A novice can learn to play Michigan after just a brief explanation. This makes the game ideal for groups in which no one game is familiar to all members.
Three to eight people can play.
The standard 52-card pack is used, plus the four "boodle" cards from another pack. (See "layout" below.)
The cards in each suit rank: A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.
Players may take seats at random, and any player distributes the cards one at a time around the table face up. The person who receives the first jack deals first.
The Ace of Hearts, King of Clubs, Queen of Diamonds, and Jack of Spades are taken from another pack. These four cards, called "boodle" or "money cards," are placed in the center of the table and remain there throughout the game.
The dealer has the right to shuffle last, andthe player on his right cuts. The cut must leave at least five cards ineach packet.
The dealer completes the cut and deals the cards one at a time, face down. One extra hand is dealt immediately to the left of the dealer. No player may see the extra hand except the player, if any, who exchanges for it. The cards are dealt out as far as they will go, even though all players may not receive the same number of cards.
The object in play is twofold: to be the first player to get rid of all his cards and to collect chips from the layout by playing one of the four boodle cards.
. Each card played is placed face up in front of the owner, separate from all other hands, and the player names its rank and suit.
The person to the left of the dealer plays first. He may lead any suit, but must play the lowest card he holds in that suit. Whichever player holds the next higher card in sequence in the same suit plays it, and so on. The sequence in the suit is continued until it is stopped by a card in the dead hand or by the ace. The player who played last before the stop has the next turn. He must play a new suit, and it must be the lowest card in that suit.
If the player has no new suit, the turn passes to the left.
Any time a player can play a card that duplicates one of the four boodle cards, he takes all the chips from that card.
Any chips that are still on the layout after the hand ends remain there until they are won in a subsequent hand.
Settlement. Play ends as soon as any player plays his last card. The winner collects one chip from each opponent for every card remaining in that player's hand.
If a player starts a suit without using the lowest card held in the suit, he must pay one chip to each opponent and cannot collect for any boodle cards played after that.
If a player causes a stop by failing to play a card when possible, play continues as usual, even though the card withheld may later enable the offender to get a stop. However, the offender may not collect for any boodle cards played after the error. If at the end of the hand there are still chips on the boodle card of the suit of the card the offender withheld, he must pay the same number of chips to any player who held the duplicate of the boodle card. If the offender is first to get rid of his cards, he does not win the hand, and play continues to determine the eventual winner.