Color Elevator

Contributed by Aviad Shani

Players: 2-4

Objective: Get rid of all your cards

Cards: standard 52-card pack; no jokers. Cards rank from high to low K-Q-J-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2. Aces are wild.

Rules of Play

Start by dealing 4 face-down cards to every player. The player may not look at these face-down cards. Additionally, deal each player 4 cards to their hand. Then place two (2) face up cards on the board (one must be red and the other must be black).

During a player's turn, a player must play 2 cards (one on each pile).

On a black card (Spade or Club), a player must play a card of a higher number, or a red card with the SAME value.

On a red card (heart or diamond), a player must play a card of a lower value, or a black card with the SAME value.

(Note: a red card may be played on a black card, and vice versa. A red card may also be played on a red card, and a black card may be played on a black card)

If a player is only able to play one card, that player plays it on a pile where it can be played and must then draw one card from the deck. If a player is unable to play any cards, the player must draw 2 cards from the deck

Special cards: Ace. An ace of any color may be played on any card, and any card of any color may be placed on an ace.

When a player has no cards in his/her hand, during his/her turn, the player flips the top card in his/her face-down pile. If the card can be played on one (or both) of the stacks, the player plays it on a valid stack and that is the player's turn. If the player cannot play the card on either stack, the player keeps the card in his/her hand and draws 3 more cards.

Note: it is possible for the game to reach a state where it is quite difficult to play a card. If a black King is on top of a pile, the next card can only be an Ace or a red King; if a red Two is on top of a pile, the next card can only be an Ace or a black Two. If both piles are in this state, the players may have to draw cards repeatedly from the deck until one of them finds a playable card.

It can happen that the deck runs out because all the playable cards are already buried in the piles of played cards. If a player needs to draw cards from the deck, but the deck is empty, all cards underneath the top cards of the play piles and all cards in both players' hands are shuffled into a new deck and each player draws 4 new cards to continue play.

If the same thing happens again, in addition to the cards under the top cards of the play piles and the cards in the players' hands, the players' face down cards are also included in the shuffle. From the shuffled pack, each player is dealt a new hand of four cards plus a number of face down cards equal to the number they had just before the reshuffle.

Variant. To reduce the chances of reaching a situation where the game is blocked and a redeal is required, Color Elevator can be played with a 54-card pack including Jokers. The Jokers function in exactly the same way as Aces.