Designed by Mark S. Ball
CUPID is a racing, trick taking card game for two players. Each player tries to capture high valued tricks by carefully playing their cards. Every trick’s value depends on the cards within it. Play cards to maximize the point value for yourself or to minimize the total points for your opponent.
To prepare the CUPID deck for play, you will need the Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, & 10 of Hearts and Spades. You will also need the Queen of Diamonds (Anima), Jack of Clubs (Monster), the King of Hearts (Cupid), and a Joker (Zephyr). This makes a 24 card deck. The rest of the cards can be placed aside. They are not used.
FOR KEEPING SCORE
A running score is kept during the game. Players add points to their score after every trick they capture. It is recommended that players use a cribbage board or a digital scorekeeping app. See the SCORE section for details on point values.
To determine the first dealer, each player draws one card off the top of the deck. The player who draws the lowest card deals first.
Shuffle and deal 5 cards to each player. Players should not let their opponent see their hand.
Next, deal 2 cards face down as the prize trick. The player who captures the final trick also wins the prize trick. Place the rest of the deck face down as the stock. Turn the next card face up on the right side of the stock. This is called the turn-up card.
THE FIRST TRICK
The dealer leads the first trick by choosing a card from their hand and playing it face up to the center of the table. Next, the opposite player chooses any card from their hand and plays it face up as well. The highest ranking card takes the trick.
NUMBER CARDS IN THE TRICK
The higher numbered card wins the trick regardless of suit. If two cards of the same rank are played to the trick, the Spade beats the Heart.
CHARACTER CARDS IN THE TRICK
The Queen is the only card that can capture the King.
The Jack captures everything ranked 5 and below. If the Jack captures the trick, the trick-loser leads.
The King captures everything but the Queen.
The Joker always loses the trick, and it makes the trick worth zero points.
After the trick is complete, the trick-winner should calculate the points they earn. See the SCORE section for details. After determining the score, collect the trick and set it aside face down. Players are not allowed to look at these cards once they are collected.
Each player must draw a card. The trick-winner draws first. They may draw the top card from the stock, or they may take the turn-up card. The opposite player takes the card that the trick-winner did not choose.
After both players have drawn, flip the next card over as the new turn-up card.
The trick-winner leads the next trick. Remember, if the trick is won with the Jack, the trick-loser leads.
As the round continues, the entire stock will be drawn. Once the stock is empty, each player will have five cards in their hand. Finish the round with those five cards.
THE LAST TRICK
The player who captures the last trick also wins the prize trick. Points are earned for the final trick and the prize trick. See PRIZE TRICK SCORING for more information.
BEGIN A NEW ROUND
After all of the cards have been played, and the points have been tallied, it is time to start a new round.
The player that has more points collects the cards, shuffles, and deals. They also lead the first trick. If the score is tied, the last player to take a trick shuffles, deals, and leads.
COMPLETING A GAME
Continue playing rounds until one player reaches 121 points. This ends the game. This can happen in the middle of a round.
NUMBER CARD SCORING
For a Spade/Heart trick, add the card values together. The trick-winner earns points for the total.
For a Heart/Heart trick, subtract the card values. The trick-winner earns points for the difference.
All Spade/Spade tricks are worth 1 point to the trick-winner.
CHARACTER CARD SCORING
The Queen, Jack, and King are all worth 0 or 11 points. They are worth 0 points when in a trick with a Number Card or 11 points when in a trick with another Character Card except for the Joker. All cards are worth 0 points when in a trick with the Joker.
When a Number Card is in a trick with a Character Card other than the Joker, the trick is worth the Number Card’s value.
PRIZE TRICK SCORING
The player that captures the last trick of the round also wins the prize trick. The prize trick is scored just like a typical trick.
The first player to earn 121 points or more immediately wins the game. Remember, this can occur in the middle of a round.
Enjoy the game? Consider buying the designer a cup of coffee.