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Cantor's Comb: The Card Game


Click on a field for rules on that game.

Cantor's Comb: The Card Game
For 1–4 players



64-card Cantor’s Comb deck
1 16-sided die
16 4-sided dice


Build sets of 2 or more cards with the same Cantor’s Comb number. Complete as many sets as possible
before the deck runs out. The larger the set, the more points you earn!


Shuffle the Cantor’s Comb deck and deal 4 cards to each player. Put the rest of the deck face down in the
center of the table. This is the draw pile. Place the 16 4-sided dice in a pile next to the draw pile. Each player rolls the
16-sided die, and the player with the highest roll goes first. (Roll again if tied.) Decide whether turns pass clockwise or


On your turn, first draw a card, then roll the 16-sided die.
If you get a number on the 16-sided die that doesn’t match the number of any card in your hand, take a 4-sided die
from the center pile and add it to your own stash. (There’s a limited supply of dice—if they run out, you don’t get one.)
Your turn ends.

If you get a number that matches the number of a card in your hand, you may play that card on the table in front of
you, beginning a set or adding to a set you’ve already started (see example). Alternatively, if you don’t want to play
the card yourself, you may instead give it away to another player of your choice. Either way, you may then play or
give away a second card. This second card can have any number, not just the one you rolled. Your turn is then over.

At any point during your own turn, you may roll your stashed 4-sided dice. You must roll all the dice you have
stashed. You can then add together the results in any combination, using any number of the dice you rolled, and play
or give away a card that matches that total.

If you give away more than 1 card on your turn, you must give all cards to the same player.



When the last card is drawn, that player’s turn occurs as normal, and the game then ends. Tally points for
each player based on the following. The highest score wins!


Each card remaining in your hand: –1 point
1-card set: –1 point
2-card set: 2 points
3-card set: 4 points
4-card set: 8 points

1-Player Solitaire Mode

Play as above, but you can’t give cards away. You can have only four 4-sided dice at any
one time. Try to get the right order of cards so you can lay them all down before reaching the bottom of the deck!

Number of times Patrick has achieved this: 0. (But gotten pretty close...)



Standard Card Games

All standard card games can be played using the Cantor's Comb deck. To set up, remove all cards with the 11, 12, or 13 of each suit (watch for jokers also). (Or leave them all in for a wacky variant on your favorite game!) Note that the order of standard cards does not correlate to other fields on the Cantor's Comb cards. 

Three cards are marked with images of the face cards; these three are often used as wild in poker and other games. These are the SUICIDE KING (King Of Hearts), and the ONE EYED JACKS (The Jack Of Hearts, and The Jack of Spades).

Please click here to visit Hoyle's Rules Of Games, with rules to literally any card game you can think of and many, many more.


Five Hundred


Australian Four-Handed Five Hundred

Players and Cards

There are four players, with partners sitting opposite. A pack of 43 cards is used, consisting of

  • A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 in the red suits;

  • A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 in the black suits;

  • one joker, also called the bird, because in the Australian 500 pack it depicts a Kookaburra instead of a Jester.

When there is a trump suit, the highest trump is the joker, followed by the jack of the trump suit (right bower), the other jack of the same colour (left bower), then Ace, King, Queen, 10, 9, etc. down to 5 or 4. For purposes of following suit, etc, the joker and left bower behave in all respects as members of the trump suit. The other three suits rank in the usual order from ace (highest) down to 5 or 4, but the suit which is the same colour as trumps has no jack.

When there are no trumps all the suits rank in the usual order from ace (high) down to 5 or 4 (low), and there are special rules governing how the joker is played.


Deal, bidding and play proceed clockwise. The first dealer is chosen at random, and the turn to deal rotates clockwise after each hand. The cards are shuffled and cut and the dealer deals 10 cards to each player and three face down in the middle of the table to form the kitty. The cards are usually dealt as follows: a batch of 3 to each player; one to the kitty; 4 to each player; one to the kitty; 3 to each player; one to the kitty.


The bidding begins with the player to dealer's left and continues clockwise. The possible bids are:

  1. a number of tricks (minimum six) and a trump suit - for example a bid of "eight diamonds" undertakes that the bidder, with partner's help, will try to win at least eight tricks with diamonds as trumps;

  2. a number (minimum six) of "No Trumps", (also known as "No-ies") offering to win at least that number of tricks without a trump suit;

  3. Misere (pronounced "miz-air"), which is a contract to lose all the tricks, playing alone (partner drops out of the play);

  4. Open Misere, sometimes known as Lay Down Misere, which is like Misere, but the contractor's hand is laid face-up on the table after the first trick.

A player who does not wish to bid can pass. If all four players pass the cards are thrown in.

Once someone has bid, each subsequent bid must be higher than the previous one. Higher means either more tricks, or the same number of tricks in a higher suit. For this purpose No trumps are highest, followed by Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs, and Spades (lowest). Thus the lowest possible bid is Six Spades and the highest is Ten No Trumps.

Misere is higher than any bid of seven and lower than any bid of eight, but Misere can only be bid after someone has bid seven - Misere cannot be bid directly over a six bid, or when no one has made a positive bid.

Open Misere is higher than Ten Diamonds but lower than Ten Hearts. You do not have to wait for the bidding to reach any particular level - Open Misere can be bid over any lower bid, or even as the first bid of the auction.

Note that some players rank Misere and Open Misere differently - see variations.

A player who has once passed cannot bid again in that auction. The bidding continues clockwise for as many rounds as necessary, until all players except one have passed. The highest (and last) bid becomes the contract which the bidder (contractor) has to make, with the named suit (if any) as trumps.


The contractor begins by picking up the three cards of the kitty (without showing them to the other players), and discarding any 3 cards face down in their place. The cards discarded can include cards which were picked up from the kitty.

If the contract is Misere or Open Misere, the contractor's partner does not take part in the play, but puts his cards face down on the table.

The contractor leads to the first trick. Players must follow suit if they can. A player with no card of the suit led may play any card. A trick is won by the highest trump in it, or if no trump is played by the highest card of the suit led. The winner of a trick leads to the next.

If the contract is Open Misere, after the first trick has been played, the contractor arranges his cards face up on the table for all to see, and plays the rest of the hand with his cards exposed.

Play of the joker

If there is a trump suit, the joker counts as the highest trump, as stated above.

In No Trumps, Misere or Open Misere, the joker may be used in one of two ways:

  1. A contractor who holds the joker can nominate which suit it belongs to. The nomination must be made at the start of play, before the lead to the first trick. The joker then counts as the highest card of that suit.

  2. If the contractor does not hold the joker, or holds it and does not nominate a suit, then the joker belongs to no suit. It is the highest card in the pack, and wins the trick to which it is played, but there are restrictions on when it can be played:

    • if someone else has led to the trick, you can only play the joker if you have no cards of the suit led;

    • if the contract is a Misere or Open Misere, you must play the joker if you have no cards of the suit led, but in a No Trump contract you are not obliged to play the joker in this situation - you may discard from another suit instead if you wish, and play the joker on a later lead of this suit or another suit in which you are void;

    • you may lead the joker and nominate a suit which the others must play if they can, provided that this suit has not previously been led;

    • once all four suits have been led, it is illegal to lead the joker, except to the last trick.

Note that if you are the contractor in a Misere, it is possible to keep the joker in your hand and nominate it as belonging to a suit. You may then be able to dispose of the joker by discarding it on a lead of a suit in which you hold no card at the time. If you bid a Misere, keep the joker in your hand and forget to nominate a suit, your Misere automatically fails, since your joker wins the trick to which you play it.

Note that in some games the rules for playing the joker in No Trumps are different from the above - see the variations section.


A cumulative score is kept for each team, to which the score for each hand is added or subtracted. The scores for the various contracts are as follows:

Tricks      Spades      Clubs      Diamonds      Hearts     No Trumps     Misere

Six          40             60           80                  100         120

Seven     140           160         180                200         220

Misere                                                                                                250

Eight      240           260          280               300         320

Nine       340           360          380               400         420

Ten         440           460          480

Open Misere                                                                                      500

Ten                                                               500         520

In a suit or no trump contract, the contractors win if they take at least as many tricks as they bid. The contractors then score the appropriate amount from the above table, and their opponents score 10 points for each trick they manage to win. There is no extra score for any additional tricks the contractors may make in excess of their bid, except when they win every trick, which is called a slam. If the contractors make a slam, and their bid was worth less than 250 points, they score 250 instead of their bid. If the bid was worth more than 250 (8 clubs or more) there is no special score for a slam - if the contractors win every trick they just win the value of their bid as normal.

If the contractors do not take enough tricks for their suit or no trump contract, they score minus the value of the contract, and their opponents still score 10 points for each trick they won.

If the contract was Misere or Open Misere, the contractors score the appropriate amount (250 or 500) if the contractor succeeds in losing every trick, and minus that amount if the contractor wins a trick. The opponents score nothing in either case.

End of the Game

The game ends when a team wins by reaching a score of 500 points or more as a result of winning a contract.

The game also ends if a team reaches minus 500 points or worse, and thus loses the game. This is called "going out backwards" or "going out the back door".

Reaching 500 points or more as a result of odd tricks won while the other side are playing a contract is not sufficient to win the game. If this happens, further hands are played until one team wins or loses as described above.

Six players

There are two partnerships of three players, with partners sitting alternately. A special pack of 63 cards is used, having 11's and 12's of all suits and 13's of the red suits, ranking above the 10 and below the pictures. I have been told that in Australia it is normal to use this pack for 500 (leaving out the extra cards), even when the game is played by fewer than six people. The rules are as in the four player game. In a Misere or Open Misere, both partners of the contractor put down their cards and take no part in the play.


For complete rule set and variations, please visit:


Zener ESP Cards


(From Wikipedia, 2020): Zener cards are cards used to conduct experiments for extrasensory perception (ESP) or clairvoyance. Perceptual psychologist Karl Zener (1903–1964) designed the cards in the early 1930s for experiments conducted with his colleague, parapsychologist J. B. Rhine (1895–1980). The original series of experiments have been discredited and replication has proved elusive.

The Zener cards are a deck of twenty five cards, five of each symbol. The five symbols are: a hollow circle, a plus sign, three vertical wavy lines, a hollow square, and a hollow five-pointed star. In a test for ESP, the experimenter picks up a card in a shuffled pack, observes the symbol, and records the answer of the person being tested, who would guess which of the five designs is on the card. The experimenter continues until all the cards in the pack are tested.

In the Cantor's Comb deck, there are 12 of each symbol, resulting in 60 Zener cards and four 'blanks'. This does not change the probabilities of the results.  




Hanafuda is a Japanese card-taking game using 48 tile-cards. To play Hanafuda using the Cantor's Comb deck, remove Cantor Card numbers 13, 14, 15, & 16. Count to double check that the remaining deck has 48 cards.


Score the most points at the end of 6 or 12 rounds by recovering the cards on the table. To get a card, you need to match a card from the player's hand with a card from the table from the same month. The points are obtained by forming captured hands - yaku - with the cards that the player had recovered.

Each player draws a card and whoever is closest to the first month starts the game. If two players have a card from the same month, one with a greater point value become the dealer. This player will distribute the cards.


The dealer distributes 2 by 2, 8 cards per player and 8 cards on the table, the rest of the cards form the stock cards. On the table, if there are 4 cards from the same month, the dealer will distributes again; then, in the hand of each player, if a hand has 4 cards from the same month or 4 pairs of different months, the player gets 6 points and the round is over.


Players take turns to get the cards on the table and form a yaku to score points.

First step, the first player must match a pair with the same month with a card from his hand and a card on table. If on the table, there are three cards of the same month, the player gathers the four cards. But if he doesn't find a matching card, he must discard one card from his hand on the table.

Second step, he draws a card from the stock cards and try to match a pair in the same way as before.

Last step, the player recovers one or two matching pairs of cards, he places beside him. He checks whether he can form a yaku with the won cards. If no yaku is possible, his turn ends. If a yaku is formed, the player can announce if he stops the round and score points ("Shôbu") or continues ("Koi"). By continuing, he may form a new yaku to increase his score at the end of the round.

If each players has exhausted their 8 cards and none can form a yaku, the round ends with 0 points for each player, we go for the next round.

Rule of multiplication of points:

At the end of a round, players will check whether:

  • If a player scores more than 7 points, his score is doubled.

  • If a player scores points and his opponent had announced Koi, his score is doubled.

  • If a player scores more than 7 points and his opponent had announced Koi, his score is quadrupled.


End Of The Game

After the 6 or 12 rounds, the scores marked in each round are added, the player with the highest score wins.


Yaku Scores (visit the link at the bottom for image examples of these yaku):

Please visit this site for visual examples of these yaku and other setups:


Magic 8-Ball™


(From Wikipedia, 2020):The Magic 8-Ball is a plastic sphere, made to look like an eight-ball, that is used for fortune-telling or seeking advice. It was invented in 1950 by Albert C. Carter and Abe Bookman and is currently manufactured by Mattel. The user asks a yes–no question to the ball, then turns it over to reveal an answer in a window on the ball.

The functional component of the Magic 8-Ball was invented by Albert C. Carter, who was inspired by a spirit writing device used by his mother Mary, a Cincinnati clairvoyant. When Carter approached store owner Max Levinson about stocking the device, Levinson called in Abe Bookman, Levinson's brother-in-law and graduate of Ohio Mechanics Institute. In 1944, Carter filed for a patent[1] for the cylindrical device, assigning it in 1946 to Bookman, Levinson and another partner in what came to be Alabe Crafts, Inc., combining the founder's names, Albert and Abe. Alabe marketed and sold the cylinder as The Syco-Slate. Carter died sometime before the patent was granted in 1948. Bookman made improvements to The Syco-Slate, and in 1948 it was encased in an iridescent crystal ball. Though unsuccessful, the revamped product caught the attention of Chicago's Brunswick Billiards, who in 1950 commissioned Alabe Crafts to make a version in the form of a traditional black-and-white 8-ball, which was possibly inspired by a gag in the 1940 Three Stooges short filmYou Nazty Spy!.

The Magic 8-Ball is a hollow plastic sphere resembling a black-and-white 8-ball. Its standard size is larger than an ordinary pool ball, but it has been made in various sizes. Inside the ball, a cylindrical reservoir contains a white plastic icosahedron die floating in approximately 100mL of alcohol dyed dark blue. Each of the die's 20 faces has an affirmative, negative or non-committal statement printed in raised letters. These messages are read through a window on the ball's bottom.

To use the original ball, it must be held with the window initially facing down to allow the die to float within the cylinder. After asking the ball a yes–no question, the user then turns the ball so that the window faces up. The die floats to the top, and one face presses against the window; the raised letters displace the blue liquid to reveal the message as white letters on a blue background. Although most users shake the ball before turning it upright, the instructions warn against doing so to avoid white bubbles. Many users find entertainment with this device. It has continued to be a popular gift item since its release.

To use the Cantor's Comb deck as a Magic 8-Ball™: 

1. Shuffle the deck while concentrating on your YES or NO question about the future. 

2. Stare into The Unblinking Third-Eye Of The Cosmic Truth-Being.

3. Draw a card at random from the deck, being sure to pick the one pre-ordained by Fate.

4. Your answer is revealed!


Japanese Alphabet Practice Cards


Written Japanese uses two phonetic alphabets. You can use the Cantor's Comb deck as a memorization aid while learning to read Japanese. 


Cover 2/3 of the card, revealing only the HIRAGANA or KATAKANA character. After guessing its sound, reveal the rest of the card to check your answer. 


Below is a list of both alphabets, for comparison and reference. The characters in the grid are a combination of the vowel of the column and the consonant of that row. For example, キ is pronounced as "ki", being in the 'i' column and the 'k' row.


    a   i   u   e  o

∅ ア イ ウ エ 

k  カ キ ク ケ 

s  サ シ ス セ 

t  タ チ ツ テ 

ナ ニ ヌ ネ 

ハ ヒ フ ヘ 

mマ ミ ム メ 

ヤ      ユ     

r  ラ リ ル レ 

ワ ヰ     ヱ 

n  ン 



    a   i   u   e  o

∅ あ い う え 

k  か き く け 

g  が ぎ ぐ げ 

s  さ し す せ  

z  ざ じ ず ぜ  

t  た ち つ て  

だ ぢ づ で  

な  に ぬ ね 

は  ひ ふ へ 

ば  び ぶ べ 

ぱ  ぴ ぷ ぺ 

ま み  め 

y  や     ゆ    

r  ら り る れ 

わ     ゐ ゑ 


Element Emission Spectrum Memorization Aids


The 66 most popular elements ranked by Wikipedia page views. Each card has particular information about each element. 

(Click on the characteristic to learn more.)

Element Name (In English)

Number On The Periodic Table

Atomic Weight (in atomic masses)

Density Of The Pure Element (in grams per cubic centimeter)

Electron Configuration


Emission Spectrum

Cantor's Comb: The Game
Card Games
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