Matatu


Matatu is a two player card game based  very popular local cards game in Uganda of the name. The goal of the game is to play all your cards before your opponent. The first to play all their cards wins, but don’t rush just yet — Many pitfalls follow.

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The Basics:

Cards are served out at random and the 1st player chosen at random. Every card that follows must match the card on the table, either by value (2,3,4,…,Q,K) or by Suit (Hearts, Spades, Diamonds, Flower).

The Modes:
Matatu has 3 modes – Classic, Joker & 2 Player. In classic mode, the Jokers in the deck are removed, hence the deck is 52 cards. Without the Joker, some cards lose their “powers”, the “3″ stops being a power play, and becomes an ordinary card, and the ACE of spades stops being a universal “silencer”, and turns into an ordinary spade. The 2 player mode lets you play any other person directly.

The Power Plays:

  • “2″, “3″ and “Joker” – prompt the opponent to pick 2, 3, or 5 cards, if they can’t retaliate with their own “2″, “3″ and “Joker” .
  • You can also play more than one card at a time. If the card you play is either an “8″ or “Jack”, you get to play another card. String together as many cards for maximum points.
  • You can use an ace, “A”,  to ask your opponent to play any suit to your liking.

The Neat tricks:
The card under the deck is called the “cutter”. If you play a “7″ with the same suit as the cutter, you’ve “CUT” the game, and the cards are counted. Cards are counted by their value, except the ACEs, which are 15 and the “2″s which are 20. Jack is 11, Queen is 12, King is 13. The person with the lower sum, wins the game!