Object of the Game
The object of the game is to be the player with the lowest score at the end of the game. A game is over when a player reaches or exceeds 200 points or negative 100 points or below. The player with the lowest score at that time is declared the winner.
The deck consists of 60 cards, made up of 4 different color groups. Each color group consists of numerical cards 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13,14 and 15 and 2 photo cards, one snake and one hawk. The snake has a game play value of 3 and the hawk has a game play value of 8.
The deck may be modified depending on the number of players.
2 player game: all cards 9 and up are removed from the original deck. These may or may not be used as a kitty. The remaining cards are now the new deck, making the hawk the highest valued card in the playable deck.
3 player game: all cards 13, 14 and 15 are removed from the original deck. The remaining cards are now the new deck, making the 12 the highest valued card in the playable deck.
4 player game: all cards are used
5 player game: all cards are used
6 player game: all cards are used
The deck is then shuffled and dealt to all players.
Once the cards are all dealt, each player will remove 3 cards from their hands to create discard piles. Each discard pile will have 3 cards in it, and these will be placed face down in the center of the playing area. There will be the same number of discard piles as there are players. In a 2 player game without a kitty, the 2 players will swap piles. In a 2 player game with a kitty, each player will draw 3 new cards from the shuffled kitty. In a 3, 4, 5 or 6 player game, the dealer will assign a pile of their choice to each player. Each player will then add the new 3 cards to their hands.
The dealer will then declare a "Snake" color. This is the color of cards that will result in points at the end of the hand from any tricks won.
Deciding Teams if playing with teams:
3 player game: the dealer selects a partner for the hand and the remaining player will not have a partner for the hand
4 player game: the dealer selects a partner for the hand and the remaining 2 players will be partners
5 player game: the dealer selects a partner for the hand, the player to the dealer's right selects a partner and the remaining player will not have a partner for the hand. A player must select a partner and cannot choose to play alone. The only player without a partner will be the last one that after the first two selections.
6 player game: the dealer selects a partner for the hand, the player to the dealer's right selects a partner and the remaining 2 players will be partners
Gameplay is the same for all number of players. The player to the left of the dealer begins the game by playing any card from their hand. Play continues in a clockwise direction and all other players must follow the same color. If a player does not have that same color, they may play any card. The player who plays the highest valued card of the leading color wins the book and starts the next play. Once all cards are played, the score is added up. The next dealer is the player to the left of the last dealer. When playing with partners, these can change as the new dealer can choose any player as a partner.
The only cards needed for scoring are any number cards of the declared snake color and any snakes and hawks won. Each snake colored number card is 1 point, a snake is 10 points, a snake of the snake color is 15 points and a hawk is negative 3 points. If playing with teams, the total of points for each team is awarded to each player's score. If no teams, then each total for each player is added to their respective scores. If a team or player gets all 4 snakes, they are awarded a negative 50 points for the snakes instead of the positive 45 points, minus 3 points for each hawk and adds any other points for snake colored cards collected.
Game ends when a player reaches 200 points or negative 100 points. The player with the least amount of points is the winner. In the event of a tie, a last hand should be played and the two players with the same score would be on opposite teams if teams are used. The player with the lowest score after that hand would be declared the winner.