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Basic info

Mate is a 2 player game of perfect information played with 20 standard cards: the 7, 10, Q, K and A of each suit. A match is made of 2 rounds, and each round is made of 2 hands (total of 4 hands).

Card ranking

Mate is a trick-taking game, so cards and suits are ranked to determine the trick winner, as follows:

  • A > 10 > K > Q > 7 (A strongest, 7 weakest);
  • Clubs > spades > hearts > diamonds (clubs strongest, diamonds weakest).


When the first hand starts, the deck is shuffled and 10 cards are dealt to each player. That means all cards are dealt and players know their opponent's hand. Then, up to 10 tricks are played, following these steps:

  • The first player plays any card from their hand;
  • The second one plays other card of the same suit, if possible. If they don't have a card of the current suit, they may play a card of other suit, but of the same value of the first card;
  • Whoever played the strongest card wins the trick and starts the next one.

If the second player doesn't have any playable card (no card of the current suit or value), that's a mate. The hand is finished and the first player of the trick (who forced the mate) scores! If all tricks are played without a mate, it's a tie and nobody scores.

Calculating points

Points are calculated according to the card used to force the mate and the number of tricks played in the hand (including the current one). The weight of the card is multiplied by the number of tricks (weight x tricks = points). The longer you take a hand before a mate, the better.


  • A -> 11;
  • 10 -> 10;
  • 7 -> 7;
  • K -> 4;
  • Q -> 3.

For instance, if a player forces a mate with a K in the 7th trick, they score 28 points.

Between hands and rounds

After the first hand of the first round, the deck is NOT shuffled: players exchange all their cards and a new hand starts. This removes luck from the game.

After the second hand of the first round, the deck is shuffled, cards are dealt and the second (and last) round starts. It's played exactly as the first one, with 2 hands.

Game end

The game ends when the second round is finished. The player with more points wins.