Clubs is a straightforward card game about calculating risks and collecting points. This Clubs card game rules guide will teach you how it’s played.
As the name suggests, the players collect cards of the clubs suit since only these come with points they all want to gather. But in some situations, even dozens of clubs are not enough.
Key highlights of this Clubs card game rules guide:
- What is the Clubs Card Game
- Clubs Card Game Rules
- Clubs Card Game Scoring
- Clubs Card Game Rules in Pictures
- How to Play Clubs Card Game (Video tutorial)
Read on and learn how to play the Clubs card game turn by turn.
What is the Clubs Card Game?
Clubs is a simple climbing game where players compete to get rid of their cards faster than their opponents while also trying to score as many points as possible.
Number of Players: 3 – 6
Length of Play: 15 – 30 minutes
Type of Game: Climbing card game
Main Objective: Get rid of your cards and collect points along with the clubs.
Our Take: The game of Clubs refreshes the classic principles of trick-taking and climbing card games and makes them accessible to everyone.
What You’ll Need to Play Clubs
To play Clubs, you need a dedicated card deck by North Star Games. It contains:
- Decks: 1
- Number of Cards: 60 unique playing cards + 6 bonus cards
- Cards Omitted: None
Clubs Card Game Rules
First, set up your bonus cards based on the number of players in the game:
- 6 players: All the bonus cards
- 5 players: 0/2/5/8/10 bonus cards
- 4 players: 0/2/5/8 bonus cards
- 3 players: 0/2/5 bonus cards
Any remaining bonus cards should be returned to the box. You won’t need them anymore.
Next, appoint a dealer and get a piece of paper and a pen ready to record your scores.
Starting the Game
Each new round of Clubs begins with the dealer thoroughly shuffling the playing cards and dealing ten of them to each player. You can put the remaining deck aside.
Now the players check their cards and decide whether they’re worth increasing the risk (and potential profits).
If they have a strong hand, they can announce “Double or Nothing.” If such a player manages to get rid of all their cards first, they can double their score.
How to Play Clubs
The player to the dealer’s left opens the first trick by playing one card of their choice or more cards that form a valid meld. The meld can be some of the following:
- 2+ cards of the same value (e.g., two sevens or three Queens)
- 2+ cards in subsequent order (e.g., seven, eight, nine)
Note: Unlike in other card games, a sequence does not have to be of the same suit.
The next player attempts to beat this by playing a set of higher cards or a sequence that ends with a card higher than the highest card of the previous sequence.
The number of played cards remains the same as in the opening turn of the round.
Example: If Player 1 plays a pair of sevens, Player 2 must play at least a pair of eights. If Player 1 plays a run of 3, 4, and 5, Player 2 must play at least a run of 4, 5, and 6.
A player can pass the turn if they do not have suitable cards.
Winning the Trick
There are two ways to win a trick:
- If a player’s meld features 15, the player automatically wins the trick.
- If all players pass, the player who played the last card/meld wins.
The winner of the trick takes all the cards. They can now also lead a new trick.
Going Out & Collecting Bonus Cards
Once a player uses the last card in their hands, they go out of the round.
The first player to accomplish this takes the highest bonus card. The next one will take the highest still remaining, and so on.
Note: If a player goes out and subsequently wins the current trick, the player to their left leads the next trick instead of them.
Ending the Round
The round ends when the last player collects the lowest available bonus card (worth zero). That’s when the scoring begins (see below).
Clubs Card Game Scoring
- Each player receives the points corresponding to their bonus card.
- If the player earns 1+ points (i.e., their bonus card does not say “0”), they also earn points for any clubs cards they gathered throughout the round (1 card = 1 point).
- If a player played “Double or Nothing” and goes out 1st, their total score doubles.
- However, if this player goes out later, they don’t get any points at all.
The first player to score 50 points wins the game.
How to Play the Clubs Card Game – Video Tutorial
Frequently Asked Questions
How to play the Clubs card game with two players?
If you want to play Clubs with two players, use only a single five-point bonus card. The round ends when one player goes out and collects the card.
Do you score points for cards in your hand in Clubs?
No, you only receive points for the clubs cards you have collected when winning the tricks. The last player remaining in the game with cards in hand does not collect points anyway.
Can you play Clubs in teams?
Sure! If you want to play Clubs in teams or partnerships, form pairs and count your scores together after each round. A team needs at least 100 points to win the game.
Other Similar Games to Clubs (Our Guides)
If you like Clubs, check out our guides to some other popular climbing or trick-taking games below: