Do you love traditional card games like Rummy but are ready to switch things up and try something different? Fortunately, plenty of classic fan favorites and alternatives will give you something to have fun with for many days!
In this blog post, we’ll explore the top traditional card game alternatives you can play to add variety to your next family game night! From Egyptian Ratscrew to 500 Rummy, get ready for hours of entertainment as we explore the vibrant world of classic card gaming.
Rummy is a family or card-matching game, so it’s no wonder millions of people love playing it! However, too much Rummy can get boring due to its repetitive gameplay mechanics. Fortunately, there are many other options you can choose from, all of which are as engaging as Rummy itself!
1. 500 Rummy
500 Rummy is a variation of Rummy, but it has an enticing gameplay that makes it a favorite among many card game enthusiasts. The game is played with one standard deck of cards, and up to eight players can join, making it perfect for large groups.
The game has multiple rounds; the goal is to make card combinations to score points. If you want, you can use a scorepad and a paper to keep track of each player’s points. If there are only two players, each will receive 13 cards. If there are three or more, each will receive only seven cards.
After each player receives their cards, all cards left will be placed in the middle of the stockpile. Players must put down three or more sets or sequences of cards until a player doesn’t have any cards left. Players with cards after the end of the game must tally their value and subtract it from their total points.
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Pinochle is the kind of game with some meld-making involved. What makes it unique is that it also requires trick-taking, so there are two phases to worry about in the game.
Some Pinochle game basics:
- Usually played by four players in two teams
- It only uses 48 cards with two sets of 9s through Aces
- Each player receives 12 cards
- Melding combinations include Trump Run, Nix, Pinochle, Double Pinochle, and more
- Scores are determined by adding points accumulated from melding and trick-taking
Pinochle is an excellent game for friends or family, as it involves strategizing and teamwork. Since it has two phases, it’s often seen as a challenging card game. However, practice and memorizing the meld combinations can help you ace this game against your opponents!
Play Cribbage and experience a tough challenge you’ll never find anywhere else. This matching card game offers complicated game mechanics, which are easy to understand once you keep practicing your skills.
Here are some basics to remember:
- Good for two players or four players in partnerships
- Score 121 points to win
- Uses a Cribbage board and pegs for scoring
- There are numerous ways to make a score
Once a card is played, the next players would add the value of their cards to the first card. However, it should never exceed. If a player can’t play a card without surpassing 31, the player before them gets a point. Another way to get a point is by playing a card that gets a value of exactly 15 or 31. Try Cribbage here.
4. Egyptian Ratscrew
Teens love playing Egyptian Ratscrew due to its similarities with Slapjack. Three or more players can play it, and it also has the slapping action once a specific condition is achieved! Once the dealer is chosen, the dealing of the cards begins with each player receiving an equal number of cards. Afterward, all remaining cards are placed at the center of the table.
The first player to begin is always on the dealer’s left. In every turn, the player will play the top card of their hand into the center pile and proceed in clockwise order. Each consecutive card must be played on top of the last card on the draw pile.
Once a face card is played, that player becomes the challenger, and the next player will become the challenged, and they have the chance to play another face card or Ace to win the challenge. If they fail, the challenger takes the pile. Meanwhile, the slapping action is facilitated by certain combinations.
Combination examples are Doubles, Sandwiches, Runs, and Wilds. After each player has had their turn and no more cards can be played on top of the center pile, players will again resume playing to add cards to the stack. If all but one player runs out of cards, that remaining player is declared as winner!
5. Old Maid
Old Maid is a traditional game dubbed in the Victorian era as a gambling game. Now, it’s great for kids or those young at heart due to its amusing background! Whoever gets the Old Maid card becomes the Old Maid, and they must do a dare!
Some basics to better understand Old Maid:
- Use a standard 52-card deck with three Queens removed.
- All cards are dealt to all players, and it’s OK if some players have more cards than others.
- Players will look at their cards and match pairs while placing them face-up on the table.
- Once all pairs are exhausted, players will offer their hand to the next player and choose one card to take with a bid to match the cards from their hand.
- Proceed to the next player until the last player with the Old Maid card is left.
Old Maid is a perfect alternative for those who don’t want to play a traditional Rummy game. For more entertainment value once you find the Old Maid, dare them to do fun things, such as singing a song or performing a silly dance!
6. Go Fish
Go Fish is the ultimate crowd-favorite, especially for kids. It’s ideal for two to five players, and the number of cards each player will receive depends on how many people join. For example, a two-player Go Fish game means each player gets seven cards. On the other hand, three to five-player Go Fish games deal each player five cards.
The remaining cards are placed in the center, known as the pond. The dealer will begin and ask the player to their left if they have a particular card. If they don’t, they will tell the dealer to “Go Fish” while referring to the pond. However, if they have the card being requested, they must give it to the one asking.
The requesting phase of the game will proceed, and players will also need to match cards into a four-of-a-kind set. Players can’t request the said rank once the set is completed. All sets will be tallied, and their final score will be the points they accumulate from their sets.
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As you can see, plenty of card game alternatives to the traditional Rummy offer unique and exciting gameplay. Next time you plan a family game night, mix things up and try out one of these fantastic options!