Continuing with my project to create a list of great games you can play for free, this post features another card game. Kemps combines the strategy of a more traditional card game with the fun of a team game and the opportunity to deceive your opponents with silly signals!
Number of players: 4
Playing time: 15 minutes
You will need:
- A standard deck of playing cards
Kemps is played between two teams of two people each. Each team member should sit across the table from their partner.
Four cards are dealt face down to each player and face up in the center of the table. There are no formal rounds in Kemps; instead players may, at any time, take any of the four cards in the center of the table and replace them with the same number of cards from their hand. The aim is to collect four of a kind (e.g. 4 sixes).
When a player thinks their partner has collected four of a kind, they should shout out ‘Kemps’. The current round then finishes and the cards of that player’s partner are revealed to check whether or not the call was correct. If the call was correct, that team gets a point. If the call was incorrect, the other team receives a point. Additionally, any player may also call ‘stop Kemps’ when he/she believes that either of their opponents has collected four of a kind. The current round finishes and both opponents reveal their cards. If the call was correct and one (or both) opponent(s) has four of a kind, the team who made the call gets a point. If the call was incorrect, the other team receives a point.
To assist in identifying when their partner has collected four of a kind, each team, prior to the game, should secretly agree upon a visual signal (e.g. winking or touching the nose). Signals should be subtle so as not to be too obvious. Also, to try to confuse their opponents, teams can agree upon false signals.
The winning team is the first to accumulate five points.
- If, at any point, players cease to exchange cards with the cards in the centre of the table, the dealer may discard those four cards and replace them with four more. If the end of the deck is reached. All cards are collected in, shuffled and re-dealt. Neither team scores a point for that round. A new round then begins.
- At the end of each round, teams may change the signal used to indicate four of a kind.
- One variation on the basic game described is to allow the opposing players, upon a successful call of ‘Kemps’, to guess the signal used to indicate four of a kind. If the guess is correct, no points are awarded to the team that successfully called ‘Kemps’.