Cats & Dogs

Number of players

1-5 players

Playing time

15-20 min

Recommended age

10+ years

Cats & Dogs is an 18 card trick taking game. The twist is that there are two competing factions and only the weakest cards of each faction carry victory points (ribbons). The result is a game that really bends your mind.

Rules for 3-5 players

There are two factions, cats and dogs.

There are 9 cards in each faction, with the strengths 1-9.

The 1 is worth 3 ribbons, 2-3 are worth 2 ribbons, 4-6 are worth 1 ribbon and finally 7-9 no ribbons.

The starting player is the one who has had the most pets.

Each round

Shuffle and deal cards (3 players/5 cards each, 4 players/4 cards, 5 players/3 cards), remaining cards are left out of play, face down.

Each trick

  1. In clockwise order each player plays one card face-up.
  2. Sum up each faction’s strength.
  3. The trick winner is the player with the strongest card in the winning faction.
  4. If all cards are from one faction the trick winner collects the weakest card. If there is a winning faction the TW collects all the cards from the losing faction.
  5. Finally all players collect the card they played - if still available. This is all that happens if there was a tie between the factions.

The trick winner normally starts next trick but if factions are tied - the last player starts.

When all tricks in a round have been played (no cards left in hand), sum up the ribbons on collected cards for each player and add to their score.

End of the game?

If one or more players have at least 21 ribbons, the game is over. Otherwise play another round.

Tie breaker is the last winner of a trick.

Rules for 2 players

  1. Shuffle all 18 cards and deal 5 cards to each player
  2. Put 5 cards face-up on the table (tricks)
  3. For each trick
    • First player plays a card to one trick (tricks should be played in order from one side to the other)
    • Second player responds to that trick with one card
    • Resolve the trick
    • Winning player is now first player, if the table wins, first player shifts
  4. Count score and add to your total
  5. Player with highest score starts the next round

Rules for solo play

  1. Shuffle all 18 cards
  2. Deal 5 cards face-down (tricks)
  3. Deal 1 cards face-up to each trick
  4. Deal 5 cards to player
  5. For each trick
    • Play one card to the trick
    • Unveil the hidden card
    • Resolve the trick
    • Played cards stay visible
  6. Score
  7. You have 4 rounds to reach 21 ribbons or more