The Incomplete Guide to Nice Little Card Games

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  • #1418426

    In which I present, in no particular order, some card games which might be nice to play
    with your family and/or friends. (Note to mods: No text will be copied from any website,
    and I’ll make each game a separate post to keep them short.)

    No Thanks!
    3-5p (3-5 players) / 8^ (age 8 and up) / 20m (Playing time: 20 minutes)

    The object of No Thanks! is to score the fewest points, which come from cards that players will
    be taking over the course of the game. Each card will score as many points as the number on it
    at the end of the game; however, if a player has cards with consecutive numbers (e.g., 11, 12,
    and 13), only the lowest of those numbers will score. But how do you actually play?

    The deck consists of 33 cards numbered 3-34. After shuffling them, 9 are removed at random,
    face down, and will not be used. Each player is given 11 tokens, each of which is worth -1 point
    at the end of the game. The starting player turns over the top card of the deck, and must choose
    either to keep it or place one of their tokens on it (saying “No thanks!” is optional). If they place
    a token on it, the next player in clockwise order must choose whether to place a token on it
    or to keep the card and the token, and so on. Whenever a player keeps a card, they
    turn over the top card of the deck and the process starts again. Play continues in this way until
    the last card has been taken; the scores are counted up, and the player with the fewest points wins.

    #1418532

    (Well, that’s obviously a great start. 🙂 At least now I’ll know where to put line breaks.)

    It might have been unclear that after a player takes a card, that player,
    not the starting player, must then choose whether to keep or refuse the next card.
    I also forgot to mention that players’ remaining chips are kept hidden according to
    the rules, although some people do prefer to play with them kept open.

    #1418538

    Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine breaeareaeareaeareaeareaeaks!!!!!!!!!!!

    Also, the play time should probably have been listed as 20-30 minutes.

    (Future entries will be rechecked. And. Line. Broken. Into. Submission.)

    #1421571

    Continuing the theme of avoiding points, here’s a game with
    somewhat similar scoring to No Thanks!, but that features
    more traditional play-a-card-on-your-turn, color-collecting
    gameplay rather than No Thanks!’s series of pseudo-auctions.

    Parade
    2-6p (4 probably best) / 8^ / 25-40m(?)

    The object of the game is to score the fewest points, which come
    from cards that players will be taking over the course of the game.
    Each card is worth its number (0-10) in points, but the player with
    the most cards of a color only scores 1 point for each of their cards
    of that color (there are 6 colors, each one featuring a different
    Alice in Wonderland character).
    [With only 2 players, one player must have 2 more cards
    of a color than their opponent does to “have the most”.]

    Players start with 5 cards in their hand, and a line of 6 cards is
    laid out horizontally in the center. On their turn, players must
    play 1 card from their hand to the back of the line of cards.
    The played card’s number is counted forward from it, and all cards
    after that number (so the 4th card and on, if a 3 was played) which
    either are the same color as the played card or have a number
    equal to or less than the played card’s number are taken by the
    player and kept in front of them. The remaining cards are shifted to
    close any gaps in the line, and the player draws a card from the deck.

    Play continues in this manner until either the deck of cards is empty,
    or any player has at least 1 card of each color in front of them
    (that player would not draw a card at the end of their turn).
    Each (other) player then takes one more turn without drawing a card
    at the end, so that all players have 4 cards in their hand. Then, each
    player puts 2 of the 4 cards in their hand in front of them to score
    along with the cards they took over the course of the game.
    Scores are counted and the player with the fewest points wins.

    (As a variant, you can play for most points instead of fewest.)

    #1421588

    Another get-the-fewest-points game, in which all players
    choose the card they’re going to play at the same time.

    6 nimmt! (aka Take 6(!), Take 5(!), Category 5, and Slide 5)
    2-10p (very few or many players not recommended) / 8^ / 45m

    The object of the game is to score the fewest points, which come from
    cards that players will be taking over the course of the game.
    The game consists of a deck of cards numbered 1-104 (we’ll talk about
    how many points they’re worth later). Gameplay revolves around four
    piles of cards. One card is placed on each pile to start, and the players
    each start with 10 cards in their hands.
    In a round, each of the players chooses one of their cards to play and
    places it face down before them. The players then reveal their cards
    simultaneously, and the cards are then placed onto the different piles
    in lowest-to-highest order, as follows.
    Each card is placed on the pile whose top card is the closest to it from
    below (the highest number that is still lower than the card’s number).
    For example, the 100 would always go on top of the 99 if it was there,
    followed by the 98, etc.
    If a card is not higher than any of the top cards of the 4 piles,
    the player whose card it is must choose a pile and take all the
    cards in it to keep, and the card they played then becomes
    the top (and only) card of that pile.
    If a pile reaches 6 cards, the player whose card was the 6th
    must take the first 5 cards to keep, and the card they played
    then becomes the top (and only) card of that pile

    After 10 rounds, the players have no cards left. Scores are counted up,
    and if any player has a score higher than 66, the game ends, and the
    player with the fewest points is the winner. If no player has reached
    66 points, all the cards are reshuffled and the game starts again,
    with players keeping the points they had scored so far.

    The point values of the cards are as follows (they have point symbols
    on them, so players don’t have to remember all of this when scoring):
    Numbers ending with a 5 – 2 points.
    Numbers ending with a 0 – 3 points.
    Doubled-digit numbers (11, 22, etc.) – 5 points.
    “55” – 7 points (it’s doubled and ends with a 5).
    All other numbers – 1 point.

    This game is pretty high on luck. For a little more predictability and less
    chaos, use only cards equal to the number of players times 10, plus 4
    more, starting from 1. (For example, with 4 players, 1-40, plus 41-44,
    or with 3 players, 1-30, plus 31-34.)

    #1421558

    Any questions should be asked >here<, please.

    #1421922

    Redleg
    Participant

    What’s wrong with Bridge?

    #1422620

    DovidBT
    Participant

    What’s wrong with Bridge?

    Or Pinochle?

    #1423023

    Just redoing No Thanks! (partially rewritten and with variants added).
    There will be one more game of taking the fewest points, and then I
    think you’ll see a Chanukah-candle-themed game, followed by a few
    with food themes (everyone likes food, right?).

    No Thanks!
    3-5p (3-5 players) / 8^ (age 8 and up) / 20m (Play time: 20-30 minutes)

    The object of No Thanks! is to score the fewest points, which come
    from cards that players will be taking over the course of the game.
    Each card will score as many points as the number on it at the end
    of the game; however, if a player has cards with consecutive numbers
    (e.g., 11, 12, and 13), only the lowest of those numbers will score.
    So, how do you actually play?

    The deck consists of 33 cards numbered 3-34. After shuffling them,
    9 are removed at random ( face down) and will not be used.
    Each player is given 11 tokens, each of which is worth -1 point at the
    end of the game, which they keep hidden (any additional tokens
    they get during the game are kept along with the starting tokens).
    A player is chosen to take the first turn, and the top card of the
    deck is revealed, making it available to be taken.
    On their turns, players must choose either to keep the currently
    available card or place one of their tokens on it (saying “No thanks!”
    is optional). If they choose to place a token on it, the next player in
    clockwise order must then choose whether to keep the card and
    the token or place one of their own tokens on it, and so on.
    When a player keeps a card (and the tokens on it), they reveal the
    top card of the deck and take another turn. Play continues in this
    manner until the last card has been taken. The scores are counted,
    and the player with the fewest points wins.

    Some variant rules:
    You can play with open tokens (which prevents players from taking
    cards you didn’t expect them to because they had no tokens left).

    To play with a 6th player (and only the included components),
    you can give each player only 9 tokens at the start of the game
    (I don’t know if I’d recommend this, but you can try it out).

    You can play the game as many times as there are players, with each
    player taking the first turn once, and have the lowest total score win.
    (You can play 3 times, with the player whose score was lowest in the
    previous round taking the first turn in the second and third rounds,
    and have the lowest total score win.)

    The official variant – Instead of removing 9 cards, remove the 10, 20,
    and 30 before shuffling the deck, then remove 6 cards after shuffling.

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