Our favorite Card Games

Our favorite Card Games

We created this deck of cards to pay homage to all the lovely moments we've had with near and dear ones. We're thrilled to share a personal curation of games we've loved to play over the years!

Fun fact: Did you know that playing cards on the day of Diwali/Deepavali has been considered auspicious in many Indian homes? It is known to be a way to invite Laxmi (the Hindu goddess of prosperity and wealth) into homes.

 

 

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I've been playing card games from when I was little. First. it was a delightful memory game with cards face down, and as years passed I've always played Rummy and Bluff at the family dinner table. I want to start with rules for these games before we move onto other games that I've picked up over my many years of living in France and Germany. 

 

Card game #1 - Rummy 

Number of cards needed - 2 decks with 2 jokers each

Number of players - 2-6

Rank of cards - K (high), Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A. (In many forms of Rummy, the ace may rank either high or low.)

The Deal - 

Each player is dealt 13 cards. Dealer picks a card at random from the remaining pile and that is the designated joker/wild card, in addition to the jokers in the deck. 

Place undealt cards face down in the center of the table, forming the stock. The top card is turned face up and is placed beside the stock as the up card to start the discard pile. The discard pile should be slightly spread, so that players can readily see all the cards it contains.

 

How to play Rummy - 

The objective of the game is to arrange the 13 cards in sets of 3 or 4 or 5 cards. These sets can be cards of a kind (so all 8s, or all 9s - of unique suits) or sequences of the same suit (so A, 2, 3 of spades, or 10, J, Q, K of diamonds). 

First player to create the fastest set of 13 wins. The 13 cards can be split into - for example - a sequence of 4, sets of three 9s of unique suits, set of three Js of unique suits, and another sequence of 3 of the same suit (4 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 13 cards).

Examples of sets

  1. A♥ A♣ A♦ (In this set, all the Ace are of different suits, make a valid set.)
  2. 8♦ 8♣ 8♠ 8♥ (Rummy set is formed with four 8 cards of different suits.)
  3. 9♦ Q♠ 9♠ 9♥ (Here Q♠ has been used as wild joker replacing 9♣ to make set.)
  4. 5♦ 5♣ 5♠ PJ (Printed joker replacing 5♥ to make set.)
  5. 5♦ 5♣ Q♠ PJ (Here Q♠ has been used as wild joker replacing 5♠ & Printed joker replacing 5♥ to make set.)
  6. 5♦ 5♣ PJ Q♥ Q♠ (This is a set of 5 cards with Printed joker & Q♥ as wild joker replacing 5♠ 5♥ and one more wild joker Q♠ to complete 13 cards grouping.)

Typical Example: 2♥ 3♥ 4♥ 5♥| 5♣ 6♣ 7♣ 8♣ | 5♦ 5♣ PJ Q♥ Q♠ (Set of 5 cards is made to complete the grouping of 13 cards and make a valid declaration)

Note: The set is formed with same card of different suits. However, you can’t use two or more cards of the same suit. This is taken as an invalid declaration. Also, note that a set can have more than four cards. So, if you have a set of four cards and you are using an additional Joker, then in total it becomes a 5 cards group and still be a valid set. At no given time, the hand can have more than 13 cards.

Examples of invalid set

  1. Q♥ Q♥ Q♦ (There are two Qs of the same suit ♥ making it an invalid set.)
  2. 7♠ 7♥ 7♦ 7♠ Q♥ (It has two 7 spades of the same suit. The wild card Q♥ as the fifth card is valid but having two 7♠ is making it invalid.)

To win the game you need to make minimum 2 sequences, out of which one needs to be pure sequence and rest can be any valid sequence or sets. Without a pure sequence you cannot make a valid rummy declaration. This is one of the most important rummy rules.

Each player, beginning with the player to the left of the dealer, may draw either the top card of the stock or the top most card from the discard pile. The drawn card must immediately be used, either by laying it down in a set or by laying it off on a set already on the table. The remaining cards taken with the discard may be melded in the same turn or simply added to the player’s hand.

Each player in turn, after drawing but before discarding, may lay down any matched set or may lay off any card that matches a set already on the table. Cards that are laid off are kept on the table in front of the player. Sequences may not “go round the corner”; thus, A, K, Q or A, 2, 3 may be melded, but not K, A, 2.

 

 (example of a winning rummy hand)

 

Quick Tips To Win a Rummy Card Game

Just as it’s important to know the rummy rules, it is also necessary to play carefully and with focus. Here are quick tips to win the rummy game and stay a step ahead of your competitors. We mean business here! 

  • Form the pure sequence at the very beginning of the game. Without a pure sequence, a player cannot make a declaration.
  • Discard cards with high points like Ace, Jack, Queen and King. Replace these cards with Joker or Wild Cards. It reduces the point load, in case you lose the game.
  • As much as possible, avoid picking from the discard pile. It gives away what hand you are trying to form.
  • Look out for smart cards. For example, a 7 of any suit can work with 5 and 6 of the same suit and also 8 and 9 of the same suit.
  • Jokers play an important role in rummy. Try using them to replace high value cards. Remember, Joker and wild cards cannot be used to form pure sequence.
  • When you are ready to make a declaration, check and recheck your cards and then press the button. An invalid declaration can turn even a winning game into a complete loss.

 

Card game #2 - Bluff 

About Bluff - Bluff is a shedding card game that's very popular across India. I've been playing this game since I was 5. This trained me perfectly for poker in later years. Although I'm not sure I've ever perfected my poker face. Sadly. 

This game is more commonly referred to as Bullshit in the United States and Cheat in the United Kingdom. These are all shedding games which promote elements of deceit in order to win the game. This game is also similar to a Russian game called “Verish’ ne Verish'” or “Trust – Don’t Trust.”

Number of cards needed - 2 decks with 2 jokers each

Number of players - 3+

Rank of cards -  A (High), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2

The Deal - 

Cards are shuffled and evenly dispersed to each player. A single player is nominated to be lead. This player starts each round by announcing which rank will be played (for example, two 9s). The lead does so by placing a 1 or more cards face-down in the center of the table while declaring their rank. This may or may not be true. Play moves left, other players may:

  • Pass, players may choose to not play a card. If you pass you may not play again during that round, however, you still can challenge other players.
  • Play, players may choose to play 1 or more cards which match the rank announced by the lead. For example, if the lead declares they played a Queen, each player should be playing Queens. However, since cards are placed face-down, it gives everyone the opportunity to lie about what cards they are shedding and thereby possibly get rid of their cards faster.

Note: Jokers are wild and are always true.

A round continues around the table until all players pass or there is a challenge.

  • If all players pass, the center stack is removed from play and not examined. Whichever player was the last to add to the stack becomes the lead. The lead then announces the rank for the next round.
  • If there is a challenge, this is what occurs. After one player has played down a card, before the next player plays, anyone in the game may challenge the integrity of the other player’s card. Players who wish to initiate a challenge do so by placing their hand on the stack and calling, “Bluff!” If the cards are not the rank declared by the player, they must grab the stack and add it to their hand. If the cards are the rank declared, the player who called Bluff takes the center stack into their hand.

Note: A useful tactic of gameplay is to lie about your cards the first time you play then tell the truth the next couple times.

 END GAME

The first player to run out of cards is the winner. Typically, the game continues even after the first player goes out to determine a second place winner, third, and so on.

 


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