OBJECTIVE OF MATTAZZA: The objective of Mattazza is to be one of the last 2 players remaining.


MATERIALS: A modified 52-card deck or 40-card Italian deck, a way to keep score, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game



Mattazza is a trick-taking game for 4 players, where the goal is to not be eliminated. Players can do this by scoring points without scoring the most or least amount.

Mattazza follows many of the same rules as other trick-taking games but in this game, you are penalized for taking certain cards and winning the last trick. Players will be forced out of the game once their penalties reach a certain amount. The last 2 players to remain in the game win.


The first dealer will be random and then pass to the right at the start of each new round. If playing with a modified 52 card deck, you will need to remove the 8s, 9s, and 10s from the deck. This will leave you with aces, kings, queens, jacks, 7s, 6s, 5s, 4s, 3s, and 2s. 40 cards in total will be the deck.

Once the deck is sorted, the dealer will shuffle the cards and deal hands to each player anticlockwise. The players will receive hands of 10 cards. Once all players receive their hands, the game can begin.

Card Rankings and Values

Cards are ranked as follows. 3 (high), 2, Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 7, 6, 5, and 4 (low). There are no trumps in Mattazza.

Certain cards have penalty values attached to them. Aces are a penalty of 3 points, and 3s, 2s, Kings, Queens, and Jacks are all penalties of 1 point.

There is a total of 35 points of penalties in the round with the last trick is worth 3 points.


The gameplay is very simple for Mattazza. Like every other trick-taking game it is a matter of leading and following tricks. The game starts with the player to the dealer’s right and continues anticlockwise.

The first player will lead the trick and all other players must follow suit if able. If not able, they may play any card they wish.

The player who plays the highest-ranked card of the leading suit wins the trick. They will also lead the next trick.


Once all tricks are played players will tally their penalty scores from cards won in tricks. Players want to have scored at least one trick without scoring the most points. Players who score more or less than the other players gain game points.

A player who does not take any tricks will score one game point. The players who scored during the round will earn nothing.

If all players have at least one trick, then the player or players with the most points each score one game point.  

When a player scores 5 game points, they are removed from the game.


The game ends once only two players remain. These players are the winners of the game.

Amber Crook
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