Cover your heart!
The game requires:
One standard deck of playing cards for 3-4 players or two full decks for 5-8 players.
A fork (three tined if possible)
The paper crown included with these rules.
First cut out the crown and color it if you have time, a strip of paper will be required to form a band so it will fit. Place the crown and the fork (Trident) at the center of the table. Shuffle the cards and deal each player a card face up. The player with the highest value card goes first; face cards count as 0. If there is a tie deal a new set of cards. Shuffle the cards back into the deck and deal 5 cards face down and place the remainder of the deck at the center of the table.
The starting player plays one or more cards face down. Multiple cards must be of the same value (all 2’s, 7’s, Q’s etc...) then each player in turn lays cards face down. A player may lay down the same number of cards or less but never more. Once all players have chosen cards to play they are turned up.
The card values are as follows.
Face cards (0)
Any three of a kind beats any two of a kind and any pair beats a single. If two or more players have hands that are the highest value and equal the next highest valued hand wins, if there is no winner the cards stay in the pot to be taken by the next winning hand. The winner takes the cards for their score pile. Then the players draw cards starting with the winning player until they have their maximum (5) if not modified by powers. The next player clockwise starts the round.
The crown and the trident:
When a King, Queen or Jack is taken in a hand the player who won the hand gets the crown and must wear it.
When a three or three like cards are taken in a hand the winner gets the trident. The three like cards need not be played by the same person.
Crown – The wearer of the crown may at the beginning of their turn before cards are turned over may exchange one unexposed card from their hand with an unexposed card from another players hand or the top draw card from the deck.
Trident – The holder of the trident may attack any other player at the end of a hand by placing the trident down pointing at that player. That player may now only hold at most 4 cards until a new target is chosen.
Possessing both the Crown & Trident gives that player the ability to end the game prematurely but only after all players have filled their hands. If they chose to use this ability they must be wearing the crown and hold the trident in one hand saying boldly “I am Neptune ruler of the Sea who dares challenge me” all players add the value of the cards in their hands the winner being the one with the greatest total point value. If Neptune has the highest total he/she takes all the cards for his/her count pile and the game ends. If they don’t have the highest total they loses the crown and trident, which are placed back into the center of the playing area and the game continues, the cards from the players hands are re-shuffled into the draw deck. Players fill their hands before game play continues. If any of the players can’t take at least one card the game has ended and points are tallied.
If there is no intervention by Neptune the game ends when a player may not draw a card for his/her hand, even if there are not enough to fill the entire hand the play continues. When the game has ended all player count the number of cards they have taken. The player with the most cards wins.
This game is best played as a series of games with the winner having the highest total score overall. For small groups 3-4 players play 5 games and for large groups play one per player.