Original Card Games by David Parlett
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Players 2   Cards 32   Type Avoid matching cards
You each play cards Greta Garbo
to a layout in such a way that no two cards of the same rank or suit are in line with each other. Every such match you make gives your opponent a score. (I used this mechanism as the basis for a proprietary card game published in Germany as Alles für die Katz (Amigo games) and in English as Zoo Party (Rio Grande) and 7-Safari (Gamewrights). A similarly-based trick-taking game is Mismatch .
Deal four cards each from a 32-card pack consisting of AKQJ10987 in each suit, and stack the rest face down. Each suit and rank has a point-value as follows:
spade  heart  club  diamond  10 
10 11 12 

To place cards in a 4 x 4 grid in such a way as to avoid duplicating the suit or rank of any other card in the same row, column or diagonal. Any such match you make gives your opponent a score. (A cribbage board is useful for keeping score..
Each in turn, starting with the non-dealer, plays a card face up to the table. Each subsequent card must go side by side (not diagonally) with a card already placed. The first sixteen cards played must eventually form a square of four rows and four columns. Leave enough space between the vertical edges of adjacent cards to allow a card to be turned sideways without overlapping.
  • If you play a card that matches the suit or rank of another card in the same row, column or diagonal, your opponent can claim the value of that suit or rank as the case may be.
  • If you make more than one such match, your opponent can score them all.
For example, Diagram 1 playing heart10 immediately below spade7 in the diagram (left) gives your opponent 4 for matching two hearts (Jack and Ace), but playing it below club8 loses 2 for the Jacks and Ace plus 10 for each black Ten in line with it, total 24. When claiming a score for yourself, you must do so before playing the next card. Any score you fail to claim now cannot be reclaimed later.
Draw four
When you have both played four cards, deal each player four more from stock and continue as before till the square contains sixteen cards face up. This completes the first level.
Second level
When the first level is complete, Diagram 1 deal the remaining cards out so each player has eight in hand. The leader to the second half of the game is the player with the higher score at the end of the first half, or, if equal, whoever played last to Level One. From now on, at each turn you play your next card on top of a face-up card in Level One, which is then turned face down and rotated 90 degrees to show that it cannot be played on again. (For example, in the diagram (right), Level Two has been started with spade5 and diamond6.)
Scores are made as before, but now with an additional penalty. If you play a card on top of a card it matches by rank or suit, your opponent scores 10 times that particular value, in addition to any other scores that may be made for matching cards adjacent to or in line with it. You will note that the last card of all is forced, as there is only one original card left to play it on.
The player with the higher score wins. Each game is complete in itself.