This is a game for three players with the unusual feature of a bargaining round.
Pack: A Loka of 78 cards is used consisting of four regular suits of 14 cards, a suit of 21 trumps (excluding the Good & Evil cards), and The Fool.
Ranking: Rational ranking is used...
Pip cards rank in suit from high to low:
King, Queen, Cavalier, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, Ace
Trumps rank by their number, 21 high, 1 low.
Empty Cards: These are cards that have values of 1 point or less.
Honours: The Magician, The World, and The Fool are called The Honours. They are always among the highest scoring cards.
Card Points are:
|All others||1 point|
A game consists of three hands
Deal: First Dealer is chosen at random or by consent with the role moving to the player on the right after each hand.
Dealer hands out 25 cards to each player in five packets of 5 cards, with dealer taking the remaining 3 cards into his/her hand.
After each round of the deal excluding the first and the last, there is an opportunity for players to evaluate their hands so far and to bargain to discontinue the hand.
After each packet is dealt, there is a round of bargaining where players speak in turn, beginning with Eldest (the player to Dealer’s left). Players may pass, they may declare the game points they are willing accept to discontinue the hand, they may declare the number of game points they are willing to give to discontinue the hand, or they may call for the deal to continue. Once players have spoken they may not speak again on their next turn to better their previous offer – so a player who has offered points to discontinue may not offer fewer points the next round (though they may offer more), nor may a player who has asked for points to discontinue ask for more the next round (though they may accept fewer). Bargaining continues until either a player calls to continue or until the game points offered to discontinue at least equal or exceed the points demanded. If the hand is to be discontinued, players settle up points and then deal moves to the left.
Once a deal has been completed, Dealer discards three cards that may not include either Honours or Kings, these cards will count towards his/her tricks at the end of the hand.
Declarations: Players then have an opportunity to make some declarations for bonus points (these do not count towards card points and thus towards winning the hand but are treated as game points won against the other players). The available bonuses are:
Abundance: Players may score 10 points for declaring 10 or more trumps in their hand with an additional point for every trump over 10. Players with more than 10 trumps need not declare all of them but any trumps used to score must be exposed to the other players. Trumps used to declare Abundance may not be used to declare more than one of the other bonuses.
Kings: Players may score 20 points for declaring that they hold all four Kings, they may also score a further 5 points for every Honour card held in addition. However, if declaring both Kings and Honours, players may not use their King cards to increase their Honours bonus.
Honours: Players may score 15 points for declaring that they hold all three Honours, they may also score a further 5 points for every King held in addition. However, if declaring both Honours and Kings, they may not use their Honour cards to increase their Kings bonus.
Mixed Honours: If players are not declaring either Kings or Honours they may still score 10 points for declaring they hold Kings and Honours that total four cards, with an additional 5 points for every one over four.
Play: Eldest (Dealer’s Left) leads to the first trick by placing a card face up on the table. Each player in turn, moving to the left, must play a card from their hand of the suit led – this is called following suit. If they do not have any cards of the suit led, it is called being void in that suit and they must play a trump card instead. However, if they have no trumps, they may then play any other card, though it will not win. Whoever plays the highest trump to the trick wins it, or if trumps are not played, then whoever played the highest card of the suit led wins it. The winner takes the cards and places them face down in their trick pile to be counted at the end.
The player that wins the trick then leads to the next one and play continues until the hand has been played out.
If The Fool is held, then it may be played at any time instead of a card that the rules might otherwise require and although it will not win, it is seldom lost. When played, The Fool is returned to to its player who then places it face up beside them until the end of the hand when they must pay the player who won the trick with a card from their trick pile (obviously, they will choose an empty card if they can). However, if they have taken no tricks, then they must surrender The Fool instead.
Scores: The card points are counted singly, so that there are a total of 146 card points in the pack. Players win or lose 1 game point for every card point in their hand over or below 49.