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How To Play A New Card Game, Layout-36

Updated on September 14, 2015

I was trying to create a new card game using a layout of playing cards. A player would score points by getting sets of three cards in a row, like Tic-Tac-Toe. But it never seemed to work out right. So I changed my concept to a game in which you add cards to a layout.

The final game, Layout-36, is played like Crazy Eights where the first player to get rid of his or her cards wins the game.


I wanted to use a fairly small layout, so I eliminated the face-cards and Aces so that the full layout would be six cards wide by six cards high. The layout starts with a single card, and you lay cards on empty spaces next to cards in the layout. You lay each card to the left or right or above or below a card in the layout.

The cards in the layout are arranged using the card ranks. Each new card is placed based on the ranks of the existing cards.

You can lay a card to the left of a layout card if its rank is one lower than that card, to the right of a layout card if its rank is one higher than that card, below a layout card if its rank is three lower than that card, and above a layout card if its rank is three higher than that card.

The sequence of ranks is circular so that the rank one higher that Ten is Two, and the rank one lower than Two is Ten. So the sequence starting at Eight and rising would be "Eight, Nine, Ten, Two, Three, Four, ..." and the sequence starting at Four and falling would be "Four, Three, Two, Ten, Nine, Eight, ...".

Layout Chart

A chart can help you determine where to place a card in the layout. The nine numbers at the center of the chart are the nine ranks you can find in the layout. The numbers surrounding each of these numbers are the card ranks that can be added around each card in the layout.

The Game

Layout-36 can be played by 2 to 4 players using a standard deck of playing cards.

Place the deck of cards on the table, and remove the face-cards and the Aces. Each player can shuffle the cards.

Then each player takes a card, and the player with the high card becomes the dealer. If more than one player has the same high card rank, those players continue to take cards until one player has the high card.

The dealer shuffles the cards, and then deals them clockwise around the table one at a time starting with the player to the dealer's right and moving clockwise around the table until each player has four cards.

The dealer lays the top card of the remaining cards face-up on the table as the start of the layout, and places the remaining cards face-down on the table as a draw-pile.

The dealer then takes an Ace and places it above the face-up card to indicate the "above" direction used in the game. (A card placed on the side of a card in the layout closest to the "above" card is above that card. A card placed on the side of a card in the layout farthest from the "above" card is below that card.) The "above" card can be moved up as the layout grows taller.

The players then take turns playing beginning with the dealer and moving clockwise around the table.


On your turn, take a card from the draw-pile if there are cards left to take, and then lay a card on the layout if you can find a card to lay it next to. You can never lay a card on the layout that would make the layout more than six cards wide or more than six cards high. You can only lay cards within the six-by-six layout.


Keep playing until someone runs out of cards. That player wins the game.


1. Take a card from the draw pile only if you cannot lay a card on the layout.

2. You can lay a card on an empty space that is diagonal to a card in the layout, corners touching. You can lay a card below and left of a layout card if its rank is four lower than that card, below and right of a layout card if its rank is two lower than that card, above and left of a layout card if its rank is two higher than that card, and above and right of a layout card if its rank is four higher than that card.

3. Add the four Kings to the deck of cards, and use them as wild cards.


It took a while to get the pattern right, but I like the results.


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