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How to Play Nerts Card Game?

There are numerous card games present in the market nowadays, which makes it difficult to pick. However, now everyone looking for entertainment needs some slight variations while keeping the essence of previous favourite card games, such as Solitaire. Are you seeking a better and more intriguing version of Solitaire? Well! The Nerts Card Game is the one. 

Learning the Nertz card game rules will be much simple if you’re already familiar with Solitaire. Nerts is a similar game played online as Solitaire, requiring a patience-based competitive environment. The game is suitable for multiple players and is the best time pass for game night.

Also Read: How to Play Klondike Card Game?

Required Number of Players:

2 to 8 players and a standard playing card deck. When the number of players reaches 8, the game becomes too difficult to calculate score points and play.

Players aged 8 and up are recommended to play.

Difficulty level: Medium

Time to play: 20–30 minutes.

Object of the Game

Become the first player to clear all of the cards from the ‘Nertz’ stockpile and finish with the highest score.

Why do we like it?

It can be difficult to learn at first because it rewards patience while also being extremely competitive as other games. However, after you and your friends have mastered the Nertz card game rules, you and your friends will be able to play for hours with a standard deck.

How to Play Nerts Card Game?

The Deal

When work piles begin, each player is dealt a Nerts pile of thirteen cards, twelve of which are face down on the table and the thirteenth of which is face-up on top. Each player then deals four cards face-up, side by side and not overlapping, to start four work piles next to this pile. The remaining cards in each player’s deck are held face-down; then, these cards are turned three at a time onto a face-up stack to form the player’s garbage pile. Players must place themselves in the game and their tableaus around a central space that is easily accessible to all players.

The Gameplay

Players move cards around their tableau-building on the foundations in the common area as quickly as they desire, without taking turns.  The fundamental goal of the game is to clear the Nerts piles with playing cards from them onto their work piles or built foundations.

When a player’s Nerts pile is depleted, he or she may shout “Nerts!” and the game will stop instantly. Cards in the air that were being transferred from one point to another may finish their journey, but no more play nerts are permitted in the game. It’s not required to contact the Nerds! as soon as your stash of Nerts card game is depleted, you can choose to keep playing for a little longer to try to raise your score even more.

Players can only move cards in the game with one hand at a time, but they can keep their stock pile in the other. Except for moving a block of cards from one work pile to another, only one card can be transferred at a time. 

If 2 or more players attempt at the same time to play to the same foundation pile, the first played card (usually the one that ends up lowest in the pile) stays there, and all players must return the equivalent cards they just tried to play to that same foundation pile to their previous positions. If there is a tie that cannot be broken, both cards remain in play. You are never obligated to play a card if it is not in your best interests; you always have the option to wait.

Also Read: How to Play Devil’s Grip Card Game?

Work Piles 

Each of a player’s four work piles starts with a single card. Work piles are stacked in descending order, with alternating colours, and overlapping cards. A red six goes on a black seven, a black teen goes on a red jack, and so on. If it fits, you can move any card from one of your work heaps to another of your work piles. When a gap appears, nerts cards from your Nerts pile, your rubbish pile, or another work pile may be used to fill it. 

Each of the four work piles’ exposed cards (i.e. the lowest-rated cards in each pile) can be played onto the foundations. If one of your work piles is empty, you may save time by placing a card beneath it that ranks one higher than the bottom card and is the opposite colour. 

It is permissible to slide the black queen under the red jack rather than putting the black queen in the space first and then moving the entire work pile. It should be headed by the red jack on top of it if you somehow have a red jack & another pile having nothing in it. Also, the top card of your Nerts pile has to be a black queen.

Pile of Nerts

You can play cards from the top of your Nertz pile onto empty slots in your work piles. They can also be placed directly onto a foundation if they fit, or they can be played onto one of your current work piles if they fit. You can turn the next card of the pile face up once you’ve played the top card of your Nerts pile. You have the right to call “Nerts!” when your Nerts pile is empty. However, you do not have to do so right away.


In the common area, foundation piles are constructed. They usually start with an ace and can be built up until the king is reached by playing the next higher card of the same suit (for example, the nine of spades on the eight of spades). Players can always build new foundation piles in the common area by placing any accessible ace. Other available cards can be played onto an established foundation where they fit, as long as no one else gets there first. 

The top card of this Nerts pile, the exposed cards (lowest-ranked cards) of each work pile, and the top card of the rubbish pile are the cards that can be played to foundation piles. Any foundation can be used by any player. A foundation is turned over and placed aside once it has been filled to the king’s level.

Pile of Stock and Waste

Three cards from your stock can be turned over and placed face-up on your waste pile at a time (the waste pile has no cards at the start of play). When you’re done, make sure the cards are in the same order. 

If it fits, you can play the top card of your waste pile to one of your work piles or a foundation pile. Lay the last one or two cards in the stock on the rubbish pile, then turn the waste pile over to start a new stock; do not pick up the waste pile and place it beneath so that you can deal with three cards.

If no one wants to play any more cards, or if all players are stuck (no more legal moves), everyone picks up their trash pile to re-form their stock and then puts the top card of the stock on the bottom. (This happens a lot in a two-player game, but it only happens once in a while with more people.) 

If you become stuck while others continue to play, you must wait for everyone else to become trapped (or decide not to make any further movements) before transferring your top stock card to the bottom.

Also Read: How to Play Spider Solitaire?

How To Keep Score?

The game rules are easy. When someone yells “Nerts!” the game is over, and the scoring assessment begins. For each of the cards played, each player (team) receives one point. 

The foundation piles must be sorted according to the owners of the cards to identify this, which is why the decks must have distinct backs. Except for the player who called Nerts, all players deduct two points for each card left in their Nerts pile at the end of the card game. As a result, while dialling Nerts does not guarantee the greatest score, it does almost always result in a solid score.

After the play stops, the score is tallied as usual to evaluate. Additional deals are played until one or more players’ scores meet or exceed a predetermined target score (usually 100). At this moment, the player with the highest score wins the game nerts.


The nerts card game will be loved by every card games player, as it has that kick and appeal as the Solitaire. Moreover, playing fantastic classic card games like Nerts in your free time will keep you happy and enhance your decision-making.

Vijaya Bharti
Vijaya Bharti is an experienced gaming writer fuelled by a passion for virtual worlds and interactive storytelling. Her profound understanding of game design and culture shines through her compelling content pieces captivating readers. She finds leisure in playing online games, writing about anything related to games, and watching web series.


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