Designed by Andrew Walker
Alley Cat is a trick taking card game for two players. During the game, each player tries to win tricks that are as valuable as possible. A trick’s value is determined by finding the difference between the two cards within it. Watch out for the alley cat. Whoever captures it in the trick will lose points from their score.
Strip a standard 52 card deck down to aces up through kings in spades and clubs. Also keep the 5 of diamonds to form a 27 card deck.
FOR KEEPING SCORE
A cribbage board is recommended for keeping score, but a piece of paper and pencil works fine.
Shuffle and deal six cards to each player. Place the rest of the deck face down to form the stock.
Deal alternates each round.
The non-dealer begins the first trick with any card from their hand.
The opposite player then plays any card from their hand.
Whoever plays the card with the highest rank wins the trick. If two cards with the same rank are played, the club card beats the spade. For example, if a 6♠ and a 6♣ are played to the trick, the 6♣ wins.
Keep captured tricks organized for scoring at the end of the round.
The player who loses the trick draws one card from the stock. The trick-winner does not draw.
The trick-winner leads the next trick, and play continues as described until one player runs out of cards. This ends the round.
THE ALLEY CAT
The 5♦ is a special card called the alley cat. When it is played, the trick-winner must draw a card rather than the trick-loser. The trick-loser leads the next trick.
Note that the 5♦ ranks higher than the 5♠ and 5♣.
ENDING THE ROUND
The round ends as soon as a player is out of cards.
Each trick is worth the difference in value between each card. For example, if a trick contains a 6 and a 2, that trick is worth four points. If a trick contains two cards of the same rank, it is worth zero points.
SCORING THE ALLEY CAT
The trick containing the alley cat is worth negative points. Determine the value of the trick like normal but subtract that number from your score.
Continue playing rounds until one player reaches 44 points or more. That player is the winner.
ALTERNATIVE SCORING METHOD
Score tricks as soon as they are captured. When playing this way, the game ends as soon as one player reaches 44 points or more.
Free PDF of Alley Cat