Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The Rules of Liverpool

  1. One of the things that the Brave Astronaut Clan has been doing during this time of quarantine is playing a card game popular in our family, Liverpool.  It is a contract rummy game that was taught to us years ago by our cousin, while we were visiting our grandmother's house in Owl's Head, Maine.  It is a contract rummy game with a series of hands varying in melds.  A minimum of three players is required for the game.  The game is played with two decks, including jokers.  An additional deck is added for every two players (5 players, three decks, 7 players, four decks, etc.)
Here are the hands:
6: Two sets of three (three fours, three jacks, etc.)
7:  One set, one run (three of a kind, one straight flush - for all you poker players out there)
8:  Two runs
9:  Three sets
10:  Two sets, one run
11:  Two runs, one set
12:  Three runs (no discard)

  • Aces and Jokers are 15 points each
  • Face cards are 10 points each
  • All other cards are face value
  1. There is no buying of cards in the first round.  Beginning in the second round, a player may buy the discard of a player out of order.  The discard goes to the next player to the left without penalty. If the next player to the left wishes to buy the card they may do so, with a penalty card from the top of the pile.  The right to purchase a card moves around to the left.  The player who originally discarded the card may conceivably repurchase the card if they wish to - if no one ahead of them wishes to purchase the card.
  2. When using jokers, a set must contain at least two natural cards and a run must contain at least two natural cards.  If a joker is used in a run or as the third card in a set, the joker may be "stolen" by a player who holds the card for which the joker is holding the card's place (for example, 8, 9, Joker, Jack of clubs may be replaced with the 10 of clubs and used elsewhere on the board).  If the joker is placed on a set, the joker is "dead" and may not be taken.
  3. In a hand where more than one run is required, runs of cards may be constructed in the same suit as long as they are separated by one card (for example, 4, 5, 6, 7 of hearts and 9, 10, J, Q of hearts.  Duplicate runs may also be constructed with overlap (for example, 5, 6, 7, 8 of spades and 7, 8, 9, 10 of spades).
  4. As noted above by the numbers preceding the hands - that is the minimum number of cards required for each meld in the hands (6 - two sets of three cards each, 7, one set of three and one run of four, etc.).
  5. Aces may be high or low, but not both, for example, J, Q, K, A of diamonds or A, 2, 3, 4 of diamonds, but not K, A, 2, 3.
  6. For the first four hands, 10 cards are dealt, for the final three hands 12 cards are dealt.
  7. Once a player goes down, a player may no longer purchase cards.  A discard may be picked up by a player who has gone down only if it can be immediately played on the tableau.  Only players who have gone down may play cards on the tableau.
  8. In the final hand, no discard is allowed.  Only one player will go down in the final hand.  The card that is picked up, either from the discard pile or from the face down pile, must fit into the meld to end the hand.

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