The players are dealt eight cards. During this initial deal, one player is assigned the role of terrorist. There are twenty-four rounds of gameplay. Each round tells the players which suit must be played in order to win the trick. The Jack Bauer Card is wild and wins any trick. A player who wins a trick must either draw and keep two cards or draw and follow the instructions from the top card of the Action Deck.
The terrorist wins the game by not being eliminated and having the most points or by eliminating all the other players. Any other player can win by eliminating the terrorist or by having the most points.
The 24 Countdown Game is based upon the popular Fox TV show "24".