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The Simplest Card Game

Updated on July 30, 2014

Simplest Card Game

Quite a while ago, I found a website that contained some card games using standard playing cards that the site owner had invented. I no longer know where to find this website, but one of the games stuck in my mind. It was probably the simplest card game that I had ever known. I'll call it Simple Game.

How to Play

To play Simple Game, you take a pack of playing cards, shuffle them, and place them face-down at the center of the table. Then each player in turn, starting with the player to the left of the shuffler and moving clockwise around the table, takes the top card from the pile and turns it face-up. If that card is the Nine of Clubs, that player wins the game. (I don't know if the Nine of Clubs was the specific card, but any card will do.)

52 Pick-Up

I don't believe you could invent a simpler game other than 52 Pick-Up. In 52 Pick-Up, you take a pack of cards, shuffle them, throw them on the floor, and tell the other players to pick up the 52 cards. I'm not sure how you determine the winner. It's probably the player who threw the cards on the floor. But I would have to call Simple Game the simplest card game, and call 52 Pick-Up the simplest card activity.

But I don't know if you could get a group of friends together and play Simple Game for any length of time. The first player to win 20 games is the ultimate winner? The last player to leave is the ultimate winner?

Specific Cards

There are some games that reward players for being dealt specific cards, or for taking specific cards in tricks. In Seven-Up for instance you gain a point for being dealt the lowest card in the trump suit, and for taking a trick containing the highest card in the trump suit, and for taking a trick containing the Jack of trumps. In Michigan, you score extra points when you play a Jack of Spades, a Queen of Diamonds, a King of Clubs, or an Ace of Hearts. And there is a variation of Hearts where you score minus 10 points (which in Hearts is good) for taking the Jack of Diamond in a trick.

A Simple Alternative

You could add Simple Game to another game if you wanted to. Say you got a group of friends together to play Hearts. You would have a special Nine of Clubs score sheet, and you would add a point to that score sheet each time a player was dealt the Nine of Clubs. A player wouldn't announce that he or she held the Nine of Clubs until it was played to a trick. And you would also add a point to the score sheet each time a player took the Nine of Clubs in a trick.

At the end of the evening, you would give a prize to the player with the highest Nine of Clubs score. The prize could be a small toy truck, maybe even a 52 pickup.


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