Play some card games

By Drum Digital
08 April 2014

Why not play card games with the kids for a change? We remind you how some of the old favourites work.

CRAZY EIGHTS (suitable for 5 years and up)

1 Two players are each dealt seven cards. Three or four players are each dealt five cards.

2 The rest of the cards are placed face down in a draw pile, with the top card face up next to the pile to start the discard pile.

3 The player to the left of the dealer discards one card that matches the face-up card in number (for example, a five) or suit (hearts). If he doesn’t have a matching card, he must take a card from the draw pile until he gets one he can play immediately.

* An eight is a wild card and can be placed on either pile. An eight of spades could, for instance, be a match for any card; eg, seven of hearts.

4 The next player must discard a card that matches the new card face up on the discard pile by number or suit. If he can’t match the card he must draw the top facedown card on the stock pile.

5 The game continues until one player has discar­d­ed all his cards – he is the winner. If all cards have been used before the end of the game, the discard pile must be shuffled and used again.

OLD MAID (suitable for 5 years and up)

Use a standard deck of 52 cards and remove one queen so the deck has two queens in one colour and one in another (the Old Maid). The goal is to make pairs of matching numbers or suits and avoid ending up with the Old Maid card.

1 All cards are dealt face down to players. Some players will get more cards than others but this is fine. Each player arranges his cards in matching pairs according to the same number (eg fives) or suit (eg hearts). The other players are not allowed to see each others’ hands.

2 Matching pairs are placed face up on the table. If you have three matching cards, put down only two and keep the other. If you have four matching cards put down two pairs.

3 The player to the left of the dealer offers his hand face down to the player to his left. The player chooses a card from the hand he is offered. If it matches a card in his hand he can put the pair on the table. If not, he must keep it.

4 The game continues until all cards have been put down in pairs except the Old Maid, which does not have a match. The player with this card is the Old Maid and loses the game.

SNAP (suitable for 6 years and up)

Use two decks when there are more than three players.

1 The dealer deals the cards until none remains. Some players will have more cards than others. Each player must keep his cards face down in a pile so the other players cannot see them.

2 The player to the left of the dealer must take his top card and put it face up next to his pile.

3 The next player does the same. If a player runs out of face-down cards he must shuffle the pile of cards and put them in his face-down pile.

4 The game continues until a player puts down a card that is the same as the card on top of any of the face-up piles, such as two clubs or two sixes. The first player to see this must call out “Snap!”. That player wins both piles and adds them to the bottom of his face-down pile.

5 The next player must then turn over a card, and the game must continue as before until another match is made and a player calls out “Snap!”.

6 When two players call “Snap!” at the same time, combine the two piles into a face-up Snap Pot, with one of the matching cards on top.

7 Play should continue until a player turns over a card that matches the card on top of the Snap Pot.

8 The player who calls “Snap Pot!” first wins the Snap Pot pile and the new matching pile and adds it to his pile. If there’s another tie, the matching pile must be added to the Snap Pot.

9 If a player accidentally calls “Snap” he has two options: give each player a card from his face-down pile or add his entire face-down pile to the next snap pile.

10 Players are eliminated when they have no face-down or face-up cards. The player with all the cards is the winner.

RUMMY (suitable for 7 years and up)

The aim is to group your cards into melds and be the first to discard all your cards. A meld is a group of three or four cards (for example, three sixes) or a run (three or more successive cards in the same suit (for example, three, four, five and six of hearts).

1 The dealer shuffles the deck and deals the cards one at a time. When two play, each gets 10 cards. When three or four play, each gets seven cards. When five or six play, each gets six cards. Remaining cards are put face down in the middle of the table. This is the stock pile. The top card is turned face up and placed next to the stock pile. This is the first card in the discard pile.

2 Players group their cards in rank and suit without showi­­ng their hand to the other players.

3 The player to the left of the dealer starts. He takes the top card from the stock or discard pile, depen­ding on whether he wants the one on the discard pile or he would like to take a chance on an unknown card. If he has a meld he must put it face up on the table, then discard one card in his hand by putting it face up on the discard pile.

4 The game is played clockwise. The player taking a card from the stock or discard pile must make melds (if he can) and putting a card on the discard pile.

5 After one round, the player can add cards to melds belong­ing to other players; for example, he can add a queen to another player’s meld of three queens.

6 The first player with no cards wins the round. The winner of the game is the first to win five rounds.

-Joan van Zyl

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