All decks are shuffled by an opposing team member and returned. No further shuffling or cutting of the deck is permitted.
The dealer for each team will begin the deal by laying out four cards, face up, in a single row directly in front of the dealer. This forms the TEAM PLAY AREA. Next, thirteen cards are dealt face down in a single stack in front of the dealer’s partner. This stack of cards forms the NERTZ PILE. The NERTZ PILE is then turned face up. The order of the NERTZ PILE may not be altered. The NERTZ PILE cards are played in face up order, from top to bottom.
There are two playing areas:
Common Scoring Area (see diagram)
This is the area in which all players compete to get their cards into to score points. Each card in this area is worth one point. The first cards placed in the COMMON SCORE AREA are the number 1 cards. The cards build up from number 1 to 13 of the same color in a single stack. The number of cards in this area will vary, depending on how many number 1 cards have been played.
Team Play Area (see diagram)
This area is directly in front of each team and is played on only by that team. A team may not play their cards on an opposing team’s TEAM PLAY AREA. Cards in this area go from high to low card alternating dark (red or blue) and light (yellow or white) cards. The number of cards across in the TEAM PLAY AREA never varies. There must be four cards in a row across at all times. When a space opens, it must be replaced by a card from the NERTZ PILE.
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