We had a great game of Mao tonight, although I was laughing so hard I probably came close to my first coronary. I highly recommend it as a silly game for the family this weekend! In addition to the normal rules, the rules we used tonight also included the following custom rules:
All 2s must be followed by a Heart.
All 3s switch suit but stay in the same color.
All 8s must be followed by an odd number in the same color.
All 9s must be played with the left hand and once played, are treated as a six (so if you try to change suit with another 9, you take a penalty).
When playing the 9 of Diamonds, you have to say, “That’s the badger!”
When playing an Ace, you have to say, “Raspberry!”
When playing the King or Queen of Spades, you have to give a card from the top of the deck to the player on the opposite side of the table.
Whenever anyone takes a penalty card, everyone else has to shout, “Huzzah!”
Since usually only 2 of the 4 people playing knew any particular rule, there were a lot of penalty cards.

Mao is played very differently from one place to another. Here’s the rules we use:
Follow suit. You can change suit by playing a card of the same value from another suit.
When playing a 7, you say “Have a nice day” and the next player takes a card.
When receiving a penalty card, you have to say thank you.
Playing an Ace skips the next player.
Jacks are wild cards that can change the suit.
When playing a Spade, you have to name the card.
When you are down to your last card, you have to say “Mao.”
As you play your last card, you say “Zin.”


About lostdelights

An old gamer flying his freak flag, I've been playing table-top role-playing games since 1978. I've been building my own system (Journeyman) since 1981.
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2 Responses to Mao

  1. Dyson Logos says:

    First of all, penalty card for “explaining rules”.

    It’s my experience that the “call spades” rule is often applied to all spades, but I strongly believe that the origin of said rule was that all spades played after a seven of spades had to be called, not all spades. Once suit breaks from spades the calling spades rule ends until the next time a seven of spades is played.

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