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).


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.



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


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:

Start of Round

Playing Tricks

End of Round

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.