The game is for 4 players (3 controlled by AI), and it uses the standard deck of 52 cards. Ace is the highest. Everyone is dealt five cards, and the rest of the cards forms a face-down stock. The trump suite is indicated by the card placed face up under the stock.
The queen of spades is a special card, and it is called Black Maria (Maija).
Whenever a player has less than five cards in his hand and there are cards left in the stock, the player must take cards from the stock so that he has five cards.
In each turn the player in turn plays one or more cards from his hand onto the table with the following restrictions: The cards must all be of a same suit (in this purpose, Black Maria counts as a spade). Their number must not exceed the number of cards that the player left to the one in turn has in his hand. Playing cards onto the table is one action, and the player is not allowed to take cards from the stock in the middle of playing cards onto the table.
After that the player left to the player in turn tries to beat the cards on the table. A card can be beaten with a higher card of the same suit. A non-trump card can be beaten with any trump. A card can beat only one card. Black Maria cannot be beaten, and it cannot beat any cards. Beating cards is one action, and the player is not allowed to take cards from the stock in the middle of beating.
Beaten cards, and the cards that were used to beat cards, are removed from the play.
If the player in the left beat all the cards on the table, it is his turn to play cards to the table. If the player could not or did not want to beat all the cards on the table, he must pick up the remaining cards into his hand, and the turn passes to the player left to him.
When a player gets rid of all his cards after the stock has exhausted, he is out and does not participate in the game. The last player to have cards in his hand (including Black Maria) is the loser.
Web version: http://ovr.fi/Maija
Black Maria is a free software application from the Card Games subcategory, part of the Games & Entertainment category.
The app is currently available in English and it was last updated on 2015-05-30. The program can be installed on Android.
Black Maria (version 1.0.4) is available for download from our website.
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