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How to Play Nerts: A Combination of Speed & Solitaire

Nerts, Pounce, or Peanuts, is a multi-player solitaire game. It requires a differently colored 52 card deck for each player and is suitable for ages 8 and up.

In Nerts, Aces are low and Kings are high. The objective of Nerts is to play the most cards before someone finishes their Nerts pile.

You’ll need at least two players and ideally no more than eight. 

Set Up

To set up a game of Nerts, players need to form a circle around a stable playing area. Players then shuffle their own uniquely designed decks and begin building their solitaire piles.

Piles

The first 13 cards for each player are placed faced down to form the Nerts pile

The next 4 cards are placed faced up in a row to form the Tableau piles.

The remaining deck is then placed faced down to form the Stock pile.

An area in the middle of the circle should be cleared for Foundation piles

How to Play Nerts

How to Play Nerts

At the start of the game, the top card from every players’ Nerts pile is flipped over. Like regular Solitaire, the goal of Nerts is to build up the Foundation piles using cards from the Tableau, Stock, and (in this game) Nerts piles.

Foundation

In Nerts, Foundation piles are communal and are built in the center of the circle. Cards in a Foundation pile must begin with an Ace, belong to the same suit, and go in increasing order. Once a Foundation pile reaches a King, it is flipped over and placed to the side.

Tableau

Unlike the Foundation piles, players can only place cards on their own Tableau piles.

Cards in Tableau piles must go in descending order and be in an alternating color sequence. Only the top card in a Tableau pile can be moved to other piles.

Stock

Cards from a player’s Stock pile can be used to build up the Foundation or Tableau piles. Only every third card can be used however. Once the pile is exhausted, it is flipped over and re-used.

Nerts

Only the top card from the Nerts pile can be used to build up the Foundation or Tableau piles. Once a player has used all of the cards in their Nerts pile, they can yell “Nerts!” and end the round.

Scoring

Once somebody yells “Nerts!”, play ends and points are tallied. Players add 1 point for each card they have in a Foundation pile.

Players then subtract 2 points for every card they have in their Nerts piles. The difference is their total points for the round.

Players continue playing until somebody reaches 150 points.

Resources

Want to learn more about how to play Nerts? Here are some helpful resources:

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