You have an invitation at 5 p.m. at the Mad Hatter’s garden. The table is ready, the cookies taste like buttery heaven, and the tea is strong and spicy. "More sugar?" asks the Mad Hatter, giving you a bizarre look.
"Time's up!" he yells, interrupting you. Sugar, cookies, and millions of hats fly everywhere. Tea spills all over the tablecloth as he proceeds with a huge smile on his face. "It's time to play a game."
In Hats, two to four players compete to acquire the most outstanding hats by exchanging cards in hand with cards on the tea table board. Each card exchange influences how each hat is scored. Naturally, at the end of the game, the player with the highest score will be declared the maddest!
To play, everyone draws nine cards. You take your turn by performing one of the following two actions:
Exchange hats — Play a single card from your hand face up and exchange it with one of the same type (color) from the tea table board or exchange it for a card of any type but of a lower value. Add the card exchanged from the tea table board to your collection by placing it face up in front of you.
Create a black hat — Play a single card face down in front of you to add it to your collection as a black hat. Each black hat in a player's collection at game's end is worth 1 point.
Optional action: At any time during your turn, you may discard a single card of your choice to draw a new one from the draw deck. In a four-player game, players will exchange cards with their teammates.
END GAME SCORING
Hat Collection: Players earn points for the hat cards in their collection based on the position of the matching type on the tea table board. If two or more hat cards on the tea table board are of the same type, find the hat card of that type with the lowest position on the tea table board and keep it face up, while turning all other cards of that type face down.
Favorite Hat: Each player reveals the final card in their hand as their "favorite hat" type. Players gain points equal to the sum of all cards in their collection that match the type of their "favorite hat" minus the value of the final card in their hand.
The Last Cookie: There is only one cookie left at the table. Players compete for the cookie by having the most different types of hat cards in their collection. Black hats count as a type. During the game, pass the cookie to the player who has the most different types of hat cards. The chocolate chip cookie is worth five points at the end of the game.