Card games come in many forms, and some have likely fallen under your radar. Palace is probably a bit of a “hidden gem” many people have likely never heard of it. But if you’re looking for a new card game to play, give Palace a try.
What is the Palace Card Game?
Palace is a modern game compared to classics like Rummy 500 and Blackjack. It was created in 2000 by historian Bruno Faidutti. Mr. Faidutti is well-known in the board game world as he has created numerous games, including the popular Citadels.
But we are here to talk about Palace, so how does this game work? While it is an excellent two-player card game, it can be played with up to five people. The goal is to be the first player to discard their cards.
But cards have to be played in a specific manner, so you can’t just discard any card of you’re choosing. So while luck plays a big part in Palace, the game also has quite a bit of strategy to it as well. The game can also be quite long but is generally fast-paced.
We’ll outline all the rules you need to know if you want to play Palace below. But before that, let’s take a quick look at what you’ll need to play this imaginative, surprisingly strategic card game!
What You’ll Need to Play?
To play Palace, you’ll need a deck of cards. However, one deck will only be suitable for two-player games. If you’re playing with more people, you’ll need two decks. This double pack of Bicycle Playing Cards would make a fine choice.
If you’re looking to play Palace down at the pub or bar, we recommend some waterproof cards to protect them from accidental spills and splashes. Palace can make a surprisingly good pub card game if you have the tablespace, so why not give it a try?
Rules and Gameplay
The Aim of The Game
To win in Palace, you need to be the first player to discard all their cards. But like always, there is a catch. You’ll only be able to play certain cards, depending on the start card. We’ll explain exactly what that is in the guide.
If you can’t play a card from your hand, you’ll need to pick up another, making playing all your cards first even more difficult. You also won’t be able to play your final cards till all the deck has been played. So, let’s look at how you play the Palace card game, shall we?
There is a little bit of set-up work required to play the Palace card game. The first thing to do is choose a dealer. There are no advantages or disadvantages to being a dealer, so decide how you want.
You’ll need to deal out three cards face down in front of each player to start. Players shouldn’t touch these cards for now, but they’ll be very important later. Then deal out six cards to each player.
These cards will make up a player’s hand and should be dealt face down once again. Players can look at these cards once they’re dealt, and they should choose three cards and place them face-up on the three cards they were initially dealt.
The remaining cards in the deck/stock should be placed face down in the center of the table. These cards will form the draw pile. You’re now ready to start playing Palace; the player to the dealer’s left will be going first, with play moving clockwise.
The first player will turn over the top card on the draw pile; this card will then form the base of the discard pile. This card is also going the be the start card. To play Palace, players will need to put down a card equal to or higher than it.
You can play multiple cards on your turn, but they must all be higher than the start card and of the same rank. You’ll need to draw some cards from the draw pile when you’ve finished your turn, as you’ll need to ensure you always have three cards in your hand.
If you can’t play any card from your hand, you’ll need to pick up a card from the discard pile and add it to your hand. That’s basically how Palace works, but there are a few special rules to remember.
If you play a 2 card, the discard pile is reset, essentially starting it over again. Similarly, if you play a 10 card, the discard pile is removed, and a new one is started. The player who plays the 10 can then draw new cards (up to three) and play another card.
If four of the same card are played in a row, the discard pile is reset again. Any cards in the current pile are put to one side and removed from the game. The game continues following this pattern till the draw pile is completely depleted. When this is done, you move to the endgame portion of the game.
The End Game
When the draw pile is emptied, players will only have the cards in their hands. Once they have all been played, players can use the cards there were originally put down in front of them. You’ll start with the three face-up cards before moving to the face-down ones.
You can’t look at these cards before you play them, so you’ll have to choose randomly. If you can’t play a card at this stage, you’ll need to take a card from the discard pile. The winner will be the player who manages to play all their cards first.