A strategic game for 3-6 players.
Junni uses the same core Trick Taking rules as Bandit, but plays very differently. It is simple, leisurely and a good way to unwind with friends.
- The Journey Deck - And that is all
How To Play
The entire deck is dealt out between the players.
Normally this is four players, each with 20 cards. For other amounts there may be a leftover, which is discarded for the simplest version of this game
A lead player is chosen, who begins the first Trick, in which players take turns to play a single card.
Winning The Game
The winner is declared at the end of the final round, after all tricks have been played.
The winner is the person with the most tricks.
In a trick, each player chooses and plays one card. The cards are compared and the 'best' card wins, 'Taking the trick'. The winner gathers all the played cards into a stack which they keep as a trophy.
Round (Trick) Breakdown
- The Lead Player places a suit card, face up, on the table. This suit becomes the Lead suit.
- The lead player cannot lead with a trump until they have been Broken (see below).
- The lead player cannot lead with a barbarian unless they have no other cards. (if they do, they may declare any suit as lead)
- Play proceeds clockwise.
- Each player plays a card, face up, according to the following rules:
- The player MUST play a card from the lead suit if they have one.
- Otherwise, the player MUST play a trump if they have one. (Once this happens, trumps are Broken for the rest of the game)
- Otherwise, the player can play any card.
- (Players can always choose to play a barbarian instead, breaking the above rules. This is called an Excuse)
- One player is determined the winner and Takes the Trick.
- That player takes all the played cards and puts them in a stack before them. This is a Trick.
- Each Trick is placed in a separate stack. They serve no further purpose in the game, but are how players score.
Winning A Trick
When comparing cards:
- The highest Trump always wins.
- If there are no trumps, then the highest card of the Lead suit wins.
- Aces are low.
- Rooks beat numbered cards.
- Sages beat Rooks.
- Cards that are neither trumps or of the lead suit have no value.
- Barbarians have no value.
As mentioned above, trumps are Broken when a player is forced to play one instead of the lead suit.
After this point, Players may choose to lead with trumps. This means that there is no lead suit.
'Inverted' Rooks and Sages
In the basic game, only the upright suit on Rooks and Sages is considered. The lower suit is ignored. (See ‘Arete Court’) for double suited court cards.
Thats it? - Game Variations
The above rules describe the game of Junni at its most basic.
This will be good for your first few games, or teaching new players. As you get more competitive, you will want to introduce the following rules:
This is the most basic and common addition.
Before play commences, each player selects four of their cards to ‘donate’ to the player to their left.
This is used for a longer game, generally in combination with bidding and scoring.
Rather than playing a single game, players continue over multiple games until one player ends a round with 150 points or more. At this point, the player with the most points wins.
Brazen Play (Regarding Honesty)
Junni requires a degree of honesty, as it is possible to intentionally or accidentally fail to follow the lead suit without other players realizing.
Usually this is resolved by one player, or an onlooker, calling the mistake out. If caught, that player forfeits the game.
In situations where money is involved, or correct play is paramount, the cards from each trick are collected and stacked in order with a token of the player’s choosing top of each.
An Arete court brings the second suit into the game.
In the basic game, only the upright (top right) suit is considered on Rooks and Sages. The inverted (bottom left) suit is ignored.
When playing with an Arete Court, Players may choose to use the inverted suit.
- A player may choose to treat a court card as inverted. If the inverted suit matches the lead suit, you do not have to play an inverted Rook or Sage.
- A player must treat a count as their upright. If the upright suit matches the lead, you cannot avoid playing an upright Rook or Sage.
- In a tie between two Rooks or Sages, and Upright rook beats an inverted Rook and an Upright Sage beats an Inverted Sage.
Dead Reckoning introduces a scoring system. Rather than winning on tricks, you win through points. Each nation favors its own score rules, but here is a popular variant:
- The Horse and Rider - The 11 and 19 of Trumps - 5 Points
- The High Court - Sages - 4 Points
- The Low Court - Rooks - 3 Points
- The Virtues - Sevens - 2 Points
- The Implements - Aces - 1 Point
- Outsiders - Barbarians - 1 Point
- Spoils - Any 3 other cards - 1 Point (for the set of 3)
- Leftovers - Worthless
In addition, Barbarians are Cowards. A player who plays a barbarian keeps it, and adds it to their own trick pile, even if they lose the trick.
This variant uses a bidding system to force multiple players to pit themselves against a common enemy. It requires Campaign Play.
19 cards are dealt to each player.
The remaining four dealt face down into the middle. This is called the Spare. (in games with different numbers, the spare may grow or shrink)
Each player (clockwise, starting with the dealer) has a chance to bid a number of tricks they think they can win. (if combined with scoring, a score is bid instead).
Each player in turn has a chance to raise the bid, or drop out.
Bidding continues until one player remains unchallenged. They are declared the Traitor.
- The traitors goal is to achieve their bid.
- The other players work together to stop them.
- The Traitor takes the Spare and adds it to their hand.
Once the game is over, if the Traitor has achieved their bid, they add points to their score accordingly.
If the Traitor fails, instead each other player wins points equal to the bid.
A popular League variant. This has players play in teams of two. A large part of this style of play is about communicating with your partner without revealing what you have to the opponents.
Partners sit opposite each other, such that they never play consecutively.
At the end of the game, the partner’s scores are combined to decide a winning team.
Using Junni Dice (Changing Seasons)
Some people play using suit dice. Each round, the lead player rolls the dice to determine the trump suit. In this case, the normal trump suit is treated as a larger regular suit unless its symbol is rolled.