by Jonathan Leistiko
End the game with more tokens than everyone else. You do this by turning cards of the same rank face-up during your turn.
Shuffle the poker deck. Lay out all of the cards face-down on the table in a regular pattern; a 7 by 8 grid with the corner cards omitted works well.
Give 20 tokens to each player. Set the extra tokens aside in the Bank.
Choose a player to go first.
On your turn, select two cards and look at them. Remember where they were; they must return to their original positions.
If the two cards are the same rank (like two Fives) and are both Black, show the cards to the other players and choose a player to return that many tokens to the Bank. Aces count as one, Jacks count as 11, Queens as 12, and Kings as 13. Set the cards aside in the discard pile and end your turn.
If the two cards are the same rank and are both Red, show the cards to the other players and choose a player (including yourself) to gain that many tokens from the Bank. Set the cards aside in the discard pile and end your turn.
If the two cards are the same rank and are different colors, show the cards to the other players and refer to the Mixed Chart below. Once the effect has resolved, set the cards aside in the discard pile and end your turn.
When an effect says to reveal a card, flip a card face-up, let everyone see it, then flip it face-down again.
|Ace||Choose a player to gain a token. Choose a player to lose a token. Reveal a card.|
|2||Look at two cards. Swap their positions.|
|3||Reveal up to four cards. If you reveal a Three, or three of a kind, choose up to three players to lose three tokens.|
|4||Select a 2 by 2 square of cards. Privately look at two of these cards; reveal the remaining two cards.|
|5||Reveal a 3 by 3 cross of cards. Take another turn.|
|6||Reveal any number of cards. Do not turn then face-down again.|
|7||Take another turn. You may spend 5 tokens at the end of that turn to take yet another turn.|
|8||Skip the next player’s turn.|
|9||Do not discard this pair; keep it in front of you. The next time you should lose tokens, discard this pair instead.|
|10||Do not discard this pair; keep it in front of you. The next time a player makes a match, discard this pair. Take the effect of the other player’s match for yourself.|
|Jack||Choose two players. Redistribute their tokens so they have the same number of tokens. If there is an extra token, give it to the Bank.|
|Queen||Choose a player to give six tokens to another player.|
|King||Take the effect of any one other effect in this table.|
If the two cards do not match, put them back in their original spots, face-up. You can choose to put one or both of them back face-down, but you must give one token to the Bank for each card that you don’t reveal. Once you’ve made your decision and shown (or not shown) your cards, your turn ends.
Play passes to the left.
If you run out of tokens, you’re out of the game.
The game ends when only one player has tokens left, or when all possible matches have been made. If you have the most tokens at the end of the game, you win.
Simplicity: Do not use the Mixed Chart for mixed color pairs. Instead, choose a player to give that many tokens to another player of your choice. You are a valid choice for giver or receiver, but not both.
Jokin’ Around: Do not remove the Jokers from the deck. If you match Jokers, you have one minute to rearrange the cards as much as you want to.
Underdogs: You’re not out of the game when you run out of tokens. If you have to lose tokens and you still have no tokens, then you don’t lose anything.
I was on a windjammer cruise during the first full week in September 2004. During that cruise, one of the passengers said that his mom used to play Memory with him by turning a Poker deck face down. I realized that you could build an interesting game off of that, and this is what came of it.
Thanks to the Monday Night Games group for playtesting.