How to Play the Original Draw Blood (Draw Blood Rummy)

Objective
Be the first player to get rid of all the cards in your hand by playing Monsters and Melds. Stop your opponent from “going out” first by Killing his or her Monsters with Kill Cards. Points are scored based on the number of Melds you lay down each round. After several rounds, the player with the highest score wins!

The Basics
Shuffle the deck and deal 10 cards to each player. The remaining cards will be the Draw Pile, placed face down in the middle of the table. Each turn, players are required to DRAW ONE card and are allowed to make ONE MOVE. A MOVE occurs when you play a Monster in your Monster Row, Kill an opponent’s Monster or when you discard a card from your hand into the Discard Pile.  Laying down a Meld is also a MOVE, however you must have at least ONE Monster alive in your Monster Row before you can lay down a Meld. The first player to “go out” (get rid of all the cards in their hand) wins the round.

The Table
In Draw Blood, there are three locations on the table that dictate where and when to play certain cards. These areas are your Monster Row, your Meld Area, and the Draw/Discard Pile. Each player has their own Monster Row where you play Monster cards from your hand. Over the course of a hand, you may play up to three Monsters in your Monster Row, one of each type. Play them face up, directly in front of you to signify they are your Monster.  The Meld Area is where you lay down Melds from your hand in order to “go out” and score points.  Each player has their own Meld Area directly in front of them specifically for their Melds.  The Draw/Discard Pile should be placed in the center of the table.

The Monsters
In Draw Blood, Monsters control all actions. During your turn, playing a Monster card from your hand into your Monster Row equals ONE MOVE, and you must have at least one Monster alive in your Monster Row before laying down Melds. The number of Monsters alive in your Monster Row also dictates the number of MOVES you are allowed each turn. Once you have at least TWO Monsters in your Monster Row, it is your choice how to utilize future MOVES.

Taking Turns
Players take turns by drawing a single card from the Draw Pile and making a MOVE. Each player is always allowed ONE MOVE per turn.  Because additional Monsters alive in your Monster Row allow you to make additional MOVES, using your free MOVE each turn to lay down another Monster in your Monster Row is very advantageous.  A MOVE occurs when you play a Monster in your Monster Row, Kill an opponent’s Monster, discard a card from your hand or lay down a Meld. You must have at least ONE Monster alive in your Monster Row before you can lay down a Meld.  Monsters in your Monster Row are no longer alivewhen an opponent kills them.

With ONE Monster alive in your Monster Row, you may choose to play a second Monster as your MOVE.  And unless an opponent kills one of your Monsters during their turn, you would now have TWO Monsters alive in your Monster Row.  On your next turn, you will still only DRAW ONE card, but you are now allowed to make TWO MOVES per turn – One MOVE for each Monster alive in your Monster Row.  With TWO MOVES you may play any combination of eligible moves during the same turn: play a third Monster in your Monster Row, Kill an opponent’s Monster, or lay down a Meld.  Since laying down a single Meld is a MOVE, with Two Monsters alive in your Monster Row, you could lay down TWO Melds per turn, each Meld counting as a one MOVE.  Discarding a card from your hand into the discard pile also counts as ONE MOVE, and while discarding can be combined with any other MOVE available – you may never under any circumstances discard more than ONE card per turn into the Discard pile.

If you lay down a Monster into your Monster Row, the additional Turn granted by the new Monster does not take effect until your next turn.

Once you have THREE Monsters alive in your Monster Row, the same rules apply: on your next turn, you must Draw ONE card, but you are now allowed THREE MOVES per turn. The number of MOVES per turn will never exceed THREE as players may never have more than ONE of each type of Monster alive in their Monster Row. In addition, you are not allowed to make MOVES for Monsters in your Monster Row that have been killed by an opponent.

Tip: Of all the potential MOVES one can make in Draw Blood, Melds allow players to lay down the most cards per turn, and playing Monsters in your Monster Row will eventually allow you to lay down more Melds. With Three Monsters alive in your Monster Row you could lay down Three Melds. But remember, killing your opponent’s Monsters prevents your opponent from laying down Melds and making moves. So be sure to plan your strategy wisely!

Melds
Melds are combinations of cards you form from within your hand, and most of the time you will form Melds from the Numbered Blood Cards.  Melds can be classified as either Sets (2,3,4,5,6-of-a-kind) or Runs (a sequence of three or more cards – e.g. 2,3,4). Laying down Melds is the fastest way to rid your hand of cards and “go out”. Once a player goes out, the hand is over. Points are then awarded for each Meld successfully played, and points are subtracted for cards remaining in a player’s hand. Laying down a Meld equals ONE MOVE, if you have multiple Monsters alive in your Monster Row, those additional MOVES could be used to lay down additional Melds.

Tip: Laying down a Meld is not required, but it is the fastest way to go out and it is the only way to earn points.

Monster Row
As previously mentioned, each player has their own Monster Row where they may play Monster cards from their hand.  You may only lay down ONE of each type of Monster in your Monster Row at a time. Therefore, you will never have more than THREE Monsters in your Monster Row, and there will never be TWO of the same Monster.  If an opponent kills one of your Monsters during a following turn, you may replace that Monster by playing a new Monster Card on top of the Kill card.

Tip: Think of Monster Row as three “slots” – One slot for Vampires, one slot for Werewolves and one slot for Water Monsters.  If one of your Monsters is killed, fill in the slot with a new one!

Killing Monsters
Another eligible MOVE in Draw Blood is to kill an opponent’s Monster. A player may kill an opponent’s Monster by laying down a Kill Card on top of their opponent’s Monster. Playing a Kill Card on an opponent’s Monster equals ONE MOVE. A player who loses a Monster this way, may no longer make MOVES that were enabled by that Monster. Monsters that are killed simply stay in their owner’s Monster Row and the Kill Card remains on top of that Monster until the round is over.  If you have another Monster in your hand of the same type, simply play it on top of the Kill Card to revive that Monster!  Player’s may not kill their own Monsters.

Three-Of-A-Kind
You may have noticed that the Numbered Blood Cards are two different colors. Odd number cards are Black and have a Skull in the upper-right corner. Even number cards are Red and have a Heart in the upper-right corner. If a player has a three-of-a-kind of any Odd number (Triple Skulls), that player may use their three-of-a-kind to Kill an opponent’s Monster of choice. If a player has a three-of-a-kind of any Even number (Triple Hearts), that player may use their three-of-a-kind to Revive one of their own Monsters. Triples played this way equal ONE Move, and do not count as Melds. They are not scored as Melds at the end of the hand, and players cannot “play off” these sets once they have been used in this manner.

Playing Off Opponent’s Melds
When a player lays down a Meld, it is placed in that player’s Meld Area. Once a Meld has been played, opponents may play off any Meld on the table. A player adding a card or cards to an opponent’s Meld does not place them in their opponent’s Meld Area, but instead places the additional card(s) in their own Meld Area. You should only play Melds or cards played off opponent’s Melds in YOUR Meld area. This is important for proper scoring at the end of the hand. Once a card is “added” to a Meld, no other player may add the same card to that Meld. For example: If Player A lays down a Run of 1,2 and 3, Player B can play a 4 by adding it to Player A’s Run. Playing another 4 off the same Run would be illegal, because Player B’s 4 has already filled the slot in the sequence for that particular Meld.  Just like playing your own Meld, playing off a Meld counts as ONE MOVE.

Also, if Player A lays down a Pair, and Player B plays off the Pair by adding a third card of the same number (creating a Three-Of-A-Kind), Player B may pick up all three cards (removing the original two from Player A’s Meld area) and use them to Kill or Revive a Monster (3 Odd = Kill, 3 Even = Revive). Simply place the cards on top of the Monster you wish to Kill or Revive. If a player completes a Three-Of-Kind in this way, the act of using it to Kill or Revive a Monster is considered a MOVE, and the cards are no longer considered a Meld.  No player can play off these cards and no points are awarded to these cards at the end of the hand.

Tip: This is a great way to kill an opponent’s Monster, while at the same time taking away points they might have scored at the end of the hand. And if you don’t mind sacrificing your own points, you can play off your own Pairs this way as well!

Scoring
When a player has “gone out” by getting rid of all the cards in their hand, each player counts the cards in their Meld area, then adds up the points for each Meld they successfully played. Players subtract points for cards remaining in their hand. Numbered Blood Cards are worth 5 points each and Monster cards are worth 10 points each. Kill cards are worth 20 points each. Players should agree upon a high score, like 500, before play begins. Continue to deal out hands, and the first player to reach the high score is the winner.

Additional Rules

Monsters and Kill Cards as Melds
It is also possible to lay down Monster Cards as Melds. To do so a player must have a matching Set (2 or more of the same Monster), or a three-card Run (One of each Monster). Monster cards played as Melds are NOT played in a player’s Monster Row, but rather in a player’s Meld Area. Since they are classified as Melds, the Monsters may not be killed by Kill cards and Monsters as Melds do not grant players additional MOVES. When the hand is over, Monster cards as Melds count as 10 points each when scored.  If you are left holding Monster cards in your hand when a player goes out, subtract 10 points from your score for each remaining Monster held. Kill Cards can also be played as Melds, either as a Pair or a Three-Of-A-Kind. Players earn 20 points for each Kill Card they are able to lay down as a Meld, but if you are left holding a Kill Card when another player goes out, subtract 20 points from your score for each remaining Kill Card held.

Discarding
Each turn, players DRAW ONE card and make ONE MOVE. At any point in the game, after you draw a card, you may use your ONE move to discard a card from your hand into the Discard Pile. If a player is allowed any additional moves based on the number of Monsters alive in their Monster Row, the player may use ONE of their additional moves to discard a card from their hand into the Discard Pile. Discarding can be combined with any other MOVE available to you, however, you may never under any circumstances discard more than ONE card per turn. So if you are allowed THREE MOVES, but can only fulfill ONE MOVE, you may discard ONE card from your hand as your second MOVE.  However, discarding again with your third MOVE would be illegal.

Tip: Always pay attention to the number of MOVES your Monsters allow you each turn. Also, remember that if you can’t make a move, you may discard at least one card as one of your MOVES.  You’ll never be left holding one card if you pay attention to your discard options throughout the hand.

Picking up the Discard Pile
At the beginning of a player’s turn, rather than drawing ONE card from the Draw Pile, a player may choose to pick up the entire Discard Pile as their ONE DRAW. If a player decides to do so, the player is required to pick up ALL the cards in the Discard Pile.  In addition, the player must immediately play/use the TOP CARD of the Discard Pile in their next MOVE.  If a player cannot play the top card immediately, then picking up the Discard Pile would be illegal.

Depleted Draw Pile
If all the cards in the Draw Pile are depleted during the course of a hand, that hand is over. Players are not allowed to lay down additional Melds, and only the Melds that have been played on the table at this point are eligible to be scored. Each player adds up their points for Melds played before the Draw Pile was depleted, and subtracts points for any cards remaining in their hand. Add the points to the cumulative score and deal another hand!

Immunity (Kickstarter Exclusive only)
There are three unique Immunity Cards, one for each Monster. Immunity Cards prevent your opponent from killing your Monsters with either a Kill Card or Triple Skulls. Laying down an Immunity Card equals ONE MOVE, and you should place the Immunity Card above the corresponding Monster in your Monster Row in order to have Immunity. You may only play an Immunity Card above the Monster to which it corresponds. The Coffin Immunity Card is for the Vampire, the Full Moon Immunity Card is for the Werewolf, and the Water Immunity Card is for the Water Monster. Monsters in your Monster Row, with an Immunity Card placed above them, may not be killed by an opponent. However, your opponent may play a Kill Card on top of an Immunity Card to cancel that Monster’s Immunity. The Monster remains alive, but moving forward the Monster is no longer protected.

For scoring purposes, Immunity Cards are worth 20 point each. So if you play a Meld of all three Immunity Cards, similar to the “Run” of one of each Monster, the Meld would total 60 Points. This is the only Meld that can be formed with the Immunity Cards. If a player is left holding an Immunity Card in their hand after someone “goes out”, the player would then subtract 20 points per Immunity Card from their score earned that hand.