Fifty-Two

Contributed by Justin Howlett

52 is a two player-card game using a standard 52-card deck without jokers, in which the objective is for the player to get the higher score with all five cards being in the same suit. It doesn't matter which suit you choose.

Scoring

In this game, an Ace is worth 1; Jack, Queen, and King are 11, and 2-10 are worth face value.

Rules

The two players are given five cards each. The cards must be on the table and facing up. The rest of the cards are divided into three smaller decks which are placed face down on the table. [So each face-down deck begins with 14 cards. It seems that stacking all the cards into a single drawing deck would make no real difference to the game. JMM]

The players take turns to draw and discard; the discards are piled in a single face up stack on the table.

Player 1 must pick up a card from one of the three decks, add it to his/her face up cards, and then discard any one of these six cards face up to start the discard pile.

Throughout the rest of the game, each player in turn has the choice of either picking up a card from one of the face-down decks or picking up the card that his/her opponent discarded. If you pick up from one of the three face-down decks you may discard the same card or keep it and discard one of your other cards. If you pick up the card that your opponent discarded, then you must keep it and get rid of another one of your own cards. In other words, a player cannot pick up his/her opponent's card and then put the same card back on the discard pile.

The game keeps going until all of the face-down cards have been used up or until a player gets a score of 52, the maximum possible score. Each player then scores the total value of the five cards in front of them, provided that they are all of the same suit. A player who has more than one suit scores nothing.