Nuts about Mutts® is a high-energy game that is challenging enough to keep all players on their toes but simple enough to be enjoyed by the whole family. The pile in the center of the table is your dogs’ home! You can send your dog home if its color, number, or dog breed matches the card on top of the home pile. The home pile is also where fun “wild cards” like the mutt, flea, fire hydrant, and pedigree cards are played. The first player to empty their hand wins, so players want to get all their dogs back home as fast as possible while ruthlessly preventing other players from doing the same! If players choose to use advanced game rules, all players must be on the lookout for opportunities to steal someone’s turn by matching a card to the one in play or starting a numeric run. Being a sly dog is the best way to succeed at Nuts about Mutts®!
The majority of Nuts about Mutts® cards consist of numbered cards in three colors. The cards are numbered 1-13 and each numbered card has one of thirteen associated dog breed characters. There are two sets of each colored card for a total of six sets of numbered cards. The dog breeds correlate with the numbers on each color set, but they do not correlate between sets of colors. This makes two identical matches of each numbered card. Of the 109 playing cards, 78 of them are numbered and colored cards.
The other 31 cards are special cards that have different actions, consequences, or uses. These cards are wild cards and can be played regardless of the color of the card played by the previous player. The player who puts a wild card in play gets to choose the color of the next numbered card put into play.
To start the game, the dealer places bone cards face up around the center of the table. There should be one less card placed on the table than the total number of players. The dealer should leave room for the home pile and keep the bone cards equally within reach of all players. These will be used with the mutt cards throughout gameplay (explained below).
After the bone cards are in place, the dealer gives 7 cards to each player; dealing to his or her self as well. The dealer places the remaining deck face down nearby so he or she can distribute cards to anyone who needs to draw a card. When everyone is ready, the player to the left of the dealer takes a card from their own hand and places it face up in the middle of the table. This is the first card of the home pile. Take turns being the first player.
BASIC GAME RULES
suitable for ages 5+
A card can be played if it matches either the color, number, or dog character on the card in play. Players can also choose to play a wild card. Gameplay proceeds clockwise as players attempt to empty their hands.
Players must play a card each time it is their turn. If a player can’t play a card from their hand, he or she must draw one card. If the player is able to put this card into play immediately, they can do so. If the card drawn is not playable, it is the next player’s turn. The game ends when a player empties their hand of all cards.
Mutt Cards (14)
When a mutt card is played, each player must put his or her hand on a bone card as quickly as possible. The player that is unable to claim a bone card must draw a card from the draw pile and add it to his or her hand.
When a flea card is played, each of the other players must draw a card. The fleas have spread!
Fire Hydrant (3)
When a player puts a fire hydrant card into play, he or she has the option to swap their hand of cards with a player of their choice.
When a player puts a pedigree card into play, he or she announces one of the 13 dog breeds. Each player then, in turn, left to right, plays all the cards of that breed from their hand. Any player who does not have a card of that breed in their hand must draw one card. If the card drawn has the matching breed on it, it may be played immediately. After the other players have played, the person who played the pedigree card then plays any cards he or she has of the announced breed. If that player did not have any cards of that breed, he or she must draw a card. If the matching breed is drawn, it may be played. This completes the pedigree card play. If you are playing the advanced game, no matching and running is allowed until these steps are completed. (See below) It’s a pause in the normal action of the game.
Dog House (3)
When the dog house card is put into play, it is placed on the table in front of a player of the cardholder’s choice (not the home pile). This signifies that the selected player is “in the dog house”. The next time the person in the dog house would have a normal turn, they cannot play any cards from their hand. Instead, he or she must pull cars from the draw pile until a card is drawn that can be put into play. All cards that can’t be put into play become part of the person in the dog house’s hand. After the person in the dog house plays a card, the dog house card is placed in the bottom of the home pile and this player is now free. Gameplay resumes clockwise. In the advanced game (see next page), a player can not play any out-of-turn plays while the dog house card is in front of them.
Please Note: If the draw pile is depleted, re-shuffle the extra cards from the home pile and continue.
ADVANCED GAME RULES
suitable for ages 8+
In the advanced game, special plays can be made both in turn and out of turn to provide more opportunities for players to play their cards first and to thwart other players. Players can play matching numbered cards and numerical runs within color suits in any applicable combination. These special plays are known as matches or runs.
How to play a match:
To play a Match, it must be the same number, color, and dog breed. It must be an exact match. A match may be played at any time, whether or not it is your turn. When you play a match you must announce out loud, “Match!” Play resumes clockwise from the player who played the match. (Wild cards may not be played as a match.)
How to play a run:
A run is a card that is the same color, but one number higher or lower than the card on the home pile. A run may be played even if it is not your turn. When played out of turn, play resumes clockwise from that player and may skip other player’s normal turn. Playing runs is a great way to quickly rid extra cards from your hand.
When you play a run you must announce out loud, “Run!” If you have more than one run card, they must be played one at a time, and each announced separately. For instance, you can’t play a 2, 3, and 4 at once on top of a 1. You play it as “Run! Run! Run! (1’s and 13’s may not be connected as a run.)
On your turn, if you can play a match or a run, you may do so. Since it was your turn you may also play another card if you have one that is playable. It this case you would announce perhaps, “Match! Run! Play!” If you played a run or match, on our turn but don’t have a card for a normal play, you don’t have to draw a card.
If two or more players attempt to play a turn, a run, or a match at the same time, the player whose card is placed on the stack first gets to make the play. This advanced game will keep you on the edge of your seat! Play always continues clockwise from the player who made the last play whether it was on their own turn or out of sequence. The first player who has played all the cards from their hand wins.
Please Note: If the draw pile is depleted, re-shuffle the extra cards in the home pile and continue.
Normally we just have fun playing each hand together and don’t keep score. However, if you want to find out who is the top dog of the evening by keeping score, here’s how to do it: At the end of each
hand, just count the number of cards each player has left in their hand. That number is the score. The top dog is the one with the least total points.
We very much appreciate comments. Reviews on Amazon are also very helpful. Thank you in advance! We continue to develop new games and to improve our game line. It is gratifying to know families in many parts of the world are having quality time playing them.
Questions? Email us at or call 206-498-1959
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