OBJECT OF MATE: The object of Mate is to have the highest score after the end of the fourth game.


MATERIALS: A modified deck of 52 cards, a way to keep score, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Strategy Card Game



Mate is a strategy card game for 2 players. The goal of the game is to have the highest score than your opponent after the fourth game has ended.


If you are modifying a deck to play the game leave only the aces, kings, queens, 10s, and 7s. This leaves you with a 20-card deck.

The first dealer is chosen randomly and will deal for the 1st and 4th games. The second player will deal for the 2nd and 3rd games.  

For the first and third game, the dealer will shuffle the deck and deal each player a hand of 10 cards, in 2 batches of 5 cards each. Players throughout the game will play their cards in a pile in front of themselves because the cards need to remain separated for games two and four.

After games one and three are finished, the players will gather their cards into a hand without shuffling them and swap their hand of 10 cards with the other player.

Card Ranking and Values

The ranking for this game is Ace (high), 10, King, Queen, 7 (low).  The suits also rank Clubs (high), Spades, Hearts, and Diamonds (low).

Cards have values associated with them for scoring purposes. Aces are worth 11 points, 10s are worth 10 points, Kings are worth 4 points, Queens are worth 3 points, and 7s are worth 7 points.


Before each game begins players have the option to forceplace a card. the dealer of the game gets to choose to forceplace first, and if they decide to, they will play a card from their hand removing it from the game. Their opponent may also forceplace a card, but it cannot be of the same rank or suit as the other card.

A player who force places a card and wins, determines their score for the game differently from the traditional way. Check under scoring for more details.


The game starts with the dealer. They may lead any card they wish to the trick. The following player must follow suit if able, but if they cannot, they must play a card of the same rank. The player to play the higher-ranked card (by card rank if the following suit or by suit, rank if the following rank) leads the next trick.

If a player plays a card the other player cannot follow with either suit or rank, they have given their opponent a mate. This ends the game and scoring proceeds. If all 10 tricks are played with no mate given, the game is a draw.  

If a player or both players forceplace a card, the game only lasts for 9 tricks. If a mate has not been placed after the 9th trick the forceplaced card(s) are used to play a final trick. If a winner is established this way, they score a bonus during scoring.


Each game is scored before the next one begins. To score the winner uses the card they played to place a mate on the other player. The point value associated with this card is then multiplied by the number of tricks that were played. For example, if you mate your opponent on the 5th trick using an Ace you score 55 points; 11 points for the ace multiplied by the 5 tricks played.

If the winner forceplaced a card they will add on to the number of tricks played through before multiplying it with the card. using the above example, the new score would be 66 points.

If the 10th trick required a player to use their forceplaced card and they mate their opponent with it, they double their score. For example, if you mate your opponent using your forceplaced card which was an Ace, you will multiply 11 for the ace by 11 (10 for the round plus 1 for a forceplace). This gives you 121 points which are then doubled giving you 242 points.

If no mate is made the game ends in a draw and no score is added to either player.


The game ends after the fourth game is completed; the player with the highest score wins.

Amber Crook
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