# Unlucky 7s

This is a trick-taking game, very similar to Hearts, but played with a set of double-9 dominoes.

## Suits & Values

"Suits" are treated very similarly to how they're done in the dominoes game "42". Basically, the "high" number on the domino is the suit and the number that is less-than-or-equal-to the high number is the value. (A blank is worth zero.) Thus, the 9-3 would be in the 9s suit and have a value of 3. A 'double' (a domino with the same number of pips on both sides) is the highest value in that suit and will always take a trick of that suit (like playing an Ace in Hearts). Not all suits have the same number of dominoes, for example: the 9s suit has 10 dominoes in it (numbered 0-9), the 6 suit has 7 dominoes (numbered 0-6), and the "blank" suit has only a single domino (the double blank).

## Object

The object of the game is to have the fewest points at the end of the game (just like Hearts). Each domino in the 7s suit is worth one point, the 8-7 (a.k.a. the "little sister") is worth 8 points, and the 9-7 (a.k.a. the "big sister") is worth nine points. Thus, there are 25 points total in a single round.

## Play

### Setup

Remove the following dominoes based on the number of players. You'll need to do this to ensure that each player has the same number of dominoes in their hand. Players can pass one-fourth of the dominoes in their hand (dropping remainders).

# Players Remove Hand Size # Passed
6 0-0 9 2
5 none 11 2
4 0-0, 1-0, 1-1 13 3
3 0-0 18 4

### Passing

In Hearts, players can pass 3 cards: to the left on the 1st round, across on the 2nd round, to the right on the 3rd round, and then no pass on the 4th round. With the variable number of players in Unlucky 7s, it gets a little more interesting:

• On the first round, pass to the player on your left.
• On the second round, pass to the player that is two players to the left of you ("left-left"). Thus, you will end up skipping the player to your immediate left.
• On the third round, pass to the player that is three players to the left of you ("left-left-left").
• This pattern continues for subsequent rounds.
• If you discover that you're skipping so many players that you've come all the way back around to yourself, it's a no-pass (holding) round.
• After the no-pass round, begin by passing to the left again.

### Start of Round

• Shuffle the dominoes face down and deal them all out, such that each player has the same hand size.
• Players can pass a number of dominoes equal to one fourth of their hand size (drop remainders), per the rules above.
• The player holding the 6-0 is the start player and must lead that domino into the first trick (just like the 2 of Clubs).

### Playing Tricks

• The player in the lead plays a domino from their hand. A domino in the 7s suit can't be led until a domino with a 7 has been sloughed on a previous trick (just like "breaking hearts") Note that 7s can also be "broken" when someone plays the 8-7 or the 9-7.
• Play proceeds clockwise around the table.
• Subsequent players must follow suit, if they have a domino in the led suit.
• If a player can't follow suit, they may play any domino they like (called "sloughing"); a player that sloughs cannot win the trick.
• Dominoes worth points cannot be sloughed on the first trick.
• The player that played the highest domino in the led suit wins the trick. (There is no trump suit.)
• The winner of the last trick leads into the next trick.
• As a convention, players should place their dominoes such that they look like petals on a flower with the suit toward the outside (pointing toward the person that played it) and the values in the middle. This way, players can easily compare the values without wondering which side is which.

### End of Round

• A round is over when all the players have played out all the dominoes from their hands.
• Each player counts up total points in all the tricks they've taken and adds that to their score.
• If only one player takes all the points, they get zero and all the other players get 25 ("Shooting the Moon").

### End of Game

The game is over when one or more players meet or exceed 77 points, at which point, the player with the fewest points wins. In the event of a tie, the tied players share the victory.

If you're pressed for time, just play to a time limit instead of playing to a maximum number of points. At the end of the time limit, the player with the fewest number of points is still the winner.