This game is a very old French card game which was originally known as Manille but changed to Comet when Halley's Comet appeared in 1682. It is a "stops" game - as you shall see! It is also known as Ancient Comet and is very similar to New Comet (which was invented a century later), also known as Commit! Confusing! Whatever its name, it is a popular family game.

NB We have simplified the scoring to make the game more family friendly.

Instructions for "Comet" card game for kids

Players: 3 or more (4 or 5 is better)

Age: 7+

Cards: 2 packs of 52 cards

Additional equipment: Lots of counters! At least 15 or 20 per player.


The 9 of diamonds is a wild card, the "comet". Aces are low. The aim is to be the first to put down all your cards.

Choose a dealer. Deal all the cards but include an extra hand, which is set aside during play. So if you are playing with 5 players, deal 6 hands and set the 6th aside.

Player 1, to the left of the dealer, plays plays a card (or preferably a sequence of cards). Suits do not matter. As he places the cards down he names them: for example, "4, 5, 6, 7 - no 8."

Player 2 may continue the sequence. For example, "9, 10, no Jack". If she can't continue the sequence, she says "Pass".

Player 3 then has a turn, or passes and so on. Any player who plays a King has "stopped" the sequence, and receives on counter from each player. The player that stopped the sequence with a King also starts the next sequence.

Now - remember the extra hand? Because there are cards in that hand, there will also be "stops" in the sequences. Let's go back to Player 2. She put down "9, 10, no Jack". Players 3, 4 and 5 could not continue the sequence as they didn't have a Jack either. So Player 2 "stopped" the sequence. She therefore starts the next one, choosing any card or cards from her hand to do so.

The 9 of diamonds can be used at any time as a wild card. The player laying it down must declare it: "9 of diamonds". If they remember to declare it, they receive 2 counters from each player.

The round ends when one person has laid down all their cards - the winner. The winner receives one counter for each card left in the other players' hands, or 3 counters for a King, and 5 counters for the 9 of diamonds, if it hasn't been played!

Gather all the cards together and play another round, continuing as long as you like - or until someone has all the counters!


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