This is a card game I made up. Print the instructions, get some friends and/or family together, and try it out. Everyone I know who's played it love it.
Be the first player to get rid of every card from your Hand, Damage Pile, Attack Pile, and Defense Pile.
Use standard 52-card decks with Jokers. Cards rank from high to low A-K-Q-J-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2. It is best to combine decks, having at least one deck for every player. During the game, each player has an Attack Pile (face down), a Damage Pile (face up), a Defense Pile (face up) and a Hand (held concealed from the other players), some of which may be empty.
Remove as many 8s from the pack as there are players and place one 8 face up in front of each player. These begin the players' Defense Piles. Shuffle the remainder of the pack and deal all the cards to the players, face down, distributing them as equally as possible. Some may receive an extra card. These form the Attack Piles. Each player draws 5 cards from the top of their Attack Pile and keeps them in their Hand. The players' Damage Piles are empty at the start of the game. Play begins with the player on the dealer's left and proceeds clockwise.
If your Attack Pile is empty, turn your Damage Pile over, if you have one, to form a new Attack Pile. You must normally have a minimum of 5 cards in your Hand at the beginning of each turn. If you don't, draw from your Attack Pile until you have 5 cards. If your Attack Pile runs out while drawing, then turn your Damage Pile face down to make a new Attack Pile and continue drawing. Only if your Damage and Attack Piles are both empty can you play with a Hand of fewer than 5 cards.
You then have a choice of attacking, defending, or drawing an additional card to end your turn. You must perform exactly one of these actions each turn. The only exception is when your Damage and Attack Piles are both empty, in which case you are allowed just to pass, taking no action, since you are unable to draw.
There are two ways to attack.
Play one or more cards from your Hand on an opponent's Damage Pile. If it is empty, as at the start of the game, your card(s) are placed in front of the opponent's Attack Pile to form a new Damage Pile. This type of attack allows you to transfer some cards to their Damage Pile, normally from your Attack Pile, as detailed below.
Play one or more cards from your Hand on an opponent's Defense Pile. There is no immediate reward, but by this method you can weaken the opponent's defense, leaving them with a higher card on top of the pile, which makes it easier for you or another player to attack them in the future.
The value of the top card of an opponent’s Defense Pile is their Defense. A card with a value higher than an opponent’s Defense is called an Attack Card. A card with a value the same as or lower than an opponent’s Defense is called a Spy Card.
ATTACKING A DAMAGE PILE
If you begin your attack with an Attack Card, you may only play one card and it can only be played on a Damage Pile, not a Defense Pile. With this type of attack, the Attack Card is reduced to match the value of the opponent’s Defense. For example, if an opponent’s Defense is a 7 and you attack with a Queen, the result of the attack is the same as a 7 (transfer 7 cards).
To avoid this, or to attack a Defense Pile, the first card you play must be a Spy Card and any other cards you play must be either the same suit or the same rank as the previous card. You may play as many Spy Cards you have as long as they are the same suit or rank as the previous card. An Attack Card may be included in this sequence, but you may only play one of those cards and it must be the end of the sequence. For example if an opponent's Defense is the 9, you could attack with 2-6-6-10. The 10 would end the attack since it is higher than 9, and thus an Attack Card. In this type of attack where one or more Spy Cards preclude an Attack Card, the Attack Card retains its value.
All of the cards played make up the attack. In the previous example, you would add the result of the 2 (transfer 2 cards), 6 (transfer 6 cards), 6 (transfer 6 cards), and 10 (transfer 10 cards). This attack would allow you to transfer 24 cards.
Jokers serve as wild Spy Cards. Any card can be played on top of one and they are considered a Spy Card no matter what the Defense. They can only be used when attacking a Damage Pile and don’t increase the total number of cards transferred. It can be used at any point in your sequence of cards.
RESULT OF ATTACKING A DAMAGE PILE
These only take effect if card(s) are played on a Damage Pile, not a Defense Pile. Unless otherwise specified, attacks transfer cards from the top of your Attack Pile onto the opponent's Damage Pile, face up. Number cards transfer the same number of cards as their value. Face cards transfer the following:
Jack: Pick a random card from your opponent's hand and play it on top of your Jack. Transfer double the amount that card can transfer (Kings and Aces transfer normal and Jacks and Queens don't transfer any).
Queen: Double the number of cards transferred by the cards played before the Queen this turn.
King: Transfer your entire Damage Pile.
Ace: Transfer your entire Attack Pile.
ATTACKING A DEFENSE PILE
To attack a Defense pile instead, you must start with a Spy Card. Like the other type of attack, any card played after the first one must be either the same suit or rank as the previous one. You may also end with one Attack Card. The purpose of attacking a Defense Pile is to leave your opponent’s Defense with a higher value than it previously had, which would make it easier to attack them in the future.
You may only attack one player per turn. Attacking is optional. You may draw or defend instead if you prefer.
If an opponent attacks you and you have a card in your Hand that is greater than or equal to the value of the last card of your opponent’s attack, you may block the result of the last card of their attack by placing your card on top of your Defense Pile. The blocked card is still played and any cards played before the blocked card still transfer their entitled cards.
To lower the chance of another playing being able to attack you, you may defend by replacing the cards in your Defense Pile with one in your Hand. The card you place down must be of the same suit as the top one currently there. All the cards that were in the Defense Pile then go on top of your Damage Pile and your turn ends.
THE END OF THE ATTACK AND DEFENSE PILES
If you are in the process of transferring cards (as a result of an attack on another player's Damage Pile) when your Attack Pile runs out and you have cards in your Damage Pile, the attack ends. If your Attack Pile runs out while you are transferring cards and there are no cards in your Damage Pile, then continue by picking cards from your Hand. If that runs out and you still haven't transferred all the cards you are entitled to transfer, continue transferring from the top of your Defense Pile. If you finish transferring and still have at least one card in your Defense Pile you will not be able to draw until someone puts cards in your Damage Pile, which you would flip over to form an Attack Pile on your next turn. If you only have one card, which would be in your Defense Pile, you will have to pass your turn until someone gives you cards in your Damage Pile.
END OF THE GAME
The game continues until a player wins by getting rid of all his or her cards. This can only be done by means of an attack on another player's Damage Pile, the result of which is to transfer so many cards that your Hand and all piles are exhausted.