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.
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.
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.