(4 to 8+ players)
Summary copyright © 1995 by David Matuszek
This just gives the rules; the
notes and a brief introduction
are on a separate page.
- Make up and write down a rule that tells which cards may be played when. The rule must depend only on the cards already correctly played.
- Shuffle two decks and deal 14 cards to every player except yourself.
- If you like, give a hint about the rule.
- Turn up one card for a starter.
- Choose player to start (count clockwise the number of the starter card).
Dealer may, if required by the rule, choose another card to start the sequence.
- Play a card from your hand. (Usually it's best to play a card you think is right.) If you feel confident, you may play a sequence of 2, 3, or 4 cards. If you think you have no ``right'' card, you may declare ``no play'' and show your hand to everyone.
- Just after you play (any play, regardless of consequences), if you think you know the rule, you may declare yourself Prophet, provided: (1) there isn't already a prophet, (2) you haven't already been prophet this round, and (3) there are still two or more players besides yourself and the dealer.
- If there is no prophet, call each play ``right'' or ``wrong,'' and give two penalty cards for each ``wrong'' card. A sequence of 2 to 4 cards is right only if each card played sequentially would be right. Give two penalty cards for each card in a wrong sequence. Don't tell which card or cards made the sequence wrong.
- If there is a prophet, s/he makes the calls, and you ``approve'' or ``disapprove'' each call. If you disapprove a call, overthrow the prophet and give him/her 5 penalty cards; the player (scientist) who just played gets no penalty
for a wrong play.
- Put a white marker on each 10th card played, and call a ``sudden death'' period after 40 cards played. During sudden death, any player who makes a wrong play is expelled. (When there is a prophet, sudden death is based only on the black markers.)
Special Rule: A player who correctly claims ``no play''
puts his cards on the table and is dealt a new hand with 4 fewer cards (this may
put the player out and end the round). If the player is wrong, Prophet
or Dealer plays a correct card from the hand and deals the player a 5 card
penalty. [But if prophet calls incorrectly, the card is returned to the
player's hand without penalty, and Prophet is overthrown.]
- When you first become Prophet, put a black marker on the last card you just played. Put the rest of your cards aside (you may need them again).
- Take over the job of calling plays ``right'' or ``wrong''--carefully!
- Put a black marker on every 10th card played after you became prophet, and call a ``sudden death'' period after 30 cards played.
- If overthrown, pick up your cards and resume your role as a player.
A round ends when either (1) some player runs out of cards, or (2) all players have been expelled for wrong plays during ``sudden death'' period.
The game ends when everyone has been dealer once (but you can end earlier).
- Find the high count: the largest number of cards held by any player (including the prophet). Everyone except the dealer gets points equal to the high count minus the number of cards in his/her hand.
- Anyone (except the dealer) with no cards at all gets a 4 point bonus.
- A True Prophet also gets 1 point for each right card and 2 points for each wrong card played after s/he became prophet.
- Dealer's score is the smaller of (a) the highest player's score, or (b) twice the number of cards played before the True Prophet started.
- If you end the game early, anyone who has never been dealer gets 10 extra points.
- The person with the largest number of points wins.