How to play Pounce.

by Chuck Jones

Pounce is a high speed card game for 4 or more people. Everyone playing needs their own deck of cards, and you need a sheet of paper to keep score. All of the decks need to be different enough in appearance to be separated easily, because, during the course of the game, they are all going to get mixed together. You also need to play on a table big enough so that everyone has some elbow room, plus a wide area in the middle.

You start by picking out Pounce Names. These will be the names players go by until the end of the game. Pounce Names function as a buffer between pounce life and regular life; if you are involved in a relationship that you value (romantic or otherwise), it's easier to distance yourself from nasty remarks to "B-Bippy" than to "Mom." Recent Pounce Names, have included "Gassy," "Paté-Lady," "Country-Folkie," and "Bibbie." If a player is not quick enough with picking a Pounce Name, the player keeping score gets to pick the name for that player, because the scorekeeper needs to write a name down on the score sheet. So think fast, or you might end up with a name like "Cringy."

Pounce is kind of like group speed solitaire. Everyone starts be dealing a sort of solitaire set up directly in front of them. First you deal out your "Pounce Pile," a stack of cards, twelve down and one up, totaling thirteen. Then to the right of that, deal out 4 cards in a row. I will call these 4 cards the "tray" for now because I'm not sure what the real name is.

The object to the game is to get rid of your pounce pile. The player that finishes first yells "Pounce" and everyone else playing has to stop where they are.

Someone says "go" and the play begins. If anyone has an Ace, either on their pounce pile or in their tray, they can immediately put that Ace out into the center of the table. If the Ace was on the pounce pile, then you can turn over the next card on the pile. If the Ace was in the tray, now leaving a space, you take the top card off of the pounce pile and move it over to fill the spAce and then flip over the next card on the pounce pile. All of the players stack their cards in the center of the table, moving from Ace to king by suit. Mean while you can play cards from your pounce pile onto your tray moving from king to two alternating red and black, like solitaire. At the same time, you are moving through your deck three cards at a time, turning them over and playing whatever cards are out. If there is an Ace out you can play it into the center. If there's a 6 of Clubs and there's a 5 of Clubs on a Clubs pile in the center, you play the 6 on the 5. If under that 6 of Clubs is a 4 of Diamonds and if you can play it into the center of the pile onto a 3 of Diamonds, that's great.


The object to the game is to get rid of your pounce pile. The player that finishes first yells "Pounce" and everyone else playing has to stop where they are. In this video, my Aunt has insisted that the rules have always been that you stand up to play, but that has never been the rules. Do what ever you want.




It is.

You want to get as many cards as possible into the center. Each of these cards is a point in your favor, every card left over in your pounce pile counts two against you.

So after someone yells pounce and the round is over, everyone separates the different piles into the decks. Count the cards you got out there. If you got out 25 cards and you have 4 cards left in your pounce pile, then the you score +13 because the four cards in your pounce pile count double against you (4x2=8) and you subtract your pounce score from the cards you got out (25-8=13)

If someone pounces really quickly and you still have lots of cards left in your pounce pile, you are screwed. Let's say you were only able to get 5 cards out and your pounce pile has 10 cards left in it; your score is -15 (5-20=-15). This is bad and you do not want this. Each game lasts until a player reaches 100 points and the final tally can easy be 103, 54, 7, and -36.


Let's say that you were dealt this hand on our left.

You have an Ace of Diamonds, so play that out into the center immediately. Then you can move the 10 of Diamonds from the top on the pounce pile into the tray, turning over the next card on the pile, revealing an 8 of Hearts (sure). Now you can move the nine of Spades onto the ten of Diamonds. This leaves a hole in the tray, so move the 8 of Hearts over from the pounce pile, turning over the next card.

Now you have a card on of the pounce pile (a queen of Clubs), and five cards in your tray: the 10 of Diamonds with the nine of Spades on it, the 7 of Spades, the 8 of Hearts and the 3 of Spades. Breathe. Now put the 7 on the 8 and put them both on the 9, then move over two more cards from the pounce pile.

Meanwhile you have to be looking out into the center to see if anyone has put out an Ace and 2 of Spades for your 3 of Spades.


Generally, there ends up being an entire table waiting for one card, and everyone is going to move fast. If three people have a 6 of Hearts and the fourth person puts down the 5 of Hearts on 4 of Hearts, everyone is going to slam their card down simultaneously. Who ever gets their card down first wins.

If you have three cards to move out quickly, you can only use one hand. If you have the 9, 10 , and jack of Clubs, and the 8 finally shows up, you can play them all out, but one at a time and with one hand.

The only other weird rule is you can't play cards onto your pounce pile. It's not in your best interests any way. (Different Opinion)

My grandmother, Gertrude Jones, could easily destroy the whole family at this game when she was 90 years old. She was a good card player, but she really had our number when we played pounce.

If you have any questions about the rules, please feel free to email babygorilla at