Suicide

Contributed by Joakim Malmquist

This game is almost the reverse of Ace of Spades. It has proved unexpectedly popular and several variants have been contributed:

Background

R.L. Stevenson (of "Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde" & "Treasure Island") wrote a short story called "Suicide Club" ("together with other short stories in "New Arabian Nights"): In 1900 century London there is a Club for people that want, but do not dare, to commit suicide. Every night they play a game. They sit around the table and the club owner deals the cards from a deck. Ace of clubs has to kill Ace of spades. I found the short story so exciting that I made a game of it.

Suicide (the game)

A money game, with no skill at all.

Aim: not to get Ace of Spades.

A lot of people (the more - the better).

A new deck of 52 cards - it is very easy to cheat so do not play with strangers.

Everybody antes some money in the pot (the more money at stake - the more exciting). As in poker, the ante (the bets) goes in before the deal starts.

Decide who will shuffle the first time. This player is called 'the dealer', but does not deal - he just shuffles.

The game goes clockwise (but not the deal).

When the shuffling is finished the dealer pushes the deck to the player to the left. The player to the left has the right to cut the deck, and then takes as many cards as he wants (at least one card). (It is stupid, but thrilling, to take more than one card - the record is 37 without Ace of Spades.)

The cards drawn are turned over immediately. If one of the cards is the Ace of Spades that player is out; he shuffles the whole deck again and passes it to the left. If it isn't, he just pushes the remainder of deck to the left.

Next player has the same choice - to cut the deck - and then take as many cards as he wants (he must take at least one card). If he does not draw the Ace of Spades he passes the remainder of the deck to the left again, and this continues until the Ace of Spades appears.

The person that get the Ace of Spades is out of the game and shuffles the whole deck again - the game continues until all but one player are out - he wins the pot.

The players that are out can of course have side bets on which of the remaining players will be next to draw the Ace of Spades.

Comments

Even though the game is simple - have I NEVER seen a more adrenaline-rushing game.

Think yourself up against only one other player, a couple of hundred bucks in the pot, and only 4 cards left - and it is your turn to draw...

I have seen fully grown men behave like it was russian roulette and not even dare to draw another card.

It is also the only game there I have seen rational people claim to be psychic - they "know" where the Ace of Spades is.

Optional rule

In the original rules the the remainig players don't ante again when someone draws the Ace of Spades and is out. But it could be a optional rule.

Feedback

Joakim Malmquist writes:

I didn't think anyone would ever play my game Suicide as it's to simple, but I was wrong. It also means that my record of 37 card are gone:
Message received on Saturday, August 12, 2000 5:59 PM
Subject: A New Record!
> My cousins and I were playing Suicide when my 10 year old cousin, Jason, 
> pulled out 42 
> cards without the Ace. Good luck and keep them games comin'!
> 
> -Andrew

Patrick Nance has contributed a slightly similar game Ace of Death.


Murder

Jeffrey Hope has contributed the following elaboration of Suicide for 4 to 52 players.

You need

  • 1 deck of cards
  • 1 drink per person (can be anything legally consumed by that person that he/she is not allergic to)
  • 1 slip of paper per person (minus two)

The deck is shuffled exactly seven times. The first player draws the top card. If it is not the Ace of Spades, the card is placed face down in front of him/her and the deck is passed to the left. Continue until the Ace of Spades is flipped.

The holder of the Ace of Spades is "murdered" (don't do it for real!) and will be referred to hereafter by the "victim." The player on the victim's right (the "suspect") flips over his/her last card (if the Ace of Spades was the very first card, the suspect draws a card from the decl), and the suspect and victim act out the murder according to the suit of the suspect's card:

  • Spades: Suspect stabs victim.
  • Hearts: Suspect poisons victim's drink (this is where the drinks come in)
  • Diamonds: Suspect shoots victim.
  • Clubs: Suspect beats victim.

The victim then drops out of the game.

However, if any player (starting with the player on the victim's left and ending at the player on the suspect's right) received the Ace of Clubs during the last lap, that player flips the AC over and becomes the "cop." The cop "arrests" the suspect after the murder takes place (the suspect drops out of the game as well), and the victim instead becomes a "final judge" later in the game.

When three players become two, the final judges (if any) secretly write down which of the two players will be the final suspect. When the final murder comes about (the AC has no effect anymore when there are two players), they reveal the names. If the suspect's name comes up at least as often as the victim's name, the victim wins; if the victim's name comes up more often or there are no final judges, the suspect wins.


Assassin Ace

This variant was contributed by Jason Krueger

Everyone antes up at the beginning (for example $1.00 each).

The play is very similar to 'Suicide', but each player before drawing cards rolls one six-sided die. The player must then flip over the number of cards indicated by their die roll. The player is eliminated if he or she turns over the Ace of Spades. If the player is safe, the remaining deck is passed to the left (the next player has the option of cutting the deck) and the process is repeated. When a player is eliminated the whole deck is shuffled and passed to the next player. The last surviving player wins the pool.

Variations. When only one player remains, instead of this automatically winning the pot, the player has to play some agreed number of additional successful turns - for example two throws of the dice, in order to win. Eliminated players from earlier in the game have the option of tossing a quarter (or whatever amount is agreed upon) in the pot for each one of the last player's rolls. If the Ace of Spades comes up, those players are back in the game. The unsuccessful last player is not out of the game but must continue playing with any 'resurrected' players. If no eliminated player tosses back in at the chance to get back into the game and the last player flips up the Ace Of Spades, the second to last player (the one who was most recently eliminated) comes back in and these two players play against each other until one of them is eliminated and the other completes the final rolls/flips successfully.

Another option is to include one or more Jokers that act as 'gun jammer' cards. A player who flips a Joker keeps this card face up until needed. When a player with a Joker flips the Ace of Spades, the Joker saves them and the Joker and Ace are returned to the remaining deck, which is re-shuffled and passed along until someone without a Joker flips over the Ace of Spades.


Who Dares Wins

This variant was contributed by Aden Scott

To add incentive to take more than one card at a time in Suicide, a player may choose to take 10 cards in return for getting their own stake back, and if they survive they are still in the game to win the remaining pool.

This can be combined with using Jokers as gun-jammers as in the the Assassin Ace variation above.

Variations: the number of cards for this rule may be negotiated amongst the players, and could for example depend on the number of players.  It would be too complex to use with the variant of upping the ante after each round.