HISTORY OF CARDS
Card games have been around for a long time. They have existed in various forms for a millennium, appearing from the Far East. They slowly spread West as trading routes began to open, in the 1400s the French solidified the 52-card deck and the four suits that we use today.
While different cultures and nations use different sets of cards, that system is the most widely used around the world. For literally centuries now, friends, families, and strangers have convened around bar tops, campfires, and dining room tables to play friendly and perhaps not-so-friendly games of cards. There are few things better than pulling a deck out cards out and starting a game. It can be done anywhere on a plane, in an airport, at home in a pub the list is endless.
I remember playing cards with bored customs officials in an airport in Guatemala, nothing beats informing an official he is ‘Shithead’. The game is super easy, and the best thing is that you can create your own rules to make it more engaging.
BASICS OF GAME PLAY
Decks: One Deck is required for 4 people
Cards to use: All cards can be used including both Jokers
Aim: Not to be the last person holding or playing their cards.
High Card: The Ace / Low Card: The Two
Power Cards in Rank: Special cards and superpowers.
The following cards can be played on any card.
- Joker: Player decides who picks up the discarded pile, decides rotation of play and has another turn.
- Ten: Removes all the discarded cards from play, player has another turn
- Eight: Glass card. The next player must play from the card below the 8.
- Two: Resets the deck and any card can be played on top of it
The following cards but must be played sequentially.
- King: Changes direction of play.
- Queen: Extra go and any card can be played on the Queen.
- Seven: Next player must play a seven or below.
THE ART OF SHITHEAD
Those who know the game will have their own rules. Below are the rules that we play at Downton.
- Three cards must always be in the players’ hand.
- Players are not allowed to stockpile cards.
- Players must play what is in their hands.
- Cards must be played equal to or ascending in order.
- Should a player try, and cheat other players can call them out. If the cheater is guilty, they must pick up the discarded cards that are in play. If the accuser is wrong, they must pick up the discarded cards in play.
- The Joker can be played at any time, nothing beats this card.
- Players can not look at the cards facing down.
- Each player is dealt three cards face-down on the table, inline.
- Each player is then delt 6 cards facing down.
- Players must then decide which 3 cards they want to place face upwards on the cards facing down. Power cards are good here!
- This leaves each player 3 cards in their hand.
- Dealer calls ‘three’ to start play.
- Any player with three should try and place their card first.
- If there are no three’s then dealer calls four etc.
- Once the three has been played, play is clockwise.
- Once a card is played the player picks up a card from the ‘draw’ pile.
- Players can play multiples of a card (2 x Sixes or 3 x Jacks), but they must pick up the same number of cards played from the draw pile.
- Should a multiple of 4 occur – then the cards in the discard pile are burnt and are longer in play. The player who played the 4th card has another go, playing any card they wish.
- If you can not play, you must pick up the discarded pile (all the cards).
- The next player can then play any card.
- When the draw pile is empty, players can then start to play their cards facing up.
- Once these have been played the cards facing down can then be played.
- Players must decide which card they want to play that is face down, as soon as it is touched it is in play.
- Only 10s and 4 of a kind remove the discard pile from play.