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The Napoleon card game (is also known as the Nap) is considered to the trick-taking game which is widely spread in Europe, especially in England. The name of the game is not caused by Napoleon Bonaparte actually as the records of the game may be referred only to Napoleon III era.

The Napoleon card game possesses the following mechanics to know:

  • 3 players minimum may participate the game (4 and more is better indeed);
  • No partnership rule is occurred and thus the player who is a high bidder plays against all the other participants;
  • 52 cards with standard ranking are dealt;
  • Sometimes players may use the decks with 24 cards (A's down to 9's), 28 cards (A's down to 8's) and 32 cards with no 2's, 3's, 4's, 5's and 6's;
  • The dealer delivers 5 cards for each player (3+2 at a time, or 2+3 at a time);
  • The deal and the play processes are performed clockwise.
  • Now let's consider the game process more thoroughly.


    The bidding procedure in Napoleon card game starts from the player next to the dealer left and proceeds further clockwise. Each player must either pass or bid more than the previous player bid plus you have only one chance to speak and thus you must be consistent.

    The possible bids for players are given in the list below (ascending order is hold):

  • Three: the player pledges to win 3 tricks minimum;
  • Four: the player pledges to win 4 tricks minimum;
  • Nap (Five): the player pledges to win all 5 tricks;
  • Wellington: the player pledges to win all 5 tricks (this option is selected when the Nap option is already been picked by other player);
  • If all players pass - then the round is closed and the dealer shuffles the cards once more.

    Napoleon Play

    Firstly the player with a higher bid starts the round and launches the first card of the game. The suit of this starting card becomes a trump at once.

    The players must follow this suit with their own cards. If there is none of that - the player places a trump or just discards any.

    The trick goes to the player who puts the highest trump or the highest card with the rank matches the starting card (if the trick possesses none of trumps).

    The winner of the trick starts the next round with placing his own starting card according to Napoleon card game rules.


    The player who wins his bid successfully receives the next number of units (chips or money as well) from each player:

  • 3 units for Three;
  • 4 units for Four;
  • 5 units for Five (Nap);
  • 10 units for Wellington.
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