Card Games

Card games are one of the best ways to get the grandkids engaged, enthused and enjoying their time with you. Card games are not just entertaining, they are also educational.

Work the synapses of both the kids and yourself and try some of the games below!

Clock Patience

Deal the cards out (face down)in a circle like the face of a clock, four cards in each pile with the 13th pile in the centre.Take the top card from the centre pile, and tuck it, face up, under the pile that corresponds to that number on a clock,(1 to 10, with Jacks being 11 and Queens being 12. Kings go to the centre pile.) Take the top card from that pile and tuck it under its corresponding number. Continue until all the Kings are in place and you can't carry on, or until every pile has 4 cards face up - in which case you have won!

This game teaches children the hours on a clock face, and they like it because it is easy to win. Once your Grandchild has the hang of it you can make it more fun by using a second pack and seeing which of you can get more cards out.

If my description is not clear, go to - this web site where John Linney has an on-line Clock Patience game.
Note:When playing with real cards you do not need the inner circle of cards because you can tuck the up-turned card in under the face-down cards.


Rummy is a great family card game for all ages and teaches children to recognize suits, sequences of numbers and even how to beat Gran!

There are many variations of the card game Rummy. They all share a common set of features found in the basic game. A standard deck of 52 cards is used. The cards rank from A (low) to K (high). Rummy can be played to a certain score, or to a fixed number of deals.

The Shuffle and Deal
Each player draws a card. The player with the lowest card deals first. The deal then proceeds clockwise. The player on the dealer's right cuts (this is optional).In two player rummy, each player gets nine (9) cards. Starting with the player to the dealer's left, cards are dealt clockwise, face down, one at a time. The dealer then puts the rest of the deck, face down, between the players. This forms the stock. A single card is then drawn and placed face up next to the stock. This is called the discard pile.In three or four player games, seven (7) cards are dealt to each player. Five or six players may also play, in which case each player receives six (6) cards.

The Play
Play begins with the player on the dealer's left and proceeds clockwise. Each player draws a card from the stock or the discard pile. The player may then meld or lay off, which are both optional, before discarding.

If a player has three or more cards of the same suit in a sequence (called a sequence or a run), they may meld by laying these cards, face up, in front of them. Likewise, if they have at least three of the same value, they may meld a group (also called a set or a book). Melding is optional. A player may choose, for reasons of strategy, not to meld on a particular turn. The most important reason is to be able to declare "Rummy" later in the game.

Laying off
A player may also choose to "lay off" some cards on an existing meld. This means that if a player can add to a sequence or a group that is in front of them or any of the other players, they may do so. For example: if another player had a sequence consisting of 3, 4, and 5 of hearts in front of them, the player would be able to add any of the following: 2 of hearts, ace of hearts, 6 of hearts, and so on, thereby continuing the sequence. Also if a player has 3 of a kind, one of which continues another sequence on the field then another player may also continue off of that card. For example: if a player had a 3, 4, and 5 of hearts and another player had a three of a kind with 6, then another player may continue the sequence off of the player with 6.

Finally, after any melds or lay offs, the player must discard a single card to the discard pile, face up. The only condition is that it not be the card that they drew from the discard pile on the same turn. They may, however, return it on the next turn. In addition, if they drew from the stock instead of the discard pile, they are allowed to return that card in the same turn. In this way, the discard pile changes every turn.If the player discards (last card in hand, or even by mistake) and leaves a sequence on the discard pile, it is considered a rummy on the board, and any of the players,including the player that discarded can call it, and pick up only that sequence.

The End of the Stock
If, while playing, the stock runs out, the next player may choose to draw from the discard pile or to turn the discard pile over to form a new stock. The discard pile is not shuffled in the process. After forming the new stock, the top card is drawn to form the new discard pile, just like after the deal.

Going Out
When a player has gotten rid of all of their cards, they win the hand. There are two variations. Either the player must discard the last remaining card in their hand on the last turn, or they need not. Playing with this rule makes ending a hand slightly more difficult.For example, if a player had the 7 and 9 of diamonds, and they drew the 8 of diamonds (forming a sequence), then they would not be able to go out if playing with the discard rule variation, because after playing the 7-8-9 sequence, they would not have a card left to discard. A variant allows one to play the sequence on one turn without discarding, and on the next turn, they may draw a card from the draw pile and discard it immediately to go out, if it cannot be played off of another meld.

Declaring Rummy
If a player is able to meld all of their cards at once, they may say "Rummy" on their turn and go out. To declare Rummy, a player must not have melded or laid off any cards prior during the hand. If playing with the discard rule, they must also discard after melding. Playing for Rummy is more risky, but it carries the reward of double the score.

After a player goes out, the hand ends, and the players count up their cards. Any cards left in each player's hand are counted up and added to the winner's score. Aces count as one, face cards count as 10, and the rest have their face value. If a player has declared Rummy, then this score is doubled.Another variation is that face cards count as 10; three aces count as 15 each; a run of ace, king, queen, the ace is 15; a run of ace, two, three, the ace is 5, the rest are worth 5 each. Any cards left in each player's hand are counted up and subtracted from their score on the table.

As for variations to the basic game, the most important is whether or not a player must discard on going out.

Watching which cards are discarded is important to knowing what kind of hand your opponent may have. As cards are melded, the picture becomes clearer. A player may choose not to discard a card that might be advantageous to their opponent. Likewise, a player may decide to discard something that would be misleading to how their opponent might view their hand.If a player is dealt a good hand, they may consider going for Rummy. This is risky, however. If another player is able to go out first, then the player trying for Rummy will add a punishing lead to the winner's score.


Racing Demon

This is another family favourite. We played Racing Demon at home, at boarding school and on into our college years.

Racing Demon is a game of speed, and breaks all the rules of turn-taking and patience! Any number can join in: the more the merrier. Each player starts with a complete pack of cards (it’s important that each pack has a different design or colour on the back) and deals a pile of 13 face down except for the top card which is turned face up. This is called the “Pile”. Four more cards are then dealt out in a line face up next to the Pile. The rest are kept in the hand.

At the word “Go” the game starts: any player who has turned up an ace moves it into the middle and immediately replaces it from the top of their Pile, turning the next card in the Pile face up. EACH PLAYER ALWAYS HAS FIVE CARDS FACE UP: THE TOP OF THE PILE, AND A LINE OF FOUR. There is no turn taking: each player goes through their remaining cards as quickly as possible, one, two or three at a time (one at a time is easier and quicker) building up the suits in the middle that have started with aces and all the time WATCHING FOR OPORTUNITIES TO MOVE A CARD FROM THEIR FACE-UP LINE ONTO ONE OF THE SUITS THAT ARE BEING BUILT IN THE MIDDLE. Cards from the face-up line are always replaced with the top card of the Pile, and the next card in the Pile is turned up. The player who puts the final King onto a suit in the middle takes that pile and puts it to one side.

The winner is the first player to get rid of all their PILE – not the four face-up cards as well: when they play their final card, putting it onto one of the suits in the middle, they say OUT and play stops IMMEDIATELY.

Scoring is as follows: the winning player gets 10 bonus points. Any player who has claimed a suit with a King gets two bonus points for each suit. All the suits claimed are now put back in the middle, face down, and the cards remaining in the middle are also turned over. Each player now collects ALL THEIR OWN CARDS from the middle and counts them up, then SUBTRACTS, as penalty points, the number of cards they have remaining in their PILE (not the four face up cards as well). A winning score is usually in the thirties; we usually play up to a hundred, which is probably four or five games and gives everyone a chance to go out.

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