Who says kids have all the fun? Put away your phone, grab a beer and get ready to play some traditional camp-side card games. They’re great for all ages and require very little prep or extra packing. All you need is a standard deck of 52 cards and a group of willing players.
Perfect for 2–4 players
How to play…
Shuffle the cards and deal three face-down and three face-up (on top) in front of each player, then place all the remaining cards face down in the middle. The player with a 4 (or the most 4s) plays first, but we suggest spinning a bottle of Badger to decide who starts.
The ‘Starter’ plays a card from their hand (and any number of cards of the same value) and picks up a replacement card from the pile, so they always have at least three cards in their hand.
The player to the left then plays a wild card, or one that is higher than the previous. If they can’t go, they must pick up from the ‘Playing Pile’.
Once the Playing Pile has all gone, and a player has no cards in their hand, they start to play their three face-up cards. Once those have all been played, the face-down ones can be used. No cheating though – these ones must be played blind.
The winner is the first person with no cards left to play.
Perfect for 2–7 players
How to play…
The dealer deals out 5 cards to each player, and places the remainder face-down in the middle as stock. The top card from this pile is then turned-up and used as the ‘starter’.
The first player lays down one card on the starter, which must match a suit or rank; if it doesn’t, they draw a card from the stock.
Once the stock is up, players who can’t play must pass their go.
Eights score 50; Aces 1; Kings, Queens and Jacks 10; and index value for others.
The game is over when any player puts down their last card, and the winner is the player with the highest scoring cards in their hand.
Perfect for 2 – 6 players
How to play…
One card at a time, the dealer dishes out all the cards face-down. Players mustn’t look at their cards, and should shuffle them into a face-down pile.
The player to the left turns over their top and places it in the centre of the table. If the card’s value is between 2 and 10, the next player takes their turn. If the card is a ‘Court’ card (Ace, King, Queen or Jack), the next player must pay a penalty by turning over a card to the central pile. If this new card is an Ace, the second player turns over 4 cards; if it’s a King, it’s 3 cards; a Queen, two cards; and a Jack, one card.
If all turned-over cards are between 2 and 10, the initial player collects the cards and merges them under their own pile. If any are ‘Court’ cards, the penalty is forgiven and the player stops handing over cards. The next player must, therefore, pay a penalty dictated by the second ‘Court’ card, and so the game continues.
The player with no cards left is out, and the one who accumulates the whole pack wins.