OBJECT OF LUPFEN: The object of Lupfen is to win as many chips as possible.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3 to 5 players. 

MATERIALS: A Swiss/German deck of 20 cards, chips, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game



Lupfen is a trick-taking card game played with 3 through 5 players. The goal of the game is to win stakes in the game.

Lupfen is a bidding game. Maximum and minimum stakes should be decided before the game begins, as well as a standard ante for each round to be paid into the pot by players.


Players start each round by paying the ante into the pot. The first dealer is random and passes to the right for each new deal.

The dealer will shuffle the deck and the player to their left may cut the deck. Then the dealer gives each player a 3-card hand. The rest of the deck is kept in a facedown pile near to the players.

After hands are dealt a round of bidding happens. The dealer will ask starting with the player to their right if that player lifts. That player may say yes or no. if the player responds yes then they become the lifter and will flip the card on top of the remaining undealt deck. This determines the trump suit and then the lifter may make the price of the round anything between the minimum and maximum bet set before the game. the lifter pays this amount into the pot.

If the answer is no, the dealer asks the next players in order until either a player says yes or they have the option themselves. If all players say no, then cards are collected, and the next dealer deals. The ante remains and a new ante is placed at the start of the next round.

Once a player says yes and has determined the price for the round now players may choose to either play in the round and pay the price or they may drop out. If they drop out, they do not pay the price and keep their cards face down in front of them. They will not play until the next round. If a player chooses to play, then they pay the price into the pot and wait for the round to start.

If only the lifter pays the price they win the pot automatically and collect it before the next round begins.

Card Ranking

There are four suits consisting of acorns, bells, roses, and shields. Each suit has 5 cards and they rank Ace (high), Banner, King, Over, and Under (low).

Trumps are determined during the bidding and rank higher than all other suits.


The game starts with the lifter. They may lead any card to start the trick. The following player must follow suit if able, but if they cannot, they may play any card they wish to the trick. The trick is won by the highest card of the suit lead or by the highest trump, if applicable. The next trick is lead by the previous winner. The round ends once all three tricks have been played and won.

Two special hands can change the course of the play. If a player has a hand that contains all Unders, this hand wins the three tricks of a round automatically. It does not matter what other players have in hand or what trump is. If a player has two Unders and an Over then they may show this and exchange for the bottom three of the remaining deck at any time before the first card is lead to the first trick. Two people can do this in 3 and 4 player games, but in a 5-player game only the first player to declare it may exchange.


After the round has ended payouts are made. The pot is split evenly three ways and the player to win a trick receives 1/3rd of the pot. If the pot cannot be split evenly, any remaining value not evenly divided goes to the lifter.


The game can be played for any number of rounds. When the game is finished the player, who has the most chips is the winner. 

Amber Crook
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