Yes, we acknowledge that the rules seem long. The illustrations in there make them look long. But they're not difficult! Really!
To demonstrate that the game is easy to grasp (provided that you're at least somewhat familiar with baseball), here's an overview of how it works:
- Take the two extra cards out of the deck -- the dedication card and the Offensive Hitting Chart card. You'll have 78 left -- that's your standard tarot deck.
- Separate the deck by taking out the 22 Major Arcana cards. These will be the defensive cards used by both teams throughout the game.
- Take the remaining 56 Minor Arcana (suit) cards, give them a thorough shuffle and deal them out to each of the two players. These 28 cards will be each team's offensive cards for the game. Don't look at what they are until the game's over, though.
- The home team takes the field by shuffling the defensive deck, holding it face-down, then turning over the top nine cards one at a time, and placing them in the field at these positions and in this order.
- The visiting team shuffles his/her offensive cards before coming to bat for the inning, then does not shuffle it any more until the next inning. The top card is taken and turned over, so that it lies face-up next to the catcher card. That's the first at-bat.
- If you haven't memorized it (and memorizing it is easier than it sounds), the Offensive Card Hitting Chart (or the card you took out of the deck in the first step) is then consulted to see what the result of the at-bat is.
- At the end of each inning, the team that was just retired gathers up the cards that came up -- any runners left on base, those that scored, those that made outs -- and adds them back to the rest of his/her offensive deck. The same player then gathers ALL the defensives cards, gives them a healthy shuffle and takes the field.
- Baseball rules apply, so three outs to an inning, nine innings to a game, etc.
There. See? It's a cinch.