Squirrels love nuts. I know they do because I've seen the little critters fighting over nuts, drooling over nuts, taking other animals hostage while demanding nuts as ransom. In short, they'll do almost anything for nuts – and since you are a squirrel in Nuts!, you must now be as equally nut-crazed.
To start the game, each player receives one nut card – which come in values 1-5, with a single 7 pointer – and five cards from the play deck. The play cards go in your hand, and the nut is placed face up on the table in front of you. Play cards come in four types:
• Grab cards let you grab a nut from another player's stash in various ways, for example, "Grab any one nut card worth 4 or less."
• Defense cards can prevent your nuts from being grabbed, e.g., "Stop someone from grabbing one of your nuts."
• Mayhem cards are bad things that can happen, e.g., "Choose two other players. They must both miss their next turn."
• Antics cards are ways that things do not go as planned when grabbing nuts, e.g., "Draw the top card of the nut deck and put it in your stash."
On a turn, you first reveal the top nut card and add it to your stash. Then you play one Grab, Mayhem or Antics card on another player; that player may play a Defend card to possibly prevent your action. Instead of playing a card, you can discard any number of cards from your hand, then draw replacements from the play deck. As soon as someone has more than 20 points worth of nuts, the game ends and this player wins.