The Rules of Mose
These are the full rules of the game. You can also review details and clarifications for those times when plays are contested (it happens often!).
- One standard deck of 52 cards is used (no jokers)
- Best played with 4 players, but 2—6 will work well (2 player Mose is much different — and slower — than a 4 player game)
- One player is chosen to keep track of scores (Use the online web app or download .PDF scoresheet)
- The first dealer is chosen randomly, and the turn to deal rotates clockwise after each round.
- Seven cards are dealt to each player, one at a time.
- After the deal, the next card is placed face up on the table to start the discard pile, and the remainder of the deck is placed face down beside it to form the stock pile.
- The dealer should announce the wild card for this round. The wild card starts with the twos.
- The players may look at and sort their cards.
OBJECT OF THE GAME
You want to be the first player to dispose of all cards in your hand.
There are 13 rounds of play — one for each card in a suit — from 2 through Ace, beginning with the 2.
There are three ways to get rid of cards:
- Playing a new set or run
- Adding to existing sets or runs, and
Playing A New Set or Run
To play a new set or run, take a combination of cards from your hand and place it face up in front of you on the table, where it stays.
You can play new sets or runs any time after the round has begun.
- A set consists of three or four cards of the same rank, e.g., ♦7, ♥7, ♠7
- A run consists of three or more cards of the same suit in consecutive order, e.g., ♠5, ♠6, ♠7 or ♦9, ♦10, ♦J, ♦Q. Runs can extend past the King and before the Ace. e.g., ♥Q, ♥K, ♥A, ♥2.
When you play new sets or runs, you should announce to all players what you are playing. For example, “5,6,7 spades” or “Kings”.
Adding to Existing Sets or Runs
You can add a card or cards from your hand to a set or run already on the table. The cards added to the set or run must make another valid set or run. For example, if the run ♠5, ♠6, ♠7 was already on the table, you could add ♠4 or ♠8. You are not permitted to rearrange or reorder existing sets or runs in the process.
Discarding is playing a card from your hand on top of the discard pile. You get rid of one card this way at the end of each turn.
Players take turns in clockwise rotation, beginning with the player to the dealer's left. The round begins when the first player has drawn their first card.
At a minimum, each turn consists of the following parts:
The Draw:If you draw from the discard pile, you must take the entire pile!
You MUST begin your turn by taking either one card from the top of the stock pile, or the ENTIRE discard pile, and adding it to your hand.
- If you draw from the stock pile, you add the card to your hand without showing it to the other players. Because the stock pile is face down, you do not see the card until after you have committed yourself to taking it.
- If you draw from the discard pile, you will know exactly what cards you are taking because the entire discard pile is face up. There is no requirement to play anything contained in the discard pile if you pick it up.
If the stock pile runs out and the next player does not want the discard pile, the discard pile is shuffled to form a new stock pile, and play continues.If the stock pile runs out a second time, the round is over and every player tallies their score.
At the end of your turn one card MUST be discarded from your hand and placed face up on the discard pile (so you can also see previous cards in the discard pile). You may discard any card. If your discard is your last card, you can call “Mose” and win the round.
There are also plays you can make at any time, even when it is not your turn. These include:
Playing New Sets or Runs:
If you have valid runs or sets in your hand, you may play them face up on the table in front of you.
Adding to Existing Sets or Runs:
You may add cards to runs or sets previously played by yourself or others. There is no limit to the number of cards a player may add in one turn.
A player wins a round by disposing of all of their cards (through playing new sets or runs, adding to existing sets or runs, or by discarding their last card during their turn).
Getting rid of your last card in one of these ways is called going out, and as soon as you go out, you must call Mose to announce to every player you have won the hand. Once Mose is called, no more plays can be made by other players.
The wild card changes each round. In each round, the wild cards are the matching round (e.g., in the '2' round, all '2s' are wild cards).
Wild cards can take the place of any card and can be played in any combination. The suit of the wild card is irrelevant — it can act as any card, of any suit.
For example, if '2's were wild, and you had ♣6, ♥6 and ♥2, you could play a set of 6's, with the ♥2 acting as a 6.
When a run or set with a wild card is played, other players who have the card the wild card is replacing may exchange their card for the wild card.
For example, if '3's were wild, and a player laid down ♥7, ♣3, ♥9, ♥10 (with the wild ♣3 acting as ♥8), another player who was holding the ♥8 in their hand could then take the wild card from the table and replace it immediately with their ♥8. The wild card must be replaced in order to take it. If you wish to play the replacement card but do not wish to take the wild card into your hand, you must specify where the wild card should be played.
If you choose not to take the wild card at the time of replacement, you cannot change your mind and take it later.
When a player calls Mose and wins the round, the other players add up the value of all the cards still remaining in their hands. The winner of the round receives 0 points. Other players score their hand as follows:
|Face cards (J, Q, K)||10 points|
|Wild Cards||20 points|
|Number Cards are worth their spot (index) value.|
The total value of the cards in each player's hand is added to that player's score. If any players incurred penalties, those points should be added at this time.
The game continues with further deals, using the next wild card, until Ace is reached. Once all 13 rounds have been played, the game is over and the player with the lowest score wins.