Continuing with my project to create a list of great games you can play for free, this post features a simple card game for two to four players.
Number of players: 2 – 4
Playing time: 15 minutes
You will need:
- A standard deck of playing cards
The cards are shuffled and half are dealt amongst all players. If there are two players, each gets twelve cards. If there are three players, each gets eight cards. If there are four players, each gets six cards. From the remaining twenty-four cards, four are turned face-up in the centre of the table. The remaining cards form a face-down deck in the centre of the table.
The aim of the game is to capture cards from the centre if the table. Cards are captured as follows. Cards valued 1 (ace) to 9 are captured by the card whose value brings the total to 10. For example, a 1 captures a 9 and a 7 captures a 3. 10s, Jacks, Queens and Kings are captured by cards of the same rank. For example, a Queen captures another Queen.
On each players turn, they play one card from their hand. If possible, that card captures a card from the centre of the table (a card can only capture one card). Upon capturing a card, that player keeps both cards (the card played and the card captured), placing them face-down in front of them. If the card played was not able to capture a card, it is left face-up in the centre of the table. Cards added to the centre of the table in this manner are available to be captured by any player in subsequent turns.
Following playing a card from their hand (whether it captures or not), that player then flips over the top card of the deck. If able, it captures one of the face-up cards and both are kept by that player. If not able to capture, it is added to the face-up cards.
Following each player’s turn, play progresses clockwise to the next player. If played correctly, the last remaining card in the deck will be able to capture the last face-up card. Once this happens, the game ends.
Players then score points from the cards they have won based upon the following:
- Red cards (hearts and diamonds) ranked 2 – 9 score their face value.
- Red cards ranked 9 – King score ten points each.
- Red aces (1s) score 20 points each.
- If three or four players are playing, the Ace of spades score 30 points.
- If exactly four players are playing, the Ace of clubs scores 40 points.
The difference between the average score (105, 80 and 70 with two, three and four players respectively) and each players score is the amount by which that player wins or looses by.
Note, if the initial four face-down cards contain three kings, three queens, three jacks, three tens or three fives; the fourth card of that rank captures all three of these cards. If the initial four face-down cards consist of four kings, four queens, four jacks, four tens or four fives; they are won by the dealer (or shuffled back into the deck before four more cards are turned face up).