The Nap card game is a trick-taking game for 2 to 5 players.

2. March 2018 - Anika Semmer

Nap Card Game - Do You Get the Most Tricks? | Game Rules


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Can you make a Napoleon, Wellington or even a Blücher? In the English Nap card game, it all comes down to card skill and luck. Everything a good card game needs!

Emperor Napoleon loved card games! He is said to have even laid patience before important battles as an oracle and this card game was named after him. The Nap card game originated in England and is also called Napoleon and is played in different variations. It is an easy-to-learn trick-taking game in which it is one player against the rest!

Apart from card luck, a willingness to take risks and a few cents, the main thing you need for the Nap card game is a good sense for the game!

The Nap Card Game

  • Game type: Card game, connoisseur’s game
  • Players: 2-5
  • Accessories: 52 hands of playing cards* without jokers, playing chips or cents as stake
  • Skills required: Overview, tactics, luck
  • Game objective: Each player predicts his tricks with the aim of placing the highest bid and getting exactly this number of tricks. And then it’s a matter of making his prediction come true in the game against the allied opponents and winning!


Announcing the Tricks in the Nap Card Game

Each player is dealt 5 cards face down and arranges them in his hand. Now the player to the left of the dealer (the “forehand”) estimates how many tricks he is likely to make and decides accordingly what he will bid or whether he will pass (bid nothing).

Now it is the turn of the next players in clockwise order and they can pass or outbid by making a higher bid. This works similarly to the bidding in Skat. As soon as each player has had a turn, the game starts.

Sequence of announcements in the Nap card game:

  1. 2 tricks
  2. 3 tricks
  3. Misery = no trick
  4. 4 tricks
  5. Napoleon = 5 tricks
  6. Wellington = 5 tricks with a higher profit than Napoleon
  7. Blücher = 5 tricks with a higher profit than with Wellington

Important: Wellington and Blücher may only (!) be announced if a Napoleon has been announced beforehand! With these two announcements, you win handsomely if you predict correctly – but if you lose, you also have to pay a higher sum to the other players.

The Game Begins

The player who placed the highest bid gets the game and begins. He plays a card of his choice – its colour is the trump colour in this round! All the other players play together against the playmaker. Their goal is to beat him by not making the predicted number of tricks. To do this, however, they are not allowed to collude with each other.

In a clockwise direction, all players now play a card. The rule is that each player must declare his or her colour, if possible. If a player does not have the colour played, he can discard any card or play a trump and take the trick. The trick is won by the player who has played the highest trump card. If there is no trump card, the highest card of the suit played wins. When each player has laid a card, the player with the highest card takes the trick and lays it in front of him. It is now his turn and he may play the next card.

Card ranking from low to high: 2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-B-D-K-As

When the last card has been played, the playmaker counts his tricks to see if he has won. He wins if he has fulfilled the number of his announced tricks – and also if he has made more tricks.

Exception Wellington: If a player announces a Wellington, he must play his lowest trump as the first card!

Exception Blucher: If the playmaker buys the game with a Blucher, then he must play his lowest non-trump as the first card!

The Stake and Winnings

Before the game starts, the players agree on a stake per game round. This can be, for example, 10 cents, 10 tokens or you can simply write down 10 points as a stake.

Simple Win – 2, 3 and 4 Tricks

If the player who has the game gets exactly as many tricks as announced or more, he gets the simple bet from each fellow player: so in the example 10 cents from each player. If the game maker has not managed to get the announced number of tricks, he has lost and must pay 10 cents to each fellow player.

Misery – No Trick

If a player announces misery, he bets on not making a single trick. If he does so, he wins the single bet from each player. If he loses, however, he must pay out three times the stake to each player.

Napoleon – 5 Tricks

If the game maker calls a Napoleon and makes it – i.e. takes all 5 tricks – he gets double the winnings from each player. In our example, 20 cents (2 x stake 10 cents). If he loses, however, he only pays the single bet, i.e. 10 cents to each player.

Wellington – 5 Tricks and Higher Win / Loss

Whoever calls Wellington can only do so if a Napoleon has been called before. He must place his lowest trump as the first card.

In doing so, he outbids the win-loss chances with a Napoleon, i.e. he takes a higher risk. If he wins, he receives four times the stake from each player. If he loses, he must pay out double the stake to each player.

Blucher – 5 Tricks + highest Win/Loss

A player can only bid a Blucher if a Napoleon and a Wellington have been bid beforehand. He must place his lowest non-trump as the first card. It is the highest bid on a game in the Napoleon card game with the highest risk. If he wins, the game maker receives six times the stake from each player (e.g. 6 x 10 cents); if he loses, he must pay three times the stake to each player (3 x 10 cents).

How to Win the Nap Card Game

The winner is the player who has won the highest amount of game chips or cents at the end. If you play Napoleon with points, the one with the highest score wins!
1001 unknown, forgotten and great card and dice games are just waiting for you to discover them! Have you ever played the card game Piquet, Faro or Whist? At Abenteuer Freundschaft there are many board game tips for classic games with rules and current games to discover! There’s also inspiration for gifts and for activities with friends, partner and family.

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