Created by Jesse J. Eldred
This game for 2 to 4 players uses a standard 52-card pack without jokers. Cards rank from high to low A-K-Q-J-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3. Deuces are wild.
Summary and Objective
Players play cards to a pile and draw new cards to replace those they have played. By picking up the pile at the right moment, players try to collect sets of two or more equal cards, and certain scoring cards: the Aces, the Ten of Diamonds and the Eights, while avoiding the Queen of Spades, which is a penalty card. Points are scored at the end of each round when the deck has been exhausted. The first player to 120 points wins.
Cards and sets of cards are worth points as follows:
- Each Ace: 10 points
- Ten of Diamonds: 20 points
- Queen of Spades: minus 20 points
- Each Jack: 1 point
- Each Eight: 1 point
- Four of a kind (except Twos): 8 points
- Three of a kind (except Twos): 4 points
- Pair (except Twos): 2 points
In a set of Aces, Queens, Tens or Eights, points for the individual cards are counted in addition to the points for the set. A set of Twos is worth nothing.
- A-A = 22 points
- Q-Q-Q = 4 points
- Q-Q-Q = minus 16 points
- 8-8-8-8 = 12 points
- 3-3-3 = 4 points
- 2-2-2 = 0 points
Deal and Play
The dealer shuffles, deals each player four cards, and places the deck face down in the center of the table. The first card off the top of the deck is placed face up next to it, to start the discard pile (or “kitty.”)
Players take turns in clockwise order, starting with the player to dealer's left. Normally, the following cards may be played:
- One or more cards that are higher than or equal to the top card of the pile, or
- Any one card of the same suit as the top card of the pile - it may be higher or lower.
If two or more cards are played, they may be played in any order, the last card setting the suit to be followed if the next player plays a lower single card. The following special plays are also possible.
- An Ace may be played on any card, irrespective of suit, and the player must take the whole kitty including the Ace and keep it face down for scoring at the end of the play. The kitty must be taken when an Ace is played, even if it has a negative value to the player.
- Twos are wild. A Two may be played on any card and any card may be played on a Two, irrespective of suit. A Two may be played as an Ace to pick up the kitty, or may be left in play if the player does not wish to take the kitty.
- Eights can be played as normal cards. Alternatively, a set of two or more Eights can be played on any card to take the kitty, but there is a cost in that thereafter the player must play with fewer cards see below.
- If a single Jack is played on a lower or equal card (including a Two) of the other suit of the same colour (for example the Jack of Hearts on the Six of Diamonds) and the player must take the kitty as with an Ace. If a Jack is played on any other suit, or a set of two or more Jacks is played together, the kitty is not taken.
A player must play a card or cards if able to, and must take the kitty if that required by the card played. There is one exception: a player is not required to play a pair of Eights to take the pile. Example: the top card is the K, the next player holding 10-3-8-8 is not required to play. However if the top card were K the next player with that same hand would be forced either to play the 8 as a single card or to take the kitty with the pair of eights.
A player who is able to take the kitty but does not wish to can avoid this by playing a different card, if he has other playable cards. Twos are always playable, and the player of a Two has the option whether to take the kitty or not.
If a player is unable to make a play, he must instead pass one card of his choice to the player on his left.
After playing or passing a card, if the player has fewer than four cards in hand, he must draw cards from the top of the deck until he has four cards again. A player who began his turn with five cards, having just been passed a card by a player unable to play, will not need to draw any cards unless he played more than one card.
If the kitty has been picked up, after the player has drawn from the deck, the top card of the deck is turned up to begin a new kitty.
Normally, after completing your turn you should always have a hand of four cards. There are two exceptions to this.
- A player who uses a pair of Eights to pick up the kitty draws one fewer card than normal at the end of that turn. for the rest of the game this player will; draw so as to have three card in hand at the end of each turn. Rarely, a player might use a set of three or four Eights to pick up the kitty. If you play three Eights in this way, your hand is replenished to two cards only after each subsequent turn; if you were to use four Eights then after that you would play with a hand of only one card. If you pick up the kitty with two Eights on two occasions during a hand, then after the second occasion you must continue the game with a hand of two cards. Note that if Eights are played as normal cards, without picking up the kitty, there is no penalty on the size of the player's hand.
- When the deck runs out, players continue the game without drawing. Players who are unable to play simply pass one card to the left. If the kitty is taken when the stock is empty, no card can be turned to start a new kitty and instead the next player can play any card or set.
When all cards have been played, or no player can make a play, the last player to make a valid play picks up the last kitty. Any cards left in players’ hands go in their own collections. Players then count up and tally their points. The person to the left of the dealer becomes the new dealer, shuffles and re-deals four cards. The first player to tally 120 points wins the game. In the unlikely event of a perfect tie, the player with the Ten of Diamonds in the last round wins.
Jesse Eldred suggests that Statistics could also be played as a negative game, where the objective is to avoid scoring points. Players will try to avoid taking the kitty but will be forced to do so if their only playable card is an Ace or an off-suit Jack. However, it will often be better to take a small kitty voluntarily than wait until forced to take it, by which time it may have grown much larger.