OBJECT OF MATTIS: The object of Mattis is to not be the last player holding cards.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3 to 8 players

MATERIALS: A standard 52 card deck, a way to keep score, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game



Mattis is a trick-taking card game playable by 3 to 8 players. The goal of the game is to collect cards in phase one and then empty your hand as quickly as possible in phase two. The last player with cards in hand is the loser.

The game is played in two phases, and there is not a winner, only the loser.


The dealer is chosen at random. They will shuffle the deck and deal each player a hand of 3 cards. the remaining cards form a face-down stockpile.

Card Ranking

The ranking is traditional with Ace (high), King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2 (low).


The game has two phases. After the first phase is completed the second phase starts immediately. You will be using the first round to collects cards for your hand, and the second round to empty your hand as quickly as possible.

Phase One

The first phase involves playing tricks. The suit does not matter, and players are not required to follow suit or try to win tricks. The player to the dealer’s left starts the first trick by playing any card. Then all other players follow to the trick by playing a card from their hand. The player to play the highest-ranked card regardless of suit wins the trick. If multiple people tie for the highest card the tied players must all play an additional card to the trick until a winner is found. After the trick, all players draw from the stock so that you always have 3 cards in hand. The cards from the trick are collected into a pile next to the winner’s facedown. The winner must start the next trick.

A player may choose instead of playing from their hand to reveal the top card of the discard and use that for the trick. This can only be done if there is more than 1 card remaining in the stock. Once a card is revealed this way it must be played and cannot be taken into the player’s hand.

The player who would draw the last card from the stock instead reveals it to all players. It is their card to play but it must stay revealed until the end of the first phase. This card’s suit determined the trump suit for the second phase.

Once the stock is emptied the play continues until the player who must play for turn has no cards in hand. Any players with remaining cards in hand must reveal these and keep them for phase two. Also, if the final trick could not be completed the players who played cards to it must take back all their cards.

Phase Two

The full deck has now been dealt to each player. The hands will be uneven as some players will have won more cards in phase one than others. Players that have no cards in hand from phase one care called Blue Mattis, they still must participate in phase two.

The goal now is to empty your hand as quickly as possible by playing tricks.

The first trick is led by the last player to win a trick in phase one. To play to the trick the following players must either beat the card with one of higher rank of the same suit or a trump. Any trump beats a regular card.

A common variation allows sequences to be played. When a sequence is played a player must play 2 (in some variations 3) or more cards of the same suit in consecutive order. Sequences are beaten by a higher card or sequence of the same suit. They are also beaten by any card or sequence of the trump suit.

If a player cannot or wishes not to play a card to the trick, they must draw the lowest-ranked card of the current trick. Then their turn is over, and the next player plays. A trick is finished either when a number of cards equal to the number of players when the trick started are played, or all the cards from the trick have been drawn by players. Since Blue Mattis does not have a card to play for the first trick, they must always draw the lowest ranked card from the first trick.

If the trick is finished by number of cards, then the last player to play in the trick has won. They will set aside all of the cards used in this trick and start the next trick. If all cards are drawn then the player left of the player who drew the last card starts the next trick.

A player ends play by playing out their last card. They are out of the game and can no longer be the loser.


The game is played till only one player remains. This player is the loser.

Amber Crook
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