Buddha is a trick-taking game in which players bid the number of tricks they think they can take from each hand, then to take exactly that many; no more and no fewer. Bidding takes place simultaneously, leading to rounds that are sometimes over, or under-bid. Points are awarded only for making the b...
Buddha is a trick-taking game in which players bid the number of tricks they think they can take from each hand, then to take exactly that many; no more and no fewer. Bidding takes place simultaneously, leading to rounds that are sometimes over, or under-bid. Points are awarded only for making the bid exactly and are deducted for missing the bid, either over or under. This is why a good balance of winning and losing the tricks is important.
Buddha uses a 70-card deck that consists of:
four suits Element cards (Air/Fire/Water/Earth) numbered 1-14,
five Yin cards [a Yin card never beats a card],
five Yang cards [a Yang card always any numbered card],
two Yin-yang cards [can be played as either Yin or Yang cards],
one Buddha card [beats all the other cards except the Black Hole card],
one Black Hole card [nobody wins the current trick].
The game lasts six, five, or four rounds depending on the number of players:
In a six-player game, remove all the Element cards with value 14, then deal each player 11 cards, you should have a 66-card deck to start with,
In a five-player game, deal each player 14 cards,
In a four-player game, remove all the Element cards with value 12-13-14, then one of the Yin cards and one of the Yang cards, then deal each player 14 cards, you should have a 56-card deck to start with,
In a three-player game, remove all the Element cards with value 11-12-13-14 , then keep one of each of the special cards, deal each player 15 cards, you should have a 45-card deck to start with.
Whoever has the most points after six (six-player or three-player game), five (five-player game) or four (four-player game) rounds wins the game.
At the start of each round, all players take a look at their dealt hands, then simultaneously bid on the number of tricks they think they'll take by holding out their fists and on the count of three, revealing a certain number of fingers.
The playing and winning of the tricks uses standard trick-taking rules. If a player leads an Element card, then all other players must follow the same Element, if possible. If a player leads a Yin card, then the second player determines the Element led. If a player leads a Yang card, the Buddha, or the Black Hole card, then those who follow can play whatever they want. However, in all cases, a player may always play an unnumbered card, even if they hold cards in the same Element led.
After all tricks have been played, players tally their score for the round. If a player matches his/her bid, winning exactly as many tricks as stated at the start of the round, he/she scores 20 points, plus 10 points for each trick taken. If a player misses his/her bid, he/she loses 10 points for each trick that he/she was off, whether it's more or fewer than predicted. If a player makes a bid of zero tricks, he/she scores 20 points if successful, plus he/she wins points equal to the highest bid made times 20, if he/she misses their bid, he/she loses 20 points for each trick he/she takes.
Whoever has the most points after X rounds, wins the game.