OBJECTIVE OF MILITAIRE: Be the first player to reach 500 points or more 

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3 – 4 players

NUMBER OF CARDS: 52 cards and One Joker

RANK OF CARDS: (low) Ace – King (high)


AUDIENCE: Kids and adults


Militaire was originally a commercial rummy game produced by the British military and distributed to its soldiers.  While the cards were ranked and suited based on military ranking, the game can be adapted to the standard French deck. 


Militaire has been adapted to a standard 52 card French deck.  One Joker should also be included.

To determine who will be the first dealer and keep score for the game, each player takes a card from the deck.  The player with the lowest card deals first and keeps score.  

The dealer should collect the cards, shuffle thoroughly, and deal seven cards to each player.  The rest of the cards become the draw pile.  Put them in the center of the table.  Turn the top card over to begin the discard pile. 

The player on the left side of the dealer goes first.


Each turn is composed of three phases: draw, meld, and discard.  


The player may take the top card from the draw pile or the discard pile.  That card is added to the player’s hand.


After drawing, the player may play any melds to the table.  Players may not lay off cards on previously built melds.


To end their turn, players discard one card of their choice to the discard pile.


Once a player meets the contract requirement, the round ends.  If the seventh card from the player’s hand is not used, it will count as a penalty when scoring the round.


There are two types of melds in Militaire; sets and runs.  A set is three or four cards of the same rank.  For example, a 4♠-4♥-4♣-4♦ is a set.  A run is three or more cards of the same suit in sequential order.  A 4♠-5♠-6♠-7♠ is a run.


A player cannot win the round until they have met one of three specific contracts.  A player must meld two sets, a run and a set, or a run of six or seven cards.  The first player to meet the contract wins the round.


At the end of a round, each player earns points based on the melds they played to the table.  Points are assigned as follows:

Joker = 0 points

Aces = 1 point each

2’s – 9’s = 5 points each

10’s – Kings = 10 points each

The player who met the contract and ended the round also earns bonus points for completing the following:

Set of 3 = 30 points

Set of 4 = 40 points

Run of 3 = 10 points

Run of 4 = 20 points

Run of 6 = 50 points

Run of 7 = 100 points

If the player who met the contract did not use the 7th card, they deduct points from their score equal to the value of the card.


The first player to reach 500 points or more wins the game.

Mark Ball
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