OBJECTIVE OF CRAMPS: Be the first player to reach 31 points or more
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4 players
NUMBER OF CARDS: 52 playing cards
RANK OF CARDS: (low) 2 – Ace (high)
TYPE OF GAME: Trick taking
INTRODUCTION OF CRAMPS
Cramps is a four player trick taking game created by Pete Caldwell. This game is incredibly unique as each trick has its own value. Sometimes the trick will earn points, but it can also take points away. Players should be weary of Queens, for each one captured takes away one point.
THE CARDS & THE DEAL
Cramps uses a 52 card deck with 2’s low and Aces high. Shuffle and deal 13 cards to each player in packets of 3’s and 2’s. Deal passes left each round.
THE FIRST TRICK
The player left of the dealer leads the first trick with any card from their hand. Players must follow suit if they can or else play any card from their hand. The highest card in the suit that was led captures the trick. The player that captures the trick leads the next one.
Play continues until all thirteen tricks are played.
KEEPING SCORE DURING THE ROUND
To make scorekeeping simple, form a scorekeeping deck with one Ace, three 3’s, 5’s 7’s and 10’s from a second deck. There should be one red Ace, 3, 5, and 7. The rest of the cards should be black. 10’s count as zero. Build the scorekeeping deck in order according to the scoring table below. Whoever captures the trick takes the top card from the scorekeeping pile. At the end of the round, the player totals up their score. Do not forget to take away points for captured Queens. If the math is done correctly, combining each players score for the round will equal 10.
Document the score for the round and continue play.
Scoring depends on the trick.
|Trick 1||0 points|
|Trick 2||– 1 point|
|Trick 3||+3 points|
|Trick 4||+3 points|
|Trick 5||-3 points|
|Trick 6||0 points|
|Trick 7||+5 points|
|Trick 8||+5 points|
|Trick 9||-5 points|
|Trick 10||0 points|
|Trick 11||+7 points|
|Trick 12||+7 points|
|Trick 13||-7 points|
|Captured Queens||-1 point per Queen|
The first player to reach 31 points or more wins the game.