A while ago, I played this card game with a handful of my friends. We used regular poker cards. We started playing the games without being told the rules. The only thing we were told was that it was like UNO in that:

  1. You wanted to get rid of all your cards in your hand
  2. When it was your turn you can put a card down
  3. You put cards down corresponding to their suit and/or number.

Any time we did something wrong we were penalized with a card. The point of the game was to figure out the rules of the game, by seeing how everyone was penalized. At the end of the game, when someone won, that winner got to make up his own rules which would be added to the next game. The rules would not be announced and would have to figured out by everyone who didn't know the rules.

Here are some of the penalties that I remember:

  1. Being an idiot
  2. Asking about the rules
  3. Touching your cards in "Court of Order"

Here were some of the rules (that I remember):

  1. When a Jack was placed, the next card had to be the same suite.
  2. When a Queen was placed, you had to stand up and say "Hail the Queen"

I know there were more rules, but I can't remember them. I also can't remember the name of the game. I want to know what the normal default rules that you start out with, but I can't remember them all/I would like to introduce this game to some of my friends who haven't played it. I would Google it and get information online, but I can't remember the name of the game.

Does someone know the name of the game and/or some of the rules used in the beginning of the game?

  • Any card game that penalizes touching the cards in any situation (especially dealer's respect) is a game I don't want to be playing. (This is why I don't play Mao, BTW.)
    – Joe Z.
    Feb 22, 2013 at 14:56
  • 1
    Point of order: it's a point of order, not a court of order.
    – Vynce
    Dec 12, 2015 at 0:11

2 Answers 2


Sounds a lot like Mao (which I was introduced to as Chairmen).

It's a card-shedding game (i.e. like Uno) with secret rules that can vary by playing group. As the game goes on, more rules are added but not directly explained. The game typically goes on until everyone gives up.

Some sample starting rules might include these ones that are fairly common when I've played it:

  • Ace skips the next player's turn
  • Jack reverses the play order
  • 8 allows anyone to play a card of the same suit immediately. Play continues from that person onwards.
  • Spades must be named out loud
  • 7 must be followed by saying "That's the badger" (after saying "7 of spades" if appropriate)
  • Kings and Queens must be saluted
  • You must say "last card" when you have one card remaining
  • You must say "Mao" when you go out ("Taking the Chairman's name in vain" at any other time faces a hefty three-card penalty)
  • Do you think there are many resources online about the starting rules? Feb 20, 2013 at 14:25
  • @RobAveryIV I believe the rules tend to differ based on who you play it with. Part of the beauty of teaching it is that you can add rules that have been good in the past. Different groups of players might have different starting rules! I'll add some example starting rules to my answer, though.
    – Johno
    Feb 20, 2013 at 14:28
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    When I played Mao I couldn't see any reason not to try to collect the entire deck, so I just accrued a continuous stream of penalties until people told me I was ruining the game and maybe I should leave. I was probably being a big jerk, but on the other hand it might be worth giving people some kind of advice that picking up cards is bad before letting them join in... Feb 20, 2013 at 14:38
  • 9
    When someone adds a rule about not playing two co-prime cards in a row, you know you need to stop playing.
    – Nick
    Feb 20, 2013 at 15:27
  • 4
    @thesunneversets: Per Wikipedia, the game's being a "shedding-type" game basically means that new players should know two things: that the object is to empty your hand, and "the only rule you may be told is the one I am telling you now".
    – KeithS
    Feb 20, 2013 at 18:29

It's probably either Mao or Bartok - I play like this, except the new rule created at the end of each round is announced.

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