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Shmath

Contributed by Abbi Pittman

DESCRIPTION: A simple math/luck/skill game

OBJECT: Have the most "High Cards" (K, Q, J, 10) in your pile of captured cards at the end.

HOW TO PLAY:

Each player gets 4 cards. Place them in 2 by 2 array in front of you face up so you see your opponent's cards. Place the rest of the cards face down in a stack.

The first person to go draws the top card from the stack and exposes it for both players to see. The person with the drawn card must then add, subtract, multiply or divide the value of that card by the value of one of his four cards to equal the value one of his opponent's four cards.

For instance, if I drew a 5 and had a 5 among my 4 cards, I could take my opponent's 10 (if they had a 10), because 10 is considered a "high card" and I would probably want that. I take my 5, my 5, and my new 10 and place them in a separate little pile of captured cards off to the side. My opponent and I then refill the spaces in our 4-card layouts by drawing cards from the stack, so we each have 4 again, and my opponent goes.

If you cannot capture a "high card", simply add/subtract/multiply/divide to get another card.

For example, if had drew an 8 and I cannot make a 10, J, Q, K, or my opponent does not have a "high card", I could take another card. For example if I have a 2 (and my opponent has no 10), I might subtract 2 from 8 to make 6 divide 8 by 2 to make 4. If I have a 5 in my layout (and my opponent has no king) I can still subtract 5 from 8 to make 3. You don't always have to have high cards.

However, you must capture cards if you can. If you cannot see a set of three cards to capture, your opponent can point one out and you have to make that capture.

But if you can't see any capture using the card you have drawn, and your opponent doesn't point one out, you discard the card you drew face-up in a discard pile next to the drawing pile.

When there are cards in the discard pile, each player has the option of taking the top card of the discard pile to make a capture, instead of drawing fron the stack at the start of their turn.

Note that this is a choice that must be made before seeing the top card of the stack.You cannot draw a card from the drawing pile first, look at it and then decide to use the discard instead. Also, only the top card of the discard pile can be used - no sifting through the discard pile!

Note also that you cannot force your opponent to take the discard when it can make a capture - if your opponent chooses to draw from the stack instead, this must be allowed.

At the end of the turn when the drawing pile runs out, each player counts up the high cards in their capture pile, and the player with more of them wins.


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Last updated 12th June 2007