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World War III

Invented by David Morrah (morrah@igrin.co.nz). © 1997

Objective: survival - to win as many cards as possible to avoid going out.

Number of players: 1-6

Type of deck needed: Standard 54 card deck plus two jokers

DEALING

Two player game:
18 cards are dealt to each player in a face down pile. 20 cards are dealt to the center of the table in a face down pile.

Three player game:
14 cards are dealt to each player in a face down pile. 14 cards are dealt to the center of the table in a face down pile.

Four player game:
22 cards are dealt to each player in a face down pile. 24 cards are dealt to the center of the table in a face down pile.

Five player game:
18 cards are dealt to each player in a face down pile. 22 cards are dealt to the center of the table in a face down pile.

Six player game:
16 cards are dealt to each player in a face down pile. 16 cards are dealt to the center of the table in a face down pile.

GAME PLAY

Below is a sample game using three players.

PREPARATION

World

RULES

  1. Player one must play the highest card in his hand. He then must place it face up in a discard pile of his own for other players to see. E.g. he plays a 10.

  2. Player two must try to beat the card player one just played. He looks at his hand to find his highest card. He then must place it face up in a discard pile of his own for other players to see. E.g. he plays an A.

  3. Player three must try to beat the card player one just played. The only way to beat an A is to play a joker. Player three doesn't have a joker, so he now must have a "war" with the player whose hand he cannot beat. In this case, he must war with player two.

    Player two and three put down their hands temporarily and draw one card from their pick up piles which they add face up to their respective discard piles. They must draw simultaneously from the top of their pick-up piles. The first draw is called World War I.

    Player two draws a two. Player three draws a seven. Either player has the option of holding one of their cards. E.g. player three could hold his seven for safety, if he thinks nothing can beat that. In this example, neither player has a very high card, so both choose not to hold anything. Play proceeds and both players draw again. The second draw is called World War II.

    Player two draws a Queen. Player three draws an eight. Player two decides to hold his Queen for good luck. He must verbally call "hold" to confirm. This now means he doesn't have to draw again. Player three, however, decides not to hold anything. He must draw again. The final draw is called World War III. The player with the highest card drawn in this round wins.

    Player two still holds his Queen, while player three redraws and draws a two. Player two wins with the highest card and takes ALL of player one's discard pile, and adds it to the bottom of his pick-up pile. He now can start the next round.

  4. Normal play resumes. All players pick up their hand again. Player two, the winner, starts the next round. He notices that he has a 2 in his hand. A 2 can be used as a "decline" card during normal play mode when no one is in war. If a player has a 2 card, he must declare it and lay it flat out on the table for other players to see. This card is his ticket to escape a war. If, later on, he cannot beat another player's card, he can use the 2 card to cancel himself from entering a war with that player.

  5. Player three now plays a K into his discard pile.

  6. Player one plays a joker into his discard pile. A joker means a war must be declared, and NO card can be used to decline from this wild card. Because this is a wild card, player one can choose who he wants to have a war with. In this example, player one chooses player two.

    As another war begins, both players draw for World War I:

    Neither hold. Both players draw for World War II: Neither hold. Because two cards of the same number were drawn, the war must be reset back to World War I.

    World War I restarts:

    Because player one drew a joker, since this is a wild card, this immediately resets the round back to World War I.

    World War I starts again:

    However, player one spots player two has a joker and holds his card before his opponent can. Here, because player one has held his card, player two must advance to World War II.

    World War II begins:

    Player two decides not to hold.

    World War III commences:

    Player one wins with the highest card and takes ALL of player two's discard pile, and adds it to the bottom of his pick-up pile. He now can start the next round.

  7. Normal play resumes. All players pick up their hand again. Player one, the winner, starts the next round.

  8. Player one now plays a Q into his discard pile.

  9. Player two realizes he cannot beat a Q, normally he would have a enter into a war in this situation with player one. However, he still has his number 2 "decline" card on display. He decides to use it to his advantage to cancel the war. The card has now been used up, and must be turned over on it's face and removed from the game. Once it's used up, it's used up. However, if he or any other players has a 2 card, they can still use it anytime during the normal play mode of the game. But each 2 card can only be used once only. N.B. The 2 card cannot be used to escape during a war.

  10. Play now passes normally to player three. Since player two submitted his 2 card, rather than draw anything from his hand, player three must now play a card higher than a Q. He has a Q in his hand, but this card is the same value as player one's highest card, so he must enter into a war now with player one.

    War proceeds as before, following the same rules.

  11. Play continues until all the players use up their pick-up piles from the wars. Once a player's pick-up piles are gone, he is officially out of the game. The player remaining in the game who has won the most cards survives and wins the game.

Appendix:

  1. If, during a war both players have really high cards (e.g. A and K) and both say hold at the same time, the war is reset to World War I.

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Last updated 12th January 2002