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Pips: Original Playing Card and Dice Games


Players:  2 or more (best with 2-4)
Average Duration:
40-50 minutes - 2 players
60-75 minutes - 3 players
150-180 minutes - 4 players
with 2-4 players - 2 decks of cards
with 5-6 players - 3 decks of cards
with 7-8 players - 4 decks of cards
Object: To complete nine missions, each of which involves constructing a hand that meets certain criteria. The first person to complete all nine missions wins the game.

The Deal

Shuffle all the decks together and deal nine cards to each player. The remainder of the deck is set in the center of the table as a stock pile, the top card being turned over and placed next to it to start the discard pile.

The Play

Play starts with the player on the dealer's left. On a player's turn, the player draws the top card from either the stock pile or the discard pile, whichever he wishes. If his hand meets the criteria for a mission he has not already completed, he may choose to lay down those cards involved in the mission. If he has laid down a mission, either in the current turn or a past turn in the current round, he may also play additional cards to his mission or that of any other player who has completed a mission. (See below for how this may be done.) Whether he does or does not, he ends his turn by discarding one card onto the discard pile (if he still has any cards in his hand). When someone runs out of cards, before or after the discard, all hands are thrown in, and the round is over.

The nine missions are as follows:

1.  2 sets of 3 in color    For example, three black tens and three red jacks.
2.  3 sets of 3    For example, three fours, three sevens, and three queens.
3.  1 set of 4, 1 run of 4    For example, four kings, a two, a three, a four, and a five.
4.  1 run of 5 in suit    For example, an eight, nine, ten, jack, and queen of spades.
5.  1 run of 6 in color    For example, a red three, a red four, a red five, a red six, a red seven, and a red eight.
6.  1 run of 8    For example, a six, a seven, an eight, a nine, a ten, a jack, a queen, and a king.
7.  1 double run of 3    For example, two fours, two fives, and two sixes.
8.  7 cards of the same suit    For example, a two, four, five, ten, jack, queen, and king of hearts.
9.  9 cards of even rank, or 9 cards of odd rank    For example, two threes, three sevens, a nine, a jack, and two kings. Alternately, a two, four sixes, three tens, and a queen.

The missions may be completed in any order; each player may complete each mission only once. As soon as someone lays down a mission, this is marked down on a scoresheet. If the mission is the ninth to be completed by that player, the game is over, and he has won.

Aces are wild with respect to rank but not suit. For example, an ace of clubs may substitute for any other club in addition to functioning as a true ace of clubs (true aces rank low), but it cannot substitute for a heart, diamond, or spade.

After a player has laid a mission down, he tries to run out of cards before anyone else can play a mission. He does this by adding cards to his own mission, or the missions of others. There is no limit to how many cards may be added to missions in one turn, as long as each card is played legally.

A legal play to a mission involves adding cards to the sets, runs, groups of same suited cards, or groups of even/odd cards. (New sets, runs, or groups may not be made.) When adding to a set, the same color/suit rules apply. The sets in mission #2, for example, are constrained by color, so you must match color as well as rank in any cards you add to them -- but the sets in mission #1 can be of mixed color. When adding to the double run of mission #7, you must lay down cards in pairs. For example, if the double run is two fives, two sixes, and two sevens, you can play two fours or two eights to it, but you can't play one four or one eight by itself.

If the stock pile should become exhausted, all but the top card from the discard pile are reshuffled to replenish the stock pile.

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