A family of games contributed by James aka. QSquared
Q Squared Joe (also known in the abbreviated name of Q2J, or Q2J) was created in 2005 at Harbord Collegiate Institute and has been played in various places in and around Toronto, Ontario. It can be played with two to ten players, and one standard 52-card pack is used. In its basic form it is a shedding type card game, where the object of the game is to get rid of all your cards by discarding your cards one at a time onto a discard pile, according to set rules that are slightly reminiscent of Crazy Eights.
This consists of four simple rules which determine which cards can be played on which. Cards are ranked in value as follows: K (highest) Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 A (lowest). There is no ranking among suits. Using these ranks, the following rules show which cards are "stronger" than others. When adding a card to the top of a pile, only a card that is "stronger" than the current top card can be played.
Two to ten players may play. Five cards are dealt to each player one at a time face down, except for each player's fifth card which is dealt face up. The rest of the deck is placed face down at the center of the table to form the stock. The person with the highest face-up card value (regardless of strength) goes first. In case of a tie, the second card is turned over for players involved, and the new cards are judged by value, and so on. All face up cards are then turned face down, and added to each player's hand. The top card of the stock is then turned up to start the discard pile.
In turn, players must discard a stronger card than the card on the top of discard pile onto the discard pile based on the Q Squared Joe concept. When adding a card of equal strength, the consequence is that a card must be drawn from the stock and added to the player's hand. In addition, two other rules have been added.
If a player cannot play a card, or if one wishes not to play a card, he/she must draw a card from the stock. If the stock has run out, the discard pile is turned over and shuffled to start a new stock.
The first player to successfully discard his/her entire hand into the discard pile is considered the winner. However, many games are played with multiple rounds with the last player remaining from each game being eliminated from the next round. This happens until one player remains, and is declared the winner.
Several other games using the Q2J concept have been created to suit the preferences of various players.
This was the original version of Q Squared Joe, but is still played as a simple versionfor newcomers. In this version, only the Q Squared Joe concept applies, and not the Q Squared and Joe rules.
This version of Q Squared Joe requires less luck and more skill. All the standard rules apply, and a new rule is added. All players' hands are presented face-up, and must remain face-up for the other players to see. This allows for more strategy and thinking in advance.
A less popular version of Q2J that can only be played with two people. One player is dealt a single card whereas the other is dealt 5; however, the play is exactly the same as in normal Q2J. This game is very challenging for the player with 5 cards, hence the name.
This version was created when some players thought the game did not last very long. In this version, when a player successfully discards his/her first hand, he/she must draw a new hand with one less card. In the case of the second hand, one must draw a new hand of 4 cards. When this hand is discarded, he or she must draw a new hand of 3 cards and so on. The person who discards the hand of 1 card first wins. This version was based on the Countdown variation of Crazy Eights.
Q Squared Joe War is the first major overhaul of the Q Squared Joe game. While the other variations provide minimal change to the game, Q Squared Joe War has different rules to create an entirely new game based on the Q Squared Joe concept - this is not a shedding game but a combat game. It is currently more popular than the original Q Squared Joe game.
It uses the same Q2Joe concept like any other Q2Joe variations. The deck is first split into 2 (26 and 26 for each player). Each person then flips their top 5 cards face-up and places them in a row to form their "field". The goal of the game is to take out all of your opponents cards.
Players take alternate turns. The player who goes first is determined by any agreed method, but usually by whoever has the highest raw number value for their first flipped card, if its a tie, then it is determined by the next card and so on.
Each turn, a player has 3 options: Attack, Recover or Draw. A player may not pass a turn.
If you chooses to attack, you tap (or turn sideways) one of your cards and select a target on the opponent's field to attack. Then a winner is determined according to the Q2Joe concept, where the losing card goes to the discard pile. If it is a tie, then both cards are thrown into the discard pile. A player may attack a tapped or untapped card on the opponent's field, but only untapped cards may attack. You may attack an opponent's card if your own card is weaker, but only your card will then be sent to the discard pile.
If you choose to recover, you pick one of your tapped cards, and untap it.
If you choose to draw, you take one card from your deck and put it in your field in untapped position. The maximum field card limit is 5, so if you have 5 cards in your field, you cannot draw and you are forced to either attack or recover, since you cannot pass.
A player who has no cards left on his or her deck of field is declared the loser and the other player wins. If both players lose their last cards at the same time, then the game is considered a tie.
This game can be played with more than 2 players. The deck is divided as equally as possible between them and goes on until only one person has cards remaining.
Q Squared Joe NG is another major overhaul of the Q Squared Joe game. The NG stands for New Game, as no formal title has been created for it yet. Q2Joe NG is a much more complex game with many more rules and more flexibility in players' moves. Once again, it is a combat game using the Q2Joe concept.
The game can be played with 2 to 4 people using one deck. More players can be added if you combine sufficent decks so that each player can be dealt 11 cards, leaving a reasonable number of cards in the undealt deck.
There are 4 parts of the setup.
Each player is dealt 5 cards to their hand, and 5 face down cards on the field, and one face up card in their resource pile. The remaining cards all go to the deck which is available to all players.
The players take turns, and on each turn, a player must choose one of the following five options. Passing one's turn is not allowed.
Once a player's field is empty, that player is deemed to be eliminated, and when only one player is left, that player is declared the winner.
A much more strategic version of this game is to play with face up cards. All cards - hand, field, and even the whole deck - are revealed to all players and players may look to see what are the next cards in the deck.