OBJECT OF VATIKAN: The object of Vatikan is for your team to be the first to have no cards in hand.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 5 players. 

MATERIALS: Two standard decks of 52 cards plus 2 jokers, a way to keep score, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking Card Game



Vatikan is a trick-taking card game for 2 to 5 players. The goal of the game is to empty your hand before your opponents.


The dealer is chosen at random.

The dealer will shuffle the deck and deal each player a hand of 13 cards. The remaining cards form a stockpile and are kept face down in the center of the play area.

Card Ranking and Melds

The ranking is traditional with aces being the highest and lowest ranked card. Ace (high), King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and Ace (low).

This game uses melds. Melds include both sequences and sets. A meld must be at least 3 cards to be placed into play.

A sequence must all be of the same suit in ranking order. You may use Ace as the highest and lowest ranked card but not as a looping card therefore (2, Ace, King) is not a valid meld.

A set must contain at least 3 cards of the same rank but cannot contain two cards of the same suit. They must all be of different suits. This means a set can only be 4 cards long.

Jokers are wild cards and can be used as any card in a set or sequence.


The player left of the dealer starts the game and it continues clockwise from them. On a player’s turn, they must either draw one card, or meld cards. a player may not do both and must do one of the options.

The first time a player melds, they must play a sequence of 3 or more cards. After the first meld is placed then they may continue now and in future turns to play any melds they wish. They may also rearrange melds as they see fit on their turn. after you place your first meld you may also play on other players’ melds as well.


Jokers are used as wild cards and may be played to any meld where they can represent a legal card. if you wish to move to rearrange a joker that has been melded you must first replace it with the card it represents. Either from your hand or one of your existing melds.


The game ends when a player manages to empty their hand completely. This player wins the game.   

Amber Crook
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