You know how sometimes you have a great idea in a dream? Like the idea for a great novel or an amazing invention? Then, when you wake up and tell it to someone, you realize how really, really dumb it actually is? Well one night I invented a card game in my sleep, and when I woke up it still worked. In the dream I was playing cards with a group of friends and when I woke up I could remember an almost complete set of rules of play. There were a very few minor details that I had to flesh out, but otherwise the rules below are the ones that we used in the dream. For the obvious reason, I call the game “Dream” or sometimes “Dream 21”.
Thanks to Neil for helping write out the rules after I taught him the game, and for suggesting the “draw 2 cards” rule that definitely adds to the game.
- Dream is played with a standard deck of 52 playing cards (The jokers are not used).
- Paper and pencil (or some other means of score keeping) are also required.
The object of the game is to get rid of all of your cards and to avoid taking tricks. The game proceeds for an agreed upon number of hands ensuring that each player deals the same number of hands. For instance, the game for 4 players could consist of any multiple of 4 hands (4, 8, 12, etc.) as agreed on by the players. (8 hands makes for a reasonable game.)The aces are worth 1 or 11 points, at the discretion of the player who plays the ace. Face cards (Jack, Queen, King) count 10. All other cards (2-10) count their face value.
The person with the fewest points at the end of the game wins.
Order of Play
Five cards are dealt face down to each player and are to be picked up and looked at. The rest of the deck is placed in the center of the table and becomes the draw pile. Play starts to the dealer’s left and continues clock-wise.
The player to the dealer’s left takes a card from their hand and places it face up next to the draw pile onto the play pile and says the value of the card. If possible, the next player plays a card from their hand face up on the play pile, adds the value of that card to the total and announces the new total. The total cannot exceed 21.
Before playing a card each player MUST take a card from the draw pile unless:
- They are playing the first card of the trick.
- There are no cards remaining on the draw pile.
- They are playing a card that brings the total to exactly 21.
A player who forces another player to take a trick then plays the first card of the next trick.
There are 2 ways that a player can be forced to take a trick::
- If a player adds a card to the play pile that brings the total to exactly 21, the previous player (to his right) must take the trick and the player who brought the total to 21 plays the first card of the next trick (without having to draw first)
- If, after drawing a card, a player does not have a card low enough to play without making the total exceed 21, then that player must take the trick and the previous player to the right of the player who took the trick plays the first card of the next trick. (Again, without drawing first)
If a player fails to take a card from the draw pile before playing their card when they are required to do so, they must then draw two cards from the draw pile as a penalty. If the next player plays a card before anyone notices, then they get away with it and do not have to draw any cards.
Tricks are placed face down in front of the player who takes them and arranged in a way that they can be easily counted.
The hand ends when a player plays their last card. If that card brings the total to exactly 21, the previous player takes the trick. Otherwise no one takes the final trick.
The player who plays their last card automatically gets 0 points. All other players get 1 point for each trick they have taken more than the player who went out.
eg. Player 1 gets rid of all his cards in a hand and has been forced to take 2 tricks during that hand. Player 1 will score 0 for that hand because he went out. Player 2 was also forced to take 2 tricks during that hand, but since she has not taken any tricks more than Player 1, she will also receive 0 for that hand. Player 3 took 5 tricks during that hand which is 3 more than the player who went out, so Player 3 gets 3 points for that hand. If Player 3 had gone out, then all 3 players would have scored 0, as the player with the most tricks had gone out.
The player with the least points after the agreed upon number of hands is the winner.