OBJECTIVE OF MAIN MERAH: The objective of Main Merah is to beat a certain score to win.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 3 Players

MATERIALS: Standard 52-card deck, a way to keep score, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Fishing Card Game



Main Merah is a fishing card game for 2 to 3 players. The number of players changes the cards in hand, the cards that score, and how many points are needed to win. The goal of the game is to score points, but players can achieve this by playing cards out of their hand to take and score cards from the table.


The setup for Main Merah differs for different numbers of players. A dealer will shuffle the deck and deal each player their hand. For a 2-player game, a hand of 10 cards is dealt. For a 3-player game, a hand of 7 cards is dealt.

After hands have been handed out the dealer takes the remaining deck and places it in the center of the play area.

The dealer then flips 12 cards for a 2 player game and 10 cards for a 3 player game. These are flipped face-up in the center of the play area to form a capture layout.

Card Rankings

Card suits and ranking do not matter to this game. Though if unfamiliar, a player should view the numbers and face cards of the deck.

For this game, Aces have a numerical value of 1. The remaining numerical cards are numbered 2 through 10, but 10s have special rulings that make them closer associated to face cards. This will be described more in the gameplay section below. Face cards in this game include jacks, queens, and kings.


The first thing when the game begins is players will look at the layout. A special circumstance might occur that forces a redeal. If the layout includes three or 4 of the following King, Queen, Jack, 10, or 5s, then the game is unplayable. All the cards are collected, reshuffled, and redealt.

For the first round, the player left of the dealer starts. In future rounds, the player with the worst score of the previous turn starts. On a player’s turn, they will do two things. First, they will play a card from their hand and capture a card if able, and second, they will flip the top card of the remaining deck and capture a card if able.

When a player plays a card from their hand they will see if they can capture any cards from the layout. If any card pairs with theirs to equal a sum of 10 they may capture it. If a player is playing a 10 or face card, then they are looking to find a matching card of rank. A player can only capture one card this way, so multiple choices means only one card can be captured. If a card is captured both the captured card and the played card are taken by the player and placed in a facedown pile next to them. If a played card does not capture anything then it remains in the layout to be captured later.

Once a card has been played from their hand the player will flip the top card of the remaining deck. The same as above occurs to see if that player captures a card. If not, the card remains in the layout.

This way of play continues until all cards have been captured.


Once all cards have been captured then players may score the cards in their capture piles. Only the red suits are scored. Aces are worth 20 points each, Kings, Queens, Jacks, 10s, and 9s are all worth 10 points. all the remaining cards 8 to 2 are worth their numeric value in points.


The game can be won by the player with the highest score or wins can be tallied for multiple games to determine a winner that way. 

Amber Crook
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