Sleeping Queens Card Game – Rules and How to Play

Sleeping Queens Card Game – Rules and How to Play

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Sleeping Queens Card Game – A Royal Raucous for the Entire Family!

If you’re at a loss for a new game to play when the family’s stuck inside, look no further! Sleeping Queens, the medieval card game full of napping nobles, court jesters, dragons, and even sleeping potions will keep the entire family entertained! With over 1,800 five-star reviews on Amazon, this is a game for kids ages 8 to 88! Sleeping Queens combines memory, strategy and simple addition skills into a fun and interactive experience to wake up the sleepy nobles!

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The Origin of Sleeping Queens


If this game sounds like something straight out of a child’s imagination, that’s because it is! When counting sheep wasn’t working to help 6-year-old Miranda fall asleep, she thought up the game of Sleeping Queens and enlisted her sister and parents to help bring it to life. Since its invention in 2005, Sleeping Queens has delighted families across the globe with its whimsical game play as they try to be the first to wake all the napping nobles!


Contents of the Game


The Sleeping Queens game can be played with 2 – 5 players and has 79 cards in total. The cards include:

  • 12 Queens
  • 8 Kings
  • 5 Jesters
  • 4 Knights
  • 4 Sleeping Potions
  • 3 Wands
  • 3 Dragons
  • 4 of each number 1 through 10


The Object of the Sleeping Queens Card Game


The goal of the game is to be the first to collect 5 Queens or 50 points (if playing with 2-3 players), collect 4 Queens or 40 points (if playing with 4-5 players), or to have the most points when all the Queens have been awakened from their slumber.


How to Set Up the Game


To begin the game, separate the cards into two piles based on the colours on the back. Shuffle the 12 Queen cards (green back) and put them face down on the playing surface in four rows of three. When they’re face down they are sleeping. Shuffle the remaining cards (red back) and deal each player 5 cards, placing the rest face down in a draw pile in the middle of the Queens. Players can look at their own cards but be sure to keep them secret from opponents!


How to Play the Sleeping Queens Card Game


The player sitting to the left of the dealer goes first and play continues clockwise. On your turn, play a card from your hand and then draw another card. The cards in your hand can perform the following actions:


King: Putting down a King will wake up a Queen from her slumber! Put the King card face up on the discard pile next to the draw pile, and then choose a sleeping Queen. Put your Queen face up in front of you so everyone can see. If you pick up the Rose Queen, you get to wake up another Queen! 


Knight: Playing a Knight allows you to steal another player’s awakened Queen. Put the Knight face up on the discard pile, then choose any awakened Queen from another player and place it face up in front of you.


Dragon: Dragons are the protectors of awakened Queens! By playing a Dragon immediately after an opponent tries to steal your Queen with a Knight, you get to protect your awakened Queen. Both the Dragon and Knight cards are thrown away and each player draws another card. This doesn’t count as a turn for the Dragon player, and play continues clockwise from the Knight player.


Sleeping Potion: The Sleeping Potion card puts one of your opponents Queens right back to sleep. After you play this card you can choose an awakened Queen from another player and put it face down with the other sleeping Queens. For added strategy, remember the weight of the points that Queen carries!


Wand: Sleeping Potions are no match for the Wand! By playing the Wand right after another player puts down their Sleeping Potion, you get to keep your Queen wide awake! Both the Wand and Sleeping Potion cards are thrown away and each player picks another card. This does not count as a turn for the Wand player, and play continues clockwise from the Sleeping Potion player.


Jester: Jester is the Wild Joker of Sleeping Queens! If you play the Jester card, you get to flip the top card on the draw pile. If it is an action card (King, Knight, Dragon, Sleeping Potion, Wand, or Jester) you can add it to your hand and take another turn. If you flip a number card, starting with you and continuing to your left, count through the number of players equal to the number on the card. Whoever is the last player in the count gets to wake up a sleepy queen and keep the card!


Other Cards


The rest of the cards in the deck are number cards, and can be thrown away to pick new cards. You can do this in one of three ways per turn:


  1. Throw away one card of any kind and draw a new card;
  2. Throw away two identical number cards and pick up two cards;
  3. Throw away three or more number cards that make a simple math addition equation, and pick up the same amount of cards you threw away. An example of an equation: You have cards with the numbers 1, 2 and 3, so you can throw away all three cards since 1 + 2 = 3. Be sure to say your equation out loud to your opponents! Remember to always pick up enough cards from the pile so you have 5 cards in your hand at all times.


Special Powers


While sleeping they may look innocent, some of the queens have unique powers when they wake up:


Rose Queen: Once awakened, this Queen has the special ability to wake up one of her fellow Queens. If you wake up the Rose Queen, choose another sleeping Queen and place them both face up on the playing area.


Cat Queen and Dog Queen: Just like real cats and dogs, these two Queens just don’t get along! A player cannot hold both at the same time. If the player holds the Cat Queen and picks up the Dog Queen, or vice versa, they must replace the Queen face down and end their turn.


Crowning the Winner


The first player to have 5 Queens or 50 points worth of Queens (2—3 players), or 4 Queens or 40 points worth of Queens (4—5 players) wins the game. Points are counted by adding up the numbers on each awakened Queen. Alternately, play ends when there are no more Sleeping Queens left in the center and whoever has the most points wins.



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