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Speahx

The name of the game is pronounced "spee-ah". It was contributed by [KJEKK] , and was originally named Grunnan.

The mechanism is similar to that of Shithead, but instead of beating the previous card, players must match its suit or rank, as in Eights.

The game is for 2 or more players. A standard 52-card is used, and for every fifth player, it's recommended to add another pack of card of cards - so 5-9 would use two packs and 10-14 would use three. Two jokers may optionally be included.

Each player receives five cards ("table cards") face down (no one should know the identity of these cards). Table cards cannot be exchanged with hand cards or other drawn cards.

Each player receives five cards ("hand cards"). The player looks at them but does not show them to any other player until they are played.

The remaining undealt cards are stacked face down to form a stock pile from which cards are drawn. Until this pile is empty, players who have fewer than five cards after playing should draw sufficient cards to bring their hand back up to five cards.

Drawn cards may not be used instantly, even if the value is the same as the card the player just laid on the table, since drawing a card indicates the end of the player's turn ("non-stress principal").

The game starts with the player to the left of the dealer playing one or more cards face up in the centre of the table. After that the game continues clockwise, each player adding a card or cards to the face up play pile on the table.

When the play pile is empty, any card can be played to start it. When there are cards in the play pile, each card played must match the previous play in either suit or value (rank). A player can play several cards in one turn provided that they are all the same rank, and the first card played matches the last card played by the previous player in suit or rank. Note that by playing a card of a different suit and the same rank, a player can switch from one suit to another.

A player who is unable to play one of her cards at her turn, or chooses not to play a card, must collect the whole play pile and add the cards to her hand. This ends her turn, and it is the next player's turn to play.

Instead of playing a card from hand, a player may choose to draw a "chance card" from the stock pile to play. Up to three cards may be drawn, one by one. After drawing a card, the player must decide whether to play it (if it is legal to play), or to draw another card, or to pick up the play pile. Having started to draw cards a player may not play a hand card or a table card in that turn, with one exception: a chance card may be combined with cards from hand of the same rank to place four of a kind on top of the play pile, with the consequences explained below. Otherwise hand cards and chance cards must be kept separated until the player has ended his turn.

A player's face down table cards may not be used unless the player is free of hand cards and there are no more draw cards left on the table. At this point the player picks up a table cards and attempts to play it. If it is not playable, it is placed in the player's hand, together with the whole play pile. All these cards must be played before the player can attempt to play another table card.

The game has both a winner and a loser. The winner of the game is the first one not to have any cards left, but the play continues until only oneplayer has cards left. This player is the loser.

Special cards

Twos are "change cards". They can be played even if the card in play (the top card of the play pile) is not a two and not of the same suit. They may be used to change from one suit to a suit of the playing player's choice. Afterwards the game will continue as normal, but the next player has to use the suit announced by the player of the two.

Tens kill the playing stack, and remove it from the game. After playing a ten, the same player shall play another card.

Four cards of the same value kill the stack. That is: if a player plays in such a way that the top four cards of the playing pile are of equal rank (four of a kind), the whole playing pile is discarded out of play and the same player plays again. If there are more than four cards of the same rank on top of the pile (whick can happen when two or more packs of cards are used), the play pile up to and including the first four equal cards is discarded, but the remaining cards from the top of the play pile stay on the table, and it is the next player's turn.

Jokers are an option, and may be played to give the play pile to a player of choice. If Jokers are used, there should not be more than two in play. When a Joker has been played, the Joker cards is removed from the game while the stack of played cards is given to the person chosen by the player of the Joker as hand cards. The turn then passes to the player after the one who played the Joker.

If there are no Jokers in the pack, four jacks of different suits are used as a replacement, with the same power. In this case the combination of four different jacks is called a "Terminator-combination".

Use of words

It's a tradition to use the words:

Example

Players: Fredrich, Janet, Michael, John, Kevin, Penelope and Alex

  1. Janet shuffles the cards and deals five x two to each player.
  2. Michael starts off by playing a 5 of hearts, and ends his turn by drawing a card from the left-over stack.
  3. John plays a king of hearts, and draws a card.
  4. Kevin plays a king of diamonds, and draws a card.
  5. Penelope plays a 2 of spades (could be any suit) and switches to clubs. She then draws a card.
  6. Alex doesn't think he has any clubs or special cards, but instead of collecting the play pile he draws a chance card. He remembers that his 10 would have saved him, but since he has started on chance cards he's unable to use his hand card (10). On the last chance card (the third), he draws a 5 of clubs and uses that to finish his turn. He will not draw a card afterwards, since he already has more than five hand
  7. cards.
  8. Fredrich uses a Joker (could have been the Terminator-combination) to give the stack of played cards to John.
  9. Janet may now play any card she chooses, since there are no cards on the table. She says "The curse of Torkel is going to get you!" while playing a jack of diamonds, and draws a card.
  10. Michael plays two jacks, one of hearts and one of spades. Since both of them has the same value, he is allowed to play them at the same time. He draws two cards from the stack.
  11. John, who now has more cards than his fingers can handle, plays a 6 of spades.

...

  1. Alex plays a 10 of hearts (could be any 10) to remove the playing stack from the table. Since that was his last hand card, and there aren't any cards left on the table to be drawn, he continues by playing one of his table cards. It's a 3 of hearts.
  2. Fredrich, who already has three other 3's, is considering whether to pick up the 3 of hearts, to use it when he is closer to finishing his hand cards, or whether to pla all of his 3's now. He uses the other 3's, and the stack in play is removed from the game. He then play an 8 of clubs.
  3. Janet has also finished her hand cards, and turns up a table card. It's a 9 of diamonds. She is therefore forced to pick up the 9 of diamonds and 8 of clubs (since her 9 of diamonds can't be played on the 8 of clubs that's already on the table), and use these two cards as hand cards.

...

  1. Alex finishes, by not having any cards left.

...

  1. There are only players who still have cards: John and Michael. It's intense. John has one card left, and shows what it is to Michael. It's a 10, and the game is over.

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Last updated 6th May 2008