Contributed by Aaron Barnhart
This game is extremely easy for kids to learn if they are in about 3rd grade, and anybody older will easily learn this game, too. Fun for those times when the kids just don't have what it takes to learn Canasta yet or whatever card game you get together with people and play.
Players: 2-8 with a standard 52-card deck of playing cards, the 10s, Jacks, Queens, and Kings removed.
Arrangement of Players: In this game players must pick a side of the table to sit on, because as you will see the side you sit on drastically changes the game's outcome.
The Deal: Pick any person to start by dealing four cards to each player. Then deal four cards face up in a row.
DO NOT HAVE ANYONE PICK UP THEIR CARDS UNTIL THE FOUR CARDS ARE ALL FLIPPED FACE UP ON THE TABLE (you will see why if you read the 3 of a kind section). The way the cards are facing you is the number you must try to match (so if the cards are 4 2 3 9 for me (sitting below the table in the above diagram), the person on the other side of the table has the number 9 3 2 4). Now everyone simply reorganizes their cards to form a four digit number that is as close as possible to the number on the table as they see it - in an ideal case they may be able to match it exactly. Set your cards down on the table face up, and move on to scoring.
Scoring: In this game you want to avoid scoring points. A player's score is simply the difference between the player's number and the table number - i.e. the bigger number (your number or the 4 cards in the middle of the table) minus the smaller number (again your number or the 4 cards in the middle of the table). So in the example above if I had been dealt 5 8 7 2 and I played it so my number became 5,278, I would take 5,278 and subtract 4,239 from it to get my score of 1,039 (that may seem high, but in this game if it's below 2,000 you're doing fine). The person across from me had to get close to 9,324, and with his cards of 3 8 6 1, he makes 8,631, so 9,324 minus 8,631 = 693, so for the time being he is winning. After each hand the scores are recorded on paper and the deal is passed to the next person in clockwise order.
Getting 3 of a Kind: If you are dealt three of a kind or 4 of a kind, set your hand down immediately. If you are the first or only person to do this on the hand, you instantly score a 0. If more than one person has a 3 of a kind and they are not the first person to set their cards down, they not only must play the hand out with horrible cards, they must also score an extra 250 points! If you don't have a 3 of a kind when this happens, nothing happens to you, you play the hand out normally.
Ending the Game: The game ends when one person reaches a score determined by the number of players in the game. Here is how to determine it:
|Players||Points to End the Game|
Change these as much as you want, these are just some ideas for scoring. As a matter of fact, it is possible to end the game on the first hand if you're horrible at the game! Once one person reaches the set score for the game, the person with the lowest score wins (make sure everybody counts their points before ending the game).
Sudden Death: If by some random chance the game ends in a tie for the lowest score, deal three cards to each player with the tied score. Flip three cards face up on the table, and play the hand out as normal, until one person eventually scores less than the other.