OBJECT OF STORTOK: The object of Stortok is to not be the last player to empty their hand.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 5 players

MATERIALS: A modified deck of 52 cards, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Shedding and beating Card Game

AUDIENCE: Teens and Adults


Stortok is a shedding and beating card game for 3 to 5 players. The goal of the game is to not be the last player to empty their hand. This game has no winner only the loser who does not complete the goal above.


First, the deck will need to be modified to a 36-card deck. This is done by removing all card 5 and below from the deck. The dealer can be any player who wishes to deal.

The dealer will shuffle the deck and deal each player a 5-card hand. The remaining deck is used to form a facedown stockpile in the center of the play area. The top card of the stock is then flipped to start the discard pile next to it. This card will also determine both of the trump suits (discussed below) for the game.

Card Rankings

The ranking for Stortok is Ace (high), king, queen, jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, and 6 (low). There are also two trump suits determined by the flipped card from the stockpile. The high trumps are the suit if the slipped card and are the highest-ranked card of the game. The low trumps are the other suit of cards that match the color of the card flipped. These beat non-trump cards but do not beat high trump cards.


The game starts with the player left of the dealer and proceeds clockwise. On a player’s turn, they can play a card that is higher ranking than the top card of the discard pile. if all players manage to beat the top card of the discard pile on their turn, or when all players have played a card to it, the trick is completed and the last player to play a card starts a new trick by playing another card to the pile.

If they cannot or wish not to do so they take the top card of the discard pile into their hand. If a player does play a card from their hand, they will draw the top card of the stockpile to refresh their hand. Once the stock is depleted players no longer draw from the stock and play with the cards from their hand.

Eventually, players will start to drop from the game as they empty their hands and are safe from being the loser. 


The game ends when only a single player remains with cards in their hand. This player has lost the game and is declared the Stortok or “the great fool”. Additional games can be played in sequence to find the ultimate loser, or to find a “winner” aka the player who has been the loser the least.

Amber Crook
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