OBJECTIVE OF FOOL’S PARADISE: The objective of Fool’s Paradise is to score the more points than any other player by collecting cards.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 or More Players, Best Played With 4 to 5 Players

MATERIALS: 1 Standard 52 Card Deck

TYPE OF GAME: Strategy Card Game

AUDIENCE: Teenagers and Older


Fool’s Paradise is a game that can accommodate as many players as you want, as long as there are enough decks to use. Players attempt to accumulate as many points as possible by collecting cards. Each card counts for a different point, depending on what the card is. With more players, the game will take longer, so it is recommended to play with four to five players.


Firstly, the group must determine a dealer. Once this is done, the dealer will deal one card to each player facing down, and then they will deal one card to the center facing up. They repeat these steps four more times, ending in each player having five cards in their hand. All of the cards in the center should be oriented in a way that they are all showing. The rest of the deck is placed then placed in the middle, creating the draw pile.


Number Cards: points equal face value

Ace: one or fourteen points

Jack: eleven points

Queen: twelve points

King: thirteen points


The player on the dealer’s left will begin the game. During their turn, players may collect cards and draw cards as long as they follow the rules when doing so. After a player draws a card, they end their turn, and the player on their left will begin theirs.

Collecting cards is the goal of the game, but there are some rules that have to be followed when doing so. In order to collect cards, players have to choose a card from their hand first. After doing so, they must find a card, or potentially numerous cards, that have a sum equal to a multiple of their chosen card. Each card collected must be less than or equal to the point value of the card that the player chose.

Players may choose to pass on collecting cards, sometimes saving them for the next round. This allows the player to potentially clear the board. They may allow another person to steal however, hence the name Fool’s Paradise.

When, and if, a player collects the last card that is in the middle, the player has “cleared the board”. After this, the player will draw a card from the draw pile, then the dealer will deal five cards to the center. The player who clears the board earns one point.


The game comes to an end when none of the players have cards in their hands. The player with the remaining card is given all of the cards found in the center. Once everyone has collected their cards, points are totaled. The player who has the most points wins the game!

Nakoa Davis