Skull King - Rules

Starting The Game

/join allows 3-6 players to join the game. /start begins the game. Alternatively, you can use the Game Tool!

Object of the Game

Skull King is a pirate trick-taking game, in which you have to predict the number of tricks you are going to take. Sounds easy, were it not for mean opponents...

Game Board

  1. Card decks
  2. Score pad (opens / closes by clicking this symbol)
  3. your cards
  1. Player's name
  2. Total number of points so far (ahead of the current round)
  3. Current point total in the current round
  4. Number of tricks taken/number announced

Example: Nessi has collected 90 points so far. She announces 3 tricks, has only taken two so far (2/3). Because of the missing trick, she would currently have -10 points from this round, making (80) points in total.

Game Material

The game consists of 66 cards:

  • Normal colour cards with the numbers 1 - 13, in the colours red, yellow and blue.
  • Skull and crossbones cards (black) 1 - 13

Special cards:

  • Five pirates
  • Five escape cards
  • Two mermaids
  • One Skull King
  • One Scary Mary

Flow of the game

The game goes for twn rounds. Each player has to announce the number of tricks they want to make this round. Then every player always plays one card and the highest wins the trick.

Every players gets one card in the first round, two in the second, etc.

Predicting Tricks

At the beginning of the round, all players secretly predict the number of tricks they want to make.

Stiche vorhersagen

Playing cards

Once all the players have chosen, the starting player begins by playing one of their cards. He is the one seated furthest left, the other players follow to his right in the order of play. They each play a card, when it's their turn.

The colour played first must always be followed.

If, for example, the first player plays a red card, all the other players must also play red cards, if they have any. The only exceptions to this rule are the special cards: These cards can be played at any time, regardless of the colour played first.

Winning the Trick

Once all the players have played a card, it is determined who will win the trick:

Normal Colour Cards:
Blau Rot Gelb

The first of these colours played is trump. It must be followed (unless you play a special card). The highest card of the first-played colour wins. Other colour cards (apart from black) don't count anything and never trump.

Skull and Crossbones Cards (Black):

Skull and crossbones cards are not special cards, i.e. the may only be played if you can't follow the colour played first! They trump any other coloured card. If several skull and crossbones cards are played, the highest one trumps the others.


Escape has a value of 0 and is always the lowest card.


The mermaid is higher than all the colour cards (black ones included!). She also trumps the Skull King but not the pirates - unless the Skull King is also in the trick: if all of mermaid, pirate and Skull King are played, the mermaid wins. If she trumps the Skull King, she gets bonus points. If both mermaids are played in the same trick, the first one wins.


Pirates trump all coloured cards (incl. black ones) and the mermaids. They can only be trumped by a pirate card played earlier in the trick and by the Skull King.

Scary Mary
Scary Mary

Scary Mary can be played as an Escape card or pirate. When you play her, you have to choose.

Auswahl Scary Mary
Skull King
Skull King

The Skull King is the highest card and can only be trumped by a mermaid.

Special Cases

  • If the card that way played first is a special card, the first normal colour card determines the colour that has to be followed.
  • If the card played first is a skull and crossbones card, it doesn't have to be trumped by a special card in the case that you have no more skull and crossbones cards in your hand. Normal coloured cards can also be played - but will never win the trick.
  • If only escapes were played, the first escape wins the trick.


At the end of each round, the tricks of each player are counted. Players who managed to get the number of tricks predicted get 20 points per trick won. Those who didn't lose 10 points for every additional trick they took or every trick they failed to take.

If a player announces 0 tricks and makes it, they get the round number × 10 points. If, for example, they predict 0 tricks in the fifth round and go on not to make any, they will win 50 points. If, on the other hand, they make one or more tricks, they get this number subtracted. So you can earn lots of points by predicting 0 tricks but also lose lots.

Bonus Points

  • EAch pirate caught by the Skull King earns the King an extra 30 bonus points. Scary Mary always counts as a pirate, whether played as such or not.
  • If a mermaid catches the Skull King, she gets 50 bonus points.

Attention : You only receive bonuses if you manage to stick to your prediction. If you don't make it, you also don't get the bonus.

Once a trick has been awarded to a player, that player starts the next trick.

At the end of the round, the scoring pad automatically opens:


Here you can see the points and predictions from all the rounds. Once everybody has accepted by clicking OK, the next round starts. The new starting player is the one who sat second in the last round.

The pad can be opened and closed at any point by clicking the pad symbol to the upper right. The points and predictions for the current round are always shown as well.

End of the Game

The game ends after 10 rounds. The player with the most points wins.

Game Options


Not much of an option, more like an extra for the interface, the entry SkullKingHook=On in the prop file allows you to mark a card before it's your turn. This card then gets a pirate hook. Once it's your turn, the card is automatically played. Of course you can always change your choice, as long as the card has not been played yet.