Minimo – A Card Game

Love playing cards?  It’s such an easing and fun pastime with friends and family. Not to say, if you are into Poker, you already know the value of learning and earning cards can give you to. Not to exaggerate, if you are “really” into Poker, you can know about yourself just as much as when you are punched by life when something goes wrong and all your thunderous thoughts and evil emotions comes soaring about and you fall in wonder and curiosity to know – what had gone wrong? why had it gone wrong? Had it really gone wrong? Who am I? Haven’t you felt poker is an emotional game because when the game gets bigger and players get better, skill, strategy, maths, psychology doesn’t remain a rocket science, and then it’s all about how much connected you are with your inner wisdom, how less powerless you feel towards your wandering emotions and circumstances, how objectively you can take decisions, and how much can you love what luck brings to you. I really respect and love poker!

Anyways, I’ll talk poker some other time, but Minimo is a different story and yet another beautiful card game. It so happened in a vacation in Kerla, India, last year that I was with my two friends in a lake boat for a whole day to spend. The nature was calm, green and timeless around, with a very conducive environment for the creativity to creep in. We started playing a card game which my little niece had taught me once. It was very simple at that time. But on the course, we started to have ideas to improve the game and add more to it and in the end it evolved as a really awesome card game, which now we call as Minimo. Thereon, we couldn’t save ourselves to get addicted to it and have been playing and enjoying it since then. What I most like about it is that it is simple yet profoundly encompassing different aspects of a card game that will gratify your soul.

I introduce you to Minimo below. Try playing it and share your experiences and suggestions about it!

Minimo is a very interesting card game with the simplicity of Rummy, information crunching of 28 and strategical and psychological challenges of Poker. I bet if you play it once, you won’t play anything else!

How to play Minimo?

Two or more players can play Minimo. A deck of card, a notebook and a pen is needed to maintain the scores.


A game has several rounds and individual scores from each round are added to the player’s total score. A knockout score is set at the start of game (e.g. 200) and a player is knocked out as soon as her total score is equal or exceeds the knockout score. The player who knocks out everyone wins the game.



Each card in the deck has a point. Ace is one, two is two, three is three and so on, up to nine. Ten and other face cards (J, Q, K) have ten points. At any instance the sum of points from individual cards in a player’s hand is the total points in her hand.


Dealer shuffles the deck and distributes total seven cards to each player one by one in clockwise direction. Dealer’s position keeps shifting after each round.

Also, topmost card from remaining deck is kept aside for a face up card stack, while further remaining deck is kept as face down card stack.


Starting from the player on the dealer’s left, players discard one or more cards, as per the discarding rules, in their respective turns in order to minimize the total points in their hands.

Every time a player discards one or more cards she must pick the topmost card either from face down or face up card stack and add it to the cards in her hand. She must pick a card even when she is left with no choice to discard any cards. Every time one must first discard card(s) and then only pick a card from either stack.

Discarding Rules

One can discard a single card of the same suit or same points as the topmost card from the face up card stack, and place that card above it.

One can also discard a pair, a triplet, a quadruplet or a suited sequence of minimum three cards with the condition that at least one card from the discarded cards must be of the same suit or the same points as the topmost card from the face up card stack. The card meeting this criterion should be placed first above the face up card stack and rest of the discarded cards can be placed in any order above it.

Declaring Minimo

As the round progresses, a player can declare Minimo when she evaluates that total points in her hand are less than total points in the hands of any other player. In the turn, she chooses to declare Minimo she can not discard or pick card(s).

If total points in her hand are actually found less than anyone else, she wins that round, and if not, she is busted.

One can not declare Minimo in her first two turns in a round.


On winning a round, zero points are added to the winner’s total score while other players are added with the points they hold in their hands at the time of declaring Minimo.

On getting busted i.e. when total points in the declarer’s hand are found equal or more than total points in the hand of any other player(s), two times of the points in her hand are added to her total score as a penalty, buster is awarded by adding zero points to her total score and for rest of the players buster’s points are added to their total scores.

In a situation when more than one players hold points lesser than declarer of Minimo, only the player holding least points among them would be considered as buster. If there are two busters holding same points, zero points should be added to the total scores of both of them.


If the player next to the dealer decides to pick the face up card at the start of a round without discarding any other card(s), topmost card from face down card stack is taken and placed face up.

When no cards are left in the face down card stack, top two cards from face up card stack are kept aside and rest of the cards are re-shuffled and placed as a new stack of face down cards.

Two decks can also be mixed if there are more than four players in the game. Discarding of a pair should not be allowed in this case.

Minimo on facebook,

What is your favourite card game and why you love it?