How to Play Boodle

Boodle is a popular card game in which you try to get rid of the cards in your hand and take the money. Here's how to play:

Number of players: Three to eight


Object: To deplete the cards in your hand and to play a money card and collect from the boodle.

The cards: Standard 52-card deck, plus the A, K, Q, and J from another deck, which make up the "boodle" or "money" cards. Cards are ranked ace (high) to 2. You also need poker chips or other counters to play.

Dealing: Anyone can pass out cards until one player receives a jack; that player is the first dealer, which then rotates clockwise.

After the dealer places four boodle cards faceup in the center of the table, the dealer puts two chips on each card while the other players place one chip on each of the boodle cards. The dealer then deals cards, one at a time, going clockwise. One extra hand (dead hand) is dealt to the dealer's left. Meanwhile, all cards are dealt even if players do not have the same number of cards.

Playing: The player left to the dead hand begins play by placing the lowest ranked card of any suit faceup in front of him or her and calling out the rank and suit. The player with the next highest card in the same suit displays that card.

Play continues with players saying the suit and rank of each played card aloud until the ace of that suit is played or a card from the dead hand ends play. For example: If the first card of the turn is the 4, the next card must be the 5, and the following card the 6, and so on.

The player who played the last card resumes play by showing the lowest card of a new suit. If this player does not have a card in another suit, the player to his or her left resumes play -- and so on.

Any time a player displays one of the money cards -- A, K, Q, or J -- that player collects the chips off of that boodle card.

As soon as you play all cards in your hand, play ends, and each opponent must award you one chip for every card in his or her hand.

The chips on the boodle cards that haven't been taken during play are left on the boodle through subsequent deals until the boodle cards are matched. After each hand, players place chips on all boodle cards; thus, a large pile of chips could mount on any boodle card.

Misplaying: If you do not follow with the lowest card in your hand, you must immediately pay out a chip to the other players, and subsequently you cannot collect from the boodle until that hand ends.