Wizard is a trump trick-taking card game variation of Oh Hell! from U.S. Games Systems, Inc. for 3-6 players. The deck consists of 60 cards:

Object of the Game
The object of the game is to correctly predict how many tricks you will take each round. A player receives points for being correct and loses points for being incorrect. The person with the most points at the end of the game wins.

The game begins by choosing the first dealer with your favorite dealer selection method. In the first round, one card is dealt to each player. In the second round, two cards are dealt to each player, three cards in the third round, and so on. After the deal, the dealer turns up the next card to determine the trump suit. If the dealer turns up a Wizard, he or she chooses the trump suit for that round. If a Jester is turned up, there is no trump for the round. The deal passes to the left after each round. In the final deal, when all cards are dealt, there is no card available to determine trump and therefore is no trump for the round.

Starting with the player to the left of the dealer, each player states the number of tricks he or she will take in that round, which can range from zero to the total number of cards in a player’s hand. The scorekeeper records the bid for each player. The total number of tricks may or may not equal the number of tricks available.

Bidding Variations

  • Hidden Bid: All players reveal their bid simultaneously.
  • Delayed Reveal Bid: All players unalterably record their bid but do not reveal it until after the entire round has been played.
  • Screw the Dealer: The dealer, as the last bidder of the round, may not place a bid that will make the total number of tricks bid for the round equal to the total number of tricks available.

The play begins to the player to the left of the dealer. He or she may lead with any card. The play continues clockwise and must follow suit when possible. The exceptions to this rule are with the Wizard or Jester cards. These may be played at any time, even if the player is able to follow the led suit.

A trick is won in four ways:

  1. by the first Wizard played
  2. if no Wizard is played, by the highest trump played
  3. if no trump is played, by the highest card of the led suit
  4. if the trick consists entirely Jesters, by the first Jester played
The winner of the trick leads the following trick.

Wizards and Jesters
If the lead player plays a Wizard, it automatically wins the trick and the other players may play any card they wish without regard for suit, including another Wizard. If a Wizard is played mid-round, the first card played is still the led suit and the subsequent cards played must follow as such. If the lead player plays a Jester, it is a null card. The next player determines the suit for the round. Jesters always lose except if only Jesters are played for a round, in which case the first Jester played wins the trick.

If a player correctly predicts the number of tricks he or she would take, he or she receives 20 points plus 10 additional points for each trick taken: 20 points for correctly predicting 0 tricks, 30 points for correctly predicting 1 trick, 40 points for correctly predicting 2 tricks, and so on. If a player incorrectly predicts the tricks he or she would take, he or she loses 10 points for each trick over or under his or her bid.

Length of Game The game continues until the round in which all 60 cards are dealt. This will be at the 20th round for 3 players, the 15th round for 4 players, the 12th round for 5 players, and the 12th round for 6 players.

Obtaining Wizard
Wizard is available at many game stores for about $8 - $12, depending on whether you get the regular or deluxe version, which includes individual bid indicator wheels. The game is also relatively easy to make on your own. Simply get two identical decks of cards and designate 8 cards from one deck as the Wizards and Jesters.

Hey, isn’t this game exactly like Oh Hell? Why did you bother noding this/why should I bother buying or making Wizard?
Well, yes, they are quite similar. I have played both and I prefer the wild card aspect of the Wizards and Jesters that enhances the ability to mess up the plans of your fellow players. This adds an extra element of fun and/or torture to the game. I also prefer the scoring for Wizard, but of course, you can always change the scoring method to your satisfaction.