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The Four Royalties

Contributed by Andrew Zhou (milky_way87@hotmail.com), who writes: "Some of my friends enjoy this game, it's quick but is not over til' it's over."

1. Each person is dealt 4 or 8 cards, depending on what your preference is. ONLY 4 or 8. The rest is placed somewhere else, but in reach of the players.

2. The person with highest card (Ace) starts. If there are no aces, then the holder of a king, then queens, then jacks. But if no one holds a face card, redeal until someone does. In the event of two people holding cards of the same value (2 aces, 2 kings, etc.), they both start.

3. The game is played on 4 and no more columns. Each column holds only 4 cards. The columns are discarded off after 4 cards have been played to leave room for new ones. Each column can be started only by a face card or an Ace.

4. So the first player places their FACE CARD or ACE down on the playing surface. If there are 2 or 3 or 4 starters, they all start separate columns. Each player may play only one card at a time. Then the next player, any player, places a card down. This may be:

  1. A face card to start a new column (no more than 4)
  2. A card of a lower value to place under a card. (Note: Face cards cannot be put under any starter cards. They have to start a new column)

5. Play continues on with the next player. Once there are 4 cards in a column, the column is discarded away and a new one can be started. When the player cannot do anything with the cards, they must take cards in groups of 4 from the rest of the pile until they have a sufficient card.

6. If a 4-card flush occurs in one of the columns or a straight (which can only be J, 10, 9, 8), then each player may discard 1 card from their hand. If a 4-card straight-flush occurs, the person who placed the 4th card automatically wins the game.

7. The object is to finish the game with no cards left.

8. Keep playing until a person wins 4 games. Each game should take around 1 minute.


1. If you have low cards in your hand, use them up. For example if in a column there is a King, then a 10, you can put down a 4, 3, or 2 (stopping the column from moving). This will stop or slow the building of that column down so other players, with high cards, especially will be forced to play other columns.

2. If you have all face cards, this may be good or bad. The good is there won't be many left out there so you can start piles. Bad is that you'll have no where to go once someone else starts a pile. All you do here is pray!

3. Have fun! It's only a card game!

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Last updated: 1st January 2002