The Original Wizard Card Game: Rules for How to Play - Geeky Hobbies (2024)

Looking for a specific The Original Wizard Card Game rule? | Setup | Bidding | Playing the Game | Wizards and Jesters | Scoring | Winning the Game | Bidding Variations | FAQ | Components |

Objective

The objective of The Original Wizard Card Game is to score the most points by winning tricks and correctly predicting how many tricks you will win.

Setup

  • Randomly deal each player a card to start the game. The player that receives the highest card starts the game as the dealer. See below to see the ranks of the different cards. The role of dealer passes to the player on the left after each round.
  • For each round the dealer deals out a different number of cards. For the first round, one card is dealt out to each player. For the second round, they will deal two cards to each player. This continues until the round when all of the cards are dealt out.
  • Turn over the top card from the remaining cards. The suit of the turned over card becomes the trump suit for the round. If a Jester is turned over, there is no trump suit for the round. If you reveal a Wizard, the dealer looks at their hand and chooses one of the suits to become the trump suit. For the last round there is no trump suit since all of the cards are dealt out.

Bidding

Each round of The Original Wizard Card Game begins with all of the players bidding on how many tricks they think they will win in the round. You can bid any number between zero and the number of cards that were dealt out for the round.

The player to the left of the dealer makes the first bid. Each of the players in a clockwise direction make their own bid. You will record all of the bids on the score pad. Your bid is independent of what the other players bid. The total number of expected won tricks can be higher or lower than the number of tricks in the round.

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How to Play The Original Wizard Card Game

After each player has made their bid for the round, players will begin playing cards from their hands. The player to the left of the dealer starts the round.

The player that starts the trick can play any card from their card to lead.

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Moving in a clockwise direction, the rest of the players will then play a card. If a player has a card in their hand that matches the suit of the lead card, the player must play it. Should you have multiple cards of the lead suit, you can choose which one you want to play.

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If you do not have a card in your hand that matches the lead suit, you may play a card of any suit. This includes playing a card of the trump suit.

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Card Values

The cards in The Original Wizard Card Game have different values.

Jester cards are the least valuable cards in the game. The only way to win a trick with a Jester is if every other card played during the round is also a Jester.

The cards then go in numerical order starting with two cards. Aces are higher than all number and face (Jacks, Queens, Kings) cards.

Finally Wizards are the most valuable card in the game.

Winning a Trick

After everyone has played a card in the trick, you will determine which player won the trick.

If one or more players played a Wizard card, the first player to play one wins the trick.

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Should no one play a Wizard, check to see if anyone played a card that matches the trump suit. If anyone played a trump suit card, whoever played the highest trump suit card wins the trick.

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If no one plays a Wizard or trump suit card, the highest valued card of the lead suit wins the trick.

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You should keep track of how many tricks each player wins each round. Players should also be able to know how many tricks each player bid for the round, and how many they have won so far in the round. You can write down how many tricks each player has won, keep the cards played in the trick in front of the player that won the trick, or you could use poker chips or other markers to note each won trick.

Whoever wins a trick leads the next trick in the round.

Wizards and Jesters

There are two exceptions to playing cards. The Wizard and Jester cards can be played at any time. You may play them even if you have a card that matches the lead suit.

Should you lead a trick with a Wizard card, you will automatically win the trick. This is because the Wizard is the most powerful card in the game. The rest of the players can play whichever card they want from their hand.

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Should you lead a trick with a Jester card, your card is considered null. The next played card determines the lead suit for the trick. Jesters are the weakest cards in the game. You can only win a trick with a Jester if all of the other players also play a Jester. In that case the first player to play a Jester wins the trick.

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Scoring

The round ends as soon as the players play all of the cards from their hand.

Each player then determines how many points they scored in the round. Throughout the round the players should have kept track of how many tricks they won. You will compare the number of tricks you won versus the number you bid at the start of the round.

If you bid exactly right, you receive 20 points. You will also score 10 bonus points for each trick you won.

If your bid did not match the number of tricks you won, you will lose points. For each trick you are off by, you will lose 10 points. For example you bid that you would win two tricks. You ended up winning three tricks. You will lose 10 points.

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Winning the Game

You will keep playing rounds until you play a round where all 60 cards are used. The number of rounds you will play are as follows:

  • 3 Players – 20 rounds
  • 4 Players – 15 rounds
  • 5 Players – 12 rounds
  • 6 Players – 10 rounds

After all of the rounds have been played, you will total each players’ score. The player that scored the most points wins the game.

Bidding Variations

If you would like to tweak the gameplay there are three variations to the bidding that you can use.

First you can play where all of the players reveal their bids for the round at the same time.

You could choose to have each player write their bid down at the beginning of the round. You will not reveal your bid until the end of the round.

Finally you could choose to use the “Canadian Rule”. Should the last player to bid in the round (the dealer) have the most points in the game so far (does not count if they are tied with another player), they have restrictions on what they can bid. They cannot make a bid that makes the total number of tricks bid equal the number of tricks being played in the round. For example if there are six tricks and the other players bids equal four, the dealer can’t bid two tricks. The one exception to this is that the dealer can always bid zero if they want to.

The Original Wizard Card Game FAQ

If you have any questions about how to play the game, leave a comment below on this post. I will try to answer any questions asked as best and as quickly as possible.

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Components

  • Standard 52 Card Deck (13 cards of each suit)
  • 4 Jester Cards
  • 4 Wizard Cards
  • Scorepad
  • Instructions

Year: 1984 | Publisher: Canada Games Company, U.S. Games Systems | Designer: Ken Fisher | Artist: Franz Vohwinkel

Genres: Betting, Card, Trick-Taking

Ages: 10+ | Number of Players: 3-6 | Length of Game: 45 minutes

Difficulty: Light | Strategy: Moderate | Luck: Moderate

For more board and card game rules/how to plays, check out our complete alphabetical list of card and board game rules posts.

Written By:

Eric Mortensen

Eric Mortensen is an owner and head writer on Geeky Hobbies since 2014. He is an avid board game player and collector with over 3,000 board and card games in his collection. Since 2014 he has written more than 1,100 board game how to play guides.

The Original Wizard Card Game: Rules for How to Play - Geeky Hobbies (2024)
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