How To: Play The Card Game Declare

Play The Card Game Declare


Declare is a card game played by 3 or more people.  If 4 people are playing the game, then one pack of 52 cards (without the jokers) is sufficient.  For 4 to 8 people, two packs of cards are required, without jokers.

Aim & Objective

To have the minimum number of points and declare the game once you feel that you have the cards with minimum points.

The Point System

After shuffling the cards, the dealer distributes 8 cards to each player.  The cards ranging from the ace up to ten carry their respective number of points.  As for example, An ace of spades is one point, a seven of diamonds is seven points, a three of clubs is three points and so on.  The Jacks and the Kings are ten points each.  The Queens are "Zero" points.  So ideally if a person were to declare with all the eight cards in his hand, then he would have a minimum of 4 points if he had all the 4 Queens and all the 4 aces. He would be the winner in a game of four players with a single pack of cards.


  • When a person declares the game he may have eight cards or less than eight cards in his hand.

How To Play

After the cards are dealt, the person who gets the 1st card first, while the cards are being distributed, plays first and the person who shuffles plays last with the turns going in a counter-clockwise direction.

Now suppose, in your eight cards, you have:

  1. 1 Queen of clubs
  2. 1 Ace of spades
  3. 2 sevens, a seven of diamonds and a seven of hearts
  4. 1 Jack of clubs
  5. 3 eights, an eight of spade, an eight of diamonds and an eight of clubs

That makes it a total of 8 cards.  Now, at your turn, you can play either 1 card or more than 1 card if they are of the same denomination and you have to then draw one card from the deck.  If you feel that you have the least number of points, then you may say "declare" and declare your game.  The turn in which you say declare, you cannot play any card or cards and cannot draw any card.

For any game to be declared, at least one round, (i.e., one turn for each player) has to be completed.  In other words, a player can declare only after one turn of all the players is over.  Now suppose, in your first turn, you decide to play three cards viz. the three eights (eight of spades, diamonds and clubs), which makes it a total of 24 points (8x3) and you pull one card (since there are no cards kept face up played by anybody because you are the first player) from the deck.  You get a card, for example, five of hearts which is worth 5 points.  So you gave 24 points and picked up 5 points, which is effectively giving up 19 points, and this is pretty good.

The game then proceeds to other players.  In your second turn, you play the 2 sevens, viz. seven of diamonds and seven of hearts making a total of 14 points that you give up.  Now, you may decide to pick up or draw a card from the pile at the center but you feel that your partner who has played two sixes, one six of clubs and one six of diamonds is good enough.  So you pick up the last six that can be of clubs or diamonds.  In this case we'll consider the six of clubs that is face up that your partner before you has played.

You can only pick up or draw one card, either from the pile facing down or the last card player by the person before you but not the person prior to him.

Now you have the following cards after your 2 turns:

  1. 1 Queen of clubs (points: 0)
  2. 1 Ace of spades (points: 1)
  3. 1 Jack of clubs (points: 10)
  4. 1 six of clubs (points: 6)
  5. 1 five of hearts (points: 5)

Now in your third turn, you play the Jack of clubs worth 10 points and pick up a two of diamonds from the pile. So now you have the following cards:

  1. 1 Queen of clubs (points: 0)
  2. 1 Ace of spades (points: 1)
  3. 1 two of diamonds (points: 2)
  4. 1 six of clubs (points: 6)
  5. 1 five of hearts (points: 5)

So your effective points are 6+5+2+1, which is 14 from five cards.  So in your fourth turn, you neither play nor draw any card, but you say "declare", after counting your points, which in this case is 14.  Now, if someone else also has 14 points then you lose and you get twice the number of points of a player with maximum points.  Precisely, if your points are 14 and you declare the game and the points of the other three players are 14, 17 and 29, then you get 58 points (twice of 29).  The other players get their respective points.

But if you have 14 points, and the other three players have 17, 28 and 29 points then you effectively get 0 points and you are the winner of the 1st game.  The other players get their respective points.

You can maintain the scores on a paper or a book or a diary and set your goal as the first to reach "200" loses.

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