Wellsix

Contributed by Fabio Pozzi

There are two players. The game is played with a standard 52-card French suited deck. Each player gets 26 cards of the same color: one takes hearts and diamonds, while the other one takes clubs and spades. The goal of the game is to align six cards of the same color in a row or a column (diagonal lines are not considered).

The game is played in two phases.

  1. In phase 1, each player can use just one suit. Player 1 will use hearts, player 2 spades. The first player puts a card in the middle of the table, face up. After that, each player places two cards at each turn, except for the last turn of this phase, when player 2 will be left with only one card to play. The cards must be placed, face up, in a position adjacent to a card already on the table - above or below, left or right - so that the cards form a grid. If a player wins during the opening phase (very unlikely!), he takes 30 points and the loser none.
  2. In phase 2, each player takes his remaining suit of cards, and can choose between the following types of move:
    1. place a card as in phase1 
    2. switch two of his adjacent cards on the table, or exchange a card on the table with one of the cards in his hand.
    3. capture an adjacent card: cards are captured in a cyclic way: a King can capture only a Queen, a 10 only a 9 and so on; an Ace can capture only a King. The card that has been captured is removed from the table and its place is occupied by the card that has made the move. If an opponent's card is captured, the player puts it face down in his pile of 'seized' cards. If a player captures one of his own cards he adds it to his hand where it is available to be played again in any future move.

In case of capture, the isolation rule holds:

At the end of the opening phase, the cards on the deck form a single adjacent group (i.e. starting from any card one can reach any other, always moving from a card to another one adjacent to it). If a move produces two or more separate groups (i.e. groups of one or more cards, not adjacent each other), the connected group with the most cards remains in the game, while the others are removed. The player who made the move captures the opponent's isolated cards placing them in his 'seized card' pile, and picks up his own cards, adding them to his hand so that they can be played again. If there are two or more groups of the same largest size, the player who made the capture decides which one to keep on the table and removes the other(s).

Each positioning, capture or exchange takes one move. At the start of phase 2, the player who opened the game makes the first move, and after that each player in turn makes two moves. On a two-move turn, a player is allowed to move the same card twice.

If a player makes the winning alignment of six cards, he scores 30 points, while the loser scores 1 point for each of the opponent's card he has seized. If neither player is able to make a winning alignment and for 10 turns in a row there are no seizures of opponent's cards (or if no more seizures are possible) the game is over and each players scores 1 point for each of the opponent's card he has seized.

A match consists of an even number of games; the default number is six, but a different number of games can be decided at the beginning of the match. The two players start the games alternately. The match is won by the player with the highest total score.