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Official Rat A Tat Cat Rules

Rat-a-Tat Cat is a fun and strategic card game designed for children, but enjoyable for all ages. The goal is to have the lowest score possible by the end of the game. Here's a detailed guide on how to play:

Equipment

Deck of 54 Cards:

  • Number Cards: 0-9 (four of each).

  • Special Cards: Peek (4), Swap (4), and Draw 2 (4).

Setup

  1. Shuffle the Deck:Thoroughly shuffle all the cards.

  2. Deal the Cards:Each player is dealt four cards, face down.
    Players can look at their two outer cards (leftmost and rightmost) and memorize them before placing them face down again. The two middle cards remain unknown.

  3. Place the Deck:Place the remaining deck face down in the center to form the draw pile.
    Turn the top card of the draw pile face up to start the discard pile.

Gameplay

  1. Turn Sequence:

    • Players take turns in clockwise order.

    • On your turn, you must choose one of the following actions:

      • Draw a Card:

        • Draw the top card from either the draw pile or the discard pile.

        • If you draw from the discard pile, you must replace one of your face-down cards with it, placing the new card face down and discarding the old card face-up.

        • If you draw from the draw pile, you can choose to keep the card or discard it. If you keep it, replace one of your face-down cards and discard the old card face-up.

      • Use a Special Card:

        • If you draw a special card, you can use its power immediately:

          • Peek: Look at one of your face-down cards.

          • Swap: Swap one of your cards with another player’s card without looking at either card.

          • Draw 2: Draw two more cards from the draw pile and choose to keep or discard each, one at a time. You cannot use another special card drawn this way.

        • After using a special card, discard it to the discard pile.

  2. Ending the Game:

    • The game ends when a player thinks they have the lowest score and calls "Rat-a-Tat Cat." This call must be made at the end of their turn.

    • All players then get one more turn before the final scoring.

Winning the Game

  1. Reveal Cards:

    • All players reveal their four cards.

  2. Calculate Scores:

    • Sum the values of your four cards (number cards count as their face value; special cards should be removed and not counted).

    • The player with the lowest total score wins the game.

Notes/Variations

  • Memorization: Remembering your outer cards and noting changes is crucial.

  • Use Special Cards Wisely: Peek cards can help you know more about your hand, while Swap cards can mess up opponents' strategies.

  • Call "Rat-a-Tat Cat" at the Right Time: Ensure your score is low before ending the game to increase your chances of winning.

Rat-a-Tat Cat is a delightful game that combines luck, memory, and strategy. Perfect for family game nights or casual play, it's easy to learn and full of excitement.

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