Contributed by Jarid Steward

This is a variation of "war" for 2- 4 players. You will need a standard pack of cards (52 cards), plus jokers if you would like. Everybody sits at a table or wherever, and you play clockwise. The object of the game is to play your cards, at just the right time, and surprise and dominate your opponent(s). Oldest plays first.

Everybody is dealt 10 cards. Then the remainder are stacked in face down go in the center, and the top card is flipped over to start a play pile, just like in "rummy". Now the oldest starts, and he/she has to beat whatever the card is that was flipped over with a higher card. Aces rank above kings and jokers if used are highest of all, above aces.

If on your turn you cannot beat the card that is showing on top of the play pile, you draw one card from the face down center stack, and put it aside face down in front of you (without looking at it). These face down cards form a pile called your "backup" pile. After drawing a card you then play your lowest card in the center pile, and then the next opponent has to beat it, and so on and so forth.

Now to the name of the game. 7's are your detonators. You may play a 7 any time when there are five cards or more in the center pile, even if the card showing is higher than 7. Now after you play a detonator, all of the cards under the "detonator" go to any opponent you choose. These cards go into that person's "backup" pile.

If there are fewer than 5 cards in the center pile, then a 7 in your hand has no special power. It can be played as an ordinary 7 if it beats the top card of the pile, and you may be forced to play it as your lowest card after drawing, but it does not cause any cards to be given to another player.

There is also another way to play a detonator. If you play a card of the same rank as the top card of the pile, all the cards under the card that you played are given to the player before you - the one whose card you matched. Note that there are two differences between playing the same rank as a detonator and playing a 7 as a detonator:

  1. A same rank detonator can be played on any pile, even if it contains fewer than five cards.
  2. When you play a same rank detonator the cards under it must be given to the player before you - you cannot choose the player as you can with a 7.

Note: In the unusual situation where the pile has four or fewer cards topped by a 7, it can be detonated by playing another 7 (using it as a same rank detonator), and the cards under the new 7 given to the previous player.

After you run out of cards you pick up your backup pile, and they become your new hand.

If the cards in the center deck run out, then if you could not beat the previous persons card, and were supposed to draw from the center pile, you must instead put your highest card into your "backup" pile, and play your lowest card.

Whoever runs out of cards first wins!

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Last updated: 12th July 2006