How To Play
Object Of Nertz
The object of Nertz is to be the first to score 100 points.
Number Of Players
Two or more opposing teams of one or two members per team. One deck is required per team. Additional decks may be purchased for added players. The more players, the more NUTZ the game is.
Layout (see diagram)
B. Nertz Card Player
C. Common Scoring Area
D. Dealer Stack
N. Nertz Pile
T. Team Play Area
Two decks of cards each consisting of fifty-two cards numbered 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13 in four color suits. The Blue, Red, Yellow and White suits have corresponding colored numbers. Two or more decks are required to play NERTZ.
All decks are shuffled by an opposing team member and returned. No further shuffling or cutting of the deck is permitted.
The dealer for each team will begin the deal by laying out four cards, face up, in a single row directly in front of the dealer. This forms the TEAM PLAY AREA. Next, thirteen cards are dealt face down in a single stack in front of the dealer’s partner. This stack of cards forms the NERTZ PILE. The NERTZ PILE is then turned face up. The order of the NERTZ PILE may not be altered. The NERTZ PILE cards are played in face up order, from top to bottom.
There are two playing areas:
Common Scoring Area (see diagram)
This is the area in which all players compete to get their cards into to score points. Each card in this area is worth one point. The first cards placed in the COMMON SCORE AREA are the number 1 cards. The cards build up from number 1 to 13 of the same color in a single stack. The number of cards in this area will vary, depending on how many number 1 cards have been played.
Team Play Area (see diagram)
This area is directly in front of each team and is played on only by that team. A team may not play their cards on an opposing team’s TEAM PLAY AREA. Cards in this area go from high to low card alternating dark (red or blue) and light (yellow or white) cards. The number of cards across in the TEAM PLAY AREA never varies. There must be four cards in a row across at all times. When a space opens, it must be replaced by a card from the NERTZ PILE.
After the set up forming the TEAM PLAY AREA and THE NERTZ PILE, the dealer holds the DEALER STACK (remaining 35 cards) face down. With a nod of the head or “Ready,” playing begins. Any available plays in the TEAM PLAY AREA are played either on another card in the TEAM PLAY AREA or any available number 1 cards are played to start forming the COMMON SCORE AREA. The top card on the NERTZ PILE may be played either in the TEAM PLAY AREA or THE COMMON SCORE AREA. At any time there is an open space in the TEAM PLAY AREA it is filled with a card from the NERTZ PILE.
The dealer begins by counting off the top three cards from the DEALER STACK and turning them face up. Available plays may be played in either TEAM PLAY AREA or COMMON SCORE AREA. There are no “turns” in NERTZ. All playing is done simultaneously. The dealer keeps turning over three cards, until all cards in the DEALER STACK are face up. Without shuffling, turn cards over and repeat process.
Sequence of Play
The cards in the TEAM PLAY AREA go from high to low in alternating colors of dark (red and blue) and light (yellow and white) with cards overlapping. The cards in the COMMON SCORE AREA start with a number 1 card of any color and build up to number 13 in the same color.
Movement of the cards continue to play areas until a team plays their last card in the NERTZ PILE and yells, “NERTZ!” This immediately stops any further plays. There may come a time in the play when ALL players are “STUCK.” This means there are no plays available by any players.
At this point the dealer holds the DEALER STACK face down, taking the top card and placing it on the bottom, again count off top three cards and turn face up, repeating process. This is done by all teams at the same time. This may be done up to THREE times per hand. If no plays can be made by any teams then the hand ends and all scores are tallied.
Usually a designated player gathers all of the cards in the COMMON SCORE AREA. Cards are turned face down and separated by matching each team’s design on the back. Cards are returned to each team.
Cards in the TEAM PLAY AREA and remaining DEALER STACK are placed to the side as they have no point value. The cards in the COMMON SCORE AREA are worth 1 point each. Cards left in each team’s NERTZ PILE are worth 2 points each. The NERTZ PILE points are subtracted from the points obtained in the COMMON SCORE AREA. The game continues until one or more teams reach or pass 100 points. The team with the highest score is declared the WINNER!
It is not necessary to yell “NERTZ!” as soon as the last card in the NERTZ PILE is played. You may choose to play longer to improve your score. If two or more players try to play the same card in the COMMON SCORE AREA at the same time, the card played first stays. All others must be taken back. You are never forced to play a card if it is not in your best interest. Team partners switch after each hand being either the dealer or controlling the NERTZ PILE.