With summer coming to a close for another year, now is the perfect time to dust off your pack of cards and invite your favorite girl friends over for a night in. Let’s take a look at some of the best card games for a girls’ night in:
1. Black Jack (British game)
Black Jack, as opposed to Blackjack (where you’re supposed to get as close to 21 as possible), is a great game for a night in. The aim of the game is to shed all cards before any of the other players do.
Blackjack is played with a standard 52-card deck.
The action cards are the following:
Two: Next player picks up two cards, unless they can play a Two themselves, which would then result in the next player
Eight: Next player misses their turn
Black Jack: Next player has to pick up five cards. A second Black Jack sees the next player pick up ten cards.
Red Jack: Cancels out a Black Jack
Queen: You can follow with a card of any suit
King: Reverses the order of play
Each player gets seven cards. The remaining cards from the deck are placed face-down in a pile, except for the top card, which is placed face-up and used as a starter card.
The first player lays a card on the starter card, and their card must match the starter card in either suit or rank. If matching suit or rank is not possible, the player takes a card from the stock pile. The player continues to lay down cards in sequence until they cannot go anymore, or until they lay an action card. To win, a player must call “last cards” when it’s possible for them to shed their last card on their next turn. If they forget, they have to draw another card.
2. Knockout Whist
This simple plain-trick game is often played as a children’s game, but there are several tactics that can be employed to make things interesting. In the UK, it’s called Knockout Whist or Trumps, whereas in North America, it’s known as Scrounge or Rat. The aim of the game is to be the last payer still “standing” at the end, with the object of each round being to win a majority of tricks.
Knockout Whist is played with a standard 52-card deck of cards, and the four suits are ranked from high to low. Up to seven players can play the game.
One of the players deals, dealing seven cards to each player in a clockwise direction. The uppermost of the undealt cards is placed face-upwards and used to indicate the trump suit.
After the cards have been dealt, it’s the player to the dealer’s left that leads to the first trick. Ideally, the next player follows suit, but if they can’t, they can play any card. A trick is won by the highest trump card in it, otherwise by the highest card of the suit led. The winner of a trick leads to the next trick.
When all cards are played, players without any tricks won are eliminated. The player who wins the most tricks picks the trump suit for the next hand. If two people have the same amount of tricks, the cards should be cut to decide. The number of dealt cards goes down by one during each hand until only one player – the winner – remains.
3. Oh Hell!
Oh Hell, which is also called referred to as Oh Pshaw, Oh Well, Blackout or Blob, is a trick-taking game in which the goal is for a player to bid the exact number of tricks that they believe they will make. If they happen to take more or fewer tricks than they bid, then that counts as a loss.
Oh Hell is played with a standard 52-card deck of cards. The Aces are the high cards.
The game is played with between three and seven players, and depending on the number of players, the amount of cards dealt out to each changes. If there are three to five players taking part in the game, 10 cards each are dealt. If there are six players, eight cards each are dealt. If there are seven players, seven cards each are dealt.
Each successive hand is played with one fewer card. After a hand has been dealt, the next card is turned up, and the suit it is from becomes the trump suit. At this point, each player bids for the number of tricks they think they can win. The player to the left of the dealer starts player. Each player must follow the suit led if possible. If not, they can play another card, including the trump card.
Unless ruffed (when a player leads a suit that the other players don’t have and highest trump wins), the highest card of the led suit wins the trick. The player who wins the exact number of tricks bid scores 10, plus the number of tricks bid.
Palace, which is also known as Castle or Shed (and another rude name which we won’t mention here), is a card game which involves shedding cards to win. It is a fast-paced game, so you can play multiple hands in a single sitting.
A standard 52-card deck is used to play Palace, with the Aces being the high cards.
Each player receives nine cards. Three of these are dealt face-down and are unseen, three are placed face-up and the remaining three card become a player’s hand.
The first person to lay a three, or the next lowest available card, begins the game. The other players lay cards of equal or higher value than the one that sits atop the discard pile. Cards of the same value can be played together. Four cards of the same suit clears the discard pile, as does playing 10s. Twos can be played at any time and be followed by any card.
If a player is unable to play due to the cards they hold, they must pick up the cards in the discard pile. As the game goes on, players have to draw from the stock to maintain a hand of at least three cards. When the stock is depleted, players can play their face-up cards, followed by their face-down cards. The first player to get rid of their cards is the winner. The last player with cards in their possession is the loser.
5. Gin Rummy
Part of the big family of Rummy card games, Gin Rummy can trace its origins back to 1909, when it was invented by a father-and-son duo living in New York City. It became a hugely popular throughout the Roaring Twenties, before declining in the 1930s and having a resurgence in 1940s Hollywood.
Gin Rummy is played with a French deck of 52 cards. The cards are ranked as follows: King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, Ace.
In terms of their points value in the game, an Ace is worth 1 point, the numbered cards have their nominal values, and face cards are worth 10 points each.
Also keep in mind that an Ace can only be melded with a 2 card.
Players receive 10 cards each, with the rest forming the stock that is used for players to take cards and discard them. One card of the deck is turned face-up and placed close to the stock. When a player takes a card from the pile, they can get rid of one of the cards they hold.
The main objective of the game is to combine card sets from the suit, or the same rank. Players attempt to meld as many cards as possible.
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