How to Play Multiplayer Solitaire or Nertz

Translated from French by Steve ThorsTen (2019)

This card game combines game speed and Solitaire elements in one game. The goal of Multiplayer Solitire is to outscore your friends at the end of the game. This multiplayer card game has several names and it has been known as Nertz, Pounce, Racing Demon, and Peanuts.

Everyone can learn to play Nertz, which makes it a good game to play and an excellent way to introduce a group of friends to a new card game. The game can be played according to your group's preference, and the pce of play is left entirely up to you and your friends to decide on.

Part 1

The Set Up

Shuffle your deck. Each player should have a 52-card deck (as used in a poker game) with a different design and you should be able to distinguish each individual deck. Everyone has to shuffle their deck before the game can begin.

Build the Layout of the Game:

  • Place five cards side-by-side in a hoizontal line at the top

  • Add one face-down card to each of the four right stacks

  • Add one face-down card to each of the three right stacks

  • Add one face-down card to the two right stacks

  • Place a card at the right bottom stack

From left to right, you should now have one card in the first stack, two cards in the second, three cards in the third, four cards in the fourth stack and five cards in fifth stack. It's important to note that all cads that are added to the stack are placed face down and there is only one face-up card in each stack. So far as the layout of the game goes, it's vey similar to Solitaire.

Build the Nertz Stack:

Take eleven cards from the top deck and put it under the fifth stack of cards in the bottom right corner without touching the fifth stack.

Make Room for the Deck and Discard Pile:

The rest of the cards remain as are. You should then place the deck on the left, at the same vertical line as the first stack and make sure that you have room for the discard pile as well.

Create Space in the Middle:

The space before each player should be open, providing players with enough playfield, as this will be used until the game is over. The playing field will be above the layout. Now that you are prepared to start, you have to ensure that everyone is familiar with the basic rules.

While we will describe gameplay in the next section of this guide, it's worth noting that there are several basic rules that you need to commit to memory ahead of the game:

  • This is not a turn-based game

  • Players want to outscore their opponents and use up their Nertz pile

  • Use a single hand to add cards in the pile

  • The "Ace" is worth "one" in Nertz

  • Each card can be played in the empty area as well

  • You don't have to do ny moves that you don't think favor you in any way

Part 2

Play the Game:

Once the game has been properly set up, it's time to get going. To start, players need to place their top card on the Nertz pile.

Accumulate Points:

To score points, you need to place cards in the middle points. Each card is worth one point at the end of the round. To place cards in the middle, you need to play in an ascending order, starting with the Ace and working your way down to the King. Aces go first in the middle. Then two of the same colour cards follow the Aces.

The cards involved in the game are 3's, 5's, 6's, 7's, 8's, 9's, Jacks', Queens', Kings'. Players can also play on any pile in the middle and not just the one that they have started. If two people are competing over the same stack, the last card wins and finishes the stack with the losing party returning their cars to the original positions.

Use the Layout:

Cards can be placed in the middle of your layout when the cards are on top. If you move a card, then flip the face down card, if there is still one there. For instance, the first stack doesn't have one.

Remember that cards can only be placed in a descending order in the layout with the opposite colour, so you start with the Ace and work your way down to K,Q,J, 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2.

The direction should always go black and then red, rather then red and then black. This is one of the basic rules to observe as well.

Use the Deck:

Put three cads from the stack in the discard pile. The top cards must be used first, followed by the ones below. These cards can be placed in the layout or in the middle area where the point-scoring takes place. Turn three more cards if the ones you have cannot be used.

Once a player is out of cards, he uses the discard pile as a new deck. If thee is only one card left, place the discard pile underneath the last cards.

Use Up the Nertz Pile:

Insert cards from the Nertz stack into the middle or add cards to the layout. To finish a game, a player needs to empty their Nertz pile, which brings the game to its natural conclusion. You should note that each Nertz card comes with a -2 points value, so don't be too eager to conclude the game.

Finishing the Round:

The game ends when somebody calls out “Nertz”. This is only permissible when the player has used up their entire Nertz stack.

Count the Points Together:

Make sure to separate each person's deck. For each card a player had in the middle, make sure to assign a point. Similarly, make sure to subtract 2 points for each Nertz card. You can use a sheet of paper to track everything properly. Negative scores are common so do not be surprised if this ends up being your final result.

Finishing the Game:

The game is wrapped up when a player reaches 50 points. Of course, this number is negotiable between players and you can set other winning conditions as well. If nobody has 50 points, the person with the fewest negative points claims the victory.

Game Variations:

There are multiple variations of the game that you can explore at your own leisure. For starters, you can change the number of layout stacks and choose between five or seven stacks. This will make the game slightly more difficult.

You can also choose to place Nertz stack cards in the middle, which will definitely create a very difficult playing field for the majority of players. Another game version expects you to place one cards in your discard pile instead of three. You can also save yourself the Nertz pile and just put all cards in your main deck and then ply them in the middle.

Additionally, there is another version of the game that focuses on rounds rather than you collecting a certain amount of points or exhausting you Nertz pile. Just play a pre-determined number of rounds, stop and count the cards.



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