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Fight the Landlord is a game for three players. A single deck of standard international cards is used, with two jokers. The cards rank from high to low:
red joker, black joker, 2, A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3. Suits are irrelevant. In each hand one player, the "landlord", plays alone and the others form a team. The landlord's aim is to be the first to play out all his cards in valid combinations, and the team wins if any one of them manages to play all their cards before the landlord.


There is an auction to determine which player will be the landlord, and play alone against the other two. The possible bids are 1, 2 and 3. Each player in turn may either pass or bid higher than the highest bid so far. If there is a bid, the bidding continues counter-clockwise, each player passing or bidding higher than the previous bidder, until there are two consecutive players pass or someone bids 3, which ends the auction since it is the highest possible bid. The final and highest bidder is the landlord. This player now picks up the three face-down cards, for a total of 20 cards.


The landlord plays first, and may play a single card or any legal combination. Each subsequent player in anticlockwise order must either pass or beat the previous play by playing a higher combination of the same number of cards and same type. There are just two exceptions to this: a rocket can beat any combination, and a bomb can beat any combination except a higher bomb or rocket. The play continues around the table for as many circuits as necessary until two consecutive players pass. The person who played the last card(s) begins again, leading any card or legal combination. In this game, there are thirteen types of combination that can be played:

Note that passing does not prevent you from playing on a future turn.


If the landlord runs out of cards first he has won, and each opponent pays him the amount of the bid - 1, 2 or 3 units - provided that no bomb or rocket was played. If one of the other two players runs out before the landlord, the landlord loses and must pay the amount of the bid to each opponent. For each occasion when any player played a bomb or rocket, the payment for the hand is doubled. So for example in a hand in which two bombs and a rocket were played, a player who bid 3 will win 24 points from each opponent for going out first, or pay 24 to each opponent if another player goes out first. Note that since the opponents of the landlord stand to win or lose equally, they form a temporary partnership. When playing against the landlord it is just as profitable to help your partner to run out of cards first as possible.

Variations and Related Games

Please visit the Wikipedia entry for Dou Di Zhu