Game of Pure Strategy

OBJECTIVE OF GOPS: The objective of GOPS is to win more points by winning bets.


MATERIALS: A flat space, and a standard deck of 52 cards

TYPE OF GAME: Bidding/Bluffing card game



GOPS stands for “Game of Pure Strategy” and it is called this because, in theory, each player has the same chance of winning. Beating your opponent will come down to strategy and knowing when to play your cards.


To set up for GOPS you will remove three sets Ace through King from the standard deck, most people use the spades, clubs, and diamonds. The diamonds are shuffled and set in a face-down pile between the opponents and each player also receives either the spades or clubs set of cards. 

Card Ranking

The cards in the center pile are the points of the game. How many points a card is worth depends on its ranking. 

Ranking of the cards is Ace (low) ,2 ,3 ,4 ,5 ,6 ,7 ,8 ,9 ,10, Jack, Queen, King (high)

Ace is low and is worth 1 point. 2 through 10 are worth their face value. The jack is worth 11 points. The queen is worth 12, and the king is worth the most at 13 points. 


To start a game of GOPS the top card of the points deck is flipped. This is the prize for winning the bid. Now each player will choose a card from their identical hands to bet with. The cards are revealed at the same time. Both betted cards are discarded and the person who played the higher-ranking card wins the prize card. This goes out in front of them and will be totaled into their points at the end. The next round is played the exact same with the prize card revealed then players placing their bids. The game continues this way until players are out of bidding cards. 

If players play the same value card for a bid this is a tie. Both cards get discarded the prize card remains up for winning and an additional card is added. 


When both players run out of bidding cards the game is over. Players add together their prize cards values and that is their score. The highest score wins the game.


GOPS is a game where both players have an equal chance at winning, so to pull ahead you will need to strategize when to play your cards. You will need to determine how valuable a prize card is, and the goal is to play a card only one rank higher than your opponent. Remembering what cards your opponent has already played will help with this greatly.


You can play GOPS with more players as well, for every additional player you will just add another full set of cards, so a full deck of 52 cards plays 3 people. If you wish to play with more, you will need an additional deck.

Nakoa Davis