Jonathan Hinson

Cardball

By Jonathan Hinson

An good understanding of Baseball rules are recommended to play Cardball.

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The card positioning in Card Baseball:

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(Actual positions of ‘Piles’ can be altered to adjust to your playing area, although the Base positions and Pitcher positions should emulate a Baseball Field)

Card Values in Cardball are from Ace (lowest value) to King (highest value), However an Ace has a Higher Value than a King, and only a King).

To Start:

Before the game begins, determine who will bat first, and how many Innings will be played.

Deal each player seven cards.

When a new batter comes up to the plate, each player ensures that they have seven cards in their hand.

How to play:

The Batting Player places a “Batting Card” from their hand face down onto the ‘HP’ Position.
The Fielding Player places a “Pitching Card” from their hand face down onto the ‘P’ Position, and announces just the Suit of their card.

(Note: it is easier if each player to continue holding their selected card while face down to make it easier to flip over/discard).

The Batting Player then has one option to:

  • Not Swing (Place the Batting Card into the Discard Pile).
  • Swing (Turn the Batting Card face up)
  • Sacrifice (Call “Sacrifice Bunt” or “Sacrifice Fly” and then turn the Batting Card face up)
 

After the Batting Player makes their choice the Fielding Player reveals the Pitching Card.

If the Batting Player chose to:

Not Swing and the Pitching Card is….

  • Ace = Hit by Pitch. The Batting Card is moved to First base, and any runners forced to advance do so.
  • 2 to 7 = Ball. The Pitching Card is placed into the Count Area; Face Down to represent a Ball. Disacrd the Batting Card.
  • 8 to King = Strike. The Pitching Card is placed into the Count Area; Face Up to represent a Strike. Discard the Batting Card.
 

Both players Draw a Card.

Swing

When choosing to Swing, the Batting Card and Pitching Card are revealed. The outcome of the Pitch is based on the value of the cards played, and wether or not they are the Same Suit. Take the value of the Pitching Card, and compare the Batting Card to that. 

Example: The Pitching Card is a 7, and the Batting Card is a 4. This equals minus 3.

Example. The Pitching Card is a 4, and the Batting Card is a 7. This equals plus 3.

Refer to the charts below to see what happens.

Important Note! Face Cards are always valued at 10, only when comparing Batting Cards and Pitching Cards.

Same Suit

+ 7 or more = Home Run

+ 6 = Triple

+ 5 = Double

+ 4 = Single

+ 3 = Single

+ 2 = Single

+ 1 = Fly

   0 =  Fly

– 1 = Foul

– 2 = Foul

– 3 = Foul

– 4 = Foul

– 5 or less = Strike

Different Suit

+ 5 or more = Single

+ 4 = Fly

+ 3 = Foul

+ 2 – Foul

+ 1 = Foul

   0 =  Foul

– 1 = Strike

– 2 = Strike

– 3 = Strike

– 4 = Ground Ball

– 5 or less = Pop-up

Sacrifice Bunt:

The Batting Player can declare a “Sacrifice Bunt” just prior to revealing their Batting Card.

The Batter is out. However, Runners on 1st or 2nd base are guranteed an advance one base.

Warning: If a Runner on 3rd is forced to run to Home they are automatically out instead of the Batter.

Sacrifice Fly:

The Batting Player can declare a “Sacrifice Fly” just prior to revealing their Batting Card.

If they achieve a Fly, Single, Double, Triple, or Home Run. The Batter is out. However, All runners are guranteed to advanced one base, including to Home.

Ground Ball:

Batter can be thrown out at first with any “Out Card” of a Higher Value. It does not need to be the same suit. Batting Player can attempt to advance other runners one base.

Pop-up:

Batter can be caught with any “Out Card” of a Higher Value it does not need to be the same suit.
If caught, the batting player cannot advance Runners. If not caught, it’s a Single.

Fly Ball:

When a Fly Ball is hit, the Fielding Player can catch the ball by playing an “Out Card” from their hand that is the Same Suit and a Higher Value han the Batting Card.

If a ball is not caught. The batting player can advance their runners.

If a ball is caught – The Fielding Player can choose to Advance Runners 1 Base at the risk of one runner being Thrown Out with an Out Card.

Single, Double, Triple

If hitting a ball results in a “Single”, “Double”, or “Triple”, the Batting player may advance the cards around the diamond accordingly – typical baseball rules apply eg. you advance optionally unless forced to do so etc.

Note: To avoid being thrown out by “Out Cards” (explained below) – the Batting player can choose to not advance runners their full distance if not forced to do so.

eg. After hitting a double. The Batting player could choose to advanced one or more runners only one base to avoid having those runners being Thrown Out

eg. After a base hit, a runner on 2nd base that isn’t forced to run – and doesn’t run – cannot be thrown out.

Out Cards

The Fielding Player may attempt a Triple Play, or Double Play for a Singl hit. A Double Play, or single Out for a Double hit, and single Out for a Triple Hit or a Fly Ball.

The Fielding Player can by place a Higher Value card of the Same Suit onto one runner (including Home Plate.) to attempt the Out.

To get a Double Play, the Fielder can now also place a card of the Same Suit and Higher than the Out Card used on the first runner.

To get a Triple Play, the Fielder can now also place a card of the Same Suit and Higher than the Out Card used on the second runner.

Any runner thrown out in this way may be placed face down into the Out Pile If the Batting Player doesn’t save them with a “Safe Card”, see below)

(Note that cards ending up on Home Plate are placed on Home Plate, and only counted as a run after the fielding player exhausts all Throw Out opportunities. However, you can only attempt to get our One runner at home after each hit.

Note: Ace can be played on a King as a higher card.

Safe Cards

After all Out Cards have been assigned. The Batting Player can cancel Out Cards – by playing Safe Cards onto these Out cards.

This works in a similar way to the Out Cards.

You place a Higher Value card of the Same Suit onto any Out Card to nullify the Out Card.

To prevent a Double Play, the Batting Player can now also place a card of the Same Suit and Higher than the Safe Card used on the first runner.

To prevent a Triple Play, the Batting Player can now also place a card of the Same Suit and Higher than the Safe Card used on the second runner. 

When succseffuly nullifying an “Out Card“. This Our Card replaces the runner card, and becomes the new runner card (place the old Runner Card, and Safe Card into the Discard Pile.)

Note: Ace can be played on Kings as a higher card, but the Ace always remains the lowest value card.

Stealing

When a Pitch results in a Ball or Strike, the Batting player may choose to Steal.

  • When attempting to steal 2nd base, the Batting Player places a “Lead Off” card from their hand face down on the runner. The Fielding Player places a “Caught Stealing” card face up on the field. The “Lead Off” card is revealed, if the cards are a different suit, the steal is successful. If not, it is an Out.
  • When attempting to steal 3rd base, the “Lead Off” card must be the Same Suit as the “Caught Stealing” Card to be a successful Steal.
  • You cannot steal Home Base. You cannot Double Steal.

Batter Up!

Once all runner advancements and throw outs are resolved – or after Strike Out, or Ball Caught – Each player draws cards until they have seven in their hand, and play moves on to the next pitch.

Run and Score Piles

Next to the Out Pile (where you record how many outs in an inning by placing face down cards). You place Cards Face up to record how many runs made this Innings. At the End of an Innings, these cards are moved to sit immediately in front a player to record how many Runs they have scored. This is the players Score pile and the cards in these piles are never used in the game again. Players may look through both Run cards at any time.

End of an Innings

When there are 3 Outs, place all cards currently on the field into the Discard Pile, and all Cards in the Run Pile to a players Score Pile. Players keep their current cards in hand for the change over. Each player draws cards until they have seven in their hand.

Empty Draw Pile

When the Draw Pile is empty. Shuffle the Discard Pile and place face down to become the new Draw Pile.

Publishers note:

5 R/G, 40 AB, 10 Hits, 2 2B, 0.5 3B, 1 HR, 1 Stolen, 0.5 Caught stealing, 4 Walks, 8 Strikeouts, 0.5 Hit by Pitch 0.5 Sacrifice. 0.5 Wild Pitches, 25 Putouts – 40 Foul Balls. 150 Pitches.