Known as a very popular game for 2 to 5 players we look at the breakdown of the rules and objectives of Loba de Menos.
Loba de Menos
Loba de Menos can be played by two to five players, using two standards 52 card decks including the four jokers, One Hundred and Eight cards in all.
If playing for money, each player contributes an equal pre-determined stake to the pot, all of which will be taken by the winner.
Players draw cards to decide who deals first, the highest card then deals the first game. Each player will have a turn to deal working in a clockwise direction after each hand.
Each player is dealt nine cards, one at a time. The next card is placed face up to start the discard pile and the remainder of the deck is stacked face down beside it to form the stock.
Piernas and Escaleras – The players’ aim is to get rid of cards from their hands, by forming them into combinations. The allowable combinations are:
A pierna consists of three cards of the same rank from different suits – for example 4 Spades, 4 Hearts, Clubs 4. A pierna can contain additional cards of the same rank in the same three suits, but not of the fourth suit. So for example 4 Spades,4 Spades,4 Hearts,4 Clubs,4 Clubs is a valid pierna, but a 4 of Diamonds cannot be added to it.
An escalera consists of three or more cards of the same suit in sequence – such as 5 Diamonds,6 Diamonds,7 Diamonds. The ace can be counted high or low, at the player’s choice – so 10 Clubs, J Clubs,Q Clubs,K Clubs,A Clubs and A Hearts,2 Hearts,3 Hearts, 4 Hearts are both valid escaleras. Ace cannot be both high and low at once, so K Spades,A Spades,2 Spades, Spades 3 is not valid.
To end your turn you must discard one card from your hand face up to the discard pile.
It is only possible to draw a card from the discard pile if that card is immediately played to the table as part of a pierna or escalera (either to make a new one with cards from your hand, or to add to an existing one on the table). You cannot take the discard and keep it in your hand.
Piernas and escaleras Must Stay Intact
Piernas and escaleras on the table cannot be broken up to reuse the cards to form new combinations, they can only be added to.
You cannot add to another player’s piena or escalera until you have put down a pierna or escalera of your own.
If the stock pile is exhausted, the cards in the discard pile are shuffled and stacked face down to form a new stock pile.
Jokers can only be put down in escaleras, and not in piernas. No more than one Joker can be included in each escalera.
When adding to an escalera, you may move a Joker from one end of the escalera to the other end. If the Joker is in the middle of an escalera it may not be changed.
The play ends when one player gets rid of all their cards. This player normally scores nothing, and each of the other players scores penalty points for the cards remaining in their hands.
Value of Cards in Loba de Menos
- Aces = 10 points
- Jokers = 10 points
- Kings = 10 points
- Queens = 10 points
- Jacks = 10 points
- Ten = 10 points
- 9 = 9 points
- 8 = 8 points
- 7 = 7 points
- 6 = 6 points
- 5 = 5 points
- 4 = 4 points
- 3 = 3 points
- 2 = 2 points
Each player adds up the point values of the cards they have left, and then adds this total value to their previous cumulative score.
If you win a round by putting down all of your cards at the same time (forming your own piernas or escaleras or adding to those of other players), without having previously put down any cards in that round, your cumulative score must be reduced by Ten points.
When the score of an individual player reaches 101 points or more, that player is out of the game, but he can be “reengancharse” with the score of the player with the highest number of points at that moment. For each “reenganche” he must pay a predetermined amount to the pot. Each player is allowed a maximum of two “reenganches”. After that, if the player goes over 100 again, they are eliminated and the game continues with the other players.
The game ends when all players except one have been eliminated from the game. The last remaining player is the winner and collects all the players’ initial stakes, including the payments for any reenganches.