David Parlett'S

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# ORIGINAL CARD GAMES

## New ways with ordinary playing-cards for adventurous players

"You can teach an old dog new tricks!"
"Parlett's creativity is as ordered and precise as a Swiss watch. His games mesh so well with the structure of playing-cards as to give the impression that the pack was created specifically for his inventions." (See Testimonials.)

Inventing card games is one of my favourite recreations. It's a relaxing hobby: it means I can think up the basic ideas without having to get out of bed - or even, if I'm very lucky, without having to wake up - which is more than you can say for actually playing cards. My idea of a good game is one that uses an ordinary 52-card pack and has very simple rules, but gives you plenty to think about. If you like that idea have a look through the following. Against each entry is a note of how many it can be played by (red means it's ideal for that number and P = four players in fixed partnerships), followed by the type of game it is and a note of what it's all about. For type of game, I use these terms:

• plain tricks = all tricks are of equal value
• point tricks = tricks have point-values based on the cards they contain
• wild tricks = play to a trick simultaneously instead of in turn
• rummy-tricks = the aim is to win card-combinations (melds) in tricks
• trick-avoid = avoid winning tricks and/or penalty cards (Hearts family)
• rummy = draw and discard until you have a scoring combination
• layout = cards are laid out in a grid, making a quasi-board game
• shedding = get rid of all the cards from your hand (a going-out game)
• arithmetical = play cards out to make particular totals
• matching = play cards that match their immediate predecessors
 Abstrac 2 nim game Pick up cards to make combinations (perfect information) Addenda 2 P point tricks Aim to win tricks counting 17 points each Agony Aunt 4 trick-avoid Avoid taking penalty cards (needs counters and a board Anarchy 3 4 5 wild tricks Play as you please and score how you like Bouncers 3 trick-avoid A sort of cross between Gops and Hearts Bravado 2 3 4 5 6 shedding A fast fun game, soon to be published as "Chicken Out!" Brummy 2 3 4 5 rummy Two-dimensional Rummy Bugami 3 4 P 5 trick-avoid Choose which suit not to win cards of in tricks (& see Trigami) Caterpillar 2 arithmetical A fairly simple adding-up game Cato 2 point tricks A card-point adaptation of Ecarté Centurion 2 arithmetical Adding-up game for a couple of centenarians Chwech 4 5 6 plain tricks You needn't play to a trick if you don't want to (designed for six) Collusion 4 plain tricks Hilarious game of (mis)alliances and double-crossings Colour-blind 2 3 plain tricks Choose whether to win red cards or black Concerto P poker hands Coöperatively construct poker hands Counterbluff 2 bluffing Bluff with constantly-evolving Poker hands Counterpique 2 tricks & melds Contract Piquet - a classic game updated Counterpoint 2 3 point tricks Predict how many card-points you'll win in tricks Cowpoke 2 3 4 5 collecting A pokery sort of game with quasi-tricks Cross Purposes 2 P plain tricks One party chooses a trump suit, the other a top rank Crummy 3 4 5 6 rummy Rummy with a trick-type method of play Doubleduck P plain tricks Partnership version of Duck Soup Dumbo 3 plain tricks Three-player version of Collusion Dracula 2 3 P arithmetical An arithmetical game with a bloodthirsty count Duck Soup 2 plain tricks Game for a couple of quacks (& see Doubleduck, Trebleduck) Farrago 3 4 5 plain tricks There's a different trumping rule at every deal Flashpoint P trick-rummy Play tricks to win card combinations Flunk 3 plain tricks Any relation to three-handed Bridge is purely fortuitous Fosco 2 P arithmetical A game of perfect information with another villainous count Galapagos 2 hybrid 3 games in 1: win tricks, make melds, get rid of your cards Ganderpoke 2 3 4 layout A five-by-five square game with Poker hands Garbo 2 layout A 4x4 square game where each card "vants to be alone" Get Stuck 2 P layout A quasi board game on a grid of seven by seven cards Give or Take 2 arithmetical aka More or Less - another way of playing with numbers Good Cop, Bad Cop 4 plain tricks Two Jokers, a trump suit, a penalty suit, and who's your partner? Gooseberry Fool 3 plain tricks Divide and rule by winning the middling number of tricks Hamlet 3 plain tricks With supporting roles for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Hindsight 2 tricks+melds In which you might have done better with a bit of foresight Hoodwink 3 plain tricks With at least two ways of hoodwinking your opponents Key of the door 2 3 4 P 5 arithmetical In which you construct "keys" counting exactly 21 Limbo 2 arithmetical Get lowest under the bar by deducting and dividing Memoranda 4 5 6 memory Can you remember which cards were you originally dealt? Minimisère 3 4 5 trick-avoid If you can't lose every trick, win as many as possible Mismatch 4 trick-avoid The antidote to Rummy: avoid winning card-combinations Naughty Nun 3 plain tricks Like Ninety-Nine, but with silly additions and variations Nimbly 3 4 5 layout Pick up nine cards that make scoring combinations Ninety-Nine 2 3 4 P 5 plain tricks Bid to win an exact number of tricks One Up 2 3 4 5 arithmetical Game for a number of totalitarians Parity 2 plain tricks Odd or even? A skilled game of perfect information Plonk P point tricks Win tricks containing cards of different suits. Not so easy... Prime Time 2 3 arithmetical Make primes from three-card combinations Romeo & Juliet 2 layout A romantic card-board game on a grid of 7x7 cards Rummage 3 4 5 6 trick-rummy Rummy with a trick-type method of play (designed for 5) Seconds 4 plain tricks In which only the second-best card wins the trick Secret Agent 4 plain tricks In which you also score for tricks won by your secret agent Slapstick 2 3 4 5 6 shedding Like Bravado but without all that adding up Snail Space 2 layout Spiral Cribbage, or Cribbage for Snails Snark 3 4 5 wild tricks A wilder version of Anarchy (designed for 5 Boojums) Sneak 2 3 4 5 bluffing If you've got it, flaunt it; if not, bluff it Spec 2 3 4 layout A silly guessing game - or is it? Squint 5 plain tricks Twist a card to find your partner (& see Twyst for four) Stucco 2 matching A match-and-go-out game of perfect information Tantony 3 4 P point tricks Win tricks, then give them away! Throps 3 wild tricks A three-player variant of Gops ("Game Of Perfect Strategy") Tracktrick 3 P plain tricks A quasi-board game requiring accurate trick-play Trebleduck 3 plain tricks Three-player version of Duck Soup Triathlon 3 plain tricks In which you aim to perform three trick-taking feats Trigami 3 trick-avoid Choose which suit not to win cards of in tricks (& see Bugami) Twyst 4 plain tricks Twist a card to find your partner (& see Squint for five) Umbridge 2 plain tricks A perversion of Bridge for two Welsh Whist 3 4 5 point tricks A fun game with Jokers and bluffing. No cheating allowed! Who's Who 3 plain tricks Which of the other two players is your secret partner?
Copyright © 2002-2017 by David Parlett

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