I didn’t know any of the Mau Mau rules until my friend taught me. This card game is incredibly popular in his homeland Germany. But it’s such a fun game, I think we should be playing it more with friends and family. Check out these Mau Mau rules and you will be ready to play in no time!
1. What You Need
The game is pretty simple. All you need is a standard 52 card deck and at least two players. If you have more than five people playing, you’ll need a second deck. If you want to keep score, then have a pen and paper on hand to keep track. Most of the time you just play this game for fun but if you’re looking to get competitive, definitely keep score as you pay close attention to these Mau Mau rules.
2. How to Play
Have you ever played the card game Uno? It’s the same concept. You are dealt five cards to start. The goal is to lose all your cards. You do that by placing down numbers in the pile. Start by flipping over the top card of the deck and then placing either a card with the same number or the same suit down. If you don’t have a card to play, then draw one card from the pile. You can either play this card or wait until your next turn.
3. What the Cards Mean
Some cards have special meanings. They're easy to remember, though. 2: Reverse. A: Skip. 7: Draw two card. If you stack 7s up, the numbers start to build so the fourth person might need to collect eight cards from the pile rather than two. J: Wild Card. Anyone can shout out a suit for the deck to change to when a J is played. If there is a tie, the person who played the J decides between the two.
4. Even More Meaning
The fun part comes when you add your own rules. Assign various “rules” to any number that you want until all the players are satisfied. For example, every time someone plays a 5 you might need to drop your cards, clap three times, and quickly pick them up. The last person to do so must take two cards from the deck as a penalty or whatever amount you decide the consequences should be. It might sound easy but the rules start to build up quickly as you need to remember which number correlates to which rule.
5. Mau Mau Master
The Mau Mau Master keeps the rules written down on a piece of paper nearby. If there is a question or a problem about one of the rules, they can look at the master list. No one is allowed to talk about the rules while the game is in session or else they need to take a penalty card. Each round the Mau Mau Master changes to the winner of the last round. They have the final say in the round for who was the last one to complete the task if it’s a close call. The rules are always running regardless of if the phone rings so make sure to call “Point of Order” if you need a quick restroom break or else you could be facing serious penalties. Anyone can call or end a point of order by saying “End Point of Order.”
6. Messing up the Rules
If you find these rules confusing, you’re not alone. There are actually penalties for confusing the rules. Say a 5 is played and instead of dropping your cards, clapping and pick them up, you stand up and turn in a circle counter-clockwise. You may need to collect 2 cards for being the last to do the right task for a 5. What’s more, you may need to draw 2 additional cards for your mistake. But if you accidentally take 3 cards for messing up instead of 2, you need to draw an additional 2 for messing up on the penalty.
7. Keeping Score
A round ends when someone plays their last card. You must announce when you have your “last card” and say “mau mau” when you play it, or else you need to draw a penalty card if someone beats you to it. Cards are numerical value and face cards are worth ten points. A is worth one. The player with the lowest score after however many rounds you want to play wins.
Mau Mau is an awesome game that should be played more. These are just the basics to playing this fun game. There are many common rules people use that you can easily find online. Have you ever played before? What’s one of your favorite rules?