Bong

Contributed by Scott Anthony who reports that it was invented by James Hayes in Reading, England in 2006.

Bong is a fast and active card game for 3 or more players. Players do not take turns but play as quickly as they can, the object being to get rid of all their cards. It is played with a standard international deck of 52 cards.

At the start of the game, one person is assigned the role of Dealer. The Dealer deals the whole pack one card at a time as equally as possible to the players, including himself, first dealing to the player immediately to direct left, then to that player's left and so on clockwise. Some players may have one more card than others - this does not matter.

Players must not look at their cards until the dealer has finished dealing. Once the dealer has finished, the players pick up at their cards (their hand) and begin to play. Any player who has a 2 can begin by putting it face up in the middle of the table to begin the play pile. Next some other player plays a 3 on top of the pile, then a 4 and so on. A King is followed by an Ace, which is followed by a 2 and so on. Suits do not matter in this game.

  • Throughout the game, there are no turns. Anyone who has an appropriate card may play it, but
  • The same player is not allowed to put down more than one card in succession. A player who has just played a card must wait for another player to put the next card down before being able to put another down himself.

If the game comes to a point when nobody can put down a card (because all the cards of the next rank are either in the hand of the person who just played or already in the play pile) then each of the other players - those who do not have a playable card - must call "fling". When all but one player has called "fling" (everyone but the player who put the last card down) the player who put the last card down calls "flong". The player who called "flong" must then flong the cards: this player picks up the play pile, shuffles it and deals them one at a time to the other players (but not himself), starting with the player to his left and continuing clockwise. Once the cards have been flonged, the game restarts with the player who called "flong" and with the card number that the game was flonged on.

The game continues like this until some player has only one card left. Once a player reaches this stage, he calls "bing" to the other players. The "bing" rule does not actually change the game in any way, but just makes it more fun.

Once that player puts his last card into the middle, he has won, and the game is over.

Basic Strategies

Although Bong seems like a game that the fastest player wins, there are some basic strategies that can be used. The way to win a game of Bong, is to fling the deck as often as possible. For example if a player has all the remaining 3s in his hand, that player should try to put down a 2, so as to force the other players into a fling. This is a very basic, yet effective way of turning the game to your favour. Also to avoid a fling, a player can note what cards he doesn't have, and try to play the next lower card. For example a player who has no 5s in his hand will try to put down a 4, so that the pile is not flonged to him. There are also strategies that can be used to empty one's hand quickly. Because a player cannot put down 2 cards in a row, one should try to prepare oneself for the following card, for example having played a 2, one can get ready to put down a 4 the 3 and a 6 after the 5 and so on. If you can see that a player is doing this, it is a good idea to stop them by getting ready the card that they will want to put down. This will prevent one player from emptying their hand very quickly.