Royalty Word Game Rules

Card Word Game

Created and produced by S. J. Miller Co., Inc. USA.
All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 1959, 1961 by
S. J. Miller Co., Inc., P.O. Box 130, Coney Station, Brooklyn 24. New York


Royalty is a word game for gaming experts from nine to ninety. It can be played by 2, 3, 4 or more players (also as a solitaire).

The object of the game is to form words and build-on words that offer the highest scoring values from allotted letters and colors. The player or team who scores the most points when the pack is exhausted and all possible plays have been made wins the game.

Royalty Set


A single or double pack may be used as each pack is complete. A double pack lends for a more interesting two-handed game and is necessary for three or more players. Participants draw cards and the letter nearest to "Z" wins the first play and the deal. The player on his left is next to play. Seven cards are dealt one a time face-down to each player. The remainder of the pack is placed in the center of the table.

The Encounter

  1. The first player must form a word of three or more letters. He places his combination or "MELD" in front of him vertically so the other players may easily see the word. He announces his score then draws enough cards from the pack to restore his hand to seven cards.
  2. Thereafter each player in turn may MELD a word of any length. Each player may also capture or "CROWN" any exposed word by adding one or more letters to the top or bottom or both ends of a word thereby forming a new word. CROWNS must change all basic meanings of the original word. Example: "EAR" could become "DEAR" or "EARTH" or "YEARNING" but could not become "EARS" or "EARRING" etc. The word is then placed in front of capturer who receives credit for the entire word. No more than one CROWN and one MELD may be played at a single turn. Score is announced and hand restored to seven cards.
  3. Any player may PASS his turn or TRADE any amount of cards for an equal amount. The cards to be exchanged are placed at the bottom of the pack which must contain a minimum, of seven cards and be reshuffled after the exchange, Trading cards constitutes an automatic PASS.
  4. A player may not build-on his own words. When he starts his turn. he puts his former words face-down into his discard pile or "DOMAIN" and proceeds to: (a) CROWN – Build-on one word. (b) MELD – Form one word from hand. (c) CROWN and MELD. (d) TRADE – Exchange cards for new ones. (e) PASS – Surrender turn to play.
  5. Any player may CHALLENGE a word before replacement of cards is completed. All words in a standard dictionary are permitted with these exceptions: capitalizations. abbreviations, foreign words and words requiring hyphens or apostrophes. If challenger proves correct, player loses his turn and all cards are returned to their original position. If challenger is incorrect, he misses his next turn.
  6. The "KNAVE" is the unlettered card. It is a "wild" card and may be used as any letter and color by any player as long as it is exposed on the table. It has no score value.
  7. When the deck is exhausted, the game continues without drawing cards. A MELD must be at least three letters and a player who once PASSES must continue to PASS. If a player then plays all his cards, all others must surrender their cards to him and the score values of their cards goes to his credit. If all the players PASS, remaining values are deducted from their scores, and the number of cards held are deducted from their DOMAINS (discard piles).

The Tally

The number besides the letter indicates its score value. Scores earned are recorded and a continuous
total is kept. A 20-point bonus is awarded the player or team with the most discards in his or their
DOMAIN – if tied, each receives 10-points. The highest number of points after the pack is
exhausted and all possible plays have been made wins the game. The FIRST WORD PLAYED is awarded
double value. Thereafter, only single values are scored unless a player earns a ROYALTY (premium value).


  • A MELD of four or more letters all one color – red or black – double value. (Junior players may qualify with three or more letters all one color.)
  • A MELD of five or more letters all one color on the First Play – quadruple value.
  • A CROWN with four or more letters all one color added to any word – double value.
  • All Seven Cards played at a single turn – double value. A ROYALTY within a Seven Card Play is doubled before final score for that play is doubled.
  • A MELD of the word: R-O-Y-A-L-T-Y automatically doubles player's total score at the conclusion of game.

Advanced Play

Advanced Play follows the same ground rules as regular play but permits CROWNS to be secured by
rearranging letters to any desired sequence. Example: "READ" could become: "AIRED" or "BREAD" or
"DREAM" or "REARRANGED" etc. The player must add at least one letter to the word and a player who
TRADES his cards must draw an entire new hand.


Coalitions are partnerships and are chosen by agreement or selection of the cards (two high and two
low are partners). Partners sit opposite each other and pool their scores, They attempt to MELD and
CROWN to mutual advantage but may not exchange cards or engage in "table talk."


Monarchy is solitaire. Since there are multitude of solitaire games that may be applied to ROYALTY,
we list but one and leave you to your own devices. Cards are shuffled. The first 25 cards are dealt
face-up, one at a time, and arranged into columns of red and black. The object is to form ROYALTIES
– a minimum of 4-1etter words all one color or a 7-lettered word of mixed colors – and
remain with no unused cards. The player may rearrange the words as often as desired but may not add
more cards.


Joust is a variation for two players. No score keeping is necessary as cards are placed directly into
player's DOMAIN (discard pile) and are totaled at completion of game. The most discards in DOMAIN
receives a 10-point bonus Cards are shuffled. Seven piles each containing seven cards are dealt
face-down in a horizontal row. (14-cards, if a double pack is used.) Players choose for first play
with remaining cards which are put aside. Letter nearest "Z" goes first. The top card in each pile
is turned up and the first player attempts to form a word from the exposed cards. He shows his word
and puts it into his DOMAIN. If the word formed is a ROYALTY – four or more letters all one color
or a seven lettered word – the player goes again. Otherwise, the next player goes and turns up
the cards that are faced-down and repeats the above procedure. If a player PASSES, next player may
form a word on his opponent's turn then go on to his own turn. If both players PASS consecutively,
the game is declared over and the points are tallied. The highest number of points wins the game.

Each Pack Is Composed Of 53 Cards:

A: 3 red 2 black
B: 1 black
C: 1 red
D: 1 red 1 black
E: 3 red 3 black
F: 1 black
G: 1 red 1 black
H: 1 red
I: 2 red 2 black
J: 1 black
K: 1 red
L: 1 red 1 black
M: 1 black
N: 2 red 1 black
O: 2 red 2 black
P: 1 black
Q: 1 red
R: 1 red 2 black
S: 1 red
T: 1 red 2 black
U: 1 red 1 black
V: 1 red
W: 1 black
X: 1 red
Y: 1 red 1 black
Z: 1 black
KNAVE: 1 red/black

The deck with the light blue emblem contains the above distribution. The deck with the dark blue
emblem contains the reversed distribution, that is, instead of A: 3 red 2 black . . . Z: 1 black –
it has A: 2 red 3 black . . . Z: 1 red.

Sample Royalty Cards
Royalty Cards


  • These rules were OCR'd from a vintage game, and are provided as an educational resource for players, researchers, and students of the game. Any grammatical or typographical errors are an artifact of this process, and should not be attributed to the original document. © 1959, 1961 by S. J. Miller Co., Inc.
  • To purchase Royalty cards, visit our Royalty page.

Vintage Royalty Games on eBay

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Last Update: August 4th, 2011