This card game is played with a 32 card deck.  There are 3 ten card suits (Planets, Moons and Comets) plus 2 trump cards (Novas).  The game is played for points like Spades or Hearts, and can be played either 2 player or with 2 2-player teams.


A hand of Starbuckaroos starts with each player being dealt a starting hand of 5 cards.  A player can draw one card per turn, with a maximum hand of 10 cards.  If two teams are playing, either 2 decks can be shuffled together or one deck is used with a player's maximum hand reduced to 5 cards instead of ten (house rules as to which).

One player or team deals, and the other player or team plays first card.  The first card played must be a Planet or Moon, which is laid face up in front of the player.  The other player can take an opponent's cards (Planets and Moons) by playing a Comet of equal or higher value to a Planet or Moon, play a Planet or Moon themselves, or pass.  (they can also play a trump - see below).  Note that a Comet can only be played against a single Planet or Moon card, not multiple ones!

Play continues until the deck has been exhausted no further cards can be drawn.  When the last card is drawn from the deck, players continue until their hands are expended or until they reach an impasse (such as both players having nothing left but Moons and/or Planets).  Points are then tallied.

Trump - if a player plays a Nova (trump card), they take ALL planets and Moons on the table - including their opponents and their own. This is the only case where a card can take multiple cards.


If teams play, they must bid for points as in Spades.  If they go over their bid, they only get face value in points for all cards including Planets;  if they go under their bid, they get points for what they take but at full value;  if they fail to take any points (equivalent of a Spades "nello"), they get 100 points.  Games are usually played to 500 points.

Card Artwork




For terrestrial players who want to play Starbuckaroos:
Moons = Clubs, Planets = Spades, Comets = Diamonds, Novas = Jokers

Might be an entertaining diversion if your SF PC's gamble, as some local/background flavor, or something : )