Mau Mau - The Card Game Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Mau Mau - The Card Game

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'Mau Mau' is a Card Game frequently played in Germany. It's usually for two players, though you can have as many as five or six. It uses a 32 card deck with all four suits. The cards in suit are:

  • 7 to 10
  • Jack
  • Queen
  • King
  • Ace

Mau Mau is an easy game without any major tactics that are essential for winning. The aim is to be the first to get rid of the cards in your hand. Like most other card games Mau Mau starts with...


One of the players is the dealer. Every player, including the dealer, gets an appropriate amount of, on average, between four and seven cards depending on the number of players. A couple of cards, those that remain from dealing, form the stock, which are placed face down. The top card of the stock is turned open as the bottom card of a new pile.


The player sitting next to the dealer begins. He takes a card of his hand to put it on the open pile. This card must be either of the same suit or the same value. As some cards are special he may have to react on special demands. The special cards are:

  • Seven - The next player has to pick up 2 cards or play another 7 himself. Then the next player would have to deal 2 or play a 7...

  • Eight - The next player has to pause for one round or play another 8 himself. Then the next player would have to pause instead or play an 8...

  • Jack - The next player has to play a card of the suit that the player who played the Jack wishes. Jacks of any suit can be played on any card, except another Jack. Jacks do not neutralise a 7 or an 8. Jacks played as last card double the scores.

As soon as one player keeps only one remaining card in his hand he has to announce 'Last card'. If he doesn't, he has to pick two cards from the stock. If he has announced and can play his last card when it is his turn again, he plays it says 'Mau'. If the last card he plays is a Jack, he says 'Mau Mau'.
If a player cannot play a card, because he hasn't got any card of either the appropriate suit or value, nor a Jack, then he has to deal one card from the stock. In case this card fits, he can play it, otherwise he has to pass to the next player.


If all players agree, some options may be defined:

  • As additional special cards, the Queens (and 9s) can be defined: A Queen has to be followed by a nine of any suit.

  • If a player has got more than one card of the same value on his hand, he can play all of them on top of the one that fits value or suit of the card on top of the pile.

  • If a player has both the Queen and the King of the same suit, he can play them as a 'Couple', provided that one of them is of the same suit or value as the card on top of the pile.

  • If a player has only Jacks (more than one) left on his hand he could play them, according to the other rules, then he can play all of them, saying 'Last card' and 'Mau' + 1 additional 'Mau' per Jack. Every Jack doubles the score. So 4 Jacks result in a factor of 16.


If a player has played his last card, the game is over. The other players count the value of their cards, according to the following list:

CardPoints Scored
7 - 107 - 10

Jacks, played as last cards each double the scores. The winner gets no points, the losers their individual score as negative points.

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