OBJECTIVE OF LOSING LODAM: Be the last player remaining in the game
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3 – 10 players
NUMBER OF CARDS: 52 cards
RANK OF CARDS: (low) 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,J,Q,K,10,A (high)
TYPE OF GAME: Trick taking
INTRODUCTION OF LOSING LODAM
Losing Lodam is an incredibly old trick taking game that dates back to 1586. In this game, players attempt to capture tricks without capturing penalty cards. Players begin the game with three chips. Each time their score reaches 31 or more, they lose a chip. Once a player has lost their third chip they are eliminated from the game.
THE CARDS & THE DEAL
Losing Lodam uses a 52 card deck. An Ace-Ten game, the cards rank (low) 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,J,Q,K,10,A (high).
In a four or eight player game, deal out 48 of the cards evenly. The four remaining cards are set aside as a kitty. In a game with any other player count, deal out the deck evenly and place remaining cards aside as a kitty.
Deal passes left each round.
THE FIRST TRICK
The player left of the dealer leads the first trick with any card they choose. Following players match the suit if they can or else throw any card to the trick. The highest card in the lead suit captures the trick. The trick-winner leads the next trick.
As soon as one player is unable to follow suit and plays an off-suited card, the top card of the kitty is turned up to determine a trump suit for the rest of the round. This can occur mid-trick affecting how the rest of the trick’s cards are played. After everyone has seen the trump suit, the card is turned back down. It is each player’s responsibility to remember the trump suit. If they forget and collect a trick without realizing they were trumped, no one should say anything.
Play continues until all of the tricks have been captured.
As players are eliminated from the game, the number of cards dealt to each player increases each round.
Players earn points for capturing penalty cards.
Aces = 11 points each
10’s = 10 points each
Kings = 3 points each
Queens = 2 points each
Jacks = 1 point each
At the end of the round, any player with 31 or more points loses a chip. If no one has 31 points or more, the player with the highest score loses a chip. Once a player loses their third chip, they are out of the game.
Continue playing rounds until only one player remains. That player is the winner.
This seems like a very interesting game. I would label it as a party style game played with traditional cards. Much like hearts, there are many cards to avoid collecting. What sets this game apart from modern trick avoidance games, is the random introduction of the trump suit. The trump can be introduced mid-trick! I also like the incorporating of the chips as “lives”, and the scoring threshold for losing a life is 31 points which is very reminiscent of the game Thirty-One. The only downside to this game is that it could take a very long time to play with 10 players. That means thirty rounds are possible.
It should be noted that there are a few additional rules for this game that I think detract from it. If you are interested in checking them out, head over to David Parlett’s page here.