created by Derek Hohls
Zuits is a trick-taking game for 4 players played over 4 hands. At the start of each hand, the whole deck is shuffled and dealt out. Players then select two cards to create their own objective for that hand. Each hand consists of 10 tricks. In a trick, each player takes a turn to play one or more cards. The winner of the trick collects the cards that have been played. At the end of the hand, players score according to how well they have met their objective. The winner of the game, after 4 hands, is the one with the best score. In case of a tie, another hand may be played if any of the tied players so wishes.
The aim of the game is to get the lowest possible score. A player’s score is determined by how well the cards they collect during the game match with their chosen objective cards (see The Hand & The Score).
Each hand is played over 10 tricks. The start player for the first trick of the first hand is determined randomly. Thereafter, the start player for each next hand will be the player to the left of the previous start player. The start player should shuffle the deck and deal out 13 cards to each player. Three cards will not be dealt out and should be set aside, without revealing them, for the current hand.
Before the first round, each player must select two objective cards to set a total count and color of the cards that they want to collect by the end of the hand. These two cards are then set aside face-down and only revealed at the end of the round.
The total value of the two objective cards is the desired total count of cards that they want to collect by the end of the hand (the actual values on the cards collected are irrelevant). So, if your two Objective cards are a 2 and a 3, you want collect 5 of your chosen color.
If both cards are the same color, then that is the objective color; if one card is colored and the other a joker, then the colored card determines the objective color; if both cards are jokers (Wilds), then the player is free to choose their own objective color at the end of the hand; if both cards are different colors, then the player chooses one of them as the objective color at the end of the hand.
In each trick, each player has one turn to play one (or two) cards. The color of the card must match the card played chosen by the start player. If a joker (Wild) is played, it will automatically match the color chosen by the start player. Only if a player does not have a matching color, or a joker (Wild), may they choose to play another color; but the card they play will have no effect (either in terms of its value or suit) on that trick. If a joker (Wild) is played as the first card for the trick, the player who plays it chooses which color it will be for the trick.
It is possible that, at some point during the hand, a player may have no cards left to play. In this case, they simply “sit out” and do not participate until the score is determined.
Depending on the suit of the card played, the card may have an effect on play (see Effects of Card Suits).
The winner of the trick is the one who has played the highest value card(s); or in case of a Play State Change effect, the lowest card(s). In case of a tie, the player who has first played the winning value, wins the trick. The winner collects all the cards played and sets them aside until the end of the hand, when they are used to determine that player’s score (see The Score). The winner also becomes the start player for the next trick.
If a player still has a card in hand at the end of the trick, that card is discarded.
Each of the 5 suits of the Zont deck has a special power. Use these when you play your first card in a trick.
ART (+) : Play an additional card from your hand. The color of the card must match that chosen for the trick.
CHANGE (-) : May remove the card most recently played. The card is set aside and is not used further in the current hand.
FAVORS (four dots) : This card immediately “toggles” the trick objective. If the objective is to have the highest value card(s), the objective becomes to have the lowest value card(s), and vice versa.
GREAT ZONT (single dot) : This card cannot be removed (by Change) or copied (by a Giglet).
GIGLET (infinity) : Copy the effect of any card already played (with the exception of a Great Zont). This includes copying the effect of a previously played Wild.
At the end of a hand, each player’s score is determined as follows. Using only cards matching the objective color (in some cases chosen at this time), the total of the cards collected is compared to the objective value. For each card less or more than the objective, the player loses one point. Wild cards can be counted as cards of any color for scoring purposes.
For example, a player has selected Red 3 and Blue 2 as her objective cards. During the hand, she collects 4 Red, 4 Blue and 2 Gold cards. She now chooses Red as her objective color. The four Red cards represent a difference of “one” when compared with her objective value of “five”, and so her score is “1” (one). If she had one Wild card instead of a Gold, she could count that as a Red and so her score would be “0” (zero).
All players must agree before game start to use any optional rule(s).
If players find that the scores are often tied, they can choose to use this optional scoring rule.
The points difference from the player’s objective is squared (the number is multiplied by itself). A difference of “1” is a score of “1”; “2” is a score of “4”; “3” is a score of “9”; and so on.
If a player still has cards in hand at the end of the round, those card may (at the player’s choice) be added to their collected cards.