Dalmuti

CUTwC has been known to play The Great Dalmuti by Wizards of the Coast. The rules are mostly as in the cards, but we'll elaborate CUTwC conventions here. It does tend to involve the ability to change seats, which is not always popular.

The Dalmuti deck consists of cards numbered 1 (the card entitled "The Great Dalmuti") through 12 ("Peasants"), along with two wild cards ("jesters"). The number of each type of card present is the rank of the card - there is only one Great Dalmuti, there are two Archbishops, etc. through to twelve peasants.

Before the first round, players draw to determine their order, determined by the numerical rank of the card drawn (jesters worth 13), with lower card numbers given better rank. Ties are resolved by redrawing. The ranking for subsequent rounds is determined by the order in which players empty their hands, with the Great Dalmuti for a round being the player who has played all their cards first.

Players are ranked in descending order from the Great Dalmuti to the Greater Peon. Next to these are the Lesser Dalmuti and the Lesser Peon respectively. If enough players are involved, there is an Upper Merchant below the Lesser Dalmuti and a Lower Merchant above the Lesser Peon; other players are Middle Merchants (players joining the game in subsequent hands conventionally join as merchants). Players should seat themselves in order of rank, leaving the Great Dalmuti seated between the Lesser Dalmuti and the Greater Peon. By convention, the Great Dalmuti gets to choose a seat and a direction of play, and players are obsequious to other players with higher rank. The Great Dalmuti is the finesmaster, and the Greater Peon is responsible for dealing and clearing away completed hands until the round is over (even after the Greater Peon has played all his cards).

All the cards are dealt to the players in turn, starting with the Great Dalmuti; higher ranked players may end up with more cards than lower ranked ones.

The round starts by the Great Dalmuti asking whether there is a revolution. If any player has both jesters, they can choose to declare a revolution, in which case taxation does not take place. If the Greater Peon declares a revolution, each player swaps places with their opposite - the Greater Peon becomes the Great Dalmuti and vice-versa, the Lesser Peon swaps with the Lesser Dalmuti, and so on.

If there has not been a revolution, fining takes place. The Great Dalmuti chooses two cards from his hand, and swaps them with the two highest ranked cards in the Greater Peon's hand; since the Great Dalmuti may choose which cards to exchange, it has been known for the Greater Peon's hand to be improved by this process. The Lesser Dalmuti similarly swaps with the Lesser Peon, but only one card. The Upper Merchant swaps a choice of card with a random card in the hand of the Lower Merchant.

The Great Dalmuti then leads the first hand. Each hand begins by playing a number of cards of the same rank; the number and rank is conventionally stated out loud. For example, the Greater Dalmuti could begin with three Cooks (played into the middle of the table). Play continues in turn, with the Lesser Dalmuti playing next. Each following player will either play the same number of cards of a greater rank (Cooks are ranked 9, so the Lesser Dalmuti might be able to play three Seamstresses, of rank 7), or will pass (either because of inability to play on a hand or by tactical choice). A joker played with another card matches the rank of that card; jokers played without other cards are ranked 13.

Once all other players have passed on a hand, the Greater Peon will clear away the played cards, and the last player to have played any cards leads the next hand. If a player wins a hand by playing their last cards, the lead devolves to the next lowest player in rank.

As each player empties their hand, the remaining players will drink a fine of celebration for that player's success. At the end of the turn, a fine is consumed for each place a player fell in the social standings, and a new social order is determined. The game is normally played on pencils.