Continuing with my project to create a list of great games you can play for free, this post features a card game that I first played whilst on a conservation trip in Wales. What makes the game fun is the relative social status it infers on the players; allowing those of higher status to take the best cards from those of lower status. Very unfair, but very funny!
Number of players: 4 – 7
Playing time: 30 minutes
You will need:
- A standard deck of playing cards
To begin each deal, the player holding the 2 of clubs leads (but not necessarily with that card). Thereafter, play progresses clockwise. On the first player’s turn, that player may play into the centre of the table one, two, three or four cards of the same rank. The next player can either pass (playing no cards), or play into the centre the same number of cards previously played. All cards played must be of the same rank as each other and must be at least as high in rank as those played previously. For example, if the first player plays into the centre two 10s, the next player can only legally play two 10s, Jacks, Queens, Kings or Aces. If they play two Aces, the player can only legally play two more Aces.
The round ends when the turn reaches the player who last played cards into the centre of the table (i.e. everyone else passes). That player may not play again that round. Instead they remove all played cards from the centre of the table, before starting a new round by playing one, two, three or four cards of a single rank.
When a player has run out of cards, they do not take any further part in that deal and when it would be their turn, play skips onto the next player. The deal finishes when all but one player has run out of cards. The first player to run out of cards is designated the ‘President’ for the next deal, the second to run out of cards is designated the ‘Vice President’, the last to run out of cards the ‘Vice Bum’ and the player who still has at least one card remaining the ‘Bum’. The President scores two points and the Vice President scores one point. The Bum is then responsible for the collection, shuffling and dealing of all cards for the next deal. Prior to play for the next deal beginning, the Bum must exchange their two highest cards for two of the Presidents cards (of the Presidents choosing). The Vice Bum must also exchange their highest card for one of the Vice Presidents cards (of the Vice Presidents choosing). The deal progresses as before.
Play continues until one player achieves a pre-defined score (suggested to be at least eleven points). That player is declared the winner.
– Alternatively, play for a set number of rounds. The player who, after the last round, is the President, wins the game.