Mow Card Game Rules

By Dan Chruscinski

Mow is a card game that is different for every group of players. Rules are created by the players, creating different twists on the traditional game of trying to discard your hand of cards. The main draw of the game is that the rules cannot be told to any player, instead making part of the game trying to figure out how the game is played. Mow is about memory, following the dealer and keeping track of a growing list of rules.


Mow is played in a similar fashion to the card game Uno. The game is played using two decks of playing cards. Each player is dealt seven cards and the remaining cards are placed in the center of the play area. One card from the deck is turned face up. Players take turns placing a card from their hand on top of the card in the center. In order to place a card, the suit or number must match. Play continues until one player has placed all their cards in the center and announced "Mow."

Choosing Rules

The dealer will select certain rules to use during game play. These rules cannot be told to any other player but instead must be learned as the game progresses. Nobody can speak except when following of the rules such as saying "spade" when you place a spade down as it follows the rule of always calling a spade a spade. Breaking a rule means the player will have to draw a card and place it in his hand.


The rules that are used are up to the dealer but generally follow a basic structure. Placing certain cards down must be followed by saying a name or singing a song. Other cards being placed will reverse play or skip the next player. One example of a rule can be when a seven is placed, the next card placed must be another seven, ignoring the suit rule. If the player does not have a seven, she must draw two cards.


When a rule is broken, whoever spots the offense draws a card and give it to the offending player. If it is determined that there was no rule broken, the accusing player must draw a card and place it in his own hand. Play can be stopped by one player calling "Point of Order" in which case everyone places their cards down and the player can ask his question. No other talking is allowed during this time and no interaction with cards is allowed.


When a game ends and the next player becomes the dealer, she can add her own rules to the already established rule set. Again, she cannot tell anyone what this rule is: they learn it through trial and error during the next round. The dealer must still follow all rules from the prior round.


The purpose of Mow is to have fun. One round can take a long time to complete as only the dealer is initially able to follow his own rules. When coming up with rules as the dealer, keep them fun and hard to guess, giving yourself the advantage during play. Just be warned as the next round of play can change the game entirely.

About the Author

Dan Chruscinski has written pieces for both business and entertainment venues. His work has appeared in "Screen Magazine" as well as websites such as Chruscinski graduated in 2006 with a degree in English literature from Illinois State University.