A lively card game for Christmas celebrations.
You’re a team of Santa’s elves, each competing to put together the best sack of toys as quickly as possible. To play you will need a standard pack of playing cards and 3 to 10 players.
Aim of the Game
Collect the highest scoring hands of cards as quickly as possible. The highest total score after 4 rounds wins.
• A player’s hand may score on a combination of collections
• A card that counts toward a royal or straight flush cannot also be counted again against a plain flush or straight.
e.g. a hand of two aces and three kings would get 4 points for the two aces (cards of a kind) and 6 points for the three kings (cards of a kind). A total of 10 points.
e.g. 4 nines and ace of hearts would get 8 points for the four nines (cards of a kind) and 2 points for the nine and ace of hearts (flush). A total of 10 points.
e.g. Queen, King, Ace, Ten and Nine of diamonds would get 9 points for the Queen, King and Ace of diamonds (royal flush) and 2 points for the nine and ten of diamonds (flush). A total of 11 points.
1. Deal six cards to each player. This is each players’ “sack of toys”. Place any remaining cards face down in a draw deck in the middle of the table.
2. Players each choose one card from their hand to discard. Create a face up discard pile next to the draw deck.
3. In parallel (don’t wait for turns) players try to improve their hand. They can do this in three different ways:
a. Swap a card with another player. E.g. Player A shouts an offer to the table to give a ten of hearts in exchange for any diamond. Most of the other players ignore this, until Player B decides to accept and the cards are traded. Note: there are no game rules about telling the truth on the card being swapped – players are restrained only by their own morals…
b. Add a card to the discard pile and draw a card from the top of the deck.
c. Swap a card from the hand with one from the discard pile. Note: this might sound like a great idea, but be careful – you don’t want to waste too much time waiting to get access to the discard pile or wading your way through it.
4. At any point, any player can declare “CHRISTMAS” (shout loudly so everyone hears). When this happens, play stops immediately and everyone scores the cards they currently have in their hand.
Note: it might not be the best strategy to wait until you’ve amassed the perfect hand – you might score better than other people by calling ‘Christmas’ earlier when you have an average hand.