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A. Thomas Heald
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650 words


Got-Ya -- The Card Game
by Tom Heald

  A card game that can be played by 
2 to 9 players from preteens to senior citizens.

Got-Ya or Got'ya is a strategy game that can be played by 2 to 9 players varying in age from preteens to senior citizens. The rules are simple and easy to remember, yet it combines the concepts of bidding, trump, no-trump and discarding with the strategy of "running" the card. Harts and Bridge fans fine it a great change-of-pace game or a challenging alternative when 4 players are not available.

With 5 to 9 players, 5 cards are dealt one at a time around the table. For 3 or 4 players 10 cards are dealt and with 2 players, each is dealt 15 cards. Each player can discard up to one-fifth of their hand and receive replacement cards from the dealer in the same order the cards were dealt. After the final discard has been replenished, the dealer starts the bidding with the number of tricks expected to win. Bidding continues around the table until everybody has passed.

The highest bidder then declare trump by exposing a trump card face up on the table or any card face down to play no-trump. The exposed card remains on the table during play but it may be played any time it is the players turn. The winning bidder leads the first card. All players must follow suite, if possible; otherwise, any card may be played. The highest card of the suite lead or the highest trump card wins the trick. Ace is always high and a joker (if used) counts as the highest non-trump card. If two jokers are played, then the last one played is considered highest.

When the bidder wins the number of tricks bid or more, the amount bid is scored; otherwise, each of the other players score the full amount bid. There is no credit for overtricks. The one exception is when no tricks are taken by the winning bidder. It’s called a "Got-Ya", and the full amount bid is scored by the bidder. The person to the dealers left becomes the next dealer as play continues. The first player to reach or exceed an agreed to score -- typically between 25 and 50 points -- or a specific number of rounds wins. A standard 52 card deck with 2 optional jokers is used for play. With 9 players, the 2 jokers are required. In all other cases the use of jokers is optional.


When a small number of people are playing, 50 points usually determines the winner; however, with 5 or more players it is generally considered more equitable to play for a specific number of rounds. This gives each player an equal opportunity to open the biding while lessening chance of any one player being shutout of the bidding more than any other. In the case of a tie, the player with the most Got-Ya’s wins.

Any person can keep score, or it can rotate around the table. Typically it is the scorer’s responsibility to enter the bid under the winning bidders name before play begins. If the bid is won, the amount is added to the previous total. If lost, the bid is circled or placed in parenthesis and the amount bid is added to each of the other players' total while the loser's score remains unchanged. Got-Ya’s are usually placed in quotes.

In this example, Ranger the Border Collie dealt 5 cards to each player, they each of the dogs had a chance to discarder 1 and received a replacement from the remaining cards in the deck.  Quean bid 4 and won 5 in the first round. Ranger bid 5, but only made 4 in the second round. King bid and made 4. Ranger finally made a bid of 3.  King bid 5 and scored a "Got-Ya" on the fifth round.  Then Prince squeaked by, making a bid of 3 in the sixth round.   Then Buster bid 5 and ran them all.  In the eighth round Pug finally made a bid of 4 and took 4 of 5.







Pug Buster

+4 = 4


(5) = 0

+5 = 5

+5 = 9

+5 = 5

+5 = 5

 +5 = 5 +5 = 5

+4 = 9


+3 = 3


"5" = 14

6          +3 = 7    
7             +5 = 10
 8           +4 = 9  

In Got-Ya, after the deal you discard and then it's time to bid.

Let me know if you Like this game & please leave a comment.

Please rate Got-Ya and let me know what you think.  Just click on one of the ratings below.

[ * Stinks | ** So-So | *** Good | **** Great | ***** Loved It ]

Your feedback is important to me.  Any additional comments will be appreciated.  Thanks, Tom Heald.

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