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I played a hand of Hearts with someone who had not played cards in a while. When she took her first trick, she started to put the cards in her hand before remembering to put them down. That gave me an idea.

Suppose, when you win a trick, the winning card goes out but the others go into your hand. The goal is perhaps to be either the first or the last to run out of cards.

Is this an existing mechanism?

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You've described something similar to Top Trumps and its many different versions.

When a player wins a trick however they add it to their deck rather than hand but the principle is similar to what you have described.

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