Pugs in Mugs One Player Rules


As pictured, deal yourself two cards like in a normal game, but lay them out in front of you, face up. Now also set out two extra sets of two cards, creating the hands of two other AI players. All cards are face up. Grab yourself a coin too! If you don’t have a coin in this crazy, digital age then you can use any two sided, flippable object (we won’t tell).

The Simple Explanation

The Human player gets to start on account of their big brain. The turn rotates clockwise from there.

The AI will always choose its next action to be Stealing if its hand allows it, and similarly, it will always choose to take a Mug if it can. Then, if no Dig or Gimme cards are due to be used, the AI player will Draw.

Once all five colours of Mug are successfully taken, the game ends as usual!

The complex explanation, with more detail!

The AI follow specific priorities, which we label “Focuses”:

  1. “Steal Focus” If AI holds four different colours at once, this becomes a Steal focus. This means they will always act with the intent of gaining the missing colour from the set. This overrides colour focus if it also could apply. Note, if no player has a mug yet, or the player has 4 Mugs, Steal Focus is not applied.
  2. “Colour Focus” If AI holds two of a colour that they don’t own a mug of, this becomes their ‘colour focus’. This means they will always act with the intent of gaining the third card of the colour they seek.
  3. “Victory Focus” If AI has 4 mugs, the final colour of mug they need becomes their colour focus, regardless of whether they have any cards of that colour.
    Always assess which Focus the AI has, if any, before taking any actions!

Mischief Cards
In this version, using a Gimme or Surprise affects both other players whenever they are used. A Gimme will only attempt to take a single colour, however, meaning that it can only gain a maximum of two greens, rather than a green and blue. The Dig card has not changed for the player, but below are details on how the AI players utilise specific cards.

AI Dig Use
The AI will use a Dig if it has one, provided it has a Focus. If it does not have a Focus, it keeps the Dig card until it either has a Focus or it discards it (see Discard Rules). The AI will always use the Dig, regardless of the player’s knowledge of the contents of the Discard pile.

AI Gimme Use
The AI will use a Gimme to demand the card it needs if it has a Focus. If it does not have a Focus, it will revert to Draw, keeping the Gimme ready until it gains a Focus.
AI and Player Surprise Use: When a Surprise card is drawn it is automatically played, you cannot keep it in your hand. Both other players have their hands separately shuffled, and then the top card is discarded. The remaining cards are then put back in each target’s respective hand.

AI Steal Use
When an AI player manages to Steal, it will always target whoever has the most Mugs. There are two exceptions to this: If there are no Mugs able to be stolen because the Stealing AI already has the colours of Mug their target owns, they attempt to steal from the other player instead. On the other hand, if both other players have the same quantities of mug, the player may flip a coin to determine who is chosen (the player is always heads, on account of that big brain we mentioned earlier).

Discarding Cards
The AI has a particular method of choosing which cards it discards when its hand is over 5. It discards in the following order, moving down one if the statement is not true:

  1. More than one Pug of a colour that matches an owned Mug = Discard one of these
  2. More than one Gimme or Dig = Discard one Gimme or Dig
  3. Single Pug of a colour matching an owned Mug = Discard that card
  4. Single Pug of a colour outside current Focus = Discard non-focused Pug
  5. Must choose between Focused card or Mischief card = Discard a Mischief card

Note: An AI will never discard cards it is Focusing on, and ignores those cards when moving down the above statements.

An Example of an AI Player acting with intent: The AI player has a blue, red, yellow, purple and Gimme card. The AI will then use that Gimme to demand a green from the other players, regardless of their actual hand. If they get the green, their second action is to Steal. If they do not, their second action is to Draw in the hope that they get a green.

Colour Focus Overlaps
If an AI player has two Pugs of two different colours that it doesn’t own the mug of yet, and it is going to use a Dig or Gimme, the player groups the colours together in the AI’s hand, then flips a coin (heads for left side colour, tails for right side colour), and then uses the Dig or Gimme to attempt for a Pug of the same colour.
If, somehow, the AI player has managed to get three differently coloured sets of two Pugs and must discard one, the player simply chooses whichever colour they fancy and discards one.