Creative card games for quarantine

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Needing something to pass the time? Here are some fun card games to enjoy while in quarantine.  Photo by    Esteban Lopez    on    Unsplash

Needing something to pass the time? Here are some fun card games to enjoy while in quarantine. Photo by Esteban Lopez on Unsplash

Getting bored in quarantine yet? That can be simply solved with only a deck of cards — and maybe another bored family member or two. Here’s some fun card games to play with your housemates while you pass the time.

Kemps

Objective: Obtain four of a kind and then get your partner to call out “Kemps!”

Make sure that you’re playing with an even number of people, since Kemps is played in pairs. Divide players into groups of two. Each group of two agrees on a secret, subtle signal that means they have four of a kind. Partners sit across from each other. 

The dealer deals four cards to each player and then four cards face up in the middle of the table. Each player is only allowed four cards in their hand at once.  

The dealer says “Ready, set, go!” and players can discard any card from their hand and pick up any card from the middle immediately. There are no structured turns. If no one wants any of the cards in the middle, the dealer may deal four new ones. 

Once a player has four of a kind, they use their secret signal to get their partner to call “Kemps!” They win the round and one point for their group if they have four of a kind. If they do not, the group loses a point. Players can also call “Kemps!” on their opponents if they think they have four of a kind and score according to the same rules. One group wins the game when they have four points (or however many points you want to play until).

Knock Rummy

Objective: To form groups of three or more of a kind, or sequences of three or more of the same suit

The dealer deals each player in a two-person game 10 cards, in a three- or four-person game seven cards and in a five- or six-person game six cards. The remaining cards are placed facedown on the table. This is the stock. The top card is turned over next to the pile. This is the discard pile.

On a player’s turn, they can either take the top card of the discard pile or the top card of the stock to try to form groups of three or more of a kind or sequences. They then discard one of their cards. If the last card of the stock is taken, the next player to go may take the top card of the discard pile or turn over the discard pile without shuffling and take the top card from the new stock. 

A player knocks on the table on their turn when they have arranged all of the cards in their hand into groups of three or more or sequences. They win, and the game is over.

Egyptian Ratscrew

Objective: To win all of the cards

One player deals the deck face down evenly among all players (it’s ok if one or two players have some extra cards). Players square up their cards but do not look at them. The player to the dealer’s left flips over their top card and places it in the middle. Play continues in the same way until a player lays down a face card or an ace.

When this happens, the next player has a certain amount of chances to play a face card or an ace for the game to continue as normal. If a jack is played, the next player has one chance; a queen, two chances; a king, three; and an ace, four. If they fail to do so, then the player who played the face card or ace wins the pile. This player begins the next round by flipping over their top card.

Additionally, there is a slap rule. If a player slaps the deck when there is a “double” (two of the same number cards played one right after the other) or a “sandwich” (a card between two cards of the same number, for example, 6 7 6), they win the pile. If a player slaps the pile when there is not a double or a sandwich, they must add a card to the bottom of the pile. 

If a player loses all of their cards, they can slap back in when there is a sandwich or a double. When one player has all of the cards, they have won the game. 


Stephanie Santillo is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at stephanie.santillo@uconn.edu.  

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