Score the most points by playing cards that will keep your tide level low and your life preservers afloat through the rounds. There are as many rounds as there are players. The player with the most points at the end of the rounds wins the game.
Twelve hands make up one complete round. Your number of life preservers is determined by what cards you have in hand. The distribution of life preservers may seem unfair. However, the players with more life preservers have a higher concentration of Weather cards that are more difficult to play.
Each player chooses one Weather card from their hand. When all players have selected their cards, everyone simultaneously turns their chosen card face up and compares numbers.
The player who played the highest number Weather card must take the lower Tide Level card from the two face up next to the deck. That Tide Level card is then placed face up in front of them so that all of the other players can see it.
Next, the player who played the second highest Weather card must take the remaining Tide Level card and do the same.
When you receive a new Tide Level card, it is placed on top of the old one, if there was one.
The player who now has the highest Tide Level card showing among all players loses a life preserver. If two players tie for the highest Tide Level, then both must turn over a life preserver.
All played Weather cards are then discarded and two new Tide Level cards are revealed next to the deck.
If you lose your last life preserver, you get one last chance to stay in the round. You are only eliminated from the round when you lose once more (that is, when you must turn over another life preserver, but have none left to turn).
If you are eliminated from the round, your Weather and Tide Level cards are discarded.
End of a round and scoring
A round ends after each player has played all 12 cards from their hand. Alternatively, the round ends instantly when there are only two players left in the game.
At the end of the round, you are awarded one point for each remaining life preserver. If you have no life preservers, you get no points (0). If you were eliminated from the round because of a lack of life preservers, you receive one negative point (-1).
In addition, the player who, at the end of the round, had the lowest Tide Level card showing, receives one additional bonus point. If two players are tied for the lowest Tide Level, then they each receive an additional point. A player with no Tide Level cards in their playing area has the lowest Tide Level.
Starting a new round
Your initial 12 Weather cards are passed to the player on your left, as well as the corresponding life preservers. The Tide Level cards are re-shuffled at the beginning of each round.
- 6 player modified rules: Only 10 Weather cards are dealt. Tides range from 1 to 10 instead of 1 to 12.
- Modified drowning rules: If someone is drowning, the second highest doesn't need to turn over 1 life preserver.