OBJECT OF NAPOLEON: The object of Napoleon is to make and win bids.


MATERIALS: A standard 52 card deck, chips or money, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Point-Trick Card Game



Napoleon is a point-trick card game playable by 5 players. The goal of the game is to choose when to make bids and to win those bids by taking scoring cards in tricks.

The game has bidding and payouts in it. The payouts are done in stakes so each player should agree on what a single stake is worth.


The dealer is chosen at random. They will shuffle the deck and deal each player a hand of 10 cards each in clockwise order. The remaining 2 cards are left face down in the center as the blind. The dealer passes to the left for each new deal.

Card/Suit Ranking and Scoring Cards

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

The suits rank Spades (high), Hearts, Diamonds, and Clubs (low). This is used for bidding described below.

There are also a few cards that beat cards of the trump suit but remain a part of their suit. The ace of spades is the highest-ranking card of the game and beats all other cards. The Jack of the trump suit is the second-highest ranked card, and the third is the jack of the same color as the trump suit.

To give you an example of this we will same hearts are trumps. Hearts rank Jack, Ace, King, Queen, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2. Diamonds rank Jack, Ace, King, Queen, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2, and the other two suits rank the same.

Some cards are used for scoring and players will be trying to win in tricks, these include the Aces, Kings, Queens, Jacks, and 10s of each suit.


After the cards are dealt each player will have a round of bidding to participate in. Starting with the player left of the dealer each player will have the option to bid higher than the previous highest bid or pass. Once a player passes, they are out of the round of bidding.

A bid consists of a number 11 through 20 and a suit. The lowest bid is 11 clubs and the highest is 20 spades. To bid higher you may increase the number or the suit rank. The number is the number of scoring cards you will win in the round and the suit will be the trump suit.

If all players pass with no bids the cards are collected and redealt by the same dealer.

Once four players have passed the remaining player is the Napoleon and will now make his partner.

The Napoleon calls any cards, and the holder of the card will be their partner. They do not reveal themselves but will become revealed through the game.

After calling their partner the Napoleon will pick up the blind and discard any two cards from their hand. if they are score cards, they are placed face up and are scored for the opposing team, but if they are not, they are discarded face down to the side.

The Napoleon can play alone by either calling a card they already held or finding their card in the blind.


The Napoleon leads the first trick. The first trick is special as it ignores all trumps and special ranked cards and uses only the traditional ranking. Following players must follow suit if possible and if they cannot, they may play any card. The winner of the first trick is the highest card of the suit lead. The winner of the trick collects, and score cards and leads the next trick.

For the remainder of the tricks, trumps and special ranked cards apply. There is also an additional rule of twos that is used. The ruling is that if all the cards played to a trick are all the same rank the 2 of the suit becomes the 4th highest ranked card. The following players must still follow suit if able and may play whatever they wish if they cannot. 

The trick is won by the ace of spades if applicable, then by the jack of the trump suit, then by the same colored trump, and then by the highest-ranked trump, and finally by the highest card of the suit lead. The winner of a trick collects, and score cards and discards the remaining cards. they will also lead the next trick.


After the round is finished players tally their score cards. If the Napoleon’s team won as many score cards as they bid, they a stake from each other player. The napoleon gets 2 and the teammate gets 1. If they lost, they pay each other player a stake. The napoleon pays 2 and the teammate pays 1.

If the Napoleon’s team won all 20 score cards but did not bid 20 then they must pay a stake to each opponent. The napoleon pays two and the teammate pays 1.

If a bid of 20 was made and was successful, the payouts are doubled. If not successful payments to the opponents are also doubled.


The game is played until players wish to drop or end the game.

Amber Crook
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