OBJECTIVE OF HORNAFJARÐARMANNI: Players want to have the most points at the end of the game.


MATERIALS: One standard 52 card deck, a way to keep score, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Trick-taking Game



Hornafjarðarmanni is a trick-taking card game playable by three players. The object of the game is to have the most points at the end. The game is finished once a player reaches 10 or more points.

Points are earned by winning tricks, but a player must win 4 tricks in a round to get points at all. It differs in many ways from traditional trick-taking games but still shares many features. This makes Hornafjarðarmanni a fun and fresh take on a trick-taking game.


To set up for Hornafjarðarmanni the deck is shuffled and dealt. The player to the dealer’s right will cut the deck, and the bottom card of the cut determines the trump suit. If it is ranked 10 or higher there will be no trumps for the round. If the card is a 6 through 9, the suit of the card is trumps, and if it is 5 or lower, the round is played Nolo. Nolo means there is no trump suit and tricks are avoided.

To deal hands, the dealer will hand each player 12 cards dealt in sections of 4 cards each. After each player receives their hand the remaining 16 cards are placed face down in the center of all players. These 16 cards are called the Manni and will be used later.


After hands are dealt, the player at the dealer’s left decides if they would prefer to keep their hand or exchange with the Manni. If they choose to exchange, they may discard up to 7 cards from their hand and draw from the Manni. The cards they discard are out of the game. The player to the dealer’s right may then choose to exchange. If they do, they may discard up to 5 cards are drawn from the Manni. Finally, the dealer may discard and draw as many cards from the remaining Manni as they wish.

Once the exchanging of cards is finished the player to the dealer’s left leads the first trick. Players must always try to follow suit if possible but if not may play any card they desire. Hands are won by the player with the highest trump, or if no trumps exist then the highest cards of the suit led with.

The winner of the hand will lead the next hand and that continues until all cards have been played out of hands.


The score is kept throughout the game and is counted at the end of each round. All players start the game with 0 points and score points based on how many tricks they win (or avoid) in a round.

For all rounds except Nolo, the goal is 4 tricks. Any player who wins more than 4 tricks earns 1 point for each additional trick won. If less than 4 tricks are won, each trick under the requirements loses that player a point.

For Nolo, the limit is still 4. For each trick under 4, a player avoids they earn a point. For each trick they win over 4, they lose a point.

The game ends once one or more players have reached 10 points, and the player with the highest number of points is the winner.

Amber Crook
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