Part of the series: Culture-Games

2023: The Year of Ulti

We are now fifteen days into the year of Ulti.

For the calendar year, we will play and discuss Ulti to the near-exclusion of other card games. The point, at the highest level, is twofold:

  1. To inject into English-speaking a culture a new, credible alternative to bridge;
  2. In my personal games-playing, to go deep rather than broad: to develop expertise and intimate knowledge of a single game rather than trying out many as they strike my fancy.

Here are some things I’ve been doing thus far:

  1. Playing regularly against the (surprisingly good) bots on Ultistars.
  2. Fomenting enthusiasm among my online group of card nerds.
  3. Playing online with my personal Ulti expert and real-live Hungarian, Róbert, in games he organizes through the London Card Games Meetup.
  4. Playing biweekly in my in-person game in Brooklyn.
  5. Issuing Abbreviated Ulti Reports on Mastodon.
  6. Collecting resources at Ulti Notes.

Resources, roughly, fall into two groups:

  1. Reference materials and player aids;
  2. Strategy.

As for the strategy—while some of it is coming out of my own insight and conversations with fellow players, most of it is coming from the existing body of knowledge in Hungarian. My primary source, right now, is József Pais’ Kártya.hu (titles aside, it’s a book, not a website), which I’ve been slowly translating on DeepL, which involves a fair bit of editing, interpretation, and consultation with Róbert.


In the future, there are all sorts of quixotic things we can try:

  • Streaming online play on Twitch;
  • Making podcasts;
  • Learning Hungarian.

Want to participate in 2023: The Year of Ulti?

Of course you do. If you’d like to play with me, in person or online, drop me a line:

If you want to learn the rules:

If you want to play by yourself, I like Ultistars. The interface is bonkers, and happens to also be entirely in Hungarian. Some resources to get started:

There’s also an Android app, which I haven’t tried out yet.

If the insanity of Ultistars is too much for you, Jonathan Kandell has created a playingcards.io room, which is a little more barebones and doesn’t have any bots.

If you want to talk about it with people online: