Mao 2fTrafalgar

Mao (Trafalgar Variant)

It is in violation of the ethos of Mao (and ruins quite a lot of the "fun" of the game) to learn the rules by any means other than by gameplay.

See the page on Mao for more information.

Nope I've made my mind up - I have no interest in ever playing this game but due to academic curiosity want to look at the rules.

Alright then, Don't say you weren't warned!

This page lists the rules for the Trafalgar variant of Mao.

The format of this page is directly inspired by the listing of rules for Ultimate Mao.

Players: Best with three to seven, but enjoyable games can be played with only two (if they are both familiar with the game). For large groups (8+ players) it is usually best to start additional games rather than exceed seven players.

Cards: Standard 54 card (jokers) playing decks. It is very important that all card decks be of the same size, however the appearance of card fronts and backs are irrelevant. Trafalgar is played with jokers in place and starts with two decks. Any time a player must draw (or receive a penalty card) and there are insufficient cards in the stock to do so, immediately add an additional (shuffled) deck to the bottom of the stock.

The Deal: The decks are shuffled together adequately by the dealer (note that the initiation of shuffling begins the game). The dealer is either the last winner of the game, or the most "veteran" player present. After shuffling, prior to dealing cards to the players, the dealer says with great solemnity, "The dealing of the untraditional five-card Mao will now begin to the dealer's left." Once the deal is complete, the dealer places the remaining cards in the middle of the table as the stock. While flipping over the top card and placing it adjacent to the stock to create the play pile, the dealer pronounces, "The playing of the untraditional five-card Mao will now begin to the dealer's left."

Rules of Play: When it's a player's turn, they must play a valid card or draw one card from the stock, unless they say "Hold on" and have a large number of cards, then they have up to one minute to play a valid card or draw from the stock. Once you touch the stock, you have to take the top card of the stock, even if it's unintentional (unless you're giving a penalty). Generally, valid cards are those that match the suit or rank of the top face-up card. However there are great many exceptions to this guideline.

Five Second Rule: Actions a player performs must not exceed a five second "idle" period. In other words, if a card must be played the player has five seconds to do so. If while playing the card they must say/do something then they have an additional five seconds to do so after playing the card. These "five second chains" may extend as long as needed. However, it is considered *extremely* poor form to use the five second rule as a delaying tactic or to intentionally bog down the game.

Special Cards:

The Count: once 'the Count' has begun, each following player must either play an ace or two (which increases 'the Count' by that number) or draw a number of cards equal to 'the Count.' After a player has drawn in response to 'the Count', even if the next player plays a two, 'the Count' starts anew at "two!"

Have a Nice Day: Once 'have a nice day' has begun, players must either play a seven (which increases the number of 'verys' in the phrase "Have a (NumberofConsecutiveSevens-1 * 'very) nice day." Or draw a number of cards equal to CurrentNumberofVerys+1.

Draw a Card PlayerName: Once begun, the players must either draw the number of cards specified (with the number of cards to draw increasing by one with the play of each king in the exchange) or respond with a king of their own, "draw NumberOfKingsPlayedInExchange cards OtherPlayerName." NOTE: play resumes with the player following the player who last successfully played a king.

Multiple Calls: If a card being played requires the player to say more than one thing, they must say all the things required. For example, if they play an 8 of spades they must say "eight of spades. skip!"

Point Of Order: Whenever someone wishes to speak, they must call a point of order. During a point of order, no penalties are to be given (however they can be awarded when the game resumes for infractions incurred from within the point of order) and no one is allowed to touch their cards.

Ending a Point of Order: Anyone can end a point of order by saying "end point of order." However it is usually considered polite to allow the caller to call an end to the point of order.

Recursive Points of Order: Ever time a player says "point of order", a point of order is instantiated - even from within a point of order! Thus while in a point of order players use the phrase "P of O." If more than one point of order has been called then multiple calls of "end point of order" will be necessary to recurse back to regular gameplay. In a worst case scenario where the game state becomes unknown, a player can call a point of order and then say "end all points of order."

Penalties: There are a lot of penalties in the game. When a player is giving a penalty card, they must say the reason for the penalty. What follows is a non-exhaustive list:

(I personally disagree with a few of these: there is redundancy and overlap. For example, if a player says "Have a very very nice day" instead of "Have a very nice day", I would be inclined to give that player a card for "Talking" and then: "Failure to say Have a very nice day." -- it is specific enough. But then, I'm a traditionalist Cambridge Mao player, and that version prides itself on extra sadism and pedantry... -Graeme Jefferis.)

Multiple Penalty Calls: This is when a player breaks more than one rule in the game. The player is given the same number of cards as the number of rules they have broken. For example: If a player plays a 7 of clubs on a 6 of diamonds, and it's not their turn, they would receive two penalty cards and take their card back. The penalty cards received are for playing out of turn and misplay.

Bad Call: If the recipient of a penalty card believes that the penalty giver has given an incorrect penalty card, then the player gives the penalty card back (pushes back in their direction) and says 'Bad Call.' This usually generates a debate between the two players and is an allowable exception to the normal 'no talking' rule. Once the two have resolved the bad call, one of the two takes the penalty card(s) and play resumes. NOTE: While the two players engaged in the dispute may speak, the other players are still restrained unless a point of order is called. A bad call may be discussed, but can not be resolved in a point of order (no touching cards, no penalty cards issued). NOTE: If the receiving player looks at the card or places it into their hand, they no longer have the option of contesting the penalty via 'bad call.'

Dead Lock: If the two players in a 'bad call' dispute are unable to resolve the issue then either of the players may say "vote!" The player issuing the penalty card may then make a brief 30 second statement in support of their side followed by the other player who also has 30 seconds to make their point. The penalty card issuer then says "penalty card!" and raises their hand in the air and counts the votes of other players who raised their hands as well. The bad call issuer then says "bad call!" and does likewise. In the case of a tie, the penalty card stands. All votes are final.

Winning the game: If playing a card reduces the hand size of a player to one, they must say 'Last Card.' If they have no cards left, they say "Mao," unless the last card played was a joker, in which case they say "Mao, Mao." NOTE: If the card played requires you to say something, you must still say every element you're required to say before saying "Last Card,"' "Mao," or "Mao Mao." If a player successfully wins the game, the player secretly creates a new rule and the game restarts with the new secret rule in play.

Secret Rules: New rules introduced should be conducive to the overall flow of Mao, and should to the best extent possible not override existing rules except where this is done intentionally to remove or modify a rule that the winning player believes is disruptive/abusive/annoying. Further, new rules may only contain triggering conditions relating to the game state, nothing else. Also, the rule should not contain any dependencies on 'historical' information extending beyond the top of the play pile or things that were said by the previous player.

Thus an example of a good rule would be:

"Three: may be played on cards of that rank, or color (rather than just the suit)."

A bad rule would be:

"Jack: if played by a male player and no aces are present in the play pile, then all players must draw a card."