The Deck

The game is played with the one through five and the court cards (The Realm, The Lesser Crown, The Greater Crown) of each suit, along with the Wolf and Treachery cards, for a total of 34 cards. The one of each suit has the lowest value and the Greater Crown has the highest.


All players pay an ante into the pot at the start of each hand. Antes are usually made in multiples of three to make dividing up the pot easier. In the event that a player fails to take a trick in a hand they must match the size of the pot, which replaces the ante for the next hand. In all cases, the dealer always pays a second ante for the privilege of dealing.


Three cards are dealt face down to each player. Then a single card is turned up to determine which suit is trump. If the wolf or crown is turned up then there is no trump for that hand.

The dealer has the option of dealing a spare set of three cards, called "the poke".

The dealer may also declare an "all play" where players cannot choose to fold.

At the end of a hand, the player to the dealer's left deals the next hand.


Starting with the player to the dealer's left, players look at their cards and decide if they are going to play the hand or fold. If they fold then they do not have to match the pot for the next hand.

If the dealer has dealt a poke then the player may choose to discard their hand face down and take the poke instead, however if they do so then they must play no matter how good or bad the cards in the poke are.


The player to the dealer's left (called "the first") leads a card face up, and each subsequent player plays a card in turn, ending with the dealer. If the first has the king of trump they must lead with it. All players must follow suit if possible. If a player cannot follow suit then they must play a trump. Players must always play the highest card they have that will take the trick.

The highest card in the suit led takes the trick unless a trump is played. If a trump is played, the highest trump takes the trick.

The Treachery and Wolf cards are considered trump during play, but not for choosing what to lead. If both the Treachery and Wolf cards are played in a trick then Treachery takes it, but the player of the Wolf does not have to match the pot for the next hand.

If either the Treachery or Wolf cards are led then the other players may play any card they hold.

The player who takes the first trick has the lead for the second, and must lead a trump if they have one. The player who takes the second trick leads for the third and last trick.