OBJECTIVE OF PROTER:  Be the player with the lowest score at the end of the game

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 – 4 players

NUMBER OF CARDS: Standard 52 card deck

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


AUDIENCE: Adults, Family


Proter is a Rummy game popular in Sri Lanka.  This game is played over the course of thirteen rounds.  Each round has its own set of wild cards.  During round one, Aces are wild.  During round two, 2’s are wild.  This continues until the thirteenth round when Kings are wild. 

Proter is also unique in that in does not start with a discard pile, and if players wish to take the top card from the discard pile, they may must take the entire discard pile.


Proter is played with a standard 52 card deck.  To decide who must deal first and keep score, have each player take a card from the deck.  The player with the lowest score is the first dealer and scorekeeper.

The dealer should shuffle the cards thoroughly and deal six cards to each player.  The remaining cards are placed face down in the center of the table as a draw pile.  There is no discard pile formed. 


In Proter, there are two types of melds: sets and runs.  Sets consist of three or four cards of the same rank.  Runs consist of three or more cards of the same suit in sequential order.

A player’s first meld should not have any wild cards in it.


While playing Proter, a player’s turn consists of three parts: draw, meld, and discard.

When a player’s turn begins, they can draw from the draw pile or the discard pile.  If the player wants the card from the top of the discard pile, they must take the entire discard pile. 

After drawing, a player may play melds to the table.  A player’s first meld cannot have any wild cards in it.  After playing at least one meld to the table, players may also lay off (see below).

Once a player has drawn and possibly played melds, they may end their turn by discarding one card.  A player must discard at the end of every turn.

Play like this continues until a player goes out by discarding their final card.  A player must discard their last card in order to end the round.

When a player goes out, the round is over, and it is time to tally up scores.


During the melding phase of a player’s turn, they may lay off cards onto previously played melds. 

If, for example, a previously played meld uses a wild card, a player may take that card and replace it with the card that the wild was replacing.  If this happens, that wild card must immediately be used to form a new meld.  A player cannot take a wild card from a previously played meld and keep it in their hand.


The player who goes out earns zero points for the round.  The rest of the players earn points equal to the value of the cards in their hand.

Cards are worth the following point values:

Kings = 13 points

Queens = 12 points

Jacks = 11 points

2-10 = Face value of the card

Aces = 1 point

Wild Cards = 20 points


The player with the lowest score at the end of the 13th round wins the game.  In the event of a tie, the players involved in the tie should continue playing until the tie is broken.  Tie breaker rounds do not have any wild cards.

Mark Ball
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