Palace is a fun card game that’s great to play with friends and family. It’s not too long of a game and it isn’t fast-paced like other card games. The goal of Palace is simple: be the first player to get rid of all your cards. There are different rules and variations depending on how you learned, but here is the basic structure.
After shuffling the deck, the dealer hands out three cards face down to each player. The players are not allowed to look at these cards. Next, the dealer gives six cards to each player; these are allowed to be looked at. Now, the players must choose three cards to lay face up upon the cards laying face down. The best idea is to choose your highest cards. Once everyone is ready, the dealer places the rest of the deck in the middle of the table and draws the first card. If it’s a special card (which we’ll look at in a moment) or if nobody can set down an equal or higher card, then a new card is selected.
When it’s your turn, you must play a card that either matches or beats the card lying in the center. Some people may play that you are not allowed to match. This is an example of the possibilities of play. When you set down a card, you must draw another one from the deck. Players must always have a minimum of three cards in their hands while the deck is still there.
If you do not have a card in your hand that you can play, you have two options: you can draw one card from the deck and hope that you’ll be able to use it, or you can take the whole pile. If you draw a card that you can use, you don’t have to pick up the whole pile, but if you can’t use it, then you have to take the whole pile anyway. It’s all a matter of playing it safe or taking a risk. After taking the pile, you must set down another card. Usually, it’s a good idea to play your lowest card, but you could also play a better one with the intention of the other players having to pick up the pile. However, that also gives others the opportunity to collect all the good cards.
Multiples and Special Cards:
If you play with the rule that you are allowed to match, an interesting situation involving multiples is more likely to occur. Three of a kind or four of a kind, depending on how you want to play, can clear the pile. Also, if you have two, three, or four of the same card in your hand, you are allowed to play them all at once.
If you have a two in your hand, you can use it to clear the pile. After you clear the pile, set down another card. Others may play that twos are wild cards, so you have a choice of how you want to play. You are allowed to place twos on top of any card.
Another special card is ten. I follow the “ten go again” rule when I play, meaning that tens give you another turn. Some people play tens as a clearing card. Once again, it depends on how you want to play. Like twos, tens can be played on top of anything.
The End of the Game:
When the deck runs out, each player must get rid of the cards in his/her hand before picking up any other cards. The rule that all players must have at least three cards in their hands no longer applies. Once you get rid of the cards in your hand, you pick up the three cards that are facing up. Leave the face down ones beneath them alone. When you get rid of those cards, pick up one of the face down cards. Until you get rid of that card, you cannot pick up another. The first person to play that very last card wins.
Optional Special Cards:
Palace is a game that has many additional rules/methods of play that can make playing more fun and more challenging. Two added rules that I always like to use are “Wild Threes” and “Suicide King.” Wild Threes mean that threes become wild cards–you can make them anything you want. Suicide King is the king of hearts and playing that card clears the pile.
I hope you found this tutorial helpful! Happy playing!