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How to play Nook


What is a lobby boy? A lobby boy anticipates the wants and desires of the guests before they even know that they want or desire them. Arrange the decor of the hotel to suit our guests and make sure you do it fast.



  • 1 deck of 54 cards


  1. Shuffle the deck and deal out starting cards to each player (9 cards for a 2-3 player game, 8 cards for a 4 player game, and 7 cards for a 5 player game).

  2. Players may take this time to arrange the cards in their hand if they wish.

  3. Choose a starting player randomly. The starting player will flip 1 card face-up in the center of the table from the draw pile when everyone is ready to play.


Everyone here is an indecisive interior designer hired to decide on a new look for your client’s nook. Everyone has a hand full of cards that feature a color, wallpaper, and decoration. One-up the previous card (“Yeah, that’s nice, but what about…”) by playing a new card. You’ll have to ensure you’re building on your coworker’s ideas by matching one or more categories, but, in the cut-throat world of interior design, you want to get all of your ideas heard.

The game is all about creating matches to empty your hand. If you match just one element in the room, you’re not going to be able to get rid of any extra cards. Create better matches to discard more cards. Empty your hand first to win the round. Win 3 rounds to win the game!

How to Play

The goal of the game is to empty your hand first. On your turn, you’ll play a card from your hand that matches the card in the center on at least 1 category. The card you play goes on top of the center card and becomes the new center card for the next player. You can match on color (Grey, Blue, Red, and Peach), wallpaper (Chevrons, Stripes, and Flowers), and decoration (Picture, Clock, and Lamp).

Matching on a single category only allows you to play the one card from your hand and nothing more.

Matching on two categories allows you to discard another card from your hand into a separate pile. This is how you can empty your hand more quickly!

A perfect match of all three categories allows you to discard two cards from your hand if you play it on your turn (more on that in a second…). Every card in the game has a perfect match pair.

If you have nothing in your hand that matches the center card, then you must draw cards until you have a matching card to play. You’ll play it, as normal once you’ve drawn a match.

Sneaky maneuvers

When it is not your turn and you see the perfect match in the center for a card that you have in your hand, you may play it on top of the center card as long as you get there first. Your card must be played on top of the perfect match and if the player whose turn it is gets there first with a different card, you must take your perfect match back into your hand. Playing off turn does not allow you to discard any additional cards.

If you successfully play a perfect match, turn order will continue to the next player after you, skipping everyone else whose turn it would have been.


If a player ever mistakenly plays a card that has zero matches and another player catches them in the act, they must draw a card. The card they played will stay in the center as the new center card.

Emptying your hand

If any player empties their hand first, they will win the round. Randomly select a card from the discard pile and place it face-down in front of the winner to track the number of wins. (Note that this removes a perfect match from the game for each round played!)

All players will discard the remainder of their cards and repeat the setup of the game (shuffle, deal, seed). Play continues until one player has won 3 rounds.

  • After the first round you’ll draw an additional card per round you’ve won. So, if you’ve won 2 rounds, you’ll draw 12 cards at the start of the round. Otherwise, the first player is the winner of the previous round.
One match: the picture.

One match: the picture.

Two matches: wallpaper & color. Discarded card is face-down.

Two matches: wallpaper & color. Discarded card is face-down.

Perfect match: decoration, wallpaper, & color. Two cards are discarded.

Perfect match: decoration, wallpaper, & color. Two cards are discarded.