To start the game each player receives six cards, the remaining cards are put down as the draw pile. The top card from the draw pile is placed next to it, face up.
Taking turns going around the table, each player can try to play one of their cards. A player may only put down a card from their hand if the value or suit matches the top card face up on the discard pile. So for example if this is a Queen of spades, you may play any spade or a Queen. If a player can't or doesn't want to play a card, they must draw one from the draw pile; they may then play the card if the value or suit matches the top card of the discard pile. When all cards in the draw pile have been used, all but the top card in the discard pile are shuffled and put down as the draw pile.
When playing the second to last (penultimate) card, the respective player needs to warn the other players by saying Mau, or in Live Mau-Mau by clicking the respective button. They may do so before playing the penultimate card as well as after, until the opponent notices it and pushes the now red opponent's Mau button. The player ‘caught′ forgetting to notify his opponents must draw another card as a penalty and may then continue playing accordingly. However, if a player overzealously clicks Mau without putting down his penultimate card automatically receives a penalty card. If the last card is a seven, the player should not assume they have won the game, if each opponent also puts down a seven, this forces the player to draw penalty cards. Otherwise the player may play their last card and win the game.
The appeal of Mau Mau lies in the special cards, which are:
In solo games the first player to have played all cards wins.
In points game the first person to reach a set number of points wins. The player receives points for the cards the opponents are still holding when they go out. One point per card. In point game for 2 the number of points you must reach is 10, for 3 it's 17, and for 4 it's 25.
You're playing for a bid in Credits, in short ℂ.
When the table is created all players place their bets (2.50 or 5 ℂ). The winner receives 90% of the pot at the end of the game as their winnings. If one of the players leaves the table early for any reason, their bet stays in the pot.
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