Perpetual Commotion: Easy Instructions for How To Play & Win

A game of Perpetual Commotion being played by a large group.

Perpetual Commotion is a fun, fast-paced card game that is similar to Dutch Blitz.

If you like playing Solitaire, but would love to play with other people, you will probably enjoy Perpetual Commotion!

How do you play Perpetual Commotion? The object of Perpetual Commotion is to play as many cards as you can from your deck to the center piles. The player who runs out of cards in their Feeders pile and calls “Out” first wins that round, and whoever gets to 150 points first wins the game.

This article will teach you how to play the game of Perpetual Commotion as well as game strategies and tips for winning. 

Perpetual Commotion
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Perpetual Commotion at a Glance

Perpetual Commotion is a card-shedding game in which speed is the essence.

  • Number of players: 2-6 people can play Perpetual Commotion. More than 6 can play with a Perpetual Commotion Expansion Pack.
  • Deck: Perpetual Commotion comes with 6 decks of cards.
  • Object of the game: The object of Perpetual Commotion is to get rid of all of the cards in your Feeders pile.
  • Winning the game: The first person to get to 150 points wins the game.

Terms To Know

In Perpetual Commotion players are working to get rid of their cards by playing them from their Front Five and Playmakers into the Arena Piles.

Arena

The central playing area is called the Arena.

Front Five

The Front Five are the 5 cards that each player keeps in front of them throughout each round.

Feeders Pile

The Feeders Pile is a stack of 13 cards that is used to replenish the Front Five. 

Playmakers

The Playmakers are flipped over 3 at a time to find cards to play in the Arena Piles.

Arena Piles

The Arena Piles are where all players play their cards. Cards played on the Arena Piles must match the color of the Number 2 card that is played on top of the Start Card. 

Start and Stop Cards

Start Cards are wild and are the first cards in the Arena Piles. A 2 of any color can be played on top of a Start Card. Stop Cards end the Arena Piles. 

Setting Up the Game

Perpetual Commotion comes with 6 decks of cards, including 4 different-colored decks (red, blue, yellow, and green) of cards numbered 2-12, a deck of 4 Start Cards, and a deck of 4 Stop Cards.

The game also comes with 1 Bonus Scoring information card, 2 replacement cards, and an 8-sided die. 

Each player gets their own deck of cards and shuffles it. They then simultaneously pass their deck to the person on their left, creating the “starting circle.”

One player is chosen to say “Go!” This signals the beginning of the round. In subsequent rounds, the player who called “Out” is who signals the beginning of the next round.

Perpetual Commotion Rules

Playing With One Hand

Players can only play 1 card at a time. If they want to play 2 cards in a row, they must lay the first card down and then use the same hand to place their second card. 

No Time-Outs

Players will have to sort out who laid a card first and clean up messy piles as game play continues: there are no breaks during a round.

No Looking at the Playmakers

Players can’t search through their Playmakers Pile. They can only play the top card of the 3 flipped-over cards, and if they can’t make a play, then they have to flip over 3 more cards. 

How To Play Perpetual Commotion

To start the round, each player flips the top 5 cards from their deck so that they are face up in front of them. These 5 cards are known as the Front Five.

Each player then counts out 13 cards and places them in a stack face down to the right of their Front Five. This stack is called the Feeders pile.

The remainder of the cards make up each player’s Playmakers pile and is placed to the left of the Front Five.

There are no turns in Perpetual Commotion; all players play at the same time. Players play all of their cards on the Arena Piles in the center of the game area, which is called the Arena.

Each of the Arena Piles begins with a Start Card. 

If any player has a Start Card in their Front Five, they play it in the Arena to start an Arena Pile.

If no players have a Start Card in their Front Five, players then go through their Playmakers deck 3 at a time until a Start Card is found. 

After a Start Card has been played, any player can play a Number 2 card of any color on top of the Start Card.

Players can continue to play cards of matching colors in ascending sequential order until the Number 12 card is played. After the Number 12 card is played, the Stop Card can be played. 

Players play cards from their Front Five first. When a Front Five card is played in the center, the top card from the Feeders pile takes its place in the Front Five. 

If any player is unable to play a card from their Front Five, they move on to their Playmakers pile. The player flips 3 cards from their Playmakers pile face up.

If they can play the top card into the center piles, they can then move on and play the second card from the stack of 3, then the third. 

If the top card from the stack of 3 cannot be played on any of the center piles, then the player flips over 3 more cards from their Playmakers pile.

Once all of the cards from the Playmakers pile have been flipped face up, the player turns them face down again and moves the top card to the bottom of the pile.

Once a player runs out of cards in their Feeders pile, they yell “Out!” and game play stops immediately.

If the player who runs out of cards in their Feeders pile first still wants to work to accumulate points, they can delay calling “Out” until they are ready to stop the round or until another player’s Feeders pile runs out and they yell “Out.”

Scoring and Winning the Round

Once a player has yelled “Out” and ended the round, each player counts the cards left in their individual Feeders piles.

If any player has less than 5 cards in their Front Five, they can pull cards from their Feeders piles to make up the rest of the Front Five before counting the remaining cards in their Feeders pile. 

Each card left in a player’s Feeders pile is worth negative 2 points. The player that called “Out” gets 5 bonus points. All players then set aside the cards from their Front Five and Feeders piles.

Players then sort the cards from the Arena Piles according to color. Each player gets 1 point per card that they played in the Arena Piles.

Whichever player makes it to 150 points first wins the game. 

Bonus Scoring

There is a chance for bonus scoring during every round except for the first round.

Before each round, the person who called “Out” during the previous round rolls a die, and players can get (or lose) points based on whatever number is rolled. 

  • If a 1, 3, 5, or 7 is rolled, then there is no bonus scoring for that round.
  • If a 2 is rolled, then whoever calls “Out” gets 10 points instead of 5.
  • If a 4 is rolled, then your score for that round is multiplied by 2.
  • If a 6 is rolled, then whoever calls “out” gets 20 points instead of 5.
  • If an 8 is rolled, then the player who rolled the die loses 10 points from their score.

After the die is rolled, players write down their points, shuffle their cards, and start the next round.

What To Do When No Plays Can Be Made

If no plays can be made, each player can add a sixth card to their Front Five.

In order to end a round, a player’s Front Five must be played back down to 5 cards and they must have an empty Feeders Pile. 

Game Strategies & Tips for Perpetual Commotion

You should try to play as many cards as you can into the Arena, while getting rid of cards in your Feeders Pile as quickly as possible to avoid being penalized or having cards leftover. 

Younger players can have a smaller Feeders Pile for ease of play. 

For even more fun, add a Perpetual Commotion Expansion Pack to allow for two additional players.

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Conclusion 

Perpetual Commotion is a fun card game that can be played with just 2 people or with 6 or more. A Perpetual Commotion Expansion Pack allows for game play for up to 10 people.

Image credit: All Saints Episcopal Church

Last update on 2022-09-25 at 08:49 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Cara

Cara

I am a writer and an artist taking opportunities every day to transform my dreams into reality. I love learning new things and am always creating and innovating. I worked as an Art Instructor, teaching painting and art techniques to artists of all levels and ages. I have hosted countless paint parties and taught children’s art classes both in my home as well as an art teacher at a Montessori school.