Game Rules

Pesten is a Dutch trick-card game and is mainly played in the Netherlands. The game is very similar to the game Mau-Mau.

OBJECT: The goal of the game is to discard your cards as quickly as possible.
MATERIAL: Card deck of 56 cards (2 to 10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace, Joker of all 4 playing card colours)
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 or more players


First, the cards are distributed among the participants. How many cards that are depends on the number of participants. Normally, each player receives seven playing cards. All other cards together form the draw pile.


The players have the task of playing away all the cards in his or her possession, simply by placing them on the discard pile. In turn, the players may place a card on the discard pile, this will be done clockwise.

But you can't just take a card, because the card you put down must have the same value or colour with the top card on the relevant stack. Suppose there is a heart king, then the player may lay down a king (also of a different colour) or a heart (all values). We can't make it much simpler.

If a player cannot play a card, he or she must take an extra card from the draw pile. If the drawn card can be placed on the stack, he or she may place it directly on it. The participant who is the first to have played all his cards is the winner.

Special playing cards

Some playing cards have a unique function in the game of Pesten. But here too, players have often come up with their own rules. However, we explain below what the basic rules are regarding the special playing cards:

Every 2: This is a so-called 'plague card' and can make it a lot harder for the opponent to win. The player next will have to take two cards from the draw pile. After that, it is still the turn of the participant in question.

Every 5: The 5 is also a special playing card, because the player next must deposit a card with a value of 5 or less. There are also rules that when someone imposes a 5, the next player must put down a woman. The choice is yours!

Every 7: If you put down a 7, it's your turn again, because the 7 sticks. But if the player cannot lay another card, then a playing card must be taken from the draw pile. So - make sure that the 7 is played at a sensible time.

Every 8: You may know the rule with an 8, because the 8 is waiting. The next player must pass his turn.

Every 10: The rule 'see 10' is also well known. The next player must show all his cards to the participants.

Every Jack: If you impose a Farmer, you can decide which colour the next card should be. In other words, a clover, hearts, diamonds or spades.

Every King: The King ensures that the turn turns around, there will then be played against the clock. But with the next King, that too will turn around.

Every Ace: The Ace can reverse the direction of the game, basically the same as the King. With two players, the Ace has no special function.

Every Joker: The Joker is the crème-de-la-crème of the plague cards. If you impose a Joker, the next player will have to take no less than five cards from the draw pile. In addition, you can also choose a new color.

End of game

If a player only has one card left in his possession, he or she must knock on the table. If a player forgets this and imposes the last card, the card must be taken back and two playing cards must also be taken from the draw pile. In addition, it is also not allowed to impose the plague card as the last card, this will also be punished with two penalty cards.

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