OBJECT OF ZHAO PENGYOU: The objective of Zhao Pengyou is to be the first player to pass the Ace level.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 5 or More Players

MATERIALS: 2 Standard 52 Card Decks

TYPE OF GAME: Trick Taking Game



Zhao Pengyou is a level raising type game that includes trick taking along the way. Each team, the defending and attacking, attempt to win more points and level up throughout the course of the game. The first team to pass the Ace level, wins!


To begin setup, the level and trump suit must be established. A player will cut the deck, choose the card, and count that many around the table in a counterclockwise direction. This chosen player is now the first to draw.

Each player will draw a card, hoping for a two. When someone draws a level card, a two of some sort, they show it by laying it in front of them where everyone can see it. This determines the trump for the hand.

This player is now the dealer. They will deal all the cards in the deck, except the last eight to the players one at a time.

To choose teammates, the leader will announce a card. The first player to throw that card down is their teammate, creating the defending team. the other players will be the attacking team.

The game is ready to begin!


The leader will begin the first trick and gameplay continues in a counterclockwise manner around the group. Each player will throw the same number of cards, attempting to follow suit and pattern as closely as they can. The winner of the trick is the player who played the highest card in the suit with which the trick was led.

Single cards or pairs may be played, but cards of the leading suit must be played if they are able. Pairs can only be beaten by other pairs of greater ranking. After all the cards have been played, the points are tallied.

Fives are worth five points. Tens and Kings are worth ten points.

If the attacking team scored no points, then the defending team may move up three levels. If the attacking team scored five to thirty-five points, the defending team moves up two levels. If the attacking team scored forty to seventy-five points, then the defending team moves up only one level.

 If the attacking team scores 120-155 points, they move up one level, 160-195 points moves them up two levels, and 200 or more moves them up three levels.

Gameplay continues like this until a team passes the ace level. At this point that team wins.


The game comes to an end when a team has passed all of the levels including Ace. At this point, the team is declared the winners!

Nakoa Davis