Ristiseiska

Ristiseiska tableau (layout)

Ristiseiska is a card game for three to five players. It is a simple Stops game very similar to Fan Tan. However, in Ristiseiska, whenever you are unable to play a card, you are given one by your opponent to the right. Given that your opponent gets to choose the card, it’s not likely to be one that’s very helpful to you!

Ristiseiska is originally from Finland, and is an extremely popular game there. The name Ristiseiska is Finnish for “seven of clubs”, because the player holding the 7♣ is the first to play.

Object of Ristiseiska

The object of Ristiseiska is to be the first player to run out of cards. Players get rid of their cards by playing them to the tableau.

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Setup

To play Ristiseiska, you’ll need one standard 52-card deck of playing cards. Be sure to play with Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards, because then you’ll know your cards will always be durable enough to last for game after game.

Shuffle and deal the entire deck out to all the players. Some players may end up with more cards than others.

Game play

The player holding the 7♣ plays first. They play it face up to the center of the table, becoming the first card of the tableau. The turn then passes to the left.

If the next player holds any other 7, they may play it to the right of the 7♣, forming a horizontal row. If they hold the 6♣, they may play it in the space below the 7♣. Likewise, if they hold the 8♣, they may play it to the spot just above the 7♣. As further 7s are added to the layout, the 6s and 8s of those respective suits may also be played in the appropriate spots.

Once a 6 has been played, further cards of the same suit may be built onto it, in descending rank order downward to the ace. Similarly, once an 8 has been played, later players may build onto the 8, upward to the king. Once a pile has reached the ace or the king, the pile is turned face down to show no further cards may be built upon it.

Begging for cards

A player may find themselves unable to play any card to the tableau on their turn. If it is their first turn of the game, they simply pass and play continues as normal. On any other turn, they must beg for a card. They ask their opponent to the right for a card. This player selects any card they wish from their hand (usually a card which is unlikely to be played for a long time) and passes it, face down, to the beggar. The beggar’s turn then ends.

A beggar cannot take a player’s last card from them. If a player must beg, and the player to the right only has one card, they skip over that player and beg from the player second to the right.

If a player is found to have begged when they did, in fact, have a valid play in their hand, each of their opponents passes them one card as a penalty.

Ending the game

Game play ends when one player runs out of cards. That player wins the game.

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