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.
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.
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.
Spinado is a game in the Stops family for three to five players. Although the basics of the game are more or less identical to Newmarket (Michigan), it changes the winning conditions for the various pots in the middle of the table. In addition, it grants the A♦ the title of spinado, giving it a special role in the game.
Object of Spinado
The object of Spinado is to obtain the most chips over the course of the game. Chips are collected by playing particular cards associated with individual pots that the players contribute to.
Spinado is played with a stripped deck of only 47 cards. To make a Spinado deck, remove the 8♦ and all of the 2s from a deck of Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards. You’ll be left with a deck of four suits with kings down to 3s, as well as four aces (the diamonds, of course, will be missing the 8).
You also need something to bet with, such as poker chips or some other form of counter, like marbles or beans. If desired, you can have each chip represent some amount of real-world money. If so, each player will need to buy in. Otherwise, give an equal amount of chips to each player.
You will need some way of organizing the three pots in the center of the table. The pots in Spinado are Matrimony, Intrigue, and Game. Each player antes one chip to each pot at the beginning of the hand.
Shuffle and deal out the entire deck, dealing one hand to every player plus one. That is, if playing with four players, deal five hands of nine cards each. If there are any extra cards left over, place them in the extra hand. This hand is discarded and serves no part in game play.
The player to the dealer’s left starts the hand by playing any card they wish. Whoever has the next highest card of the same suit—cards rank in their usual order, with aces low—may play it next. And so on it goes, until play is stopped by the next-higher card in the sequence being in the dead hand (or removed, as when an ace or the 7♦ is played). When that happens, the last person to play can choose any card they wish, and play continues from the new starter.
The A♦ is called the spinado, and has a special power not granted to any other card. The player holding the spinado can play it alongside any other valid play, interrupting the sequence. Because the 2♦ is removed from the deck, the spinado also stops play, so the person playing it also gets to start a new sequence. That means the player holding the spinado can essentially play three cards in a row!
If a player holds K-Q♦ and gets the chance to play them both, they collect all of the chips in the Matrimony pot. Likewise, if a player can play Q-J♦, they take all of the chips in the Intrigue pot. A lucky player who can play K-Q-J♦ takes both pots!
Ending the hand
Game play continues until one player runs out of cards. That player wins the hand and collects the Game pot. Any uncollected amounts in the Matrimony and Intrigue pots are carried over to the next hand. In fact, the pots are more often left unclaimed than not, because of the difficulty in both getting the two necessary cards and getting the chance to play them!
If a player holds the spinado at the end of the hand, having failed to play it, they must pay the winner two chips for each card in their hand.
The deal passes to the left and each player except the winner of the previous hand antes again to each pot. The game continues until some predetermined time or number of hands. Whichever player has the most chips at that point wins the game.
Last One is a variant of Crazy Eights for two to six players. Like other Crazy Eights variants, Last One takes the base gameplay of its parent game and adds additional cards beyond 8s that have special effects. It also incorporates a scoring system, allowing the game to go on beyond a single hand. Last One dates back to at least the 1970s, having been reported then being played in Maine.
Object of Last One
The object of Last One is to be the last one remaining under a certain point threshold. This is achieved by discarding as many cards as possible from your hand.
To play Last One, you’ll need access to a standard 52-card deck of playing cards with two jokers. If you don’t, do yourself a favor and grab a set of Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards. You’ll also need something to keep score with, whether it be the time-honored pencil and paper or something more modern, like a scorekeeping app on a phone.
Shuffle and deal the cards out. The dealer may choose to deal any number of cards for the hand, from four to eight. The dealer may also deal a nine-card hand if there is unanimous agreement among the players. Place the stub in the center of the table, forming the stock. Turn the top card of the stock face up; this card, the upcard, will be the top card of the discard pile.
The player to the dealer’s left normally goes first, unless the first upcard has a special effect that would change this, as described below. As in Crazy Eights, they must play a card to the discard pile that matches the current upcard in either suit or rank. This card becomes the new upcard. If a player has no cards that they are able or willing to play to the discard pile, they draw one card from the stock and the turn passes to the next player.
When a player is reduced to having one card in their hand, they must call out “last one”. If they fail to do so by the time the next person plays, they draw two cards from the stock as a penalty.
When the stock is depleted, set aside the current upcard and shuffle the remainder of the discard pile, turning it face down to start a new stock.
Special card effects
Almost half of the cards in the deck have some special effect that happens when they are played. The only cards that do not are 5s–7s, 9s, 10s, queens, and kings.
The next player must draw two cards and their turn is skipped.
After playing a 3, a player may stack any additional card on top of it, essentially giving them a free play. This stacked card becomes the new upcard.
Playing a 4 starts a run of plays called a melee. The player who discarded the 4 is the aggressor and the next player in turn becomes the defender. If anyone holds the 5 of the same suit as the 4, they may play it. In so doing, they become the new aggressor and the previous aggressor becomes the defender. This continues, with anyone holding the 6 of the appropriate suit being able to play it and becoming the new aggressor, and so on. If a player does not play, the most recent defender draws a number of cards equal to the pip value of the last card played. Play then continues as normal, starting with the player in turn order after the defender.
An 8 may be played at any time. The player who plays it names any one of the four suits, with the next player required to play a card of that suit, or switch suits with another 8.
The next player in turn is skipped.
The turn of play reverses direction. If, before the ace was played, play was proceeding to the left, it now proceeds to the right, and vice-versa.
A joker can represent any natural card in the deck, as chosen by the person who plays it. The next player must continue with a card of the same rank or suit as the card named.
Ending the hand
The hand ends when a player runs out of cards. That player, as well as any other player who holds only one card, scores zero for the hand. All other players total up the values of the cards in their hand, with jokers worth 40 points, 8s worth 25, aces worth 15, face cards worth 10 each, and all other cards worth their pip value. The total arrived at is added to their score.
The deal then passes to the left. When players reach a predetermined score threshold (such as 250 points), they drop out of play, sitting out of further hands. Game play continues until only one player is left. That player wins the game.
Play or Pay is a simple game from the Stops family for three or more players. One player starts a sequence, and each player in turn must play the next higher card that continues it—or pay up!
Object of Play or Pay
The object of Play or Pay is to be the first player to run out of cards.
Play or Pay uses a standard 52-card deck of playing cards. We accompany that statement with the familiar exhortation to give Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards a try. You’ll also need something to bet with, such as poker chips or some other convenient value-bearing token.
Discuss with your players whether or not actual money will be changing hands in the game. If so, sell the players the amount of chips they wish to purchase. Otherwise, distribute an equal number of chips to each player.
Shuffle and deal out the deck as far as it will go. Some players may receive more cards than others; this is perfectly fine.
The player to the dealer’s left begins the first sequence, playing any card that they desire, face up in front of them. The next player to the left must then play the next-highest card of the same suit if they hold it. If they don’t, they pay one chip to the pot and play passes to the left. Eventually, one player will be able to play the card (since every card in the deck was dealt) and the next player after them will be required to play the next card in sequence. This continues on up to the king of that suit, which is followed by the ace, and then the 2.
The sequence ends when the card immediately below the card that started the sequence—that is, the thirteenth card of the suit—is played. Whichever player holds this card immediately plays a card of one of the other three suits to start a new sequence.
Game play continues until one player runs out of cards. That player wins the hand. Each of their opponents pays one chip to the pot for each card they hold in their hand. The winner then collects the entire pot, and the deal passes to the left for the next hand.
Crates is a game in the Stops family that can be played by two to five players, with four players in partnerships being the usual arrangement. Like many games before and after it, Crates extends the basic game play of Crazy Eights, adding additional effects by various cards and an entire scoring system.
Crates was invented by a group of Chicago Contract Bridge players in 1970, who used it as a way to kill time waiting for Bridge sessions to start. It was spread throughout the United States by Bridge players traveling to tournaments in other states.
Object of Crates
The object of Crates is to have the lowest score at the end of fifteen hands. This is achieved by discarding as many cards as possible from your hand.
To play Crates, you’ll need a standard 52-card deck of playing cards. We don’t think it’s too crazy to recommend using Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards. You’ll also need something to keep score with. The traditional pencil-and-paper combo works well, as does one of the many smartphone applications developed for the purpose of keeping score.
If you’re playing the four-player partnership game, determine your partners first, either by mutual agreement or by some random method. Each player should sit across from their partner, with their opponents at their left and right. In partnership games, the partners share a score, but otherwise, play is governed by the same rules as non-partnership games.
As in Oh Hell!, the starting hand size varies from hand to hand. The first hand is dealt with eight cards, the second with seven, and so on until a one-card hand has been played. Thereafter, the hand sizes start increasing again, by one card each hand, until the fifteenth and final hand, which is again played with eight cards.
Shuffle and deal the appropriate number of cards. Place the stub in the center of the table, forming the stock. Turn the top card of the stock face up; this card, the upcard, will be the top card of the discard pile. If the upcard is an 8 or a 9, the dealer must name a suit for the first play of the game before looking at their cards. If it is a 9, the suit named must be the same color as that of the 9.
The player to the dealer’s left plays first. They play one card from their hand of the same suit or rank as the upcard. If a player is unable to play, they draw one card from the stock, ending their turn. Play then passes to the next player in turn.
If a player is unable to draw when required to because the stock has been exhausted, they receive a pressure. A player’s first pressure of the game is worth five points. Each subsequent pressure in a game scores double the previous one; a player’s second pressure (even if on a later hand) is worth ten points. The third is then worth 20 points, the fourth 40, etc. (In partnership games, the two partners’ pressures are counted together.) Pressures are scored immediately as they happen. After scoring for a pressure, that player then turns the discard pile face down and shuffles it to form a new stock. They then draw from the replenished stock as usual, and their turn ends.
Special card effects
Many cards in Crates have special effects when played. The “typical” cards which do not have any immediate effect on game play when played are aces, 3s, queens, and kings.
When a 2 is played, it starts a run of cards called a 2-sequence. Normal play is suspended until the 2-sequence is resolved. The next player in turn from the player who played a 2 must play either another 2 or an ace. If they can, the next player in turn after them must do the same, and so on. This continues until a player is unable to play either of these cards. That player adds up the total pip value of all of the cards played in the sequence and draws that many cards from the stock. The next player in turn after the person who drew cards plays as usual off the last card of the 2-sequence.
When a 4 is played, the next player’s turn is skipped.
When a 5 is played, each player in turn draws a card, ending with the player before the one who played the 5. (The person who played the 5 does not have to draw a card.) It is important that each player draw in turn, in case a pressure occurs while resolving the 5.
When a 6 is played, the person playing it must play a second card before their turn ends. If they are unable to play another 6 or card of the same suit, they must draw a card, as per usual.
Should a player be stuck with a 6 as their last card, they cannot actually go out, because the 6 would require them to play a second card, which they do not have, so they must draw. Such a situation is called a Cooper.
In the two- and three-player games, the next player in turn draws a card. In bigger games, the player after the next one draws a card. (It’s your partner that draws the card in the four-player partnership version. Convention is to sarcastically thank your partner for the card when they play a 7.) In all cases, this does not count as a turn; they play as normal after drawing.
8s and 9s
Both 8s and 9s allow the player to call a new suit. The following player is required to play a card of that suit, or switch suits with another card of the same rank. The suit called when playing a 9 must be the same color as that 9. There is no such restriction when playing an 8.
The order of play reverses when a 10 is played. That is, if play had been proceeding to the left, it now goes around to the right, and vice-versa. In a two-player game, of course, 10s have no unusual effect.
In a two-player game, a jack acts the same as a 7—the other player draws a card. In a three-player game, the player before the person playing the card draws one card. Jacks have no effect in games of four or more players.
Ending the hand
When a player holds two cards, they must say “One card” upon playing one of them. (The player is jeered by their opponents if they say “Uno” instead.) If they fail to do so, they must start their next turn by drawing two cards. (Note that this means that if another player goes out before their next turn, the penalty is never actually assessed.)
The hand ends when a player ends their turn with no cards. The only exception to this is if a 2-sequence is in progress when this happens. In that case, the hand ends when the 2-sequence is resolved first. (This means it’s possible for a player to run out of cards, watch the 2-sequence to go around back to them, and be forced to draw because they have no cards. The hand still ends then, meaning nobody ends with no cards.)
Players score for the hand based on the values of cards left in their hand. Cards score as follows:
- Aces: 1 point
- 2s: 20 points
- 4s: 15 points
- 5s and 6s: 30 points each
- 7s: 20 points
- 8s: 50 points
- 9s: 30 points
- 10s: 25 points
- Face cards: 10 points each
Scoring for 3s is a little more complicated. A hand with only 3s in it scores –50 points per 3 held. If there are other ranks in the hand, each 3 “covers” one of the other cards. Each card covered by a 3 scores only three points. The only cards that cannot be covered in this way are 8s.
Game play continues until fifteen hands have been played. Whichever player or partnership has the lowest score at that point wins the game.
Comet, also known as Commit, is a game in the Stops family for four to about eight players. As in Pope Joan, the players know about one of the game’s “stops”—the 8♦ is removed from play. Unlike in that game, though the 9♦, called the comet, is much easier to play—it functions as a wild card!
Comet is supposedly named after the 1758 pass-by of Halley’s Comet, having been invented in France around that time period. The name Commit circulated just as early, however, leading to some question as to whether it was the original name and which, if either, is a corruption in spelling for the other.
Object of Comet
The object of Comet is to be the first to score 100 points. Players score points by being the first to run out of cards on each hand.
Comet is typically played with a deck composed of 51 cards or fewer. You can make such a 51-card deck by removing the 8♦ from any standard deck, like Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards. You will also need something to keep score with, such as pencil and paper.
There are two methods to dealing the game. One is to simply deal out the cards as far as they will go, then simply set aside the stub. The unknown cards in the stub will be the “stops” that halt progress in the game, which players will have to discover as they play. The other method is to simply remove additional 8s (and 7s if necessary) until the deck is evenly divisible by the number of players. This has the effect of allowing players to know the stops ahead of time and adjust their strategy.
In Comet, cards rank in their usual order, with aces low.
The player to the dealer’s left goes first. They may play any card they wish, face up, to the table in front of them. Whoever holds the next higher card of the same suit then plays their card, then the next higher, and so on. Ideally, this continues until someone plays the king of that suit. Sometimes, however, it will be because the next card in the sequence would be one of the cards in the stub or the 8♦. As the game progresses, sequences may also stop due to previously-played cards. If the sequence is broken for any reason, the last person to play a card is free to play any card they desire, and the chain begins anew.
The role of the 9♦
The player holding the 9♦ (the comet) is free to play it at any time, even out of turn in an existing sequence. They may play it immediately after playing an in-sequence card, or after another player. When the 9♦ is played, normal play stops. The player to the left of the one who played the 9♦ must either play the 10♦ or the next card in the previous sequence, if any. If the player is unable to play either card, the next player to the left has the same option, and so on. Play proceeds normally after that.
For example, say a sequence begins with the A♣ and continues normally through the 6♣. Someone then plays the 9♦. The person to that player’s left must then play either the 10♦ or the 7♣. If they cannot, the next person to their left must play one of the two cards, if able, and so on.
The player that runs out of cards first wins the hand. They score one point for winning the hand, another point for every card in their opponents’ hands, and two points for each king that was not played. If a player holds the 9♦, unplayed, at the end of the hand, they lose one point.
Pope Joan is a game in the Stops family for four to eight players. It was popular amongst families in the Victorian era. Pope Joan is similar to Newmarket (also known as Michigan) with a few added quirks. Most notably, the 8♦ is missing from the deck, so the 9♦ is extremely difficult to put into play. As a result, playing that card, called Pope Joan, awards its owner with a special payout.
Object of Pope Joan
The object of Pope Joan is to obtain the most chips over the course of the game. Chips are collected by playing particular cards associated with individual pots that the players contribute to.
Pope Joan uses a 51-card deck of playing cards, formed by removing the 8♦ from the standard 52-card deck. Individuals found using cards other than Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards are to be questioned as to their motives.
You’ll also need chips for keeping track of who is winning. You can have your players buy in and have your chips represent real money if you like, but because the game is more luck-based than poker, it is probably better to just let the chips have no cash value. See our post on counting chips for tips on selecting and counting chips. Give each player an equal number of chips to start out with.
Pope Joan is traditionally played with a special board consisting of eight pockets or indentations to hold each of the various pools of chips. These are labeled “Pope”, “Matrimony”, “Intrigue”, Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and Game. A custom-made board is not necessary to play the game, however; whatever means of keeping the pots separate will work. Some ideas include simply drawing divisions on a large sheet of paper or posterboard, using eight drinking glasses (although be advised that using red plastic cups may give onlookers the wrong idea as to what kind of game you’re playing), eight chip trays, a cupcake tin, or whatever. Just be sure that each container is clearly labeled as to which pool the divider contains.
The ante and deal
The first dealer should be determined randomly. They ante six chips to the Pope pool, two each to Matrimony and Intrigue, and one each to all of the remaining pots. The dealer is the only person who antes.
Deal the cards out as evenly as they will go, to as many hands as there are players, plus one. For example, if playing with three players, deal four hands of thirteen cards. The cards to the extra hand should be dealt last, after the dealer’s cards, but before the player to their left’s. Some hands may receive more cards than others; this is fine.
The final (51st) card dealt is turned face up. The suit of this card becomes the “trump” suit for the hand. It should be noted that, in this game, the trump suit does not rank higher than the other suits, as a true trump suit does. If this card is eligible to win any of the pots (see below), the dealer immediately collects the corresponding pot.
Game play begins with the player to the dealer’s left, who plays the lowest card that they hold of any suit they wish, face up. The player that holds the next-higher card of that suit then plays it, and so on. Cards rank in their usual order, with aces high. Players keep playing progressively higher cards of the same suit until nobody is able to continue. This happens because 1) the ace of that suit has been reached, 2) the 7♦ is played, or 3) the necessary card is in the extra, unplayed hand. When this occurs, the last player who was able to make a valid play then starts a new sequence with the lowest card they hold of any suit.
Each pool on the board, except the Game pool, is associated with a particular card or set of cards. When someone plays these cards, they collect the appropriate pot. These pools are:
- Ace, King, Queen, Jack: The appropriate card of the trump suit.
- Intrigue: The queen and jack of trump.
- Matrimony: The king and queen of trump.
- Pope: The 9♦.
Game play continues until one player runs out of cards. That player takes the Game pot. Each of the winner’s opponents pays them one chip for each card left in their hand (except for the 9♦). Any remaining chips in any of the pools remain on the table for the next hand.
Rolling Stone, known in French as Enflé and in German as Schwellen (both meaning, approximately, swollen), is a game for four to six players that bridges the gap between the trick-taking games and the Stops games. Players that can’t follow suit have to take the rest of the trick so far into their hand—meaning a player’s hand can keep getting bigger and bigger as the game goes on, explaining the French and German names. Unfortunately, this tendency does mean that the game can go on quite a long time, as the winner is the one who finally runs out of cards!
Object of Rolling Stone
The object of Rolling Stone is to be the first player to run out of cards.
Rolling Stone uses a deck that varies in composition depending on how many are playing; the game requires that the deck contain eight cards for each player. Starting with a deck of Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards, remove all of the 2s for a six-player game, the 2s through 4s for a five-player game, and the 2s through 6s for a four-player game. You’ll be left with a 48-card deck (aces down through 3s) for the six-player game, a 40-card deck (aces down through 5s) for the five player game, and a 32-card deck (aces down through 7s) for the four-player game.
Shuffle and deal eight cards to each player.
Play begins with the player to the dealer’s left. They may play any card they wish, face up to the center of the table. The next player to the left must then play a card of the same suit, as does the next play, and so on until everyone has played a card (this sequence of cards constitutes a trick). If all the players manage to follow suit, the cards are moved to a discard pile, and the person who played the highest card leads to the next trick. For the purposes of determining the winner of a trick, aces are considered high, and the other cards rank in their usual order.
If a player is unable to follow suit, they collect all of the cards that have been played so far to the trick and add them to their hand. They then lead to the next trick.
Game play continues until one player has completely run out of cards. That player is the winner.
Bartok is a game in the Stops family which starts out very similar to Crazy Eights, but, as the game goes on, accumulates more and more rules with each hand! It is best for six players, but can be played by as few as two.
Object of Bartok
The object of Bartok is to be the first player to discard all of their cards.
Bartok is played with a standard 52-card deck. We heartily recommend you use a deck of Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards if one is available. (And if one isn’t, why not?) You may also wish to have a large piece of paper or even a dry-erase board handy to keep everyone informed as to the ever-growing rules of the game.
Rather than have a typical shuffle and deal, in Bartok, the cards are placed face down in the middle of the table and washed, the resulting pool forming the stock. Each player then draws seven cards from the stock. One player flips a random card from the stock face up. This card, the upcard, is the first card of the discard pile.
Game play begins with whichever player that takes the initiative to make the first legal play. Then, either one of their neighbors, to the left or the right, may make a legal play. Thereafter, play continues in that direction (i.e. if the first player was followed by the player to their right, then play continues on to the right).
On the first hand, Bartok is played with a simple set of rules similar to many other Stops games. On their turn, a player may play any card that matches the upcard in either suit or rank. For example, if the upcard was the 7♣, any seven or any club may be played. This card is placed on the discard pile, then the next player then must match the new upcard. If a player cannot or does not wish to play any of the cards from their hand, they may pass and draw one card; this ends their turn, and play passes to the next player.
When a player is down to one card, they must immediately (i.e. right after they set down their next-to-last card) call out “Bartok” to alert the other players. Failure to do so incurs a penalty (see below). If a player manages to successfully get rid of their last card, they win the hand.
Making a new rule
Before each hand is dealt, the player who won the previous hand declares a new rule that will be in force for the remainder of the session. The only restriction is that the rule cannot single out any particular player, and a rule cannot repeal or replace any previous rule, in whole or in part. Some example rules might be:
- When a club is played, the next card played must be even.
- When a red card is played, the next card must be black.
- When a face card is played, the next player is skipped.
- When an ace is played, direction of play reverses.
- When playing an 8, the player must say “Eight ball, corner pocket”.
- 2s are wild.
- When a 4 is played, the next player draws four cards and skips their turn, unless they can also play a 4, in which case the next player after them draws eight cards, and so on.
If all other players but the one proposing the rule unanimously agree, the rule can be vetoed, and the same player must think of an acceptable one. After a rule has been in force for at least one turn, all players may decide to repeal it at the beginning of a hand by unanimous consent.
The existing rules may be kept track of by keeping them written down somewhere visible to all players. Some players prefer instead, however, to make each player remember all of the rules currently in force, so as to make penalties more common.
If a player is observed violating the rules of the game, they may be given a penalty of one card. Penalties may be declared by any player at any time. If multiple players notice the same violation, the penalty is considered to have been declared by the first player to mention it (i.e. a player cannot have the same violation charged against them by several players). If a player manages to skate by until the next person plays, with nobody noticing the violation, though, it is too late for the penalty to be assessed.
Note that if a player receives a penalty, they still have to play a proper card or draw on that turn. This means that it’s possible for a player to rack up multiple penalties on one turn.
Possible violations that might result in a penalty are:
- Failure to say “Bartok” when down to one card. May be declared at any time a player is noticed to have one card, although if they manage to play their last card, it’s too late for them to be penalized for it.
- Wrong card. Attempting to make an illegal play.
- Delay of game. How long before it is acceptable to call delay of game should be decided ahead of time. Some players require a play in no more than three seconds. Requiring play this quick, of course, helps encourage more wrong-card penalties. If a player still has yet to play after another delay penalty has elapsed, they may be penalized for it each time.
- Incorrect penalty call. A player who incorrectly declares a penalty on another player is themselves penalized.
Game play in Bartok continues until either all players mutually agree to end it or the accumulation of rules causes further play to become impossible.
Go Boom is a game in the Stops family that plays similarly to Crazy Eights. Unlike in that game, however, the rank of the cards played matters immensely—control of the game goes to the one who plays the highest card. Go Boom may be played by two to six players.
Object of Go Boom
The object of Go Boom is to be the first player to discard all your cards by matching cards played previously in rank and suit.
Go Boom uses one standard 52-card deck of playing cards. It should come as no surprise that we highly recommend Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards.
Shuffle and deal seven cards to each player. The remainder of the deck is placed face-down in the center of the table, forming the stock.
The player to the dealer’s left leads any card. The next player to their left must then play a card of the same suit or the same rank. For example, if the card led is the 5♠, they must play any other 5 or any other spade. If a player is unable or unwilling to play a card, they draw from the stock until they are able to play. If the stock is depleted, their turn passes without playing a card.
Once all players have had the chance to play, the cards are examined to determine the highest played on that round. Cards rank in their usual order, with aces high. If multiple cards of the same rank tie for highest, the one that was played first is considered the high card. The cards are then moved to a discard pile, and the player who played the highest card gets to lead to the next round.
Game play continues until one player has discarded all of their cards. That player is the winner.