Card Games: Cuckoo Group

This is a simple type of round game which can be played by a large number of people. It dates back to the 17th century, maybe earlier. You get just one card, and at your turn you can try to swap it with your neighbour, the aim being to avoid having the lowest card. Whoever has the lowest card loses a life, and players who have lost all their lives drop out of the game. The last person left in wins.

These games are sometimes played with a special pack of single suited cards, and sometimes with the normal 52 card pack, ignoring suits. The game using the standard 52 card pack is described on the Cuckoo page. It goes by various names including Cuckoo, Ranter Go Round and Chase the Ace, and in the USA it generally known as Screw Your Neighbor - though this name is also used for various other card games.

The Norwegian game Gnav and the Italian game of Cucù and Lu Stù are typical of the games using special cards, in which individual cards often have special effects on the play. The various types of special pack are compared on the single suited cards page.

This page is maintained by John McLeod (   © John McLeod, 2000, 2007, 2018. Last updated: 13th December 2018