Identity

A memory game contributed by Romain Tello

Players: 2 to 4 (ideally 4).

Object: to guess what is the card you have been dealt.

Setup: This game uses just 20 cards: all the Aces, Kings, Queens, Jacks and Tens from a standard deck. Deal one card to each player, with absolute interdiction to look at it. If there are fewer than 4 players, deal one or two cards aside, face-up and visible to all, so that the total number of cards dealt is 4. Place the remaining 16 cards face-down on the table as a 4x4 grid. Each player puts the card they've been dealt on their forehead, or standing behind an object, so that everyone can see what it is but themselves. So at this point all players can see the faces of three cards.

How to play: players in turn pick a face down card from the grid and turn it face up. If the revealed card is neither the same suit nor the same rank as the previous one, the previous card is turned face down. If a turned up card matches the previous card in suit or rank, the previous card remains face up for the rest of the game.

Example: the following cards are turned up: diamondJ, heartK , clubK, club10, heartJ. In this sequence, the diamondJ is turned down when the heartK appears, and the club10 is turned down when the heartJ appears. There are now three face up cards: the heartK and clubK will remain face up until the end of the play, but the heartJ will be turned face down unless the next card is a Heart or a Jack.

Note that a player may use a turn to reveal again a card which has been turned face up before.

As soon as a player thinks he knows what his own card is, he may submit an answer (each player may submit an answer only once). The game continues until only one player remains; who hasn't given an answer. Players then look at their own cards to check their answers. Each player who has guessed right gains points equal to the number of players who still hadn't given an answer at the time they did. So if everyone's got it right, the first player should gain 3 points, the second 2 and the third 1.

End of the game: a round may be played up to 10 points.

Variation: players who have perfect memories will of course know their cards as soon as all 16 cards in the layout have been revealed. Experienced players may increase the size of the pack and the grid to raise the challenge; but fpor most people the standard 20-card game is already tricky.