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Wife Beater

Contributed (but not invented) by David M

Warning: the theme of this game is unpleasant, and some readers will probably find the whole game offensive. In that case, do not read on.

The goal is to beat another player's wife three times. After being beaten three times, that player is out of the game.

A standard 52-card deck with two jokers is used. At the beginning of the game, the Kings and Queens are separated from the deck and each player is given the King and Queen of one suit. These cards are then displayed face up in front of each player, with the queen on the player's left, the king to the right of the queen. Any remaining kings and queens are not used in the game. 2 to 4 people can play with one deck; extra decks can easily be added for an unlimited number of extra players.

Five cards are dealt to each player as their hand, and the remaining cards are stacked face down in the center of the table to form a draw pile. Two piles of cards are kept in the center of the table thoughout the game: a draw-pile and a discard-pile, which is empty at the start. The draw pile remains face-down, and the discard pile remains face-up. When the draw pile becomes low or depleted, the discard pile is then shuffled and returned to the bottom of the draw pile.

The player to dealer's left begins and play passes clockwise aroung the table. At your turn, you attack another player of your choice by playing a card from your hand on their layout. Depending on the card played, you may be able to play further cards and the player you attcked may be able to defend by playing cards of their own. Then it is the next player's turn to attack.

Players always retain five cards in their hand. Immediately after playing a card - whether in attack or defense - you draw a new card from the draw pile to replace it. If two cards are played at once (e.g. combining drunk with a beat card to beat a wife with kids; playing two beat cards at once due to depression) then those cards must be played simultaneously. Two cards must then be drawn to fill the gap.

Here is a summary of the cards and their effects - these are described in detail below.

2, 3, 4Beat cards
5Beat card, or police bribe
6Pissed (angry)
7Bowling Night
JackChild (Jack of same suit as parents = 'Mama's boy')
King, Queen   Husband, wife (not to be played)

It sometimes happens that you are unable to play any card in your hand at your turn. If this happens, you may discard one card and draw one replacement, just as when drawing while on trial. JUst as when on trial, if you have any beat cards youi must discard one of those; if you have no beat cards you may discard any card. Discarding and drawing a replacement card counts as a turn, and this option is only available if you have no playable card.

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Last updated 5th December 2006