Rules for the game of Ladder (a game we made up on the plane ride from the UK back to Nashville).

Before the Game

  1. Each player starts with 26 cards
  2. The two players choose who goes first (for the rest of these rules, the first player will be called player $A$ and the second player will be called player $B$)
  3. Before starting, either player can propose however many card swaps they would like (since both players’ hands are known to the other player)

First Round

  1. Player $A$ chooses 8 cards and player $B$ chooses 8 cards
  2. For each of their revealed card, player $A$ proposes a trade with a card that player $B$ has revealed
    • Player $B$ can either accept the trade, in which case the cards are swapped, or reject the trade
    • If the trade is rejected, player $B$ must propose another card which they would prefer over the proposed card. Player $B$ cannot propose a card which they have previously rejected
  3. Player $A$ continues to propose trades until there are no more trades that they would find favorable

Second Round

  1. Both players choose 8 new cards from their non-revealed cards
  2. The first round repeats, but with player $B$ proposing the trades, and player $A$ accepting or rejecting them

Final Round

  1. Of the remaining 10 unrevealed cards in both players hands, each player choooses 5 cards to pass to their opponent, and 5 to keep for themself


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