- 52 plus as many Jokers as players, or as many as available if fewer.
- Deal them all out as far as they will go. Hold them face down in a pile and don't look at their faces.
- To be the first to play out all your cards.
- Any players with an extra card play before those without. The first starts by playing
the top two cards of their hand face up to the table. Thereafter you each in turn play
the top (one) card of your hand face up to the table to form an overlapping row.
Continue until one of the following happens:
- You play a card matching the rank of the first card in the row or the immediately preceding card. In this case you pick up the row of cards, add them face down to the bottom of your hand, then start a new row by playing two cards from the top.
- You play a card matching the rank of any other card in the row, or a Joker. In this case the next player in turn must pick up the row of cards, add them to the bottom of their hand, and start a new row by playing two cards from the top.
- You chicken out. This means you pick up all the cards in the row, add them to the bottom of your hand, and start a new row by playing from the top as many cards as you like until you either make a match or run out of cards.
- The game ends when one player has no cards left in hand and the row in progress has been completed and taken. You each count one penalty for each card in hand other than Jokers, which count 5 each. A game consists of as many rounds as there are players, with each in turn playing first, and the overall winner is the one with the highest cumulative score.
- Two players
- As the two-player game threatens to go on for ever, the following variant will shorten it. Whenever you match the first or last card of a row, you don't add the row to your hand but instead stack its cards face down in a pile before you. They count as penalties at end of play.
- Three-card flush
- If the card you play matches the suit of the preceding two cards, making three in a row, the next in turn must play a card, and if it fails to match that suit they must pick up the whole row and start a new one with two cards. If they do match suit, play continues until someone fails to match suit or chickens out. (Conflict: playing a card that matches a previous rank takes priority over this rule.)
- Three-card straight
- If the card you play makes a sequence with the preceding two cards (for example, the last two are 9-J and you play a 10), the same rule applies as to a three-card flush so long as the sequence may be extended. For this purpose Ace counts low only (A-2-3 not Q-K-A).
- If the card you play makes three in a row going in the same direction, up or down, the same rule applies as to a three-card flush. For example, 9-2-A is a downward glide, 5-8-K an upward glide (Ace counts low only.)
- Ten-card string
- If you play the 10th card to a row without matching anything, you may stop and make the next in turn pick up the whole row. Alternatively, you may play one or two more cards and do the same. If you play a 13th card without matching a rank, you win the game: the next in turn must pick up the row, and the remainder of your hand cards go to the player on your other side. (Conflict: a 10-card string is bound to incorporate at least one three-card straight, so if this option is followed you should either not count straights or restrict them to consecutive cards. In the latter case, for example, a 10 following 9-J would not be admitted: they must go either 9-10-J or J-10-9.)
Copyright © renewed 2017 by David Parlett