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SPLATOIDS

Splatoids is a simple game, and yet loads of fun to play.  It can be played by 2,3 or 4 players.  Each player has hand cards and table cards.  Hand cards must always be used before table cards can be touched.  All a player has to do is equal or beat the top card of the discard pile.  If they can do that, play passes to the next person.  If they cant do that, they have to pick up whatever is in the discard pile at that time.  Table cards consist of face up cards, and face down cards (also called blind cards).  A player may play safe and choose a face up card, or they may take a gamble and choose a face down card.  A player may be forced to play a blind card, and then its all down to luck.  Get 3 or more cards of the same value in a row, and the whole discard pile at that time disappears.  Use a 10, and the discard pile disappears, use a 2 and the value to equal or beat is reset to 2.  Lose all your cards, and you win.  Good luck.

 

2 Players

The game is played with 1 deck of cards (52 cards – no jokers).  The deck is shuffled and dealt thus :-

1.         Each player is dealt 4 face down cards side by side.  These 8 cards can be dealt in any order to help with shuffling and randomness.

2.         Each player is then dealt 4 face up cards, 1 on top of each face down card.  Again, these 8 cards can be dealt in any order.

3.         Each player is then dealt another 4 face down cards, 1 on top of each face up card.  Again, these 8 cards can be dealt in any order.

4.         Each player is then dealt another 4 face up cards as per instruction 2.

5.         Each player is then dealt another 4 face down cards as per instruction 3.

6.         Each player is then dealt another 4 face up cards as per instruction 2.

Each player should now have in front of him or her 4 piles of 6 cards.  These are the “Table Cards”.  The bottom card of each pile should be face down and the top card should be face up.  Cards in between will be alternated between face up and face down.

There will now be 8 remaining cards which will be the players’ initial hands, and these are dealt thus :-

1.         The player who is to go first receives the first card face down.

2.         The player who is to go second receives the second card face down.

3.         This process is then repeated so both players have 2 cards each.

Players must now tidy their table cards into 4 neat piles so only the top cards’ values are shown.  Whilst doing this they are not allowed to willingly sift through their piles to see the 3 face up cards (or face down cards for that matter) in each pile, otherwise a possible advantage will be gained.  Looking at the cards as they are being dealt is fine, but purposely looking through them is not allowed.  Anyone doing so is disqualified and that player has automatically lost, deeming the other player the winner.  At any time during the game, a player can request that the other player tidies their table cards if values of cards other than the top card of each pile are on show.

 

3 Players

The game is played with 2 decks of cards (104 cards – no jokers).  The decks are shuffled together and dealt thus :- 

1.         Each player is dealt 5 face down cards side by side.  These 15 cards can be dealt in any order to help with shuffling and randomness.

2.         Each player is then dealt 5 face up cards, 1 on top of each face down card.  Again, these 15 cards can be dealt in any order.

3.         Each player is then dealt another 5 face down cards, 1 on top of each face up card.  Again, these 15 cards can be dealt in any order.

4.         Each player is then dealt another 5 face up cards as per instruction 2.

5.         Each player is then dealt another 5 face down cards as per instruction 3.

6.         Each player is then dealt another 5 face up cards as per instruction 2.

Each player should now have in front of him or her 5 piles of 6 cards.  These are the “Table Cards”.  The bottom card of each pile should be face down and the top card should be face up.  Cards in between will be alternated between face up and face down.

There will now be 14 remaining cards which will be the players’ initial hands, and these are dealt thus :-

1.         The player who is to go first receives the first card face down.

2.         The player who is to go second receives the second card face down.

3.         The player who is to go third receives the third card face down.

4.         This process is then repeated so players one & two have 5 cards each.  Player 3 will have 4 cards.

Players must now tidy their table cards into 5 neat piles so only the top cards’ values are shown.  Whilst doing this they are not allowed to willingly sift through their piles to see the 3 face up cards (or face down cards for that matter) in each pile, otherwise a possible advantage will be gained.  Looking at the cards as they are being dealt is fine, but purposely looking through them is not allowed.  Anyone doing so is disqualified, their cards (hand cards & table cards) are removed from the game and that player has automatically lost.  At any time during the game, a player can request that another player tidies their table cards if values of cards other than the top card of each pile are on show.

 

4 Players

The game is played with 2 decks of cards (104 cards – no jokers).  The decks are shuffled together and dealt thus :-

1.         Each player is dealt 4 face down cards side by side.  These 16 cards can be dealt in any order to help with shuffling and randomness.

2.         Each player is then dealt 4 face up cards, 1 on top of each face down card.  Again, these 16 cards can be dealt in any order.

3.         Each player is then dealt another 4 face down cards, 1 on top of each face up card.  Again, these 16 cards can be dealt in any order.

4.         Each player is then dealt another 4 face up cards as per instruction 2.

5.         Each player is then dealt another 4 face down cards as per instruction 3.

6.         Each player is then dealt another 4 face up cards as per instruction 2.

Each player should now have in front of him or her 4 piles of 6 cards.  These are the “Table Cards”.  The bottom card of each pile should be face down and the top card should be face up.  Cards in between will be alternated between face up and face down.

There will now be 8 remaining cards which will be the players’ initial hands, and these are dealt thus :-

1.         The player who is to go first receives the first card face down.

2.         The player who is to go second receives the second card face down.

3.         The player who is to go third receives the third card face down.

4.         The player who is to go fourth receives the fourth card face down.

5.         This process is then repeated so all players have 2 cards each.

Players must now tidy their table cards into 4 neat piles so only the top cards’ values are shown.  Whilst doing this they are not allowed to willingly sift through their piles to see the 3 face up cards (or face down cards for that matter) in each pile, otherwise a possible advantage will be gained.  Looking at the cards as they are being dealt is fine, but purposely looking through them is not allowed.  Anyone doing so is disqualified, their cards (hand cards & table cards) are removed from the game and that player has automatically lost.  At any time during the game, a player can request that another player tidies their table cards if values of cards other than the top card of each pile are on show.

 

OBJECTIVE

The idea of the game is to lose all your cards.  In a single game, play is halted as soon as any one player has no cards left, and this player is deemed the winner.  In matchplay, the game continues till only one player is left with cards.

 

GAMEPLAY

The basic premise is to play a card (or cards of equal rank) onto the discard pile, of equal or higher rank than the current top card of the discard pile.  Of course, the player who goes first and any player whose turn it is after a “pick up” or “wipeout” will be playing onto an empty pile, in which case any card (or cards of equal rank) can be played.

 

RANKING SYSTEM

From lowest to highest:- 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, J, Q, K, A.  Suits are of no importance.

 

THE WIPEOUT RULE

The ‘10’ is called the “Wipeout Card” and can be played onto ANY card.  This has the effect of rendering the whole discard pile obsolete (including the 10 or 10’s that were played), and is removed from the game for good.  The player who played the 10 or 10’s now has another go (onto an empty discard pile of course).

 

THE 3+ RULE

If at any time, 3 or more cards of the same rank are on top of the discard pile, this has the same effect as playing a ‘10’.  The whole pile (including the cards just played to create a run of 3 or more of the same rank) is removed from the game for good, and the player who created the run of 3 or more has another go (onto an empty discard pile of course).  To create a run of 3 or more cards, a player can add to the existing discard pile top card equaling its rank, or play 3 or more legal higher ranked cards.

 

THE RESET RULE

The ‘2’ can also be played onto ANY card.  Play then passes to the next player (unless the “3+ Rule” comes into effect), and this player has to equal or beat 2, which of course every card does.

 

LEGAL CARD

A legal card is a ‘2’, ‘10’, or any card that is of equal or higher rank than the top card of the discard pile.  Before play passes to the next person, a player can add cards of equal rank to the legal card he or she has just played.  If a wipeout is achieved using a ‘10’ or by the “3+ Rule”, then of course that player can choose any rank of card to play to the empty discard pile, but again, can only add cards of equal rank before play passes to the next person.  The number of cards played by a person during their turn is not limited to any number, as long as all rules are adhered to.

 

THE PICK UP RULE

If a player can not play a legal card when it is their turn, that player MUST pick up the whole discard pile, without adding any hand cards or table cards to it.  This player’s turn has now ended and play passes to the next person.  When a player has cards in his or her hands, they can only look for legal cards amongst this hand – table cards are unplayable.

 

TABLE CARDS

The table cards can only be played when a player has NO cards in his or her hand and it is their turn.  When this is the case, the table cards can be played in any order, whether face up or face down.  A face down card (blind card) can be played onto any card, since the value is not known.

If a face up card is chosen, and it is a legal card, the player can then add on any face up cards he or she has of the same rank from the top of their table piles if they wish to do so, remembering the “3+ Rule”.

If a face down card is chosen, it is turned over onto the discard pile in a manner that allows all players (including the one playing the card) to see the face of the card at the same time.  Turning over to allow yourself to see it first destroys the tension created by possible pick ups, since people will tell by the look on your face, as well as the fact that all players have a right to see any blind card that comes into play.

If this previously face down card is a legal card, the player can then add on any face up cards he or she has of the same rank from the top of their table piles if they wish to do so, remembering again the “3+ Rule”.  If the previously face down card is not legal, the player MUST pick up the whole pile and play passes to the next person.

A player can choose to play a blind card even if they have legal face up cards on top of their table piles.

 

THE ‘MUST PLAY’ RULE

If a player has at least one legal card to play, they MUST play.  A player can not CHOOSE to pick up the discard pile under any circumstances, only be FORCED to pick it up when they have no legal card to play.  Obviously this requires a degree of honesty from a player with cards in his or her hand.  If a player is found to have cheated by picking up the discard pile when they had a legal card to play, that player is disqualified.  All that players cards (hand cards & table cards) are removed from the game and play continues with the remaining players.  That player has automatically lost.  If a player is disqualified during their turn, play passes to the next person as soon as the disqualification is dealt with.

 

THE DISTURB RULE

If a player disturbs his or her table cards, revealing the identity of one or more face down cards, these cards must be the next ones that player uses, once any hand cards are used.  Only one card at a time can be played (as they are still classed as blind), even if it is obvious the top card of the discard pile can not be equaled or beaten.  In this case, the player would play their ‘blind’ card and pick up the whole pile.  If, after using all these hand cards, there are still blind cards whose identity was revealed earlier, these must be used first before that player gets freedom of choice again.  If a card in question is legal, and a player has equally ranked face up cards on their table piles, they can NOT add these cards to the discard pile as they would in normal play, unless the blind card just used was the last one whose identity is known.

 

THE FOLLOW ON RULE 

If a player uses their last hand card or cards, they can then add on any face up cards from the top of their table piles that are of the same rank, before play passes to the next person.  If they choose not to, they must signal to the next player it is now their turn.  If a player does not signal after a short time (or at least indicate that they are considering the possibility of playing extra cards), the next player may take their turn.  This is because occasionally people do forget they have a face up card of the same rank, and therefore it is their own fault.  When a face up card is played and a player still has one or more face up cards of the same rank on top of their table piles, again they must indicate to the next player when they have played their chosen amount.  As before, if no indication is made in a short time, play passes to the next person.

 

SHOWING CARDS

If a player is caught willingly showing someone their hand, or even telling someone what they have (whether they are telling the truth or not), then they are disqualified.  Their cards are removed from the game (hand cards & table cards) and play continues with the remaining players.  If a player is disqualified during their turn, play passes to the next person as soon as the disqualification is dealt with.

 

SINGLE GAME

A single game ends when a player has no cards left in their hand and on the table.  This player is the winner.  All cards are collected and dealt by whoever chooses.  As each game is started, ‘first go’ moves on one person clockwise (so in a 4 player game for example, a player will have first go every 4 games), and the order of play is reversed.  Therefore every other game will have play going clockwise through the players, with the games in between these having play going anticlockwise through the players.

 

MATCHPLAY

3 Player Game

The player who is first to have no cards left is awarded 2 points.  The play then passes to the next person.  The discard pile is kept in play, unless the last card played was a ‘10’ or achieved the “3+ Rule”, in which case the discard pile is removed from the game and play passes to the next person.  The player who is second to have no cards left is awarded 1 point.  The player who still has cards remaining is not awarded any points, and has to collect the cards, shuffle them and deal the next game.  ‘First go’ is moved on one player clockwise, as with a single game.  Play is also reversed as in a single game.

The winner is the first person to reach an agreed amount of points.  This value is determined before the first game of the match is played.

If required, points can be dispensed with, and players can just play solely to see who deals the next game.

 

4 Player Game

The player who is first to have no cards left is awarded 3 points.  The play then passes to the next person.  The discard pile is kept in play, unless the last card played was a ‘10’ or achieved the “3+ Rule”, in which case the discard pile is removed from the game and play passes to the next person.  The player who is second to have no cards left is awarded 2 points.  As before, play passes to the next person and the discard pile is handled accordingly.  The player who is third to have no cards left is awarded 1 point.  The game is now over.  The player who still has cards remaining is not awarded any points, and has to collect the cards, shuffle them and deal the next game.  ‘First go’ is moved on one player clockwise, as with a single game.  Play is also reversed as in a single game.

The winner is the first person to reach an agreed amount of points.  This value is determined before the first game of the match is played.

If required, points can be dispensed with, and players can just play solely to see who deals the next game.

 

STALEMATE

A stalemate can only occur with 3 players, whether in a 3 player game or when only 3 players remain from a 4 player game.  For example, all 3 players have table cards left, each pile having a face up card on top.  Players 1 & 3 have 1 hand card, and player 2 has no hand cards.  Player 1 plays his or her card which player 2’s table cards can not beat, and so he or she picks up.  Player 3 then has to play the only hand card they have, which player 1 can not beat, and so picks up.  Player 2 then plays the card they picked up last time round, which player 3 can not beat, and picks up.  This process will then go on for ever.  A similar situation can occur when other cards can be played at certain points, but may jeopordise a players chances of winning.  They therefore choose to play the cards that are best for them and another never ending circle is created.  If a continuous situation is created with no table cards being played, and no player willing (or possibly able) to choose differently, then the game is drawn for those 3 players.  Each player receives 1 point (if points are being used of course) and draws a card from the 104 card shuffled deck.  Lowest card deals the next game.  Equal draws by all 3 players means draw again.  If 2 players draw equally and are lower than the third player, then they continue drawing until 1 loses.