- 60 card deck in 4 suits (Diamonds, Hearts, Spades, Clubs)
- 110 small plastic Diamond Crystals
- 25 large plastic Diamond Crystals
- 6 Vaults
- 6 Player Aid cards
Place all the Diamond Crystals in the middle of the table. This is known as the Supply.
There are two sizes of Diamond Crystals:
- Small: these are 1-point Diamond Crystals.
- Large: these are 5-point Diamond Crystals.
Each player takes the following:
- 1 Vault: The Vault is your secure area where you will be able to put your Diamond Crystals as directed by actions during the game. The Diamond Crystals in your Vault should remain secret to the other players.
- 3 small Diamond Crystals: Place these Diamond Crystals into your Showroom. The Showroom is the space immediately in front of you, next to (but not inside) your Vault. The Diamond Crystals in your Showroom are visible to all players.
One Player Aid card: This card uses the symbols shown on the right for Supply, Vault, Showroom (and "other player's Showroom") to illustrate the Suit Actions in the game. Suit Actions will be described later.
Object of the game
Have the most points in Diamond Crystals at the end of the game.
Randomly determine a dealer for this Round. The dealer shuffles the 60-card deck and deals 10 cards to each player. The remaining cards are not used for this Round and are set to the side without being examined. All 60 cards are reshuffled to start each new round.
Note that after all of the 10 cards are played (a round), the next dealer will be the player to the left of the dealer in the current round.
After looking at his cards, the dealer decides how many cards will be passed for this Round. The dealer can choose 1, 2 or 3 cards to be passed. The chosen number of cards is passed by each player, thus returning each to a hand of 10 cards. Cards are always passed to each player's left. Select the cards you will pass before looking at the cards passed to you.
Card Play / Playing Tricks
To start a Round, the person to the left of the dealer will play (lead) a card to start the trick. Then, the person to that player's left will play 1 card, and so on, until each player has played 1 card. The play of 1 card by each player collectively is known as the trick.
Each player must follow suit if they can, i.e. players must play a card in the suit that was led if they have one.
If a player cannot follow suit, then:
- a. that player may play any card, and then
- b. that player immediately gets a Suit Action in the suit that they played.
What makes the game of Diamonds different from other trick-taking games is that when you cannot follow suit you will get a "Suit Action" to do based on what suit you do play.
Suit Actions are also taken by the winner of each trick, as well as at the end of a full Round of play.
When all players have played one card to the trick, the player who played the highest card in the suit that was led wins the trick.
The winner of this trick then:
- a. places the cards of this trick in his play area facedown, and then
- b. immediately gets a Suit Action in the suit that was led in the trick. Suit Actions are described in detail below. And then
- c. leads a card to start the next trick. If he has no further cards, the Round is over.
Players may be entitled to perform a Suit Action at various times during the game. Each suit in the deck has a different Suit Action associated with it. Here is what each player does when they perform a Suit Action in each of the suits:
Take a 1-point Diamond Crystal from the supply and place it in your vault.
Take a 1-point Diamond Crystal from the supply and place it in your showroom.
Take a 1-point Diamond Crystal from the showroom and place it in your vault.
Take a 1-point Diamond Crystal from another player's showroom and place it in your showroom.
Suit Actions are always taken immediately when earned. You earn them when:
- You can't follow suit: take the suit action of the suit you played.
- You win a trick: take the suit action of the suit you played.
- At the end of a round: players taking the most cards in each suit get that suit action.
- At the end of a round: players taking no tricks/cards get two diamonds suit actions.
Note: Players should exchange five 1-point Diamond Crystals for one 5-point Diamond Crystal as needed to make change. When doing so, ensure that all five 1-point Diamond Crystals come from either the player's Vault or the player's Showroom (but never from both).
End of Round
After all 10 tricks have been played, the Round is over. Each player counts the number of cards they have taken in each suit.
The End of Round Suit Actions now occur in this order:
- The player who took the most Diamonds cards takes a Diamonds Suit Action.
- The player who took the most Hearts cards takes a Hearts Suit Action.
- The player who took the most Spades cards takes a Spades Suit Action.
- The player who took the most Clubs cards takes a Clubs Suit Action.
NOTE: If there is a tie for who took the most in any suit, then no one gets to do the Suit Action for that suit.
- Any player who did not win any tricks during the Round takes two Diamonds Suit Actions.
Starting the Next Round
After the End of Round Suit Actions are completed, all 60 cards are gathered and reshuffled to begin a new Round. The number of Rounds to be played is based on the number of players:
- For a 2 player game, play 4 Rounds.
- For a 3 player game, play 6 Rounds.
- For a 4 player game, play 4 Rounds.
- For a 5 player game, play 5 Rounds.
- For a 6 player game, play 6 Rounds.
End of the game
After all Rounds have been completed, each player totals the number of points in Diamond Crystals that they have collected. Diamond Crystal points are calculated as follows:
- Each point of Diamond Crystals in a player's Vault is worth 2 Diamond points.
- Each point of Diamond Crystals in a player's Showroom is worth 1 Diamond point.
The player with the most points in Diamond Crystals is the winner. If there is a tie, the player among those tied with the most points in Diamond Crystals in their Vault is the winner.
If there is still a tie, players share the victory.
A player has 21 points of Diamond Crystals in his Vault and 5 points of Diamond Crystals in his Showroom. Their final score is 47 points, i.e. 42 from his Vault (21 x 2) plus 5 from his Showroom.