How to Play Leopard

Leopard is a two layer card game where players manipulate a 3X3 tableau grid on both sides of playing field to out score their opponent.

Leopard Rules

| Players: 2 | Type: Layout | Supplies: 2 Decks, Paper + Pen |


The object of Leopard is to build the highest scoring grid, while sabotaging your opponents grid.


Shuffle together two 52-card decks, without jokers. Make sure there is enough room in between players so each player can place a 3 X 3 grid in front of them, the stock, and discard pile. See image below.

Leopard set up: card layout
Leopard card layout set up picture


Deal each player eight cards. Put the remaining deck face down in between players to use as the stock, with room next to it for the discard pile.

Game Play

The non dealer goes first. Players start their turn by drawing a card. After drawing, you either make a legal move, or discard, then play moves to the next player. You do not make a legal move and discard. It is one or the other, both actions end your turn. When a card has been played or discarded, it may not be picked up or moved.

Every grid line (see image) of 3 cards in a row is an opportunity to score points. The 3 cards in a row can be vertical, horizontal, or diagonal. A card used in multiple lines, may be scored for all lines that qualify for scoring. See below for scoring.

Each card has its own set of rules for where it can be played.

Legal Moves

-Ace - 9: Ace - 9s can only be played in their designated spot on either player's grid, as long as that spot is empty. (Ace can only go in the Ace spot, 2 can only go in the 2 spot, and so on. Refer to the set up image above)
-10: 10s are played in any empty space, only in your own grid.
-Jack: Jacks are only played face down. Jacks are played on top of any card in either grid. When a face down card is played on top of a face up card, that spot is now considered empty.
-Queen: Queens are only played face down. Queens are played on top of any card, but only in your grid. When a face down card is played on top of a face up card, that spot is now considered empty.
-King: Kings are played face up, on top of any card, or in an empty space, but only in your grid.
-Discarding: Discarded cards may not be picked up by players. All cards are discarded face up, including Queens and Jacks.

Going Out

When the point value of your grid totals at least 7 points, on your turn, you may go out/stop play, although you are not required to go out. Announce when you are going out/stopping play. You may only go out after drawing a card, and before playing or discarding a card. The player who goes out gets a penalty of losing 1 point at the end of scoring. When a player goes out, the round is over and the score is counted.

If the stock is exhausted (no more cards to draw), and neither player has gone out, then players continue to take turns. At this point, cards are not drawn, so a player's turn consists of either playing a card or discarding a card. If there is no stock left, and both players run out of cards, the round is over, neither player gets the penalty point, and score is counted.


Grid lines consist of 3 cards in a row, in any direction. There are eight grid lines per grid. You only score for your grid.

-A grid line with three cards of the same suit: 3 points

-A grid line with three cards of the same color, but not of the same suit: 1 point

-Penalty: The player who goes out subtracts 1 point from their score after the score has been added up.

-Bonus: At the end of the round, each additional point over 7 (for the current round) is worth two points. Example: if a player scores 7 points, they get 7 points. If a player scores 8 points, they get 9 points (since 8 is one above 7, they get one additional point). If a player scores 9 points, they get 11 points (since 9 is two above 7, they get two additional points).


After four rounds are played, the player with the highest total score is the winner. (You may play any predetermined amount of rounds).


Running Leopard: Draw two cards at the start of your turn instead of one. You may play as many legal moves during your turn as you want. You either play cards or discard. You still only discard one card. Scoring and all other rules are the same as Leopard.

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