How to play gloom with a 52 card deck
I played the Edward Gorey insired card game Gloom the other day. The game and mechanics are fun, if the dark humor of the game isn't for you then try these rules on a standard 52 card deck.
Each player will have a family of face cards. The Aces will act as kill cards and the red/black number cards are the score cards. At the end of the game the number cards are talled with the Black numbers increasing the score and the Red cards decreasing the score. High score wins, tie-breaker is who has more cards.
- Players: 2-4
- Materials: 1 complete 52 card poker deck.
- Set aside all face cards: Ace, King, Queen, and Jack.
- Set aside Aces and organize remining face cards by suit.
- Each player gets a set of face cards.
- Each player puts their face cards face up in front of them.
- Suffle Aces back into the deck. (These will be the kill cards) Even if there are not four players all four sets of face cards (minus aces) are set reserved and not suffled back into the deck.
- Suffle deck thuroughly.
- Deal each player 5 cards.
- First player is:
- Dark side: The player which most recently went to a funeral.
- Light side: The player which most recently went to a birth (or baby shower).
Game play is setup into three phases.
- Action Phase 1: play any card in your hand on any live face card. Remember Aces are kill cards and can only be played this phase.
- Action Phase 2: play any number card on any live face card. Aces cannot be played on this round.
- Draw as many cards as is needed to get to 5 card in your hand.
The game is over when all four Aces have been played or when all of one players face cards are killed.
Scoring is simple. Each played card is worth its face value. Black cards are scored positivally and Red cards are scored negativally. Aces played on the same suit are scored with a positive 11 points --otherwise Aces hold no value.
Please create some house rules that will increase the enjoyment of the game. Some house rules that I considered are:
- Playing the same number twice gives the player an addtional play (including aces) (no more than four cards played at once).
- Play with the above rule and instead of limiting to four cards add the end game condition of if a player plays all their cards the game is over.
House rules should be agreed to before the start of the game. Or if your hosting the game it is your house and your rules. :)