Foppen (Fool)

Invented by Friedmann Freiss
Translated by Peter Wotruba (

A game for 3-5 players


Game Idea

Foppen is a card style game in which the person, who had played the worst card on a trick, is not involved in the next one. He has been fooled. The object of the game is to be the first person to get rid of their cards.

Game Preparation

Each player recieves an outline card. The other cards are shuffled and dealt out equally to all players. The player to the left of the dealer is the starting player.

Game Summary

The starting player plays any of his cards. All the other players must play a card in order. Everybody must follow suit (color) if possible. If a player does not have the played color, he can play any of his other cards (discard a card).

The person who played the highest card in the led color wins the trick, and starts the next. (He is the leader for the next trick). The person who played the worst card recieves the wooden marker, and sits out the next round (trick).

The played cards are placed to the side, and the person who won the trick leads a card to start the next trick.

--> Determining the worst card in a trick.

If all players follow suit, and only one color of cards are on the table (in the trick), then the worst card is the lowest one played.

If one or more cards are discarded, the lowest discard is the worst card. If more than one discard is tied for the lowest card, the last one (of that value) discarded is the worst card.

An Example of a Trick

Bettina, Anja, Uwe, and Ilja are in the middle of a game. Ilja is the fool, he recieved the wooden marker after the last trick.

A) Anja plays: Blue 9, Bettina: Blue 5, Uwe: Blue 10 Ilja does not play a card - he sits out this trick (the fool). Bettina recieves the marker from Ilja, because all players followed suit, and she played the lowest card. Uwe leads a card to the next trick, because he won the round.

B) Uwe: Yellow 11, Ilja: Red 5, Anja: Yellow 2 Ilja again recieves the marker, because she could not follow suit. Anja's card was better, because she could follow suit. Uwe now leads again.

C) Uwe: Blue 6, Betinna: Green 14, Anja: Red 11 Uwe wins the round, Anja recieves the marker because she played the lowest card which was not in the led suit.

The Special function of the Ones

The four '1' cards do not belong to any color, but they adopt the color of the card which was led. (ie. you can always follow suit with a `1').

If a `1' is led, then the next card played is the color (suit) which must be followed. Should this card also be a `1', then it is the next card which determines color, etc. In the case which only ones are played, then the first card is the winner, and the last card is the worst card (the fool).

A `1' may be played even if you have a card in the led suit.

If a person no longer has a card of the correct color, he does _not_ have to play a one.

A ONE card always has the value of 1.

An Example

D) Uwe: Yellow 11, Ilja: One, Bettina: Yellow 14 Ilja's one counts as a Yellow 1, and therefore he recieves the marker, because Bettina had followed suit. Bettina wins the round.

E) Bettina: Green 9, Anja: One, Uwe: Yellow 3 Uwe is the fool, because Anja's one counts as following suit. Bettina wins the round.

Game End

The game is over as soon as one or more players do not have any more cards in their hand. The last trick is still finished, and the wooden marker awarded.


The players, who still have cards in their hands, recieve a number of points equal to the value of the cards left in their hands (as negative points). Every player who ends the game with no cards in their hand, recieve 10 (positive) points. If you should recieve the marker on the last trick, you do not recieve any positive points.

After that round, the starting player is the dealer, and the player to his left leads to the first trick. The game lasts until every player has dealt twice. The person with the least minus points wins.

Important: It is forbidden to hold your cards in a manner that the other players will not know how many cards you have in your hand. (ie. Every player's number of cards is known).

Variant: The Game with Offer / Bid Cards

After you recieve your cards, and have examined them, you can turn over the outline card, and announce who will win. This announcement has no influence on game play, but only on the scoring.

If the person who you guessed would win actually does, you recieve to points (positive). You also recieve 5 points for every one of the bid cards that other players 'used' that turn. (But only if the other player(s) used them of course).

If you do not use your Bid Card, you recieve nothing for every other played Bid Card, but you earn only the normal 10 points (if you win) that you would after the last trick (if you were not the fool). [see scoring]

However, if you use your Bid Card, and you are wrong, your minus points are doubled for this round.

The Game Cabinet - - Ken Tidwell