How to Play Idiot the Card Game Rules and Instructions

If you love card games that involve little strategy and lots of luck, you’re going to love Idiot the card game. 

This game should not be confused with You are an idiot, a completely different adult party game played with a specialized set of cards and game kits. Much like Pitty Pat, Idiot is a family card game played with a standard deck of cards and one main objective — be the first one to get rid of all cards.

In this fun guide, we will walk you through all the rules and complete ‘how to play idiot’ instructions, plus throw in tips and answers that will help you win.

What Is Idiot The Card Game?

Idiot Card Game Info Image

Idiot is a card game that involves a little bit of everything, making it a game of — fun, strategy, decision making, pace, lots of luck, and towards the end, even a little bit of suspense. Players try to outrank the cards on the top of the pile in a bid to discard as many cards as possible.

Number Of Players: 2-3 per standard deck.

Ages: Ideal for 10 years and up. 

Difficulty: Easy

Length Of Play: 20 – 30 mins.

Main Objective: Getting rid of all the cards by playing the right numbers and burning piles at the right time.

Why We Love It: Idiot is great for all ages and is also an extremely flexible game to play, in that you can easily add and tweak rules in order to make it more fun and interesting. It’s the perfect pick for a marathon card game night.

Brief History Of Idiot 

Idiot is known to belong to the family of trick-taking card games. These are popular in game parlors and domestic gatherings and generally don’t involve any betting. Similar games from the family include Euchre, Contract Bridge, Jabberwalking, and Piquet.

Setting Up Idiot The Card Game

Starting from the basics, you need one standard deck of 52 cards for every 2-3 players. Since the game is fun with larger groups and more cards, it’s always best to have a pack of decks ready. 

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Once you have the players and decks ready, take out the jokers and shuffle the cards. Here’s how to set-up the game in 3 simple steps:

  1. Start by dealing 3 cards face down to each player.
  2. Next, place 3 cards face up over the face-down cards of each player.
  3. Finally, deal 3 more cards to each player that they will place in their hand.

Before the game begins, the player has the chance to rearrange cards in the hand and in the face-up pile. Once the game begins, no card from the face-up pile can be played as long as the player has cards in the hand.

Idiot The Card Game: Rules and Instructions

The player to the left of the dealer goes first and turns are taken in the clockwise direction. Generally, the game begins with the card of the lowest ranking i.e 3. If no player has 3 or wishes to play their 3 cards in the first round, the next round begins with 4 and so on.

playing Idiot the card game image

Basic Idiot Gameplay

Quite like in Chase The Ace, players with higher numbered cards have a greater chance at winning Idiot. However, that is only a part of the greater gameplay which involves getting rid of as many cards as possible, the fastest.

The players have to play a card that ranks equal to or higher than the card on the top of the discard pile. They can play more than one card in a turn if they have the same number. This means if a 3 card is played by player A, player B will need another 3 or higher. And if the second player has 2 cards of 3, the player can play both cards in the same turn. 

The play continues in this manner until a player doesn’t have any cards ranking higher than the one on the top of the discard pile. In this case, that player collects all the cards from the discard pile in the hand and continues playing with that many cards. 

The gameplay is divided into three stages according to the distribution of cards;

In stage 1, each player draws 3 cards from the stockpile per turn after they have played their cards. These cards can be used in the turn. Continuing the above example, if the player gets another 3 after drawing from the stockpile, the player can play that card also, thereby effectively leaving fewer cards in the hand. 

In this stage, winning is next to impossible because in most likelihood you will end up drawing more cards than you discard.

In stage 2, when all the cards from the stockpile are drawn, the players now only discard cards in a turn. In this stage, the players first get rid of all the cards in the hand and then move on to play the cards from the face-up pile.

In stage 3, when finally all the face-up cards have been played, the players move on to play blind. This means that the players will not have a chance to look at the cards they are playing and are at maximum risk of having to pick up all the cards in the discard pile. This stage can change the game and completely depends on the player’s luck. 

Card Values and Speciality Rules

In Idiot, the cards rank higher according to their numerical value with some special cases. Here Jacks, Queens, Kings are of the same value as 10. The special cases follow rules as follows:

  • Ace is of the highest-ranking.
  • Number 2 is a determiner. The player that plays 2 will play another card that determines the discard number that the game will be reset to. The following player will follow that second card that is discarded and aim to rank equal or higher.
  • Number 10 is a burn card. This means each time a 10 is discarded, the entire discard pile burns and is out of the play for that complete game. 

Burning The Discard Pile

Besides card number 10, there’s another rule to burn the discard pile and throw that many cards out of the game. If one number is repeated 4 times consecutively, the entire pile beneath it can be discarded.

It doesn’t matter whether a single player is throwing in 4 cards of the same number, or different players are throwing one card each. Say, if 3-3-3-3 land on top of one another in a discard pile in any order, the pile burns.

Tips To Have Better Chances At Winning:

  1. Keep high ranking cards in the face-up piles because that’s when you cannot afford to go back to too many cards.
  2. Save your 10 cards for larger piles and take the smaller piles if you have to.

Winners and The Idiot

In this card game, the last player left with cards is the idiot and all other players who finish are the winners. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Idiot The Card Game

What Is The Reverse Rule In Idiot The Card Game?

In some versions of Idiot, the card numbered 5 is considered as the reverse card. As the name suggests, the reverse rule states that once the 5 number card is played, the following card has to rank equal or lower than 5. So the next player can only play 3, 4, 5, or special cards to safely pass the turn.

Is There An Exception To The Burn Pile Rules In Idiot The Card Game?

In some variations, the card numbered 6 is an exception to burn the pile rules. As opposed to the 4 cards of the same number that are normally needed, if 6 numbered cards are piling up, only 3 are enough to burn the pile.

What Is The Wild Card Variation To Idiot The Card Game?

To make the game easier, some Idiot game rules state that a 2 numbered card is a wild card which means it can go on top of any number and any number can go on top of 2.

More Card Games That You Might Like

Can’t get enough of playing cards but don’t have enough games to put them to good use? We are here to help!

If family card games are your favorite, don’t miss out on games like Hand Knee and Foot. Meanwhile, you can keep the younger kids engaged with Garbage.

For parties that last till the dawn, you can always turn to the classics. Try Queen Poker or have fun with an interesting version of Rummy called Five Crowns. Finally, don’t forget to end the night with Cronquian.

To add more spice and variety, we have an endless list of exciting games waiting to be explored by you!

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