Stealing Bundles

Stealing Bundles is a game from the same fishing family as Cassino. It is played with two players. Players collect cards from the board with cards from their hand of the same rank. But if you happen to have another card of the same rank as the one your opponent just captured, you’re in luck, because then you can capture every card they’d collected up to that point!

Because of the simple game play and how one lucky card can radically change the game, there’s not a lot of strategy to Stealing Bundles. However, that makes it an excellent game to play with a young child. It can be used as a fun way to introduce kids to card games and the idea of forming pairs of cards. By the time they’re old enough to add, they might find Cassino more engaging.

Object of Stealing Bundles

The object of Stealing Bundles is to capture more cards than your opponent by pairing cards from your hand with those on the board and the card your opponent most recently paired.

Setup

Stealing Bundles requires one 52-card deck of playing cards. If you’re playing with a youngster, you could probably use the durability of Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards even more than usual.

Shuffle and deal four cards to each player. Then, deal four board cards face up to the center of the table. Place the stub to one side of the board cards, forming the stock.

Game play

The non-dealer plays first. They examine their hand and the four board cards. If a card from their hand forms a pair with a card from the center of the table, they may capture that card. This is done by revealing the card from their hand, collecting the board card, and putting both cards face-up into a stack in front of them. This pile is called the player’s bundle. (Every capture a player makes is added to the same bundle pile.) Should there be multiple cards of the same rank on the board, one card from the hand can capture every card of that rank.

If a player cannot capture any cards on a turn, they discard one card, face up, to the board. This is known as trailing. After either making a capture or trailing, a player’s turn ends.

After a player’s opponent has started a bundle, the player may capture the bundle by revealing a card of the same rank as the top card of the bundle. By doing so, the player captures every card in the opponent’s bundle, adding them all to their own bundle pile!

After four turns, the players will have exhausted their hands. Deal four new cards from the stock to each player (but not the board). Continue refreshing the players’ hands every four turns until the stock is depleted. When the stock runs out, each player continues playing cards until they are unable to make any more plays. Each player then counts up the number of cards in their bundle. Whoever has more cards (i.e. whoever has more than 26 cards) wins.

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Through the Window

Through the Window is a simple game of quick thinking, perfect for children. It can accommodate three to thirteen players. Although it’s played with cards, it’s really more of a word game than anything else!

Object of Through the Window

The object of Through the Window is to be the first player to name a noun that starts with the same letter as the card just revealed.

Setup

Through the Window is played with a typical 52-card deck of playing cards. Kids tend to get rambunctious with cards—make sure you use durable cards like Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards.

Shuffle and deal four cards, face down, to each player. Players may not look at their cards. Set the rest of the deck aside; it will not be used in further game play.

Game play

The dealer goes first. They say “I looked though the window and saw…” and, at that point, turn over one of their face-down cards. Players immediately say any noun that starts with the same letter. (For those of you who don’t remember, or haven’t yet taken, English class, a noun is a person, place, or thing.) For example, if a 3 is turned up, players might call out “tree”, “tiger”, “tank”, “tomato”, “Texas”, or whatever else they might think of. Whether or not something might realistically be seen out the window is beside the point, and coming up with particularly amusing things to see outside is part of the fun.

Whichever player was first to name a word collects the card and keeps it face up in front of them, separate from their face-down cards. The player to the dealer’s left goes next. They, too, say “I looked through the window and saw…” and turn over a card. Again, the players call out nouns to try to win the card. At this point and beyond, players may not repeat any words that successfully won a card. (Words that were called out but beaten to the punch by another player, however, are fair game.)

Game play continues until all of the cards have been awarded to a player. Each player counts the number of cards in their won-cards pile. Whoever has the most cards wins.

Strategy

Most of the game involves quickly seeing the card, recognizing its first letter (which may not be as obvious as it seems at first; 8→E is not necessarily a quick association for some people due to the A sound at the beginning of it), and recalling a word that starts with the right letter. The first two parts are just practice. If you’re having problems thinking of words, come up with some before the game. You only need words starting with A, E, F, J, K, N, Q, S and T. At this point it just becomes an exercise of quick memory.

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James Bond

James Bond is a card game from the Commerce group of games. It can be played by either two or three players. It plays very similarly to a smaller, non-partnership version of Cash (Kemps), with each player holding multiple hands. In James Bond, players manage several four-card piles of cards, swapping cards with those on the table to make four-of-a-kinds.

Object of James Bond

The object of James Bond is to be the first player to collect four of a kind in each of their four-card piles.

Setup

James Bond is played using one standard 52-card pack of playing cards. Believe us, if you use Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards, you’ll definitely be as cool as James Bond.

Shuffle and deal the entire deck out into piles of four. With two players, give each player six of the piles; with three, give each player four piles. Players should keep the piles in front of them, clearly separated, and not look at them until the game begins. You’ll be left with one extra pile; turn it face up and spread it in the center of the play area, easily accessible to all players.

Game play

Players do not take turns in James Bond. Instead, every player acts simultaneously, playing as quickly as they can. Claiming cards is very much a first-come, first-served sort of ordeal!

Upon a signal from the dealer, all players begin play at once. They may pick up any one of their piles and look at it. If they wish to look at a different pile, they must place the first one face down on the table before picking up another one. A player cannot hold one or more piles in their hand at the same time. Piles cannot be combined, and cards may not be switched directly between piles.

When a player is holding one of their piles in their hand, they may switch any one card from that pile with one of the cards on the table. A player cannot switch more than one card at a time. If a player wishes to take multiple cards from the table, they must switch one card, then the other. Players may move cards between piles by swapping them with cards on the table, then switching piles and swapping again. Of course, this runs the risk of an opponent claiming the cards during the time that they’re on the table.

Game play continues until one player has collected four of a kind in every one of their piles. They call out “James Bond!” and turn their cards face up to allow the opponents to verify that they do, in fact, have four of a kind in each pile. If so, the player wins the game.

Strategy

A decent amount of skill in this game is simply being fast. A player swapping cards quickly is more likely to establish a four-of-a-kind before their opponent. Part of this is inherent reflexes, and part is just practice.

Other than that, the best strategy in this game is to simply be aware of what’s going on. It’s easy to get lost in the frenzy of card swapping and get tunnel vision for what you need to complete your piles. Try to pay attention to what your opponent is doing, though. If you can remember what your opponent has been taking, you can retain cards of that rank in your piles until you are ready to complete a four-of-a-kind. If you have multiple cards of that rank split across piles, you can seriously delay them in completing their piles.

See also

 

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Beggar My Neighbor

Beggar My Neighbor is a simple game for two players. Much like War, there is no skill involved; the entire game consists of turning up cards and taking action based on what comes up, meaning it is a good game for the young or anyone who isn’t up for focusing too hard on a game.

Beggar My Neighbor was the game played by Pip in the Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations.

Object of Beggar My Neighbor

The object of Beggar My Neighbor is to collect all of the cards. All of them.

Setup

Beggar My Neighbor is played with a standard 52-card deck of playing cards. If you don’t have a set of Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards, go beg your neighbor to let you borrow theirs.

Shuffle and deal 26 cards to each player (the entire pack). Each player squares up their cards into a pile. Players may not look at their cards.

Game play

The non-dealer plays first, turning one card face-up from their pile. The dealer responds by turning over one of their cards on top of their opponent’s card, and so on, players turning cards alternately, leaving the cards in the center of the table, forming a face-up pile.

When a player turns up a face card or an ace, their opponent must immediately pay a penalty of four cards for an ace, three for a king, two for a queen, and one for an ace. These cards are turned face up one by one and placed on the pile, as usual. If they are all number cards, then the person who played the penalty card collects the entire central pile, turns it face-down, and adds it to the bottom of their pile. However, if one of the cards paid is a penalty card, the payment stops, and the other player is then liable for a penalty payment. This continues until there are no more penalty cards played; whoever played the most recent penalty card takes the pile.

Game play continues until one player has amassed all 52 cards in their pile, or until one player is out of cards (in which case the other player takes the pile and thus the entire deck). The player with all the cards is the winner.

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Old Maid

Three queens

Old Maid is a classic children’s game, relying on little more than pure luck. It is suitable for two to ten players.

Object of Old Maid

The object of Old Maid is to avoid being the player left with the unmatched queen.

Setup

To play Old Maid, you’ll need a standard 52-card deck of playing cards, like Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards, with one of the queens removed.

Shuffle and deal the entire deck out as evenly as it will go. Some players will have more cards than others, which is perfectly all right.

Game play

Players start by looking at their hands, finding any pairs, and discarding them to a central discard pile. Play begins with dealer fanning their cards out so that the backs of them are facing the player to their left. That player draws a card from the dealer’s hand. If it forms a new pair with one of the cards already in the player’s hand, they discard the pair. They then allow the player to their left to draw a card, and so on.

Eventually, two of the three queens will be paired and discarded, and the third queen will stand alone, unable to be matched. This queen is referred to as the Old Maid. The primary interest in the game then becomes the whereabouts and circulation of the Old Maid; the player that holds it wants to encourage the player next to them to draw it. Players may do whatever they think will be effective in convincing them to draw the Old Maid, short of outright exposing cards or refusing to allow the player to take the selected card from their hand.

As players pair up their cards and discard them, they will gradually run out of cards, until they have completely exhausted their hand. Players who have run out of cards sit out and take no further part in game play. Eventually, all the players will have dropped out but one, who is holding the Old Maid; this player is the loser.

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Jack Change It

Jack Change ItJack Change It is a shedding-type game for two to six players. Its simplicity makes it a popular game for children. Like the commercial game Uno, Jack Change It takes the basic gameplay mechanic of Crazy Eights and extends it by adding special abilities to the other cards in the game.

Object of Jack Change It

The object of Jack Change It is to be the first player to run out of cards.

Setup

Jack Change It uses a standard 52-card deck of playing cards. We follow that statement with our usual recommendation that you use Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards.

Shuffle and deal seven cards to each player. Place the deck stub in the center of the table, forming the stock, and turn its top card face-up next to the stock. This card, the upcard, is the first card of the discard pile.

Game play

Play begins with the player to the dealer’s left. They may play a card from their hand to the discard pile so long as it matches the upcard in either suit or sequence. After they do so, play passes to the next player to the left, who must then match the new upcard. If a player has no legal plays, they draw one card from the deck and the turn passes to the left.

Additionally, several cards are classified as trick cards, which have a special effect on game play. A player may not play a trick card as their final card of the hand; if a trick card is the only card remaining in a player’s hand, they must draw. The trick cards are:

  • 2s: When a 2 is played, the next player must draw two cards from the stock. However, if they possess a 2 themselves, they may play it instead, and the next player after them must draw four cards (two for each 2 played), and so on until someone is unable to avoid drawing cards.
  • 8s: When an 8 is played, the next player’s turn is skipped.
  • Jacks: When a jack is played, the player calls “Jack change it to…” and names one of the other three suits. The next player must play a card of that suit, as if the upcard was a card of that suit.
  • Queens: Queens are only considered trick cards in games of three or more players. A queen reverses the order of game play, so that if play is proceeding to the left, it proceeds to the right after the queen is played, and vice versa.
  • A♥: When the A♥ is played, the next player must draw five cards from the stock. The A♥ may be played in combination with a 2 (the only time two cards may be played at once) to cause the player to draw seven cards. The A♥ may be blocked by playing the 5♥; in this case, no cards are drawn.

Should the stock be depleted, set the current upcard aside, shuffle the rest of the discard pile and turn it face-down to form the new stock.

Game play continues until one player has discarded all of their cards. That player is the winner.

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Authors (Go Fish)

Old books

Authors is a classic game for two or more players. A variant with slightly different rules, Go Fish, is probably the best-known version of the game, and one of the first card games that many children learn to play.

Object of Authors

The object of Authors is to be the player to collect the most books (sets of four of a kind).

Setup

Authors uses one standard 52-card deck of playing cards. If a set of Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards is handy, so much the better. Shuffle and deal seven cards to each player. The deck stub is placed in the center of the table and becomes the stock.

Game play

The player to the dealer’s left goes first. They ask any other player, by name, for a particular card, e.g. “Martin, do you have the Queen of Spades?” A player must have at least one card of the rank they are asking for in their hand. If the player being asked does have the card named, they are required to hand it over, and the player who asked continues with their turn, asking another player for a card.

If the player being asked doesn’t have the card, they simply say they don’t, and the player who asked unsuccessfully draws a card. If they happen to draw the last card that they asked for, they reveal it and continue to play. Otherwise, the turn passes to the next player to the left.

When a player manages to collect four of a kind in their hand, they place all four cards face-up on the table in front of them, forming a book. They then continue with their turn as normal.

When the stock is depleted, the game continues, with players unsuccessful in asking for cards simply ending their turn without drawing. The game ends when all thirteen books have been assembled. The player with the most books is the winner.

Go Fish

Go Fish is an easier variant of Authors that is frequently played by children. The main difference between Authors and Go Fish is that in Go Fish, the player asks for all of the cards of a given rank, e.g. “Jon, do you have any jacks?” If the player asked does have the cards of the rank specified, they hand all of them over; otherwise, they tell the other player to “go fish”. Should the player draw any card of the rank they asked for, they get to continue with their turn.

If you’re playing with very young children, you can make Go Fish even easier to play by requiring only a pair to be laid down, rather than four of a kind. As before, the game ends when all 26 pairs have been played, and the player with the most pairs is the winner.

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Snip Snap Snorem

Snip Snap Snorem is a simple children’s game for two or more players. Although it dates back to at least the 18th century, it is quite a simple game, with the only skill necessary being the ability to match ranks of cards.

Object of Snip Snap Snorem

The object of Snip Snap Snorem is to be the first player to successfully get rid of all your cards by discarding cards of the same rank as previously-played cards.

Setup

Snip Snap Snorem is played with a standard 52-card deck. Since you’ll probably be playing with many excited children, the durability of Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards will come in handy.

Shuffle and deal the cards out, one at a time, until they’re all gone. Some players may end up having more cards than others.

Game play

The player to the left of the dealer goes first. They play one card of their choosing face up to the center of the table. The next player to the left plays another card of the same rank, if able, saying “Snip”. The next player to the left may play another card of that rank, saying “Snap”, and if the fourth player has the fourth card of that rank, they say “Snorem”. If, at any time, the active player does not have a card of the rank required, they simply say “Pass”, and their turn is skipped. When a player gets to play the final card of a rank and say “Snorem”, they may play again with the first card of a new rank.

Game play continues until one player has run out of cards. That player is the winner.

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Snap

Snap is a simple children’s game with the distinction of being entirely skill-based, which is fairly unusual among the category. Specialized Snap decks are available for sale, but the game works just as fine with standard playing cards. Snap can be played by two to six players.

Object of Snap

The object of Snap is to gain all 52 cards in play.

Setup

Snap can be played with any deck of cards that has several matching pairs or sets of cards. However, using a standard 52-card deck of cards, such as Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards, is most common.

Shuffle and deal the cards out as evenly as they will go. It doesn’t matter too much if some players have one card more or less than the others. Players may not look at the cards; instead, they form them into a face-down pile called the stock.

Game play

The player to the left of the dealer plays first. They simply turn the top card of their stock face-up, grab the card from the far side and flip it up away from oneself, as in games like Egyptian Ratscrew and Slapjack. This is done to prevent the player from getting an early peek at their card. This first card forms the player’s discard pile. The person to the left  plays next, in a similar way, and so on.

If any player (not necessarily the player whose turn it is!) notices that the top cards of any two discard piles match, they call out “Snap!” That player takes both of those discard piles and adds them face-down to the bottom of their stock. (If more than one player calls “Snap”, whoever said it first gets the win—be honest!) Should a player call “Snap” erroneously, that player’s discard pile becomes a snap pool, being moved to the center of the table. This pile can be claimed in much the same way as the others, except players must call “Snap pool!” to gain a snap pool.

If any player’s stock is depleted, they are eliminated from the game. Game play continues until there is only one player remaining; that player is the winner.

 

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Slapjack

Slapjack is a classic children’s game, one of the rare games whose main game mechanic is named in its title—you pretty much slap jacks, and that’s the game. This card-spotting-and-slapping mechanic shows up in a few other games, such as Egyptian Ratscrew, but those probably inherited it from Slapjack. Slapjack is best for two to eight players.

Object of Slapjack

The object of Slapjack is to collect all of the cards in play by slapping jacks as they appear.

Setup

The usual game of Slapjack uses one standard 52-card deck, although a second deck can easily be added for a longer game or to expand the game to more players, and it doesn’t matter much if the backs are different. Because Slapjack is one of those boisterous games that can be bad on a deck of cards, using plastic cards like Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards is highly recommended.

Shuffle and deal the entire deck out, starting with the player to the left of the dealer and continuing clockwise, as evenly as it will go. Some players may receive more cards than others, which is okay. Each player squares their cards up into a neat stack—players may not look at their cards at any time.

Game play

The player to the left of the dealer goes first, beginning by flipping one card face up from their stack and playing it to the center of the table. Since the player would have an advantage if they turned the card up the normal way, since they would glimpse the card before anyone else, Slapjack convention is to grab the card from the far side and flip it up away from oneself. The next player to the left does the same, flipping a card face up and adding to the central pile. Cards played out of turn remain on the pile, and are considered dead cards—any effect their rank would have on game play is ignored—and the player who played them must play again when it becomes their turn (in essence, charging them a fee of one card for playing out of turn).

When a jack appears atop the central pile, the first player to slap the jack wins the entire pile of cards. If multiple players slap the jack, the player whose hand is on the bottom, skin in direct contact with the jack, wins the pile. The winner takes the entire pile and places it face down at the bottom of their stack. If a player slaps a card other than a jack, they pay one card, face down, to the player who played the erroneously-slapped card to the pile.

Players that run out of cards are eliminated for the time being. They may slap in to the game, so long as there are two active players in the game, by slapping a jack and winning the pile as per usual; this privilege is revoked if the player makes a false slap, permanently shutting them out of the game. Likewise, if a jack appears and an eliminated player fails to slap it, they are also permanently shut out of the game.

Game play continues until one of the final two players is eliminated from the game, and the other player has all of the cards, winning the game.

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