Pilatch Card Games

Over Trump

An advanced trick-taking game where there is no concept of "trump" in a traditional sense. The Rock-Paper-Scissors suit cycle enables all players to make surprising and powerful moves.

Over Trump encourages strategy, teamwork, and rewards players who play close attention to the action.

4 players, in 2-player teams.
Game Time
45 Minutes
Deck Build
Remove the 2 of Scissors to make a 44 card Pilatch deck. (The Jokers are called Keepers in this game.)
Designate a player to track teams' points. Teammates sit across from each other.
To reach 100 points.
Beginning a Hand

If this is the first hand of the game, randomly determine who will deal. Otherwise, the player clockwise from the last dealer is now the dealer.

The dealer shuffles, then deals all the cards in the deck, so that each player has an equal number in her hand. Then the player to her left is the first to play.

Taking Tricks

The first to play places any card from her hand into the center, face-up. If it's not a Keeper card then it becomes the top card of the trick... for now.

Clockwise from her, each other player takes a turn placing a card to make a legal play with respect to the top card of the trick at that time.

After each player has placed a card the player who placed the card that's now at the top wins the trick. Her team collects the cards in the trick and sets them aside, face-down.

If players still have cards in hand, the winner of the trick is the first to play in the next trick. Otherwise the hand is done. Look at the cards your team won, and tally your points!

Legal Plays

You must place a card from your hand that's the same suit as the top card of the trick, if able. If the card you placed is a higher rank than the top card, then yours becomes the top card of the trick. Otherwise your card is placed on the bottom of the trick.

If you have no cards in hand of that suit you must place a card of the superior suit, if able. It becomes the top card of the trick, regardless of rank.

If you do not have any cards in hand of the top card's suit, nor its superior suit, then whatever card you place goes to the bottom of the trick.

Keeper Cards

In this game a Joker allows you to keep a card in your hand that you would normally have to use in a trick. Hence the Jokers are called "Keepers." They are not suit-aligned in this game.

There are two ways to use Keepers:

  • If you place a card that you would like to keep in your hand, reveal a Keeper from your hand as you place it. After completion of the trick, exchange the revealed Keeper with the card you placed. The card you placed goes back to your hand for later use, and the winning team collects the Keeper with the other cards in the trick.

  • If there is a card in your hand that you want to keep rather than being forced to place it as a legal play, then place a Keeper instead. A placed Keeper always goes to the bottom of the trick.

If there is no card at the top of the trick, (because a Keeper was placed at the beginning of a trick), then the next player may place any card she wishes. If the placed card is not a Keeper, then it becomes the top of the trick.


At the end of each hand review the cards your team won.

  • Jacks, Queens, Kings, Aces, and Keepers are worth 1 point each.
  • 1s are worth 10 points each!
  • The team that took the most tricks is awarded 5 points.

(50 points total per hand)

If the objective number of points was not met by a team, begin a new hand.

Illegal Play

If a card is placed illegally, the hand ends with the offending team subtracting 50 points from their score. No team gains any points. Players are expected to remember which suits their opponents claim to be out of.

For example, if a player threw a Rock when the top card of the trick was a Scissor, then she effectively claims to have no more Scissors in her hand. The other players are expected to remember this and play accordingly. Should she later throw a Scissor, then she has made an illegal play.