Card Game Basics

Here is a new category of post I am trying out: How to play games. Since I have a fairly encyclopedic knowledge of game rules, and often have friends asking for refreshers/reminders/can-I-teach someone-else, let’s spread the joy!

I am including some basic premises of playing card games here, and will be adding the how to play for different games we enjoy. This is how we play these games. Of course there are various ways to play, but we find these versions to be fun.

May everyone enjoy games, game nights, and camaraderie!

Card Game Basics

Unless otherwise noted:

Deal one card to each player, starting with the person to the left, counter-clockwise (again to the left), until every player ending on the dealer has the desired number of cards.

Draw one card only per turn (best at the beginning of the turn), and discard one card (indicating your turn is over, and no take-backs (unless friends are nice)).

Type: what kind of overarching game it is.

Rummy Game: sets of three or more of the same number (AAA, 888 etc.) or runs of cards in ascending order (789) in the same suit (of all diamonds).

Trick Game: Each player plays one card per trick trying to collect the most cards or tricks in a pile to the side (not in your hand).

Uno game: players try to go out of cards in their hands playing the same number or suit as the card on the discard pile.

Speed Game: Players try to play similar cards as quickly as possible to get out of cards.

Solitaire Game: Players arrange cards, usually from ace to king.

Poker Game: Certain combinations of cards are sought based on their comparative value and rarity.

Collectible Card Game: Players collect cards into their own decks to play.

Objective: how to win

Players: how many players can play

Partners: if with four players, you play on teams

Decks: How many 52 card decks are used, or if a special deck is required

Rounds: how many times the cards are dealt before the game ends

Jokers: does the deck use jokers

Wilds: what cards can stand for any card (both in suit and number)

Aces: high, low, or both

Point system: what general point value cards have.

Most games count played cards as positive and un-played cards (usually in hand) as negative.

Face value: each card is worth its own number

          Jacks are 11

          Queens are 12

          Kings are 13

          Aces vary: often 1, 11, 15, or 20

          Wilds are most often 20

Rummy: 2-9 = 5 points

          10-K = 10 pts

          A = 15 pts

          Wilds (if any) = 20 pts

Canasta: Black 3 + any 4-7 = 5 pts

          8-K = 10 pts

          A/2 = 20 pts

          Joker = 50 pts

          Red 3 = 50/100pts

Spades: each trick bid (predicted) correctly = 10 pts

          Each excessive trick bid incorrectly = 1 pt.

          Not making bid = -10 pts/trick bid

Nertz: each card is one point

          Unplayed nertz = -2 pts each

Scopa: each achieved goal = 1 pt.

          Whoever has the majority of cards = 1 pt

          Most coins/diamonds = 1 pt

          Most sevens = 1 pt.

          The seven of coins/diamonds = 1 pt.

          Each scopa = 1 pt.