Seeker of Maps

Frequently Asked Questions

I lost my Rowboat Rules. Can I get another copy?
Absolutely! Just Contact Us and we’ll send you another copy of the Rules.

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How do I determine who deals first?
Each player blindly picks a card from the deck. Whoever picks the lowest card deals the first hand.

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How is the dealer determined from hand to hand?
The dealer rotates clockwise each hand, regardless of the outcome of the previous hand.

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How do I bid?
Bidding takes time and practice. Before you bid, chart a course for yourself, and decide when you will play each card in your hand. Don’t forget to look for knobs. Knobs guarantee you a win for that round, unless someone plays their Rowboat. Look at the cards you have for each round and decide which ones you think will win. Remember, if the Tide is high, you will likely need a strong card to win. If the Tide is low, you have a better chance of winning with a weaker card.

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Do I have to save cards, in order to follow suit in a future round?
No, if you are void of trump for the current round, you may play anything, including cards that are trump in future rounds. (For the lone exception related to this rule, see “Married to the Knob” in the instruction dock.)

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What is a “Seeker”?
A Seeker is a man of the sea, in search of something. The Seeker of Maps seeks treasure with a map, The Seeker of Shells seeks shells on a beach, The Seeker of Oars seeks adventure on the high seas, and the Seeker of Waves seeks gnarly waves on a surfboard.

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How long does it take to play a game of Rowboat?
Rowboat is like baseball. There is no time limit on a game. As Yogi Berra once said, “it ain’t over til it’s over”. An average game of Rowboat takes about 2 hours, and is over in less than 10 hands. A short game of Rowboat can take about an hour, and is over in less than 7 hands. A long game of Rowboat might take around 3 hours, and is at least 10 hands. A marathon might span multiple days, covering at least 20 hands. If you find yourself in a rare marathon, feel free to leave the game and come back to it at a later time. The longest game ever recorded was 52 hands, and it was scattered over the course of 3 days.

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Is an off-colored knob considered a trump card?
No. Off-colored knobs lose to the trump suit, but beat other non-trump cards. They are not considered trump cards.

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What if there is more than one tie in a row?
Play continues until someone wins a round. That player then collects every tied round, in addition to the round he won. If the last round of the hand is a tie, then nobody wins the tied rounds.

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When revealing the Tide, is there a specific way I should lay the cards out?
It does not matter, as long as each card is visible and the order from start to finish is clear to all players. The simplest layout is in rows from left to right, but if you want to get creative, have fun with it.

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What is a non-trump suit?
A non-trump suit is any suit other than the trump suit.

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Can a player capsize and win on the same hand?
The short answer is no. You do not receive credit for passing 200 before the 100 points are deducted. There is one extremely rare exception to this rule. If a player’s bid takes them to 300 points or more before the 100 points are deducted, and they are left with 200 points or more after the capsize, then they are eligible for a victory. This would require a tie score with both players well over 200 before the bid, OR a bid of 11 at a score of 190/4. To our knowledge, this has never happened.

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Can I capsize twice on the same hand?
Yes, you lose 100 points for every 5 bags. For example, if you have 4 bags going into a hand, and you receive 6 bags, then you would have a total of 10 bags. This results in a loss of 200 points.

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How long do I have to call out a misplay?
Once there is clear evidence of a misplay from an opponent, you can call it out until you play a card of your own. Once you have played a card, you can no longer call out a misplay.

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If I get a big enough lead, can I win the game without reaching a score of 200 points?
Your opponent has the right to forfeit at any time. If you can convince your opponent to forfeit, then it is possible. Otherwise, you need 200 points for a win.

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Can I play Rowboat with more than 4 people?
You would need additional specialty cards (unless you have 6 players). You can try this, but the more people you play with, the smaller high tide gets. 5 player Rowboat would require a high tide of 8 cards. 6 players would require a high tide of 7 cards. 7 players would require a high tide of 6 cards. 8-9 players would require a high tide of 5 cards. We would not recommend trying Rowboat with more than 9 people. For 5 players, play to 100. For 6 players, use pairs and play to 150. For 7 players, play to 50. For 8 players, use pairs and play to 100. For 9 players, play to 50.

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If you do not see your question here, then it is probably in the rules. If you cannot find it in the rules, send us an e-mail, and we’ll answer it.

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