Many commercial card games are derived from traditional card games like Rummy, Oh Hell, Psoy Dos/Zeng Fen, or other folk card games. The Bottle Imp is unique and breaks all the rules of traditional trick taking games.
The Bottle Imp is made up of 37 cards, numbered from one to thirty-seven, in three suits. The distribution of suits and coins across the numbered cards differ--yellow suits are the lower numbers with low quantity of coins, the blue are the mid range numbers with mid range quantity of coins, and red are the high range cards with high quantity of coins.
The game begins with the bottle imp price of 19 and whoever has the lead, plays a card, and others must follow with the same suit (yellow, blue or red). If everyone plays above the bottle imp price then the highest card win the trick. If only one player plays a number below bottle imp price then, she wins the trick and take the the bottle imp. Her card now goes under the bottle imp as the new price. If multiple cards played were below the bottle imp price, the highest, below the bottle imp cost, wins the trick and the bottle imp. The hand is done when all cards are played and scoring begins. You count all the coins on the cards that you won. The one who got stuck with the bottle imp, loses coins on the cards that were passed to the bottle imp in the setup of the round.
The Bottle Imp is a most original and clever trick taking game. The latest 2010 edition is printed by Z-Man Games but you can play the older edition via the Java app by Thomas Rosanski. The game and artwork on the cards are based on a short story by Robert Louis Stevenson, The Bottle Imp.