OBJECTIVE OF TAKE 5: To score the fewest points possible and have the lowest score

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 – 10 players

NUMBER OF CARDS: 104 cards

RANK OF CARDS: 1 – 104

TYPE OF GAME: Trick taking

AUDIENCE: Ages 8 and up


Take 5, originally published as 6 NIMMT, is a trick taking game for 2-10 players.  During each trick, players reveal the card they choose to play at the same time.  The player with the lowest card gets to place it within a growing layout in the center of the table.  As the layout grows, players will begin collecting cards from it.  The goal is to avoid collecting cards of high value and to keep your score as low as possible.


Out of the box, you get a rule book and a deck of cards.  The Take 5 deck consists of 104 cards ranked 1 – 104.  In addition to the card’s rank, each card also has a penalty point value illustrated by a number of bull heads.

Shuffle the deck and deal 10 cards to each player.  Next, place four cards face up in a column in the center of the playing space.  The rest of the deck is placed aside for future rounds.


During each “trick”, players will choose cards from their hand that can be played to the layout. 

To begin the game, each player chooses one card from their hand and holds it face down on the table.  Once each player has done so, the cards are revealed simultaneously.  The player with the lowest card gets to add it to the layout first.


Cards are added to rows in ascending order from left to right beginning with the original four cards.  When a player adds a card to the layout, they must place it so that the chosen row continues to increase in value.  Also, if the card can be played in more than one row, it must be placed in the row with the end-card of closest value.  For example, the player must place a 23.  There are two options: a row that ends in 12 and a row that ends in 20.  The player must place the card on the row that ends in 20 because that card is closer in value.

After the player with the lowest card goes first, the player with the second lowest card takes their turn.  They do the same, placing the card on a row and passing the turn to the next lowest card.


When a player reveals a card that cannot be played on any row because it is too low, they must collect all of the cards from a row of their choice.  These cards go face down in a pile called the bull pile.  Each player has their own bull piles.  The low-card that the player would have played begins a new row in place of the one just collected.  Play passes to the player with the next lowest card.


A row with five cards is full.  If a player must add their card to a row that has five cards, they must collect that row and add the cards to their bull pile.  They begin a replacement row with the card they were about to play.  Play passes to the player with the next lowest card.


The round ends after each player has emptied their hand of cards.  Once this occurs, each player goes through their bull pile and counts up the number of bullheads they collected.  This is the player’s score for the round.

Collect the cards and shuffle them back in with the deck to make a complete pack of 104 cards.  Deal out 10 to each player and continue playing rounds until the end of the game.


The game ends once a player has reached a score of more than 66 points.   


Players earn points each round for each bullhead on the cards they have collected. 


Once the 66 point threshold has been crossed by one or more players, the person with the lowest score wins the game.

Mark Ball
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