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Manni Rules

Manni is a popular Icelandic trick taking game, similar to Whist, played with three players. The word "Manni" is usually translated as "Chap" and refers to the pile players exchange from at the start of each hand. There are many local and regional variations of the game but the variation on this site is named "Hornafjarรฐar Manni", and is regional to Hornafjรถrรฐur: a municipality in the southeast corner of Iceland.

Dealing and starting

At the start of each hand the contract is selected (see the section "Trumps and Contracts") and the dealer deals out 12 cards to each player; He starts by dealing 4 cards to a special face down pile called the Manni, then three cards to other players. He repeats the 4-3-3-3 pattern until the entire deck has been dealt. Once each player has 12 cards and the Manni 16 the next thing players do is...

Exchange from the Manni

Once every player has been dealt 12 cards they can exhange cards from their hands. The cards discarded from the hand are placed face down in a pile next to the Manni, are out of the game, and are replaced with the same number of cards from the top of the Manni (be careful not to shuffle or rearrange the cards in the Manni in any way). Exchanging is optional as is the number of cards exchanged with the following limit:

  1. The person to the left of the dealer goes first and can exchange up to 7 cards.
  2. The person to the right of the dealer goes second and can exchange up to 5 cards.
  3. The dealer exhanges last and can exchange however many cards are left in the Manni.

If the other two players exchanged the maximum allowed number of cards there should be 4 cards left for the dealer.

Trumps and Contracts

In each round there is a contract that dictates the trump and rules of that round. Before the cards are dealt the player to the right of the dealer cuts the deck. The card revealed in the cut decides the contract:

  • If a 2 to 5 come up The contract is Nullo, which has no trump suit. Players must aim to get as few tricks as possible. Ace is a low card in this contract alone, it's a high card everywhere else.
  • If a 6 to 9 come up The contract is a trump of whatever suit the cut card is. All cards of said suit are higher than any other cards of other suits.
  • If a 10 to Ace come up The contract is no trump. Players aim to get as many tricks as they can.


A player leading a trick can put out a card in any suit he wants, even the trump suit. The players that follow must put out cards in the same suit if they have at least one. If they have no cards in the same suit they may put out any card they want. The player who puts out the highest card in the suit takes the trick, unless someone has put out a trump card, in which case the highest trump card takes it. The Ace is a high-card in all contracts apart from Nullo, where it is a low card. The player who takes the trick will then lead in the next trick.


After a round is finished the score is calculated. When playing Trumps and No-Trump players receive one +point (plus tally) for each trick they took beyond 4 tricks, and one -point (minus tally) for each trick below 4 tricks. In Nullo the points are reversed, +points are awarded for each trick below 4 tricks and a -point for each trick above 4 tricks. +points and -points are counted seperately until the end of the game.
Example: You get 3 tricks in a Trump contract. Mike gets 4 tricks and Bill gets 5 tricks. You thus earn -1 points, Mike 0, and Bill wins the hand with 1 point to his name.

Ending the game

The game ends when any player has accumulated 10 or more +points (regardless of the -points the player has at the time). at that point each player subtracts their -points from their +points and the winner is whoever has the highest total score.

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About Manni

This Manni game is the second game on the site that was not developed by the founder of CardGames.io. It was developed by Magnus, one of our student developers, and the idea for it came from his girlfriend. I don't know if it will become popular or not, since most of our users are from the U.S., but I like the idea of introducing an Icelandic game to a wider audience. So try it out, if you like Hearts, Spades or Euchre you might very well like this one :)

The game is made using html+JavaScript+css with jQuery used for the animations. All the graphics used for the game are from OpenClipArt, a great site with free graphics. The excellent playing card images were made by Nicu Buculei, and the player images were made by Gerald G.

Any comments, questions, ideas for other games or anything else can be sent to support@cardgames.io.

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This is version 3064 of Manni.

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