Three or more players typically play the game. The objective of Palace is to be the first player to get rid of all their cards.
Shuffle the deck of cards and deal the entire deck face down to each player. The number of cards dealt to each player depends on the number of players:
Three players: 17 cards each
Four players: 13 cards each
Five players: 10 cards each
The player to the dealer's left goes first, and the turns proceed clockwise. On your turn, you must play one or more cards from your hand, following these rules:
You must play a card that is either higher or lower by one rank of the card on top of the discard pile.
Aces can be played on top of kings, and kings can be played on top of aces.
For example, if a 7 of diamonds is on top of the discard pile, you can play a 6 or 8 of any suit.
If you cannot play a card, you must pick up the entire discard pile and add it to your hand.
2: Playing 2 forces the next player to pick up two cards from the deck. If multiple 2s are played consecutively, the number of cards to pick up is cumulative. The next player can defend against a 2 by playing another 2 or by playing a card of the same rank.
8: An 8 skips the next player's turn in the rotation.
10: A 10 clears the entire discard pile, and the player who played the 10 starts a new discard pile with any card from their hand.
Joker: The Joker is a wild card that can be played on any card. It can be played at any time, even if you have other playable cards in your hand.
Ranking of Suits: In Palace, the suits have a specific ranking order, which affects the gameplay. The ranking from highest to lowest is as follows:
Replenishing Hand: When a player has fewer than three cards at the beginning of their turn, they must draw cards from the deck until they have three cards.
The winner is the first player to play all their cards. The game continues until only one player has cards remaining. The remaining players are ranked based on the order in which they finish.
Palace can have various additional rules and interpretations depending on the players' preferences. Some common variations include allowing consecutive plays of the same rank (e.g., playing two 5s in a row), allowing "burn" cards to defend against special cards (e.g., playing a 4 to burn a 2), or allowing the player to choose the suit after playing a 10.
Remember, the rules of Palace can be customized and adapted based on the agreement of the players. These rules provide a basic framework to get started, but you can modify them to suit your preferences and add more complexity or strategic elements to the game.