Rules of Mazzo

“Classic” rules for 2 players

Remove the rules card from the deck. Shuffle the cards and deal 3 to each player. Players take turns attacking and defending: draw who goes first.


1. The attacker chooses which card to play, places it face down on the table, and declares out loud the ability with which they are challenging the defender (if players have only one card in hand, it is not necessary to declare the ability).

2a. If the defender has a card with the same ability, they can play it face up: → go to step 3 or pretend not to have it: → go to step 2b.

2b. The defender says “I don’t have it” and plays a card of their choice face down. The attacker can believe the defender, flip the cards: → go to step 3, or not believe the defender by saying “doubt”: → go to “doubt” step.

Doubt: the attacker flips their own card, confirming that the requested ability was present, then takes it back into their hand. The defender takes the card just played into their hand and shows them all.

  • If the defender had a card with the requested ability, the attacker chooses two cards from the defender’s hand and puts them in their own loot pile: → go to “end of turn” step.
  • If the defender did not have a card with the requested ability, all of the attacker’s cards and one card drawn by the defender from those in the attacker’s hand go into the defender’s loot pile → go to “end of turn” step. If the defender draws the Mazziere card, the game is won by the defender: → the game is over.

3. Clash between the played cards: whoever played the winning card (or the Mazziere card, that always wins) takes both cards and puts them in their loot pile.

End of turn: after each turn, distribute cards evenly to the two players until both have a maximum of 3 cards in hand.

End of the game

When players run out of cards and there are no more to distribute, the player with the largest loot pile wins.

Propose your game

Mazzo is a game system based on combat between characters: you can invent your own rules and use it as you prefer.

If you have done so, send them to us so we can add them to this page for other players to use.