Blades of Steel

A hockey game with cards designed by Craig Bednar

Players: 2

Materials: standard 52-card pack (no jokers)

Object: Score the most goals before the deck runs out.

Cards: Aces are high, twos low. Red cards (hearts and diamonds) are used for offence and black cards (clubs and spades) are used for defence.

Face-off: Cut to determine who plays first, high cut wins, cut again for ties.

Setup: The loser of the cut deals six cards to each player. Place the rest of the cards in a face down pile in the middle of the playing area. Discarded cards will be placed next to this pile.

Game play: At the start of their turn, a player draws cards until they have six cards in their hand. For their turn a player must perform one of the following actions:

  • Stack their defence by placing one, two or three black cards face down in front of them. If they already had defence cards here those cards are discarded and replaced by the new defence. Players may only ever have a maximum of three defence cards face down.
  • Go for a goal by playing two or three red cards. The opposing player can block the goal by playing a better defence, either by revealing face down defence cards or by playing new defence cards from hand. If the opponent does not play an adequate defence, a goal is scored. If the goal is blocked, both defence and offence cards are discarded. If the goal is scored, the scoring player places the red cards they used in a pile face up to show that they have scored a goal.
  • Change their lines by discarding all six cards in their hand. Players should remember that they will not draw new cards until the start of their next turn. Only stacked defence would be left for the player to block a shot.

Scoring goals: A goal is scored unless the defence plays a higher combination of cards than the offence. Defence can be played from stacked defence cards or from the players hand but not a combination of the two. The higher level play wins, on the same level the higher ranking card wins. In the case of ties, defence wins and no goal is scored.

Offence levels:Defence levels:
High card: Any 3 red cards.High card: Any 3 black cards.
3 card flush: 3 red cards of same suit.3 card flush: 3 black cards of same suit.
One-timer: 2 red cards of same rank.Star defence: 2 black cards of same rank.
Breakaway: Red ace + card of same suit.     Star goalie: 1 black ace.
The Great One: 2 red nines.(the Great One is an automatic goal)

When the deck runs out the game is over. For tied games, play again with first goal wins.