Card Games

3 Card Brag

Sent in by ATMtraining

3 Cards are dealt to each player. A player who holds any of these cards wins.

Three 3's or an Ace.
2 or 3 of the same card or suit
King, Queen or Jack

But if two players both have winning hands, Three 3's or an Ace beat the 2 or 3 cards of same suit or number which in turn beat a King, Queen or Jack. If there is a tie between players, 3 cards are dealt again, but only to those who tied. First person to win 20 times is the winner.

5 Card Game

Sent in by: Rodgeypodgey

Played just as 8's only other cards are used and only 5 cards are dealt out to each player at the start.

Any number of players – Deal 5 cards to each to each player who may look at their cards, then place the remainder of the cards face down in the middle.

Dealer starts by throwing down a card a calling suite – going clockwise next player has to follow suite or put down a card of the same denomination or one of the special cards below which affects the next person. If a person is unable to put any card down they must pick a card up from the remaining pile and play then goes onto the next player:-

2's = pick up 2 cards
3's = pick up 3 cards
7's = reverse go
8's  = next person miss a go
ace = pick up the pile (optional rule)


Sent in by: Joseph Mutch

For 2 or more players.
Shuffle a normal deck of cards (no Jokers) and deal five cards to each player. Play the remaining card face down in the middle of the table. Left of dealer goes first. Each player looks at his cards and tries to make pairs, trebles or four of a kind. Players then choose whether to discard any or none of the cards in their hand. Players then draw the same number of cards discarded so as to maintain five cards in their hand. Discarded cards are placed on the bottom of the pack. Players check their new cards to see if their hand can be improved. Each player reveals his hand. The winner is the one with the highest hand from the following and wins that numbers of points shown. If two players have equal hands then the higher ranked set wins e.g. a pair of sevens beat a pair of twos (ace is low).

Four of a kind 8 points
Full House (treble + pair) 6 points
Treble (three of a kind) 4 points
Two Pairs 3 points
One Pair 2 points
Junk 0 points

At the end of each hand the pack is not shuffled and the dealer passes to the left. The first player to 20 points wins the game.

8’s - Card Game

Any number of players – Deal 8 cards or less to each to each player who may look at their cards, then place the remainder of the cards face down in the middle.

Dealer starts by throwing down a card a calling suite – going clockwise next player has to follow suite or put down a card of the same denomination or one of the special cards below which affects the next person. If a person is unable to put any card down they must pick a card up from the remaining pile and play then goes onto the next player:-

8 – Miss a go

2 – Pick up two cards from the remaining pile.

J - Pick up one cards from the remaining pile.

Q – Reverse order of play

K – Change suite to one of the players choosing

Object of the game is for a player to get rid of all the cards in their hand. Persons left with only one card left have to knock on the table or face a forfeit.

Chase the Ace

Suggested by Sophie Porteous

For 3 or more players. From a standard pack of cards remove the Jokers, Ace of Clubs, the Ace of Hearts and the Ace of Diamonds (leave in the Ace of Spades). Deal the remaining cards out, face down, evenly among the players. Having the exact number for each player is not necessary. Any pairs of cards are removed and discarded. 

Player keep their cards hidden from the other players through out the game. Player 1 to the left of the dealer starts and chooses one card from the dealer (cards fanned out facing away from player 1). If the card now makes a matching pair this pair is now discarded. The next player to the left Player 2 now selects a card from Player 1. Play continues around the circle in this fashion. A player is out when they have discarded all of their cards. The last card left will be the Ace of Spades, and the player holding it at the end is the loser.


Easy game for any number of players of 3 or more. If a large number is playing you may want to combine two packs of cards.

Deal out all the cards in the pack, equally as possible to all players (it doesn't matter too much if one player has one less card than another.). Object of the game is to get rid of all your cards, but in order to do so you have to discard your cards face down into a central pile, in multiples of the same rank. eg 2 kings, 4 tens, 3 jacks etc... But you choose whether or not to cheat and by telling truth or not when you do so. Eg you could say you are putting down 3 Aces, but in reality be putting down any combination of cards such as a 7, 8 and jack.)  All the other players however have the opportunity to call "Cheat" if they feel rightly or wrongly that you are putting down what you say you are. If you are cheating you have to not only pick up the cards you have discarded, but the rest of the discarded pile as well!.... if you were not cheating, you turn over the cards you just put down to prove you were not and the person who accused you of cheating has to pick up all the cards in the discard pile.

Play continues until one player gets rid of all their cards.

Chicken Feed

This can get quite rough and boisterous, so clear the table of anything precious and use a pack of cards which you don't mind getting damaged!

Spread your oldest pack of cards face up on the table or floor. One person is caller and sits with his or her back to the cards. The caller, working through a separate pack, shouts out a card, and everyone scans the table for it. The first player to spot it pounces on it with a forefinger, dragging it back to his place. Of course, as soon as his finger lands on the card, it will be joined by many others, all determined to make off with the prize.

Successful players use a combination of brute force and skilful manoeuvring. The winner is the one who captures most cards. Anyone using more than one finger, or applying elbow techniques is instantly disqualified. Cards torn due to rough play are void.

Eleusis [Ed]

[Ed: Use this as a way to introduce pupils to experience inductive reasoning.]

Game for three or more players. Many games call for deductive reasoning but Eleusis is exceptional because it gives players an opportunity to experience inductive reasoning. It stands by itself as a fun game to play, but you can also discuss afterwards the analogies with the ways in which scientific hypotheses arise and are tested

Dealer shuffles a pack of cards and deals the whole pack out to the players. The last card dealt is turned face up in the middle of the table; this forms the basis of the starter pile (it may be necessary to remove a few cards so that all players get equal numbers, however we have played it with uneven numbers and it works just as well).

The players pick up their cards and look at them, organising them into any order if they wish. The dealer invents a secret rule or law which determines which cards can be played on the starter pile and writes it down in secret on a piece of paper and hides it until the game is over.

Stage 1
Players taking turns, choose a card from their hand and place it face up on the middle pile, overlapping but not hiding the previous cards. If the card fits the secret rule the dealer says "right" and leaves the card there. If it breaks the rule, the dealer says "wrong" and the player takes the card back and places face up on the table to form a mistake pile (Each player creates their own mistake pile). Play continues by turns until players have used all the cards in their hands.

Stage 2
Players then use the cards from their mistake piles, which are lying face up and fanned out in front of them. They play in turn and can use any of the cards in their pile.

Game ends when a player has no cards left or when the dealer declares that it is impossible for anyone to play a card which conforms to the secret rule. A set of games is complete when each player has had the chance to be dealer once.

Best to keep the secret rule simple, eg 'alternate black and red cards' or 'if top card red play an even card'. Ace counts as 1 Jack as eleven and so on. At least 1/5 (one fifth) of the cards in the pack of 52 should be playable each turn, so avoid restrictive rules such as 'play a card with a value one unit above the value of the top card'. This limits players to one of four in the pack each turn. Dealer may wish to give a hint. 

Royal Partners

Game for 4 people. This used to be played by the Prefects at Glyn School. 

Players pair up and work out a secret signal between them. Pairs sit facing each other so one pair would be sitting at North and South the other pair at East and West. Take out all the royal cards (jack, queen, king) and aces from a pack of cards, shuffle these and deal them out face down to each player. Each should have 4 cards. Take the remaining pack split it into three piles and place these piles in the middle face down. 

Object is for one player to get 4 cards of the same rank. Each player look at their cards and chooses a card to pass on, which all do at the same time. This continues until one player has got 4 cards the same at which point they signal to their partner and both members of the pair have to lay claim to two of three of the piles of cards in the middle. If successful they choose one pile and take the top card from it. The number of points they get depend on the value/rank of the card. However if the other pair suss them out and beat them to it by laying claim to two of the three piles, they can choose any pile and take the top card from that. 

Reshuffle and deal the royal cards and aces for each round.

If you wish you can play it with 'bluffs' as well in which one team can attempt to bluff they have a full set and about to attempt to claim the cards, but don't actually lay claim. If a team react and lay claim to two of the piles when a set has not been achieved, they forfeit and the card from the pile goes to the other team.

Slap Jack

Sent in by Mellisa Bear

For 2 (or more) players, but best with 2.

Shuffle and deal out all the cards in a pack between the players, face down. Keeping their cards face down in front of them on the table players take it in turn to turn over their top card and then place it in the middle on to a discard pile. Whenever a Jack is turned up the first player to slap it wins.

The way the game was described players have to slap the Jack card, but it may be more even if players only have to slap the discard pile on seeing the Jack, otherwise the player holding it may have the advantage.

- Can play this to include all royal card
- Winner of the jack can either get points or win the cards underneath.


Sent in by Princesjd96

One of those timeless card games you can play by yourself, particularly when looking for something to while away the hours such as long waits or journeys.

If you have a Windows PC you may already have played this and have the idea.

Shuffle a pack of cards (without any jokers) and then deal 7 cards face down next to each other in a row (so you have 7 cards in a row). Deal again but this time only 6 cards, face down and starting with the second card from the left. Repeat so that next time its 5 cards only face down and 3rd from the right. Continue dealing out with 1 card less each time until you deal 1 card only onto the right most pile. At which point you should have 7 piles of cards with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 cards in them respectively. Put the remaining cards into a pile face down to one side and turn the top most card of this face up and the topmost card of each pile face up.

The objective is to put all the cards into four piles of each suite and in sequence starting with Aces at the bottom and Kings last.

If any of the face up cards are Aces you can move these out and start a pile of that suite. The next card that can go on top has to be the next highest a 2, then a 3 and so on. But remember these can ONLY be placed if the next lowest card of the same suite is placed in one of the four suite piles.

If you cannot take a card out and place it on one of the suite piles, you can do one one or both of the following:

a) Turn over the next topmost card of the spare pile (sometimes this is played so that you turn over the next three cards, but can only play the topmost of these three).

b) Try to access and turn over the cards you have dealt and remain face down by the following:

Rule 1: A face up card can be moved and placed under a card of the opposite colour and of the next highest value, eg a 3 of Diamonds (red) can only be placed under a 4 of Spades (Black ) or 4 of Clubs (Black).

Rule 2: Whenever a face up card is moved from the dealt pile and exposes a face down card. The next face down card of the pile can be turned face up.

Rule 3: Only Kings can be placed in an empty pile (ie where no cards remain).

If you have 2 or more cards face up in a single pile in the dealt hand, eg the 4 Spades with a 3 Diamonds on top, you can move all the face up cards in one go, so long as the highest value card in this group (in this case the 4 Spades) is moved according to Rule 1. In this case a 5 of Hearts or 5 of Diamonds.

Once the spare pile has been worked through, you turn all the cards face down and start working through it again.

The game finishes either when you have managed to put all the cards in sequence in their respective suites, or you can no longer make any moves (ie you have worked through the spare pile and unable to place any cards).


Sent in by Debbie Reed, Elkhorn Valley Adventures, Bergholz, OH, U.S.A

You will need: enough spoons for every person in your group but one, and 1 deck of cards (or 2, depending on the size of your group)

Set up: Sit the group at some kind of table or open area with the spoons in the center of the group just within reach of each player. Like “Stick”, the deck is shuffled and each player is given at least 4 cards (you may give more, as long as each player has the same amount). The remainder of the deck sits face down in front of the dealer. 

Goal: Each player’s goal is to get 4 of the same cards (ex. 4-aces, 4-eights, etc…) or a 4-number run (ex. 2-3-4-5). 

Play: The dealer takes the top card from the deck and decides if he wants to keep it. If kept, the dealer must then discard a card from his hand, so there are only 4 (or whatever predetermined number) cards in his hand at any time. If he does not want it, he passes it, face down, to the person to his right. While the person to the dealer's right is looking at the card that has just been passed to them and makes a decision whether to keep or pass it on, the dealer takes another card from the pile and decides on that. 

As the dealer continues passing cards one-by-one. Eventually, the entire table is looking through cards. If someone is not quick, they will have a pile of cards beside them.

Once someone gets a set of 4 (of a kind or a run), they grab a spoon. Seeing this, everyone else tries to grab a spoon in time. Since there are not enough spoons for everyone, the person who does not get the spoon in time is out. The game begins again, minus that person. This continues until there are 2 people fighting for one spoon. After that, the winner is declared and everyone is back in the game, with dreams of being the spoon champion!


Supplied by Kathrin Logan

Silly but fun game for any number of players of 3 or more, but best in small groups. This game can get extremely fast and players win by being able to concentrate on several things at once....

One person is chosen as dealer. Pack shuffled and 4 cards are dealt to each person playing including the dealer. The rest of pack is placed face down in front of dealer. Object of the game is get 4 cards of the same rank (ace, 1, 2, 3 - king). Dealer proceeds to take the top card from the pack in front of them and decides whether to keep it or pass it on face down to the player on their left (clockwise). When the dealer has passed the card on they immediately take the next card from the pile, check it and then pass it on. Each player once they have been given a card does the same... Those who are a bit slower at checking soon find a small pile building up for them to check through. Last person (right of the dealer) just discards their unwanted cards in a pile in front of them. 

As soon as a player gets four cards of the same rank they continue to pass the cards around, BUT stick their tongue out unobtrusively so that it only just sticks out and is visible to everybody else playing. Players as soon as they see another player has stuck their tongue out, also do the same and continue to pass cards around.. Last player to notice looses and is given the first letter of the word 'Stick'. On subsequent losses the get the other letters in turn until they have the whole word at which point they are out.

Dealer changes each round to the person to the left.. or right of dealer last time or whatever you choose!