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Diplomat - card game

Players 3-6
Skills required Memory, Strategy, Logical Thinking
Age range 12+
Cards 52
Deck Anglo-American
Playing time 15-90 min.
Related games
Go Fish, Literature (card game)

Diplomat is a simple yet very difficult card game that requires large amounts of memorization, recall, and logical thinking. Games usually last anywhere from 15 to 90 minutes, depending on the number and skill of players. Diplomat requires enough strategy that people who have played before are far more likely to do well than players who have not.



At the beginning of the game, the deck is dealt out equally to each player. At any point in a player's turn, if he can find all four cards of the same rank in his hand and the cards on the table combined, he may show all four cards to all players and play them face-down in front of him (face-up in some variations). The game ends when all cards have been collected in four-of-a-kinds, and the winner is the player with the most sets. Play begins left of the dealer and continues clockwise.


On a player's turn, he asks a series of yes-or-no questions, each to a specific player, inquiring about the contents of the player's hand. A player may ask questions to any number of players on his turn, but each question must be directed at a single player. Some examples of questions used in the game are "Do you have any Jacks or 9s?", "Do you have any even spades lower than 10?", "Do you have any Red 5s, Black 10s, or Black Queens?" or "If you add up the number cards in your hand, is the total more than 50?", though questions as complicated as the latter are unlikely to give much information about a player's hand. A player may ask any number of questions on one turn, but his round ends when he receives an answer of "no".

Laying Out

In addition to asking yes-or-no questions, a player may request that another player "lay out" a particular card. This is equivalent to asking a yes-or-no question, but if the answer is yes, the asked player must play the requested card face up on the table. A player may, during their turn, form a four-of-a-kind from cards in their hand and on the table, so the only way to gain access to more cards is by requesting lay-outs. A lay-out request must ask for a particular card (e.g. the 3 of spades) and not just the rank (e.g. a 3).