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Kid Games

 

 

Games on this page:

Pickled Peppers

Jungle

You Wish

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A Brief History

For countless generations, parents have introduced their children to an assortment of kid-friendly classics like Go Fish, Authors, and Quartet. Of this category of game, Go Fish continually surfaces as the time-honored favorite. Some have suggested that the game’s predictable lure arises from a child’s innate synchronicity with the aquatic pastime while others have maintained that kids just love telling adults what to do without having to say "please."

A second, less strategy-oriented group of games has also been on the march for centuries, invading playrooms across the globe well into the new millennium—the War-games. Each hoping to commandeer the entire deck, dueling siblings worldwide have been known to sit for hours mindlessly turning cards over from their stack trying to "one-up" the other. Russian children play their own version of War called P’yanitsa which translates curiously as Drunkard. Italian children often choose Camicia, a clear relative of the English Beggar. Finally, another War-like variation in America, sometimes called Bloodystump or Slap, is best known among young aficionados as the exotic sounding Egyptian Ratscrew. Exactly which country or century should be credited for creating these timeless gems remains debatable, but historians are firmly in agreement on one point—there will likely always be War-games.

 

 

Pickled Peppers  

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Players

Best with two to four

Objective

Be the sole remaining player with cards to play

Definition

  • Pickle: Lay down (or the act of laying down) a required string of cards because the previous player played a Chili Pepper
  • Pickled Pepper: A Chili Pepper played during a pickle

  Overview

All cards are dealt—an equal distribution to all players. Each player holds his cards as a facedown stack. In turn, each player blindly contributes one card to create a continually growing pile in the center until a Chili Pepper is played. The subsequent player must then begin pickling cards one by one until he lays down the required string or gets a Pickled Pepper. If he gets a Pickled Pepper, his pickle immediately ends and the next player starts to pickle and so on around the table. Otherwise, if no Pickled Pepper appears before a player lays down the required string of cards, the previous player wins the center pile along with any associated pickled cards. The sole remaining player with cards to play wins the game.

Setup

  • Normal 52 card deck, no [Scrokers].
  • Deal all cards in an equal distribution to all players. Any spare cards (as for three or five players) are dealt to the center of the table facedown to be taken by the first player to take the center cards.

Rules

  • Each player squares up the cards dealt to him and holds them in his hand as a facedown stack.
  • Beginning with the player to the dealer’s left, each player, in turn, takes one card off the top of his stack, turns it over and plays it in the center of the table to create a continually growing pile of face-up cards. This cycle continues indefinitely until a Chili Pepper is played.
  • A player must begin to pickle anytime the player to his right plays a Chili Pepper in the center pile. The string of cards should be played as a vertical array stretching from just outside the center pile towards himself.
  • The number of cards to be pickled by a player depends on how hot the Chili Pepper is that initiated his pickle. For example, the [Four-chili-pepper-E] would require a player to pickle four cards.
  • If a Pickled Pepper appears, the requirement to complete a pickle ends. Instead of adding to his own string, a player lays the Chili Pepper just outside the center pile in front of the player to his left.
  • A player must begin to pickle anytime the player to his right lays a Pickled Pepper in front of him. The string of cards should be played as a vertical array stretching from just below or slightly over the Pickled Pepper towards himself.
  • If a player pickles the complete string of required cards without producing a Pickled Pepper, the player to his right takes all of the cards in the center pile as well as any cards currently in pickled strings. The "taking" of cards is generally an unceremonious gathering and sweeping the rough pile towards oneself to expedite play. The next card is played to the center by the player who just finished pickling.
  • When a player depletes his stack, he gathers all the cards he has taken thus far, squares them up as a new facedown stack and continues playing.

Variation for big kids

  • During a pickle, a player may prematurely end his requirement to lay anymore cards and usurp all of the cards in the center by wording with the pickled letters and associated Chili Pepper. For example, the [Two-chili-pepper-O] is played. The next player first pickles the [L] and is unable to word. His next pickled card is the [W]. He then announces the word "low" before removing his finger from the [W] and then takes all of the cards currently in play. A spellcheck loser issues the top five cards from his stack to the winner’s collection of taken cards.
 

 

Jungle

 

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Players

Two

Objective

Take all of the cards from your opponent

Overview

All cards are dealt (26 to each player). Each player holds his cards as a facedown stack. Both players contribute one card to the center of the table. Generally, the player that contributes the highest-ranking card wins both cards. The exception occurs when both players play an Animal. In this instance, the "Jungle rule" is used to determine which player will take the cards in the center. The game is won when one player has taken all the cards.

Setup

  • Normal 52 card deck, no [Scrokers].
  • Deal all cards (26 to each player).

Rules

  • Each player squares up the cards dealt to him and holds them in his hand as a facedown stack.
  • Each player takes one card off the top of his stack and plays it in the center of the table. The player that contributes the card of higher rank wins both cards except as explained by the "Jungle rule."
  • Jungle rule: All Animals rule equally. Therefore, when two animals appear, the tie must be resolved. Each player contributes three facedown cards followed by one face-up card. The ranks of the two newly played face-up cards are then compared to determine the winner of all cards in the center of the table. In the event of another Animal tie, the Jungle rule applies again.
  • When a player depletes his stack, he gathers all the cards he has taken thus far, squares them up as a new facedown stack and continues playing.
  • After players gain a little experience, the game proceeds fairly rapidly and, consequently, no emphasis is placed on who leads or how collected tricks are maintained.

Variations for big kids

  • Optional scrumping: The most common place to allow a player to scrump (somewhat loose interpretation) is during the Jungle rule after the tie-breaking face-up cards have been played. The player who would normally lose all of the cards in the center could, instead, take them if he could identify a word (two, three or four-letter minimum length, as agreed upon prior to the start of the game) with any or all of the currently displayed face-up cards. Additionally, scrumping anytime using two-letter words may or may not be allowed according to player’s preferences. A spellcheck loser issues the top five cards from his stack to his opponent.
  • Three players: Cards are dealt equally (17 to each player with the remaining card dealt face down in the center of the table to be taken in the first card challenge. All challenges are comprised of three vice two cards, and two or three-way ties are possible during Jungle rules. The major difference in this three-player variation is that the object of the game is to be the first player to lose all the cards, not win them. Correspondingly, a player may scrump the center cards, if able, to avoid taking them, thereby forcing the player on his left to take them. A spellcheck winner issues the top five cards from his stack to the spellcheck loser.

Tips

  • For two players, allow scrumping only during Jungle rules. Otherwise, allow scrumping all the way up to the time that the would-be-scrumper plays his card in the follow-on challenge.
  • Consider a higher minimum word length and/or clarify between players exactly which cards will be legal to use for scrumping during back-to-back Jungle rules.
 

 

You Wish

 

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Players

Three

Objective

Combine letters in hand with letters gained from other players’ hands to create the most words or be the first to "go-out"

Definitions

  • Well: The spot in the center of the table where a stock of facedown cards sits
  • Wish: Take (or act of taking) a card from the "well" in hopes of drawing a particular letter

Overview

This game is for big kids. All cards are dealt in four equal piles: 13 to each player and 13 to the well. In turn, each player asks an opponent to hand-over any cards depicting a particular letter. If, on the other hand, he asked for a letter that his opponent did not hold, his turn ends and he goes to the well to wish. The player that sent him to the well then takes his turn and so on. If a player is able to empty his hand of cards (go-out), he automatically wins. Otherwise, the winner is the player who has played the most words at the time the well empties.

Setup

  • Normal 52 card deck, no [Scrokers].
  • Deal all cards, 13 to each player and 13 to the well.
  • Square-up cards in the well.

Rules

  • The player to the dealer’s left leads.
  • A player always begins his turn by asking another player to hand-over all of his cards that depict a particular letter. He may not ask for a letter he already holds in his hand. For example, provided he holds no E’s of any suit, Cody might say "Nicole, show me your E’s." If Nicole has any E’s from any suit she must hand them all over to Cody.
  • If one or more cards are handed-over to a player, he may word, if able, before continuing his turn. In order to word, the word must be played immediately following receiving a card or cards from another player, and must contain one or more of those cards just received. Whether or not a player words or is able to word, his turn continues allowing him to query the same or a different player about the same or different letter.
  • When a player does not hold any cards depicting the letter requested by another player, he instructs that player to wish. Continuing with the previous example, if Nicole held no E’s when queried by Cody, she might have instead said "You wish" which would have forced Cody to draw one card from the well.
  • A player sent wishing has one last opportunity to word before his turn ends. If the card drawn from the well turns out to be the card he just asked for, he may word using that card, if able. The decision to word in this case must be made before the card is brought into the player’s hand. The card from the well is placed on the table to be immediately thereafter arrayed with the other cards from the hand that complete the word. When he finishes wording, or instead, does not word and places the card from the well in his hand, his turn ends. At this point, the player responsible for sending his opponent to the well begins his turn, and so on.
  • All words played are clearly displayed on the table by each player as firm arrays.
  • The winner of a spellcheck takes one already valid displayed word from the loser to become his own for scoring purposes. If the loser does not yet have a word, he will owe one to the winner.

Scoring

  • A player automatically wins the game by emptying his hand of all cards (going-out).
  • Otherwise, when the player who takes the last card from the well finishes his turn, the player who has played the most words wins.
  • A tie of equal words played is broken by the player who played the longest word. If a tie still exists, the card of highest rank within the longest word will rule.

Variation

Four Players: Deal 50 cards: 10 to each player and 10 to the well. The remaining two cards are placed on top, and squared-up with the other cards to create a 12-card-deep well.

 
 

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