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Killer card night

Updated: Aug 19, 2023


Cards is a great way to spend the evening with family and friends. Easy to transport, endless varieties and quick to learn card games are a must for any family holiday. The following games have been long time favourites for our family.


Cheat


From 3 to 8 players (best 5-6) ages 8 and above. Cheat is a simple game that will have you trying to outwit and out lie your opponents. There is some interesting strategy as well. Deal out all the cards, all players look at their cards and arrange them in their hand as desired (usually from lowest to highest). Person left of the dealer begins and lays a card face down and says a number. Any person can challenge the person playing the card by calling 'Cheat". If the number is wrong then the person playing the card picks up all cards in the pile. If it is correct the person calling 'cheat' picks up all the cards. If Cheat has not been called then the next person must lay down a card either one higher or one lower then what was juts played. As they do they call out its value. Play continues until a "cheat" has been called. Person who is successful after the cheat call starts the next round with any card of their choice. Variation: You can play more then one card if they are the same. ie You could say three 4's. In which case you would need all three 4's to not be cheating. The person following is not required to play 3 cards but can play any number of cards they the choose as long as its value is one above or one below. The winner is the person who gets rid of all their cards first.


Emperor, scum


From 3 to 12 players ( best with 6-8). Use two decks when you have more then 6 players) Ages 10 and above. First round. Choose a dealer who deals out all cards. Cards must not be touched but left on the table. When ready the dealer calls out "Go" and everyone quickly gathers their cards and looks at them. The first player to place a a red 3 face up on the table, starts. Then proceeding clockwise each player must play a card that is higher then the one just played. It can be only one above or as high as you like. When a player can't go or does not wish to go, they call pass. They are not allowed to go again this round. Once everyone passes the player who played the highest card takes the pile and puts it to the side. Then they start with a new card of their choice. The order of the cards are 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q diamonds, hearts, clubs, K, A, 2, Q of spades. A player may start with more then one card if they have multiples of that number. ie Three 5's. In this case the person on their left must have 3 of a kind that is higher then 5's in order to go. If not they have to pass. When a player finishes all their cards they remember the order in which they finished. The player who finished first becomes the Emperor. Second player moves to sit on his left hand side and his 2nd Emperor. All other players are villages except the person who finished second last; they are 2nd Scum and the last player becomes Scum. For the next round, the Emperor will deal. He will call "Go" and all players search for the red 3. At which point play will stop while the Emperor gives his worst two cards to the Scum and the Scum gives their best two cards to the Emperor. Likewise the 2nd Emperor gives their worst card to 2nd Scum and 2nd Scum gives their best card to 2nd Emperor. Games objective is to work you way to Emperor and stay their. Variation: If you have 9 or more players you can introduce a 3rd Scum and 3rd Emperor and swap 3,2,1 best and worst cards with the emperors and Scum. Variation 2: You can play that the Emperor has to win each round or they automatically end up at Scum for the next round.


Up the River Down the River


From 2 to 6 players (best with 4). Ages 10 and above. This is a trick taking game that requires a pad and pen to keep score. Draw up columns for each player and down the left hand side write 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,6,5,4,3,2,1. For each of these numbers their will be an empty row to write in the players guess and score.

Cards

Player 1

Player 2

Player 3

Player 4

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

Totals

Players are dealt the number of cards each round as indicated by the score pad. ie First Round 1 card each. Second round 2 cards, etc. The dealer then turns over the top card of the pile which indicates the trump suit for that round. Players look at their cards and starting with the person left of the dealer they indicate how many tricks they think they are going to win this round. the dealer is the lst to indicate how many tricks they think they will win. They are not allowed to say a number that would take the total to the number of cards dealt. (Otherwise everyone could win). So for round 1, If player 1 guessed 1 trick and player two 0 tricks and player 3 0 tricks then the dealer would not be able to say 0. They would be forced to guess 1 trick.

Play proceeds with the player left of the dealer playing a card. Next person must follow suit. If they don't have the suit they can play a trump suit which will beat the original card. Once everyone has played the winner of the round takes the cards and puts them in a pile in front of them so as to remember how many rounds (tricks) they have won. That player then would lead off with the next card. When all cards are finished, each player adds up the number of tricks they have won. If they guessed correctly they get 10 points plus the number of tricks they took. ie. If they indicated 4 and took 4 they would get 14 points.

After the 13 rounds are complete add up all the scores and the player with the most points is the winner.

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