STRAWMAN



OBJECTIVE OF STRAWMAN: Be the first to earn 300 points or more.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 Players

NUMBER OF CARDS: 36 playing cards

RANK OF CARDS: (low) 9 – A (high)

TYPE OF GAME: Trick taking

AUDIENCE: Adults


INTRODUCTION OF STRAWMAN

Strawman is a trick taker for two players designed by Sean Ross, the designer behind Haggis.  In this game, each player capture tricks using cards from their hand and their layout.  The cards in the layout are referred to as strawmen.  

Rather than earn points for each trick captured, players earn points based on the rank of the cards that are captured.  This causes low ranking cards to have a higher value and changes the dynamic of typical trick taking gameplay.  

THE CARDS & THE DEAL

 Strawman uses a 36 card deck which incorporates cards A – 9 from each suit.  One thing players should note is that in this game, Aces are high and 9’s are low making the rank of cards (low) 9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,A (high).


Deal eighteen cards to each player as follows:  deal the first five with the face side down to form a row, deal the next five face up on top of the previously dealt row, and deal eight cards to each player to form their hand.

Deal alternates each round.

THE PLAY

DETERMINE TRUMP

The non-dealer determines the trump suit for the round.

CHOOSE A CAPTURE CARD

After trump is determined but before the first trick is played, each player chooses one card from their hand to begin their capture pile.  Players earn points at the end of the round for the card they choose.This leaves each player with a seven card hand to start the game.

THE FIRST TRICK

The non-dealer leads by playing any card from their hand or any face up card from their strawman row.  Do not flip up any exposed face down cards until the trick is complete.  If the opposite player can follow suit, they can choose to follow suit or play a trump card.  If they can’t, they play any card from their hand.  The highest ranked card in the lead suit or the highest ranked trump card takes the trick.

The trick-winner leads the next one.  Play continues until all of the tricks have been played.

SCORING

Each card is worth points equal to the value of the card.  For example, a 1 is worth 1 point, a 2 is worth 2 points, and so on.

WINNING

Be the first to earn 300 points or more.

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Mark Ball
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