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How to Play Eleusis

Learn to play Eleusis – and the strategies that go with playing this game successfully.


  • Step 1: Shuffle cards Shuffle two decks of cards together and deal 12 cards to each player.
  • Step 2: Dealer writes secret rule Write a secret rule if you are the dealer.
  • TIP: Secret rule examples include: If the last card played was a spade, play a heart; or if the last card was a diamond, play a king.
  • Step 3: Turn top card over Offer a hint for the rule and turn the top card over on the table.
  • Step 4: Player to left goes first Place one card on the table, next to the initial card, and continue play to the left. The dealer confirms whether the card played follows the rule.
  • Step 5: Playing incorrect cards Place a card that doesn’t follow the rule perpendicular to the last correct card.
  • Step 6: Incorrect player draws Play a card according to the rule and you don’t draw. Play a card that breaks the rule; draw a card from the deck.
  • Step 7: Dealer confirms accuracy If you suspect that you know the rule and have no card to play, then you show your hand. The dealer confirms whether you were right.
  • Step 8: End the game Correctly guess the rule or play all of your cards and the game is over. Six points are awarded for a correct guess, one point is lost for each card left in a player’s hand, and three points are awarded for playing all of your cards.
  • FACT: A Michigan math professor used Eleusis to help teachers teach students the scientific method.

You Will Need

  • Three to eight players
  • Two decks of cards

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