Rules of Mus

How to play Mus

Mus is, without a doubt, one of the most well-known and popular Spanish card games there is. Thanks to its unique appeal and characteristics, each game is sure to be an exciting one.


To win 8 Amarrakos (40 stones) in one, or several, partial games. It can also be played for 6 Amarrakos (30 stones).


A Spanish 40-card deck.


It can be played by two to six players, individually. It can also be played by four or six players, with two teams made up of two or three players, respectively. The most interesting and popular game is the four-player version, played in opposing pairs. The rules for this version are those detailed below.


The order of the cards, from highest to lowest, is:

King or Three, Knight, Jack, Seven, Six, Five, Four and Two or Ace. There are no trumps or differences between suits.

Each King, Three, Knight or Jack is worth 10 points. The other cards have the same value as their index, except Twos, which are worth 1 point – the same as Aces. Because Kings have the same value as Threes, and Twos have the same value as Aces, it is equivalent to playing with eight Kings and eight Aces. However, it is possible to play the game with four Kings and four Aces, in which case Twos and Threes are worth their natural value.


Each player takes a card. The players who draw the highest cards team up to play against those who draw the lowest cards. Whoever draws the highest card becomes the “Hand”, and their partner sits opposite them. The player from the opposing team with the higher card sits to the right of the Hand.

The player to the left of the Hand shuffles the deck, then passes it to the player on their left to cut. Four cards are dealt to each player, one by one, starting with the Hand. Cards are dealt anti-clockwise, and play proceeds in the same direction.

Once everyone has four cards, each player studies their hand. The Hand starts the game – either by choosing to keep their cards, saying “no Mus”, or by trying to improve their hand and discarding, saying “Mus”.

On each player’s turn, they must state whether or not they want to discard. However, as soon as a player cuts Mus saying, “no Mus”, no one can discard, and the Hand resumes play as detailed below.

In the first hand of each game, instead of saying “Mus”, any player who wants to call Mus can place the deck of cards to their right. If none of the players cut Mus, the person who was Hand becomes the new dealer and distributes the discarded cards between players. The player who cuts Mus becomes the Hand for that first hand.

If the dealer accidentally reveals a card when dealing the cards for a partial game, “Mus seen” must be declared and players can keep their cards if they wish, without discarding.

Each partial game ends when all of the combinations have been played. All the players must reveal their cards so that there are no doubts about pairs or disallowed bets, and bets can be settled. A full game ends when the necessary number of hands has been played and one of the teams reaches or exceeds a total of 40 stones or 8 Amarrakos. A full game also ends (without the need for scoring) when a player accepts an “Ordago”, and everyone reveals their cards to see who wins.

Note: If a very high bet is made – even if it amounts to more than 40 stones or 8 Amarrakos – and a player accepts it, the game is not yet won or lost and play must continue to the end. A game of Mus consists of three full games. The first pair to win three full games of 8 Amarrakos wins the overall game.


Each player can make the following bets with their four cards:

  • Grande: The highest possible cards, according to rank.
  • Chica: The lowest possible cards, according to rank (opposite to above).
  • Pares (Pairs): Two or more cards the same.
    • Pair: two of a kind.
    • Trio: three of a kind.
    • Double Pair: two pairs.
  • Juego (Game): It’sjuego when the total value of the four cards in a player’s hand is 31 or more. The best juego is 31, followed by 32. It then jumps to 40, going down to 37, 36, 35, 34 and 33 – which is the worst. The player with the best juego wins. If no player has juego (the total value of the cards in each player’s hand is less than 31), players bet on who has the best punto (point). The best punto is 30, and goes all the way down to 4, which is the worst.


If everyone has said “Mus”, players discard the cards they do not want on their turns, and the dealer deals new cards to those that request them – up to a total of four cards. The Hand starts, placing their cards face down on the table so they cannot be seen. This discard can be repeated as many times as the four players wish.

Should the deck run out when dealing has not been completed, everyone’s discarded cards are collected and shuffled. However, if it is only one player that needs cards, their discard is put to one side and their cards are made up using the other players’ discards.


Each player attempts to make their opponents think that the four cards in their hand are the best ones. These are not revealed until the end of each partial game. There are cases in which players will do the opposite, however, in order to surprise opponents and outplay them.

The Hand is first to announce whether they wish to pass, bid (two stones), or place a higher bet. And, on their turn, players must state whether they will pass, accept the bid or raise it.

The Hand announces the hands in the order already established: Grande, Chica, Pares, Juego, or No Juego. In the case of pares, each player must announce whether or not they have any pairs on their turn. The bidding starts if at least one player from each team has a pair. Juego commences in the same way, with each player declaring “yes” or “no”. If no one has juego, bets are made between the players that wish to bet on the best “no juego”.

A player can pass and not be eliminated, as long as no player before them has made a bet. They may enter the game when it is their turn to speak again, and accept or increase previous bets. However, if a player passes after a previous player has made a bet, then they are eliminated from that game.


  • Mus: When a player says “Mus” it means they want to discard some or all of their cards.
  • Pass: Means that a player does not wish to bet or that they are waiting to see what the other players do.
  • Bid: When a player bets 2 stones.
  • Me too (bid): The response to “bid”, whereby 2 more stones are bet.
  • I bid more (re-bid): The response to “bid”, whereby the bet is doubled.
  • OK: The bet made by one or more players is accepted.
  • Not OK: The bet made by one or more players is not accepted.
  • Ordago: All of the stones or Amarrakos are bet at one time and a full game of 8 Amarrakos is won or lost.
  • Deje or No: The name of the stone a player takes if no other player accepts their bid.
  • Stone: Anything used to keep score – usually beans, chickpeas, small stones or coins, etc.
  • Amarrako: The value of five stones.


Because each pair plays as a team, the score is the same for both players. As a result, both tend to keep score – with one in charge of the stones and the other in charge of the Amarrakos.

When the game begins, a saucer containing the stones used for the game is placed in the centre of the table. The amounts bet during each game are remembered, then noted down at the end of each partial game. “Dejes” are noted down as and when they occur.

At the end of each partial game, players add up their scores and announce how many stones they are taking and why. They then take as many stones as points scored during the game, placing them in front of themselves or their partner so that who has what can be seen at all times.

When a player has five stones in front of them, they announce, “One Amarrako”, and their partner takes one stone, leaving the other four in the centre.

When, at the end of a partial game, a team has reached or surpassed 35 stones, one of them must announce, “Adentro” (inside) and then all of the Amarrakos are placed back into the centre of the table. This is done to warn opponents that they are about to win the full game.

The value of the bets, in the order that they are claimed, is as follows:

When a team needs very few stones to finish a complete game, they must be especially careful with their bids or Ordago, remembering that the first thing to be claimed is “No” or “Deje”. Stones are collected from each player in the order indicated, and the first team to reach 8 Amarrakos or 40 stones wins the game.

Bets are settled according to the following rules:

  • Grande and Chica. If all players pass without anyone having made a bet by the end of the partial game, the player with the best Grande (highest cards) takes one stone, and the player with the best Chica (lowest cards) takes another stone. However, if a player makes a bet and it is not accepted by anyone, that player takes one stone by way of “Deje” (not accepting the bet), which counts towards the score of the game.
  • Pares and Juego. If all players pass without anybody having made a bet by the end of the partial game,  the player with the best hand adds together its value, adding these stones to any that their partner may also have. If a player makes a bet and no one accepts it, one Deje stone is taken and, at the end of the partial game, they also add up the value of their hand and their partner’s, even if their cards were worse than other opponents’.
  • No Juego. If everyone passes and no bet is made, the player with the best punto (point) takes a stone. If a player bids punto and nobody accepts it, a No or Deje stone is taken there and then, and another is taken for the punto at the end of the game, even if it is inferior to another player’s punto.
  • Any player who renounces a bet by not accepting it, loses all rights to settle their own bets, even when, at the end of the partial game it can be seen that their cards were better. In any of the bets, the partner who has the best cards wins, even if the player who made the bet or announced “Ordago” has worse cards than the opponent who accepted it.
  • If a player forgets to take a stone, they lose the right to do so once the deck has been cut to distribute the cards for the next partial game.


  • No or Deje -> 1 stone
  • Grande, during pass -> 1 stone
  • Chica, during pass -> 1 stone
  • Par (pair) -> 1 stone
  • Trios -> 2 stones
  • Double Pairs -> 3 stones
  • Juego -> 2 stones
  • Juego of 31 -> 3 stones
  • No Juego or Punto -> 1 stone


Mus Rules
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