Backpacker's Playing Cards - Games
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This card game is designed for backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts. With this pack of Bullets Playing Cards, you’ll never have a game session where you have to worry about your cards or their packaging again, even if the biggest blunderer is at
the table. The enclosed rulebook includes the best travel card games that will guarantee a fun evening in no time at all.
The following games are easy and quick to learn, while still of- fering enough room for tactical sophistication and long-lasting fun. You will meet many people who already know the rules in one version or the other, they may partly differ from the ones given here. We have included some variations in brackets, but there are too many for all to be included. None the less, the variants given here have been tried and tested, work remark- ably well and can therefore be considered as a solid rule basis. Just agree on the rules and get started!
To learn the games, it has proven useful to go through the rules together before you begin and then play one or two open rounds until the rules are clear to everyone. Wishing you lots of fun - and beware, addiction is a given possibility!
And, just a minor detail: when you deal cards, please do it properly - each player receives one card at a time, clockwise, and then the next in turn until all the players have the required number of cards. This applies to all card games.
1. Shit Head
1.1. Game principle
It is a fast game once all the players have mastered the rules. Ba- sically, it is a trump game where the following player has to play a card of the same or higher face value than the previous player, if this is not possible, a card has to be taken from the pack. The functional cards and the endgame will spice it up a lot!
More players are possible by using an additional pack (shuffle packs together).
1.2. Card face values and functions
Use a pack of 52 cards and remove the jokers, they are not re- quired. The card rank order is from 2 to Ace (2-10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace).
Some cards have additional functions that each player should be aware of:
After shuffling, each player initially receives 3 cards face down, which are not taken up but remain face down until the end of the round. The cards should be placed next to each other in front of the players as follows:
Then each player is dealt 3 more cards, this time face up. The face-up cards are placed on top of the 3 face-down cards dealt earlier as follows:
Finally, each player is dealt 3 more cards face down, which are the players’ hand cards. Before the game begins, each player may exchange the 3 face-up cards in front of them with the 3 cards in their hands to optimise the face-up cards, which only come into play at the end of the round:
Tip: If you are tactically clever here, it will be easier to get rid of your cards at the end of the round; after 2-3 rounds you will know how best to optimise.
The cards that have not been dealt form the draw pile and are placed in the centre of the table.
1.4. How to play
The players could start with an open round in order to go through the rules during a game.
Once everyone has sorted their face-up cards (see 2.3), the game can begin. A player who has a 4 in his hand may simply put it in the middle and thereby open the discard pile ( first come, first served). If no one has a 4, a player with a 5 starts, etc.
The next player in the round (clockwise) must now place one or more cards with the same or a higher face value on top.
18.104.22.168. A player may only play several cards if he has cards of the same face value (eg. ♠4-♦4). However, he may play the cards individually, according to preference. This also applies to opening the discard pile at the beginning of a game. This does not determine how many cards the flowing player has to play (e.g. player 1 lays two 4s; the next player may then lay a single 5 or even three 5s if he can/wishes to).
22.214.171.124. If a player is able to play four of a kind (e.g. ♠9-♦9-♣9-♥9) or plays the last card of a sequence of those previously played (e.g. ♠9-♦9-♣9, and then plays the ♥9), the discard pile is then “burned” (taken out of the game).
In the latter case, the discard pile is only burnt if the three previ- ous cards lie directly on top of each other, i.e. no other card lies between them (e.g. the cards lie in the following order on the discard pile: ♠9-♦9-♣3-♣9; although the 3 is considered “invisible”, here the fourth 9 does not result in burning the discard pile).
The player who has burnt a discard pile may open a new discard pile, with a card of his choice.
126.96.36.199. If a player does not have a card of equal or higher face value, or a functional card to play, the discard pile must be picked up and be added to the hand cards and his turn
After a player has played, a card(s) must be drawn to bring his hand back up to 3 cards. This is repeated until the draw pile is used up. A player with 3 or more cards does not need to draw.
If after playing several rounds, the draw pile is depleted, the game continues as follows:
188.8.131.52. Each player must first get rid of all the cards in their hands before playing the 3 face-up cards. The rules governing discarding cards (2.4.1 ff.) must be observed. If 2 or all 3 cards have the same face value, they may be played at the same If the last hand card has the same face value as one or more of the face-up cards, the player discarding his last card may also discard the face-up card(s) of equal face value at the same time (e.g. A player’s last cards are ♠K-♥K and two of the face-up cards are ♦K-♣K, all four may be played and thereby burning the discard pile in one go (see rule 184.108.40.206)).
220.127.116.11. After a player has played all three face-up cards, the three face-down cards may be played in any order. However, the player may not look at the card in advance, a card must be selected and the consequences resulting from the face value of that card accepted, as described earlier - if the card is a good match, lucky, otherwise the discard pile has to be picked up (including the card that wasn’t a lucky match).
18.104.22.168. If a player has to pick up the discard pile in this last phase, he must now play all the cards he holds before he may play the next face up or face down card.
The last player to hold cards loses the game and is “Shit Head” for that round. The Shit Head must shuffle and deal.
This game works without counting points, as they are not necessary, everyone has the possibility to become a Shit Head. Players can improve their situation by tactical playing, but in the end the hidden cards can still be ones undoing.
1.5. Optional rule
2.1. Game principle
It is also a fast game, in which several rounds are played. Players try to reduce the number of cards they hold as quickly as possible. In contrast to “Shit Head”, points are counted and noted. - Whoever shouts “Yaniv” wins! - But beware of “Assaf”!
Number of players: 2 - 5 (optimal; more players are possible but slow down the game).
Material: pack of 54 cards + 2 jokers (if there are more than 4 players, a second pack + 2 jokers can be added and shuffled together; this will make each round longer)
Note: Rule alternatives that appear in brackets can be applied to make winning the game easier or more difficult. The rules that are not in brackets are recommended if you want a quicker game.
The aim of the game is to have the least number points at the end. A player who exceeds 100 (200) points can, depending on the game variant:
- end the game by reaching 100 (200): The player with the fewest points (recommended)
- drop out of the game: The other players continue to play until one player remains and thereby
Each player receives 5 (6 or 7) cards. The remaining cards form the draw pile, which is placed at the centre of the table. The top card is turned face up and forms the first card for the discard pile. Once the draw pile is used up, the discard pile - without the last discard - is reshuffled and placed face down on the table.
2.3. Gameplay outlined
A round lasts until a player shouts “Yaniv”, which he only may do if he has 5 (6 or 7) or less points in his hand. In which case count:
- all number cards according to their face value
- Ace = 1
- Joker = 0
- the pictures (Jack, Queen, King) 10 points
The caller receives 0 points, and the other players note the face values of the cards they still hold (more details below).
2.4. How to play
The starting player in the first round must be chosen at ran- dom: Turn over one card for each teammate, the player with the highest card starts the game (order ascending: 2-10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace). In all subsequent rounds, the winner of the round is the starting player of the next round.
Players have two options when it’s their turn:
- One or more cards may be discarded and placed on the dis- card pile, then a card must be drawn from the draw pile, or
- Call “Yaniv” ending the current round, if you believe you are the player with the fewest points in your hand and they add up to 7 (6 or 5) or less.
If a player decides to discard cards, he has the following op- tions:
- Discard a single card of his choice
- Discard a set of two or more A set consists of at least two cards of the same value (e.g. two eights, three jacks, etc.).
Discard a sequence of three or more cards of the same suit (e.g. ♥4-♥5-♥6). The ace always counts as a 1 before the 2 and not as an ace after the king. A joker can replace any card in a sequence. The sequence must be laid down so that the cards are in the correct order (important for the rules when drawing cards).
After a player has put the cards on the discard pile, he draws one card. This also applies if he was able to discard several cards. He has the choice of taking the top card from the draw pile or taking a card discarded by the player before him.
Tip: To facilitate the flow of the game, a player who already knows that he wants to draw a card from the discard pile can take the desired card at the beginning of his turn and place it in front of him (he may not use it in his current turn and may not draw again later in the round)
If the previous player discarded more than one card, the player may only take the first or the last card of the set or sequence (that is why it is important that the previous player lays a sequence in the correct order). Thus, a player can draw only the highest or lowest card in the sequence.
Tip: A joker should therefore not be used as the first or last card of a set or sequence.
The round continues clockwise until one of the players shouts “Yaniv”. A player should only make this call if they believed the current value of the cards held is lower than 7 (6 or 5) or less.
A player need not call “Yaniv” as soon as he has less than the minimum score 7 (6 or 5), play may be allowed to continue in the hope of further improving ones hand.
Once a player has called “Yaniv”, all players (the caller first) place their held cards face up on the table (maybe waiting a second for possible “Assaf” callers).
- The caller gets 0 points in this round
- All other players note the points they have in their hand
Exception: If any player believes to have less points in his hand than the caller, he can counter with the call “Assaf” (before open- ing cards, so he should be fast) and win the game.
- The caller now gets 20 (30) penalty points in addition to the card values he holds
- The “Assaf” caller receives 0 points for this round
2.5. Points system
If a player gains exactly 50 points or a multiple of it (100, 150, 200 etc.), his score is halved.
Optional: If a player gains exactly 90 points, he can draw a wild card (the deck should be well shuffled before): if the card drawn has a face value of 10, the score is reduced to 70. All other cards are added at their face value.
3.1. Game principle
A game of attack and defend! - “Durak” loses. (More players are possible with a second pack of 32 cards). Durak translates as stupid or foolish.
Note: Rule alternatives that appear in brackets can be applied to make it easier or harder to win. Rules not in brackets are our recommendation.
For this Russian classic you need 36 cards of a pack (6-10, Jacks, Queens, Kings, Aces). Durak can be played with 2-6 players.
After shuffling, each player receives 6 cards. Then the top card of the draw pile is placed face up in the centre of the table and the rest is placed across it, covering half of the face up card (the face up card should be clearly visible):
The face-up card indicates the trump suit in this round (e.g. “hearts”). It is also the last card of the draw pile and must be drawn as such.
If a player has five or more cards of one suit in this initial phase (e.g. 5x spades), he may insist on a reshuffle and deal, provided none of his cards is a trump.
With 6 players, no draw pile remains. The last card in the pack is revealed to all and declared the trump suit. Then the dealer takes it as his sixth card.
3.3. Game Play outlined
The game is played clockwise round by round. At the beginning of a round, the attacker attacks his neighbour to the left. If the latter is able to repel the attack, the attack is over, the ‘defend- er’ may then start an attack on the neighbour to the left. If the defender has to pick up cards because they had no defence, they may not in turn attack a neighbour. The following player takes his turn and carries out an attack against his left neighbour.
3.4. How to play
3.4.1. Start of play
In the first game, the player with the lowest trump starts and attacks the player to the left. In the following rounds, the player to the left of the dealer begins. This is always the “Durak” of the previous round (“Durak” shuffles).
(Alternative: In subsequent rounds, the “Durak” of the previous
round is always attacked first).
If a round ends in a draw (or if you change the rules or the num- ber of players), the smallest trump again decides.
The attacker places one or more cards of the same value (e.g. ♠9- ♦9) open and side by side in front of the defender, who must then defend himself by placing higher-value cards on the table.
More than 2 players: The player to the left of the defender may now enter the battle by placing further cards face-up in front of the defender. The defender may only place cards with the same face value as those already on the table by now. (Alternatively, other players may also add cards of the same value; in clockwise order, or wildly).
The attackers may only use as many cards for the attack as the defender holds, up to a maximum of 6.
If the first attack was successfully repelled, the players author- ized to attack may attack again. In the new attack, only those card values may be placed that were previously brought into play by the attacker or defender. (Alternatively, a maximum of 5 cards may be used in the first attack and a maximum of 6 or 7 in subsequent attacks; again, the number of cards in the defend- er’s hand may not be exceeded).
The defender can now ward off the attacking cards by either
- placing a higher card of the same suit or
- a trump of any value
on top of each attacker card (overlapping halfway, so that the cards remain clearly visible and verifiable).
If the attacker card is a trump, it can only be warded off with a higher trump.
There is no obligation to use a card of the same suit for defence if you also have a trump card available.
The defence is successful when all attacking cards have been repelled in accordance with the above rules and the attackers do not want to or cannot play any more cards. The battle cards are eliminated from the game and the attack round is over. The defender may now attack the player to his left.
If the defender cannot or does not want to fight all cards, the round ends. He must pick up all the cards in front of him.
The attackers may add more cards of the same face value, provided the attack limits were not maxed out, and, no more than could have been played within the rules. The defender is not allowed to launch an attack. The next player in the round now attacks the neighbour to his left. (If there are 2 players, the previous attacker now attacks once more).
An attacker does not have to play all the cards he could in his first attack (e.g. if he has 3 sixes); initially he could play only one six and wait to see which card the defender plays to defend himself. The attacker now has more options in his next attack: one or more additional sixes can be played and/or one or more cards with the same face value as the defender’s card.
3.6. Follow up and finish
At the end of a combat round, the attackers draw cards first, starting with the main attacker, then clockwise, and finally the defender, until they have 6 cards. If a player has more than 6 cards, he need not draw.
If the last card of the draw pile (the face-up card that deter- mined the trump suit) has been drawn, play continues without redrawing and whoever is the last to have cards left loses and is “Durak”.
However, if the last player manages to successfully repel the last attack with his last cards, the round ends in a draw.
The Durak shuffles the cards and deals.
Team game: Within a team (e.g. 2 vs. 2), team members are not allowed to attack each other. When it is a team member’s turn to attack, the other team members may support him. During defence, no support is allowed. The seating order can be changed according to preference, winning requirements may be defined (e.g. a team wins when a single team member wins).
Shoving: A defender may pass an attack on to the next player rather than defending by placing one or more cards of the same face value as the attacker. The following player must then defend against all the cards on the table, he may also Shove if he has a card of the same value. (Alternatively: to Shove, a player must play as many cards of the same face value as the attacker has played, so if there are two eights, the attacker must also lay two). A trump may not be shoved.
Shoving can facilitate a change of direction: A player who shoves may additionally choose in which direction play should continue.
Trump Change: At the beginning of the round, another face- down card is placed under the face-up trump card (which is pushed face-up under the draw pile). As soon as this card is drawn, its suit becomes the new trump suit for the rest of the round.
Playing with 52 cards (instead of 36): At the start of the game each player receives 9 cards and can thus be attacked with up to 9 cards. (Game round lasts longer and is more complex in its tactical elements).
4. Crazy 8s
4.1. Game principle
Players may only discard cards of the same face value or suit as the top card (similar to Mau Mau or UNO).
This game is played with one pack of 52 cards (without jokers) and is suitable for 2 - 6 players. For more players, we recom- mend adding a second pack of 52 cards.
4.2. How to play
Each player receives 5 cards (2 players: 7 each). The remain- ing cards form the draw pile. The top card of the draw pile is turned face up and is the first card of the discard pile.
The player to the left of the dealer starts the game and it con- tinues clockwise. Each player can either discard a card, or, if this is not possible within rules “Discarding” (5.2.1), a card must be taken from the draw pile.
If the draw pile is depleted, play continues without drawing (alternatively, the discard pile is shuffled - except for the top card - and used as a new draw pile).
The first player to discard all their cards wins the round. If
the game is played with points, the other players get penalty points based on the cards they hold (points equal to card value; J, Q, K, A = 10 points).
Basically, a player can only play a card that has either the same face value or the same suit (hearts, spades, clubs or diamonds) as the top card of the discard pile.
An 8 can always be played (regardless of the previous card). The player who lays an 8 may wish for the colour of the card played by the next player, which (only) he has to obey. (The player after that plays after the previous rule).
However, the next player may also lay an eight himself and wish for a different suit.
4.2.2. Functional cards
The following rules and cards are not always used. Just to get started, you can apply all of them, or omit one or the other as required / wished:
4.3. Optional rules
“Last card!”: A player with only one card left must call “last card”. If the call is not made before the next player’s turn, 2 pen- alty cards must be drawn.
Fast play: If a player can’t play and must therefore draw a card, the card he draws may then be played at once (if this is possible in compliance with the rules already mentioned).
5. Bastard Brag
5.1. Game principle
In this game you overbid, after a reversal you underbid. If a player cannot play, a card must be drawn. Whomever interrupts the flow of the game is a bastard.
This game is played with a pack of 54 cards (52 cards + 2 jokers). It can also be played with more than 6 players if 2 packs are used and shuffled together. The card rank order is 2-10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace.
At the beginning of the game, each player receives 7 cards. The remaining cards form the draw pile, which is placed at the centre of the table. The top card of the draw pile is placed face up next to it and thus opens the discard pile.
5.3. How to play
In the first round, the player to the left of the dealer starts. In all further rounds, the player to the left of the winner of the previous round starts.
In compliance with following rules, a player may discard one card or several cards of the same face value. To be able to dis- card a card, it must meet the following requirements:
- Generally, it must have a higher face value than the top card of the discard pile.
- It must be a different colour - red/black - to the top card of the discard
If a player wants to play several cards of the same face value, attention must also be paid to the colours of these cards. I.e. if a player wants to place three nines on a red ♥8, he must place ♠9-♦9-♣9, in exactly this order ♥8 ♠9-♦9-♣9. Thus ♥9-♦9 on ♦8 is not possible.
As soon as an ace is played as the highest card, this causes a The following players must now play cards of lower and lower face value, at the same time following the rules concerning the suits.
As soon as a 2 is played, a new reversal takes place, so that from then on, cards have to be played of higher face value again, until the ace causes a re-reversal, and so on.
A joker can be placed at any time and causes a “reset”. This means the following player can play any Even if previously underbid, it is overbid again from the joker until an ace is played. (Alternative: the red joker can only be placed on a black card and the black joker only on a red card).
If a player is unable to play, he must pass and draw a card from the draw pile. A player may also pass even if he could actually play (and draw). In the latter case, voluntary passing is denied to the next player: play must continue if he is able to (if not, passing on is of course possible). Even if there are only 2 players left, voluntary passing is no longer permitted.
The game continues clockwise in turn. Players who manage to play all their cards are eliminated and the last player holding cards is the “bastard”.
If a player plays a card and all other players in the round pass and the player who originally played it must also pass, the bas- tard rule kicks in:
As penalty for interrupting the flow of the game, the interrupter must draw one card for each player in the round but himself (this also includes players who have been eliminated, i.e. 3 cards for a round of 4 players). Should the draw pile be depleted, each player holding cards gives one card to the interrupter until he has the required number of cards. Should he be able to draw a
( few) last card(s) before the depletion of the draw pile, as many players (to his left) give him a card until he has received the proper amount of cards due to the rule mentioned above.
Then the player to the left of the interrupter plays a card of his choice, even if it was previously required to underbid, it is now necessary to overbid, until the next ace.