The Wizard card game was created in 1984 and remains popular today. It’s a trick-taking card game that uses a unique deck of cards.
In this article, we’ll tell you exactly how to play with our in-depth game guide.
What is The Wizard Card Game?
Trick-taking card games like Euchre are top-rated. But even amongst all these games, the Wizard card game stands out. This game uses a unique deck of sixty cards, and the standard playing cards you’re all familiar with are included alongside some more unique special cards.
These unique cards include four Wizards and four Jesters. You’ll need at least three people to play the Wizard card game, so, unfortunately, it’s not a suitable two-player card game. However, a maximum of six players can play, making it a great group card game.
The gameplay might seem complicated at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be sure to enjoy it. To win the Wizard card game, you need the most points at the end of the game. The number of rounds you’ll play will all depend on the number of players.
To score, you need to accurately bid on the number of tricks you’ll take each round. So, you could end up bidding zero and still win points! Thinking ahead and careful strategy a very important when playing the Wizard card game.
Points will be deducted if your bid is incorrect, so think carefully when bidding. We’ll talk more about how to play this fun card game below. But before that, let’s take a look at what you’ll need to play the game.
What You’ll Need To Play?
To play the Wizard card game, you’ll need a unique deck of cards. The Wizard card game is easy to find online, and we particularly like the Original Wizard Card Game set. Alongside the cards, you should also get a score sheet.
Some of the cards will be familiar to you if you’ve ever played with playing cards before. So you can expect to see the standard numbered cards and face cards in the classic four suits of hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades.
However, you’ll also get four Jester cards alongside these cards; these will usually look familiar to Joker cards. You’ll also receive four Wizard cards as well. Jesters are always the lowest value card, while Wizards are always the highest.
Rules and Gameplay
The Aim of The Game
The Wizard card game aims to score the most points, and these are awarded by accurately predicting the number of tricks you’ll take each round. So, unlike some games, you don’t score by taking tricks alone.
Your score is based on how accurate your prediction before each round is. This can make the Wizard card game quite challenging for beginners. But it’s a game you’ll get better at every time you play.
The first thing to do is decide who will deal the cards and who will keep score. To do this, one player should shuffle the deck, and then every player should take one card. The player with the highest value card will be the first dealer.
The player with the lowest value card will be the scorekeeper, and the scorekeeper will be the same for the game’s duration. If two players draw the same card, then they must take another from the deck.
Once both roles have been allocated, the dealer should reshuffle the deck. You can use an automatic card shuffler for this if you have one. The dealer will then deal a single card to each player and place the rest in the center.
The top card on the deck is then turned over to decide the trump suit for the first round. If a Wizard is a top card, the dealer can determine the trump suit themselves, and if a Jester is a top card, then there is no trump suit. Once this is done, the game can begin!
There are a few things to remember when playing the Wizard card game. First, in each round, an additional card is dealt. So, in round two, each player will be dealt two cards, three cards on round three, four on round four, and so on.
Once the entire deck is dealt, the game is over. This means that the number of cards dealt will vary depending on the number of players. For example, with three players, each player will have 20 cards on the final round.
While in a four-player game, each player will have 15 cards. No matter how many people are playing, there is never a trump suit for the game’s final round. Now, to better outline how to play, let’s look at how each round works.
Once a trump suit has been decided for the round, the game begins. To start, each player will bid on the number of tricks they think they’ll be able to take. The player to the left of the dealer will always go first.
The scorekeeper will note down their bid; once everyone has bid, the player to the immediate left of the dealer will begin play. They should place a card from their hand in the center, with the next player following suit if possible.
Remember, a Wizard or Jester can be played at any time regardless of the suit. Once every player has played a card, the player who puts down the highest value card wins the trick. If a player starts to play with a Wizard, players can play any card they want.
If a player puts down a Jester card first, the next suited card played will decide which suit must be followed. If multiple Wizards are played, the first one to be put down will always win the trick. So while it’s unlikely a round consists of all Jester cards, the first one played wins the trick.
So, how does the scoring work? At the end of each round, a player is awarded based on the accuracy of their bid. If a player meets their bid, they receive 20 points. A further 10 points are awarded for every trick a player takes as well.
However, points are deducted by 10 for every trick you are over/ under your bid. Therefore, the scorekeeper should carefully note down the results at the end of each round. After the final round, the points are tallied, and the winner is announced.
The Wizard Card Game – A Challenging Trick-Taking Game
Wizard is a fun and challenging card game perfect for groups of friends. It’s easy to learn the fundamentals but very difficult to win. So you’ll need to plan every step carefully; if you like more challenging games, give the Wizard card game a try!