OBJECTIVE OF PUMBA: Be the last player remaining in the game

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 – 6 players


RANK OF CARDS: (low) Ace – 7, Jack – King (high)

TYPE OF GAME: Hand shedding Card Game

AUDIENCE: Kids, Adults


Pumba is a Spanish hand shedding card game for 2 – 6 players.  Much like Crazy Eights or UNO, players are trying to be the first to get rid of all the cards.  Some cards have special abilities that make Pumba unique when compared to other hand shedding games.  It can be played with a 40 card Spanish deck or a modified 52 card deck.


 Pumba is traditionally played with a 40 card Spanish deck, but it can easily be played with a modified 52 card pack.  Remove the 8’s, 9’s, and 10’s to form the 40 card deck needed for play.

The dealer should shuffle and deal 5 cards to the first player on their left, then 4 cards to everyone else.  The rest of the deck forms the stock which is placed face down in the center of the table.


The player on the dealer’s left chooses one card from their hand to begin the discard pile.  After doing so, they should have 4 cards left in hand.  Continuing around the table, each player must match the suit or number of the card.  If they cannot play a card, they are skipped. 


There are six cards with special action abilities in the game.

Aces: Until the next card is played, everyone must be silent.  Anyone who speaks must draw two from the stock.

2’s: The next player must draw two cards from the stock.  That player can instead play another 2 with the next player being forced to draw four cards.  It is possible for all four 2’s to be played in a row with the next player drawing 8 cards. 

7’s: Turns now pass the opposite direction.

Jacks: This card is wild, and it can be played at any time.  It can even be played right after a 2.  Once played, that person picks the suit that must be followed.

Queens: The next player is skipped.

Kings: When a King is played, that player may also play another card of the same suit.

Play continues until a player only has one card remaining.  When this occurs they must call out “Pumba”.  If someone says it before them, they must draw two cards as a penalty. 

The round ends once a player discards their final card.


At the end of the round, the player who emptied their hand deducts 5 points from their score.  Players who still have cards earn penalty points. 

Aces = 1 point

Threes = 3 points

Fours = 4 points

Fives = 5 points

Sixes = 6 points

Sevens = 7 points

Queens = 9 points

Kings = 10 points

2’s = 10 points

Jacks = 10 points

Once a player earns 100 points or more, they are eliminated from the game.


The last player remaining wins the game.

Mark Ball
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