OBJECT OF SPOIL FIVE: The object of Spoil Five is to win 3 tricks.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 10 players

MATERIALS: A standard deck of 52 cards, chips or money to bid with, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game



Spoil Five is a trick-taking card game for 2 to 10 players. The goal of the game is to either win 3 tricks to take the pot or push the pot by preventing other players from winning more than 2 tricks.

Spoil Five is a bidding game where players pay stakes into the pool before each round. Players should discuss and agree upon an amount that each chip represents before the game.


The first dealer is chosen at random and then passes to the left for each new deal. Each player will start by paying a single stake into the pot. The dealer of the round must pay two stakes.

The dealer can then shuffle the deck and the player to their right may cut the deck. Then the dealer deals each player a hand of 5 cards in batches of 2 then 3 cards. The remaining cards are stacked face down to the side and the top card is revealed. It determines the trump suit for the remaining round.

If a player receives the Ace of trumps, then they must rob the pack. This is done by them discarding facedown and to the bottom of the remaining stack a card from their hand and drawing into their hand the revealed trump card. They must do this before they play the first trick. if a player fails to do this, they cannot win the round no matter if they win 3 tricks or not. The same outcome is applied to a player who tries to rob the pack without the ace of trumps.

If the dealer flips the ace of trumps as the revealed card, then they must steal from the pack. They must immediately place one of their cards from their hand facedown in front of themselves. They cannot take the ace into their hand until all other players have played their cards to the first trick, however. They may then add it to their hand and can choose to use it for the first trick if they wish to.

Card Ranking and Values

The trump suit is determined by the revealed card and ranks differently dependent on the color of the suit. It always has the same 5 cards at the start of the rank, however. So, the trump suit always ranks 5 (high), jack, Ace of hearts, Ace of trump, and then the remaining ranking depends on the color of the suit.

Red suits rank King (high), Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and Ace (low). Black suits rank King (high), Queen, Jack, Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 (low).


The game starts with the player to the left of the dealer. They may lead any card they wish to the trick. The following players must either follow suit or play a trump if they can follow suit. If they cannot follow suit, they may play any card.

If trumps are what is lead you must follow suit. The only exceptions are if you hold the three highest rank trumps you do not have to play them as long as the card you would play ranks higher than the one led. In this case, you may play any card you wish.

Tricks are won by the highest trump played, if applicable. If no trumps are played it is won by the highest card of the suit led. The winner of a trick takes it to their score pile and starts the next trick.

If you win the first three tricks played, this is called jinking. A player may choose to either accept their win here and end the round and take the pot or continue playing. If play continues then the jinking player must win all 5 tricks or they lose the pot and it is added to the next rounds pot. If they do win all 5 tricks, however, they win the pot, as well as all players, must pay them an additional number of stakes dependent on what the winning player put in the pot. If they were a regular player this is one stake, or two if they were the dealer this round.


If a player wins three tricks, they win the pot and a new one is formed before the next round. if no player reaches three tricks won then the pot remains, and additional stakes are added by each player at the start of the next round.


The game ends when players no longer want to play. There is no official winner, however, the player to win the most money may be considered so.

Amber Crook
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