Continuing with my project to create a list of great games you can play for free, this post features a card game where it pays to cheat… or rather, cheat unchallenged.
Number of players: 3 – 10
Playing time: 20 minutes
You will need:
- A standard deck of playing cards
The cards are shuffled and dealt amongst players. Play progresses clockwise. On each player’s turn, they play face-down into a discard pile, any number of cards from their hand. When they do so, that player must announce the number of cards they are playing and a single value for all those cards. The first player to play must announce “Ace”, the second “2” and so on up up until “King”, followed by “Ace again. The catch of course is that players can lie about both the number of cards they are playing and the value of those cards. Indeed, players will be forced to do so if they do not have any cards of the value which they are forced to announce. If for example, if a player must announce 5s, they could play a 2, 3, 6 and 8 whilst announcing two 5s. Outrageous cheating, but allowed in this game!
Play continues in this manner until someone calls “cheat!”, which any player can do after a card/cards have been played. When cheat! is called, the cards just played are turned over. If the value and number of the cards played was as announced, the player who called cheat! must take all cards in the discard pile into their hand. If however, either the value or number of cards is different to what was announced, the person who played them must take all cards in the discard pile into their hand. Following a call of cheat!, play resumes to the left of the challenged player.
The winner is the first player to get rid of their hand.
– As a variation, allow players to announce any value that is of higher rank than what was announce by the previous player. Following a player announcing “King”, the next announcement can be of any rank.
– As another variation, allow players to announce the same rank or a rank one higher than the previous announcement.