Macau (card game)

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Macau, also spelled Makaó or Macao, is a Hungarian version of Crazy Eights, where players play a single card in sequence in a manner similar to Uno. Unlike Uno, however, Makaó is played with a standard deck of 52 cards. Makaó also involves bluffing so that the players do not necessarily have to play a card if they wish to save it for higher points later. Cheating is encouraged in the game, and it can make for a lively evening.

Gameplay[edit]

2 or more players (up to 10) are dealt 5 cards each; the deck is then cut and the cut card becomes the first card in the discard pile. Play starts to the dealer's right.

The next card played must be of the same suit or the same value as the card on the top of the discard pile. If a 7 of spades was on the top of the discard pile, the player can play a 9 of spades or a 7 of clubs. Alternatively, an Ace or Joker can be played. If the player cannot play a card, he must draw from the deck.

Cards can be played in runs, i.e. 5 of Spades, 6 of Spades, 7 of Spades, 7 of Hearts, 8 of Hearts, 8 of Clubs, 7 of Clubs.

When an action card is played, the player next in sequence must complete the action or add to it to pass in onto the next player in sequence. When down to a single card, a player must say "Macau!". If an opponent calls Macau before the player, the player must draw a card. The winner of the game is the first player to have no cards; in instances of more than 2 players, game play continues until only one player is left with cards.

Action Cards[edit]

  • If a 2 is played, the next player in sequence must pick up 2 cards unless they have a 2, in which case they can add this to the original 2 and the next player in sequence must pick up 4 cards and so on.
  • If a 3 is played, the next player in sequence must pick up 3 cards unless they have a 3, in which case they can add this to the original 3 and the next player in sequence must pick up 6 cards and so on.
  • If a 4 is played, the next player in sequence must miss a go, unless they have a 4, in which case they can add this to the original 4 and the next player in sequence miss 2 goes.
  • If a Jack is played, the player placing the Jack can call for a non-action card value, which they must hold - if they do not hold the value they are calling, they must call for 'any non-action card', the player in sequence must either play the card value called or place another Jack down and call a different value.
  • If a King of Spades is played, the previous player in sequence must pick up 5 cards, unless they have a King of spades or hearts or queen of hearts, in which case they can add this to the original King and the next player in sequence must pick up 10 cards.
  • If a King of Hearts is played, the next player in sequence must pick up 5 cards, unless they have a King of spades or hearts or queen of hearts, in which case they can add this to the original King and the next player in sequence must pick up 10 cards.
  • If a Joker is played, the sequence is reversed, i.e. clockwise play becomes anti-clockwise.
  • If an Ace is played, the player playing the Ace must call a suit different what it is in play. They must hold a card of the suit they are calling, if not, they must call 'free suit' and the next player in sequence can play any suit other than that already in play.

Multiples action cards can be played, i.e. Player 1 plays three 2s and the next player in sequence must pick up 6 cards unless they have another 2. This is the same for 3's, 4's and Kings.

When a player get down to 1 card they must say Macau or if another player catches them not saying Macau they must draw 5 cards

Variations[edit]

Romanian variation[edit]

In Romania the game is called Macao (or Macaua) and it has some variations according to region. The rules are a bit different from the ones explained above and the special, or action, cards change a bit. The rules below are the most common around Romania.

Generally 2s and 3s remain "draw 2" and "draw 3" cards, respectively. Jacks and Kings are normal playing cards.

Jokers are like 2s and 3s, but with a twist, they are both wild cards and may be placed regardless of suit, that is, the player following the one who draws cards as a result of the Joker being played may play any card regardless of suit. Usually the black Joker means "draw 5" and the colored one means "draw 10".

The 4s, aces and 7s are very disputed cards once they are used differently by different players. Usually their actions are interchanged and when starting a game, players agree what each card does. The most commonly agreed upon actions in Bucharest and other areas are as follows:

  • Sevens are either not used at all or are used as "cancel" cards to cancel any penalty imposed by either 2, 3, Ace or Joker cards, so a player may use a 7 to avoid drawing cards or skipping a turn. They are usually used as wild cards so they can be placed regardless of suit. They may also be used as wild cards as long as they are used as cancel cards, so if they are canceling an action this turn, if simply discarded, without any special reason, 7s may be treated as normal cards, so suits must be taken into consideration. In any case the next player is usually required to respect the suit of the 7 card used.
  • Aces are wild cards used to change the suit.
  • 4s are "skip a turn" cards.

Tel-Aviv Variation (Sometimes known as the London Variation)[edit]

2 players are dealt 7 cards each, 3 or more players are dealt 5 cards each; the top card of the deck then becomes the first card in the discard pile. Play starts to the dealer’s left.

As with standard gameplay, the next card must be of the same suit or same value. Alternatively, an Ace or a Queen can be played (Jokers are not used in this version). If a player cannot play a card, he must take one from the deck. If the player can play the card he may choose to do so, if he cannot then the next player gets to go. The winner is the one who loses all his cards first.

If a 2, 3, or King of Hearts is played, the attacked player must pick up the appropriate number of cards, and the next player is allowed to play a card.

Special Cards:

  • Aces and Queens may be played at any time. A Queen changed the suit of the discard pile to whatever suit the queen is. With an Ace, a player may choose a suit of his choice.
  • A player may only play 1 card per turn, with the exception of a 5. If a player plays a 5— must be of the same suit as the top card of the discard pile—then the player may play another card on top of that (same suit, Ace, Queen). The player may play multiple 5’s in a turn. In such a case, the player would play the 5s then another card. If a player plays a 5 and cannot play another card from his hand, he must pick up from the deck. If he can play that card, he may do so.
  • If a player plays a 2, the next player must pick up 2 cards unless he has another 2. If he plays a 2 the next player must pick up 4, and so on.
  • If a player plays a 3, the next player must pick up 3 cards unless he has another 3. If he plays a 3 the next player must pick up 6, and so on.
  • If a player plays the King of Hearts, the next player must pick up 5 cards.

With one card left, a player must call out “Macau.” If he fails to do so before the next player’s turn, he must then pick up 2 cards. If a player has a 5 and another card as his last cards, and can play then together, he need not say Macau after the 5 is played. If a 5 is the last card in a player’s hand, when he plays it he must pick up a new card. If he can play it, he wins. If he cannot, the player then keeps the card and says “Macau.”

Players may choose to have a series of games using points. The game is played until 500, and points are bad; the first one to 500 loses. The point system is as follows:

  • 4-9 are worth 5 points
  • 10s and face cards are worth 10 points
  • 2s are worth 20, and 3s are worth 30
  • Aces are worth 50 points
  • The King of Hearts is worth 150 points

Easier - Harder[edit]

To make the game harder or easier, players agree upon a few extra rules before stating play.

  • Easier: 2s and 3s are wild when placed on other draw cards, so a 2 of clubs may be placed on a three of hearts to pass the penalty to the next player in turn.
  • Harder: 2s and 3s are used like normal cards, but still keep their meaning, that is, the player draws 3 or 2 cards.
  • Easier: Cards regardless of their meaning as special card may be placed in small packs at once if all have the same numeric or literal value. If a player holds several queens, he may place all queens in one turn, if one of the queens is of the same suit as the suit on the discard stack, thus changing the suit and discarding more cards at once. If the cards are draw cards their effects stack as well. So, if three 2s are placed at once the next player must draw 6 cards. If this rule applies, a player may finish the game without calling out "Macao" or, usually to provoke other players to change their strategy, the player wants to call out "Multiple Macao".
  • Easier: Jokers can be placed in packs with 2s or 3s.
  • Harder: 7s may be used as wild cards but they only change the suit to their own. So if a seven of clubs is played, regardless of suit, the next card to be played is required to be a seven or a card of clubs.