Original Card Games by David Parlett

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ANARCHY


All play at once and score how you like

Players 3-5 (5 best)   Cards 53 or 65   Type Wild tricks
Anarchy may be Anarchist described as a fast and furious parody of trick-taking games, the point being that you all play at once instead of going through the laborious and time-consuming process of taking turns - which of course is undemocratic, conferring an unearned privilege on whoever goes first, and being therefore suitable only for the decadent entertainment of a hierarchic-élitist society."

Anarchy first appeared in my Original Card Games book of 1977. For some strange reason it went down well in Argentina, where a Spanish translation of the book appeared in 1991 under the title Anarquía y otros Juegos Sociales. The original game is followed by a more elaborate version called Anarchy Bomb, with its own extension Organised Chaos. I offer also a related, but less frenetic, round game for 3 to 7 players called Snark.

uplink downlink ORIGINAL VERSION
Four or five players (five best)
Cards
52 ranking AKQJ1098765432 in each suit.
Deal
Deal five players 10 cards each and place the other two face dowen to one side. With four, deal 13 each and and ignore any forthcoming reference to the undealt cards.
Bidding
You each examine your hand and announce how you intend to score for the cards you expect to win in tricks. The possible bids and their scores are:
  • spades = 2 per spade taken
  • clubs = 2 per club taken
  • hearts = 2 per heart taken
  • diamonds = 2 per diamond taken
  • no suit = 1 per card taken regardless of suit
  • misère = 1 per card taken less than 10 (or 13 if four play)
The dealer notes down who has bid what.
Play
Immediately before the first trick is played the dealer turns up the first of the undealt cards. This will be won by whoever first plays the highest card of its suit (which won't necessarily be in the first trick). When it has been taken, dealer turns up the second card, and the same thing applies. Tricks are played "simultaneously" - that is, at each trick you take any card from your hand and hold it face down on the table, then turn it face up when all have done so. Cards are then won according to the following scheme:
  • If two or more players show the same suit, the highest of them captures the other(s) of that suit. (Including the turn-up, when relevant.)
  • Of any remaining unmatched cards, each one captures itself.
A won trick therefore cotains anything from one to five cards. There's no need to keep your tricks separate, as it is only individual cards that count.
spade 8 heart 8 spade J heart 2 club 5 spade symbolJ takes spade symbol8,
heart symbol8 takesheart symbol2,
club symbol5 takes itself
spade 8 heart 8 club 5 heart Jack heart 2 spade symbolJ takes heart symbol8 and heart symbol2
spade symbol8 and club symbol5 take themselves
sT h8 c7 d2 (only four playing)
each card takes itself
Score
At end of play you reveal the cards you won and score according to the method you announced when bidding. For example, if you finished with spade symbolK-9-7-4 heart symbolJ-8-3 club symbolA-7 diamond symbolQ-9-6-5-2 you would score, if you had bid spades, 8; hearts 6, clubs 4, diamonds 10, no-suit 14. Minus scores count zero, which you would have got had you bid misère.
Game
Keep playing till you get fed up with it.
Optional extras
It's worth getting the players to players announce their bids simultaneously so as not to be influenced by one another's bids. (It'smore fun when two players or more have bid the same suit.) Do this each taking a bid-card from your hand and revealing them simultaneously. To bid no-suit or misère, leave your card face down and announce which bid it represents. Then take your card back in hand before playing to the first trick.
uplink downlink ANARCHIST BOMB
A later elaboration for three to five players
Cards
Three or four players use a 52-card pack ranking AKQJ1098765432 in each suit, plus one Joker. Five expand the pack to 65 cards (plus Joker) by adding the Sixes, Sevens and Eights from another pack of identical back design and colour.
Deal
Deal a hand of 13 cards to each player, one at a time, and place the odd card face up to one side. If three play, stack the spare hand face down in a squared-up pile (the dummy). Whoever holds the Joker is the Anarchist, and the Joker itself is a Bomb. (If the odd card is the Joker, exchange it for the last card dealt to the dealer.)
Bidding
You each examine your hand and announce how you intend to score for the cards you expect to win in tricks. The possible bids and their scores are:
  • cards = score 1 per card taken regardless of suit
  • black = score 2 per card taken of either black suit
  • red = score 2 per card taken of either red suit
  • best = 3 per card taken of whichever suit you take most of
  • spades = 4 per spade taken
  • clubs = 4 per club taken
  • hearts = 4 per heart taken
  • diamonds = 4 per diamond taken
  • overs = 5 per card taken in excess of 13
  • unders = 5 per card taken short of 13
Play
At each trick you take any card from your hand and hold it face down on the table. When all are ready, the cards are simultaneously revealed. If three play, dealer turns up the top card of the dummy as the fourth card of the trick. Cards are then won according to the following scheme:
  • If two or more players show the same suit, the highest card of that suit wins any others played of that suit.
  • If two or more play singletons (unmatched suits), the highest singleton wins all the other singletons.
  • If the highest singletons are equal, or only one singleton is played, then each singleton wins itself.
Examples
spade 8 heart 8 spade J heart2 spade symbolJ takes spade symbol8,
heart symbol8 takesheart symbol2
spade 8 heart 8 club Jack heart 2 heart symbol8 takes heart symbol2
club symbolJ takes spade symbol8
sT h8 c7 d2 each card takes itself
(When three play, the dummy can win cards in the normal way. This merely has the effect of denying them to live players.)
Throwing the Bomb (Joker)
When you are the Anarchist and play the Joker to the trick, you are said to have "thrown the bomb". In this event the ranking of the cards played is reversed for that trick only, with Two highest and Ace lowest. Before any cards are taken you replace the Bomb with the odd card turned face up at start of play, as if you played it to the trick, and it takes or is taken as if it had been so played. The Joker is then thrown out. It cannot be thrown again in the same deal and is not won by anybody.
Score
At end of play you reveal the cards you won and score according to the method you announced when bidding. For example, if you finished with spade symbolK-10-4 heart symbolQ-3 club symbolJ-10-7-2 diamond symbol9 you would score 4 if you had bid "diamonds", 6 if "reds", 8 if "hearts", 10 if "cards", 12 if "spades", 12 if "best", 14 if "blacks", 15 if "unders", or 16 if "clubs". Minus scores count zero, which you would have got had you bid "overs".
Bonuses
The following two features may not be bid, but, if present, can be scored for in addition to the score made for bidding:
  1. Void. Add 10 points for each suit in which you have taken no card at all.
  2. Quartet. Add 20 points for each quartet taken. A quartet is four cards of the same rank.
Game
Keep playing till the revolution starts.
Variation
When the Bomb is thrown it is not discarded but attached to the card it represents. Whoever wins it may count it, for scoring purposes, as belonging to any desired suit.
Organised Chaos
In this version of a game is 10 deals, and you must each make each of the 10 possible bids exactly once. No Joker is used, so there is no Anarchist and no Bomb. Furthermore, after the deal but before the bid, you each pass any three cards to the player on your left and receive three from the player on your right. (Whether or not you include the dummy in this exchange when only three play can be decided by a majority vote. If one votes for and one votes against and the other abstains, you are clearly drunk and should not be playing at all.)
To keep track of the bids you need a scoresheet showing one column for each player and ten rows for the various bids and their scores, plus an eleventh for the total score. Here's how a scoresheet might look after two deals have been played.

scoresheet

Copyright © renewed 2017 by David Parlett