OBJECT OF LOBA DE MAS: The object of Loba De Mas is to be the first player to reach 150 points.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 5 players.
MATERIALS: Two standard decks of 52 cards and 4 jokers, money or chips, and a flat surface.
TYPE OF GAME: Rummy Card Game
OVERVIEW OF LOBA DE MAS
Loba De Mas is a rummy-style card game for 2 to 5 players. The goal of the game is to be the first player to score 150 or more points.
Loba De Mas is usually played as a betting game, so players should determine what a standard stake is before the game is started.
To start each player will pay an equal stake to the pot. The dealer is then chosen randomly and will pass to the left for each new deal.
The dealer will shuffle the deck which consists of both decks and all 4 jokers. The dealer will deal each player a hand of 11 cards each. The remaining cards are used to start a draw pile. There will also be a discard pile started next to the draw pile after the first player’s turn.
Card Ranking and Values
Cards rank Ace (high), King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and Ace (low). Ace can be used as the highest or lowest card but cannot be used to bridge high to low as in King-Ace-2.
The jokers and 2s are wild but can only be used in Escaleras, AKA runs. 2s can be used as natural 2s however in Piernas.
There are certain values attached to cards as well, used for scoring later. You score each card you have successfully melded, and if you end the round with cards in your hand, these subtract from your total.
For scoring in melds Aces can be worth 3 points if used in A,K,Q melds, or in A,A,A melds. They’re only worth 1 point in A,2,3 melds, however. Kings, Queens, Jacks, 10s, 9s, and 8s are all worth 2 points each. 1 point each for 7s through 3s. Jokers and 2s are based on which card they signify if used to show Ace (high) through 8 they are worth 3 points, but if used to show 7 through Ace (low) they’re only worth 1 point.
If held in hand these same cards give you a penalty. Aces are always worth negative 3 points. Kings through 8s are worth negative 2 points. 7s through 3s are worth negative 1 point each, and jokers and 2s are worth 3 negative points.
There are two types of melds in this game. There are Piernas, AKA sets, and Escaleras, AKA runs.
Piernas consist of 3 to 6 cards all of the same rank. They have the stipulation, however, that they must be of three different suits but they cannot consist of all 4 suits. So, if one contains 2 kings of clubs, 2 kings of diamonds, and 1 king of spades, but it will never be able to contain a king of hearts. They cannot contain 2s or jokers as wild cards, but you can use the 2s as naturals to make a Pierna of 2s.
Escaleras are runs of 3 to 13 cards in ranking order all of the same suit. The ace can be used as high or low but cannot bridge. Jokers and aces can be used. Escaleras can use as many wild cards as a player wishes, but cannot be made completely of jokers.
The starts with the player left of the dealer. On a player’s turn, they will draw a card, they may play cards, and discard to end turn.
When drawing a player may take the top card of the stock or the whole discard pile. If the discard pile only has one card, however, you cannot discard that card at the end of your turn.
You may then choose to play cards if you wish after drawing. If you decide to play you may either play a valid meld from your hand or add to one of your own already established melds on the table. You cannot play to other players melds.
Wild cards can be moved if they are on the outside of an Escalera, but not if they are in the middle. If you have the card a wild card is being used to represent you can move it to the other end of the run so you may place your card in its place. For example, if you have a run of spades that is 5, 6, 7, 8, and joker, and you have a 9 of spades you can move the joker to represent the 4 of spades and place your 9 of spades into the run.
To end a player’s turn they must discard a card from their hand to the discard pile.
If at some point the stockpile is emptied the round will end once the player who drew the last card discards to end their turn. Otherwise, the round ends when a player emptied their hand.
After the round ends, players will tally their score. If a player ended the round by emptying their hand, they score an additional 5 points. if the round ended because the draw pile was emptied, however, these 5 points are not given out.
Players that still have cards remaining in their hands subtract their amount from their melds’ scores. It is possible to have a negative score.
Scores are kept cumulative over several rounds.
If a player was able to meld out and discard their entire hand in one turn without previously playing any cards from their hand, they score 5 additional points for every other player in the game.
END OF GAME
The game ends when a player reaches 150 points. They collect their winnings from the pot and a new hand can be started.
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