attack position to attack during their turn. Each Attack/Defense Card must be used one at a time and can only be used once per turn.

On a player’s turn, they can play cards and attack in any order (e.g. attack, play a card or cards, attack with another Attack/Defense Card on the table, and so forth. Keep in mind though, only one Attack/Defense Card can be played per turn.)

The player attacking decides which of their opponent’s cards they are attacking.

When a card is in the attack position and it is attacked and destroyed by an Attack/Defense Card, the player whose card was attacked and destroyed must discard the card that was destroyed, any equip cards attached to it and transfer the number cards equal to the difference between the two cards from the top of their deck to the discard pile.

When a card is in the defense position and it is attacked and destroyed by an Attack/Defense Card, the player whose card was attacked and destroyed must discard the card that was destroyed and any equip cards attached to it but does not discard any cards from their deck.

If the card attacking a card in the defense is less than the defending card, the attacking player must send the difference between the two cards from his deck to the discard pile but the attacking player’s Attack/Defense Card is left alone.

If a player is attacked and does not have Attack/Defense cards on the table, they must send the number of cards equal to the attacking card’s attack points from their deck to the discard pile.

Special Cards

Special Cards are used directly from a player’s hand.

Except for the Ten, Special Cards can only be used on a player’s turn.

The Aces, King, and Jack can only be played on the person that you are supposed to attack.

Helpful Tips

To avoid confusion, keep the discard pile with the cards face up. Turn the discard pile face down if you are shuffling it and drawing a card (see Special Cards>Queen).

When a card is destroyed or played it goes to its original owner’s discard pile.

When you are done with your turn, say to the next player to go, "Draw a card."

To remember what the card descriptions are, you may wish to make a copy of the card descriptions page for every player to put by them during the game.

The Cards

Special Cards (any suit):

Ace - Like a bullet or missile, it destroys one of your opponent’s Attack/ Defense cards on the table.

King - Is so strong he doesn’t waste his time fighting, he sends the top card from the top of your opponent’s deck to their discard pile.

Queen - Who only wants to heal, allows you to shuffle your discard pile and draw the top card from it, and put it in your hand without anyone else seeing it. Once a Queen is played or discarded, it is removed from the rest of the game and not sent to the discard pile.

Jack - Is a thief, he takes one card from the top of your opponent’s deck and adds it to your hand.

10 - Is the perfect force to stop an attack. Play this card from your hand when you are attacked and you don’t lose any cards, not even the card that was attacked.

9 - Looks like a number even upside down (in other words reversed), so reverse direction of play (i.e. If you were attacking to the left and defending from the right, you now attack to the right and defend from the left). In a two-player game this card obviously does nothing and can be discarded or held in your hand. If a player has more than one nine in their hand they may strategically play them. For example, a player can attack one person, play a nine to reverse directions, attack the other player with any Attack/Defense Card(s) he has not used, play a nine to reverse directions again, and so forth.

8 - Likes to eat so it can hear its name when it’s done, so everyone, including the player that plays it, discards all the cards in their hand and draws the same number of cards from their deck. The eight is not replaced since it is no longer in the player’s hand when it’s played.

Attack/Defense Cards;

Spades - Like to fight, double attack, normal defense.

Hearts - Don’t like to fight, double defense, normal attack.

Clubs - Just like being part of the club ... er, game, normal attack, normal defense.

6, 7 - A player must discard one Attack/Defense Card and any Equip Cards attached to it from the table to play one of these cards.

2, 3, 4, 5 - Normal play.

Equip Cards (Diamonds);

2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 - Diamonds are like money that can get you more things. Add half the card’s value (rounded down) to the attack and defense of an Attack/Defense Card. A maximum of two Equip Cards can be played on an Attack/Defense Card. An Attack/Defense Card must be face up to play an Equip Card on it.

Optional Rules

Once everyone playing U-G-O knows the rules, some changes or additions can be made to the standard rules.

For example, the Aces can be given more specific rules. The Ace of Spades could be used on all of your opponent’s Attack/ Defense Cards in the attack position. The Ace of Hearts could be used on all of your opponent’s Attack/ Defense Cards in the defense position. The Ace of Clubs could be used on all of your opponent’s Attack/ Defense Cards no matter what the position. The Aces of Diamonds could be used on all of your opponent’s Equip Cards.

Another example is to change the rules for the Nines to, "if a player uses a Special Card on you, you can stop them from using it take their card and use it on them", This rule change is especially good in two player games.

Last updated: 8th November 2003