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Schellen

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Schellen is a popular card game, played by many throughout Skytopia. Its origins are unknown, but several variations have emerged over the years, the most common being Points Play and Devil's Due.

The deck Edit

There are 48 cards in the deck, divided into six suits. While the names of the suits in a Schellen deck may change depending on where a game is played, the suits themselves (and the symbols associated with them) have become a standard component of the game.

Common suits Edit

The four common suits contain ten cards each, numbered one to ten.

  • Rosen, the Roses, a flower suit
  • Weiss, the White Flowers, a flower suit
  • Blatt, the Leaves, a tree suit
  • Eicheln, the Acorns, a tree suit

Special suits Edit

In addition to the common suits, there are two special suits, which contain only four identical, non-numbered cards.

  • Schwerten, the Swords
  • Schellen, the Bells


Rules of play Edit

The rules shown here are for the two most common variations of schellen, though hundreds of other sets of rules exist.

Schellen can be played with multiple decks; using only one deck is referred to as Old Kingdom rules.

Points Play Edit

In this variation, the dealer divides the deck among all of the players. Each player selects one card from the hand they have been dealt and places it face-down on the playing surface. Once everyone has chosen a card, they are flipped over at the same time. The player whose card has the highest value wins the round, adding the combined total of all cards on the surface to their score.

There are a number of conditions in which the winning card changes:

  • If the high card is tied with another player's card, the player with the lowest-valued card wins the round and adds the combined total to their score.
  • If a Schellen (the Bells) card is played, that player subtracts the combined total of the cards on the playing surface from their score, and nobody wins points. If high cards are tied and Schellen is played, whomever played it loses double the total of all cards in play.
  • If Schwerten (the Swords) is played, that player splits the point total with the winner of the round. If multiple Schwerten are played, the total is divided between the winner and those players who played the Schwerten cards. If high cards tie and Schwerten is played, the total is split between that player and the player whose card has the lowest value.
  • If both Schwerten and Schellen are played, no points are won or lost.

The game ends when one player reaches a predetermined point limit, usually 1000 points.

Devil's Due Edit

This variation requires less skill and more luck, and is generally used when gambling is involved. Instead of selecting a card, players must take the top card from their stack. Bets are placed before each card is flipped, and ante is set by the winner of the previous flip. The high card wins the flip, but players do not collect the pot until the end of the game - winning only permits the setting of the next round's ante. The Swords trumps all other cards.

If the Bells is played, the player who drew it must flip a second card; if it is a shield card (a 1 or a 10), the game continues. If it is not a shield card, that player is out of the game. If the second card is also the Bells, the player must double the amount that they have already put into the pot (this is called the Devil's Due, thus the name of this ruleset).

Players are out of the game when they lose a Schellen flip, when they can no longer afford to bet, or in some cases, when they voluntarily fold. When only one player remains, the round is over and they collect the entire pot.


Other variations Edit

  • Sinos, a Cidadean ruleset where players try to collect all of the Bell cards
  • Dogfight, a much-simplified game in which players rapidly draw cards

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