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Card game rules: Frustration

By Blackwalt - Posted on 14 October 2007

The Rules of the Card Game Frustration - Version 1.1, 2006-02-28

The goals of the various hands are as follows:

  1. Two sets of three of a kind.
  2. Two runs of three.
  3. Three of a kind and a run of four.
  4. Two sets of four of a kind.
  5. Three of a kind and a run of five.
  6. Three sets of three of a kind.
  7. A run of seven.
  8. Three of a kind and a run of six.
  9. Two runs of four.
  10. Two sets of five of a kind.
  11. A run of nine.
  12. Three of a kind and a run of seven.
  13. Two runs of five.
  14. Four of a kind and two runs of three.
  15. A run of ten.
  16. Four of a kind and a run of six.
  17. Five of a kind and a run of five.
  18. Six of a kind and a run of four.
  19. Seven of a kind and a run of three.

Notes: What we call a run is technically a straight flush - i.e., the cards are in sequence, and are all from the same suit. Aces can count as low (below 2's) or high (above King's), but runs may not wrap around (i.e., Queen-King-Ace-2-3 is not allowed).

Two packs of cards are used, with a total of four Jokers; Jokers and 2's are wild.

All players start out attempting to achieve goal #1. The game is won by the first player to achieve all nineteen goals, in order. Only one goal may be achieved per player per round. A round ends when any player gets rid of all of her cards. At the end of each round, the players that have achieved their goals move on to the next goal for the next round, while the players that have not must try again to achieve their current goals in the next round.

The role of dealer passes to the left each round. Play also passes to the left, starting with the player to the left of the dealer. After shuffling, the dealer deals eleven cards to each player, and then turns the top card of the pack face up, to start a separate discard pile.

On a player's turn, he must pick up either the top card of the pack, or the top card of the discard pile. Then he may lay down cards on the table. Then he must discard a card face up onto the top of the discard pile. A player may not do anything when it is not his turn.

A player may not lay down cards on the table until she has gathered the cards necessary to achieve exactly the current goal she is working on. At this point she may 'go down' by laying down on the table the cards necessary to achieve this goal. Only at this point is she considered to have achieved her goal.

Once a player has gone down, it is in his best interests to get rid of his remaining cards as soon as possible, thus ending the round and catching other players who have not yet gone down. A player may get rid of his remaining cards by doing one or more of the following:

  1. Laying down additional sets of what he was trying to accomplish. E.g., if his current goal was three of a kind and a run of four, he could lay down either a new three of a kind, or a new run of four.
  2. Adding one or more cards to sets he has already laid on the table. E.g., if he has gone down with three Jacks and the run 4-5-6-7 of Spades, he could add Jacks to the first set, or a 3 of Spades to the bottom of the run, or an 8 of Spades to the top of the run (possibly followed by a 9 of Spades, etc.)
  3. Adding one or more cards to sets that other players have already laid on the table. This works the same as in 2.

A wildcard (Jokers and 2's) may be used in place of any other single card in a set (n of a kind, or a run). However, in each set there must be more natural cards than wildcards. E.g. a set of four of a kind could contain at most one wildcard. Note that the place of 2's in a run must be taken by a wildcard. 2's always count as wildcards, not natural cards, even if they are put between an Ace and a 3 in a run. Thus one can never lay down a set of Jokers, or a set of 2's, because this would have more wildcards than natural cards.

A player must always discard, even on the turn when she gets rid of all of her cards and ends the round.

Rulings on Subtleties:

When laying down the cards necessary to achieve the current goal, or when laying down additional sets, the goal must be met exactly. For example, if a player needs a run of four, and she had a 3, 4 and 7 of Spades, and two wildcards, she may not lay any cards down. The limitation on number of wildcards prevents her from laying down four cards, and she cannot get around this by laying down five cards, because then she has not met her goal exactly.

However, when a player is adding two or more cards to sets already laid on the table, the intermediate result does not have satisfy the requirement that there be more natural cards than wildcards, as long as the final result does. For example, if a player has a run of Spades on the table consisting of 3-wildcard-5, and he has the 7 of Spades and another wildcard in his hand, he may add them to the run to get 3-wildcard-5-wildcard-7, even though the intermediate state, 3-wildcard-5-wildcard, would not be legal.

Stolen from Grendel's original page.


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