At heart, Pikoko is a trick taking game, but I bet you haven’t seen such a beautiful trick taking before! I also bet you haven’t played one quite like this either.
In the box, you get:
- 5 Peacock Card Holders
- 47 Feather Cards
- 30 Confidence Cards ( 6 cards in each of the five player colours)
- 45 Betting Tokens (9 tokens in each of the five player colours)
- 1 Starting Player Token
Each player chooses a colour and takes the appropriate pieces - peacock, tokens and confidence cards all in their chosen colour. Put all other player pieces back in the box.
Prepare the deck of feather cards according to the number of players:
- For 3 players remove all cards numbered 8,9,10 and 11
- For 4 players remove all cards numbered 10 and 11
- For 5 players play with the entire deck of cards.
Shuffle up the remaining feather cards. Choose a starting player and give them the token. You are now ready to begin the game.
Deal out eight cards to each player. However, do NOT look at your cards! Over the course of this game you will get to see everyone elses cards except your own. Place the remaining cards to one side. Turn over the top card of the deck, this will be the trump colour for the round. Each player places their cards, facing outwards into their peacock so all opponents can see the colours and numbers on each card.
Next comes the bidding phase. In this phase, players will bid on how many tricks they think the other players will win this round. Begin with the starting player as the person being bid on. That player does not participate in the bidding on themselves. Players take their bidding tokens and secretly decide how many to bid, putting that number into their fist. When everyone is ready they reveal their tokens and place them in front of the person that was being bid on. Go round the table with everyone placing bids on the other players. Finally, all players individually bid on themselves. All bids on each player are placed in front of them. Any left over tokens should be placed behind your peacock as they will not be taken into account during the round.
After all bids have been placed, each player secretly chooses one of their confidence cards and places it face down on the table to be revealed at the end of the round. You should play the confidence card that represents the bet you trust the most. At the end of the round, these cards will score you 3 points if they are correct or minus one if you were wrong. If you are unsure about your bids, you can chose the ‘no confidence’ card which will always get you one point!
Now to play your tricks! Remember me saying this didn’t play like any other trick taking game? Well, as you can’t see your own cards, you will be playing cards from the hand of the person sat to your left. Players only ever play cards from the player on their lefts hand!
The start player starts off by playing any card from their ‘hand’
The rules for playing tricks are as follows:
The first card may be any card the player chooses
If able, all other cards must follow the colour of the first card played
If there are no cards of that colour you may play any other, either a trump card or another colour
The card can be any number
The trick is complete after every player has played one card. It is won by either the highest value card of the lead colour or else the highest value trump card. The important thing to note here is the winning player is the person who originally owned the card ie. the person whose peacock the card came from and NOT the player who played the card.
Multicoloured cards are only ever one of the three depicted colours. If they are played as the starting card, the player who placed it declares what colour it is. If it is played during the round it is considered the colour of the lead card if possible.
After the trick is won, the player who won it becomes the start player and gets to place the starting card for the round. After eight tricks everyone should have naked peacocks and scoring for the round starts.
Each player looks at how many tricks they took and how many tokens the other players bid on them. If the bet was correct, the player who placed it scores two points, if the bet was out by one (higher or lower) the player scores one point. If it was a bad bet, that is the bet was out by two or more, then the player scores zero.
Then score the confidence cards, if you placed a correct bet on that colour player, recieve three points. If your bet was out, by even one, then lose a point. If you placed a ‘no-confidence’ card then score one point. Mark the scores on the score sheet provided and begin the round again by shuffling all the cards and dealing eight out to each player.
Pikoko is played over three rounds with the end of round scores being totalled up to find the winner!