My mother played many games with her kids, and I’ve followed in her footsteps, especially with my young son who plays chess, backgammon, go, mancala, some pencil-paper games, and at least ten card games including hearts, spades, casino, cribbage, rummy and bullshit.
Casino might be considered a child’s game, but has much scope for skill. We play Royal Casino in which Jacks, Queens, Kings have values 11, 12, 13 respectively; Aces are 1 or 14; Spade Deuce is 2 or 15; and Diamond Ten is 10 or 16. (I looked at the Wikipedia article just now; it seems odd and not in accord with Hoyle’s.) A variation my son and I invented which adds a little extra excitement is that Threes count 3 or 30.
Bullshit (I Doubt It) is also a very good game; it is very easy and requires no “card sense” but has great scope for psychology. You can find several versions of the rules on-line, but ours are different from any of those and, I think, much better. The rules described at Wikipedia are so different from ours I’ll just write ours from scratch, but with the major differences from the usual rules in boldface.
We play with a deck of 52 and four players, though these can be varied.
[li] The objective of the game is to be the first player to get rid of all their cards.[/li][li] The play is most easily described as a succession of “tricks.” The youngest player leads to the first trick; after that whoever won the previous trick leads to the next trick.[/li][li] Leader to a trick can name any rank for play on that trick, and places one or more cards face down in the middle of the table. (They may all be of the named rank, or one or more of them may be lies.)[/li][li] Play continues in clockwise order with each player having three choices:[/li][LIST][li] Pass. You may pass even if you have cards of the named rank.[/li][li] Play one or more cards in the middle face-down on top of the rest of the trick, declaring the number of cards. The rank must be declared to be the same as Leader’s rank though bluffing is permitted.[/li][li] Challenge the most recent play (ignoring any intervening passes). Only the player whose turn it is to play may challenge Upon a challenge, the cards of the most recent play are exposed. If all have the stated rank, challenger takes all the cards in the middle into his hand and challengee leads to the next trick. If any of those cards was a lie, challengee takes up the entire trick and challenger leads to the next trick.[/li][/ul]
[li] Upon three consecutive passes (or N-1) passes when N people play) all of the cards in the trick are set aside uninspected. The last player who played cards leads to the next trick.[/li][li] On each play the player states number of cards and rank, for example “Three Queens.” The player must be truthful about the number of cards laid on the table.[/li][li] Advising the current player whether to challenge or not is unethical, but not unusual since this is a casual party game.[/li][li] A player must respond truthfully when asked how many cards remain in his or her hand. (The youngest player may be exempted.)[/li][/LIST]
The game has much scope for skill and fun. Although there are only four of any rank in the deck, it’s common to see tricks with seven or more cards.
Differences in our Bullshit from other rule sets:
[ul][li] In some rule sets, ranks proceed in order Ace-Deuce-Trey-Four-et cetera. But this makes the game trivial for anyone who can count by N.[/li][li] The major difference between our rules and those found in Hoyle’s or with Google is that players can challenge only in turn. Frankly I don’t know how the other way (anyone can call “challenge”, first to do so is the challenger) works; there would probably be a lot of interesting eye contact.[/li][/ul]
With our rule that only current player can challenge, position at the table is very important. I have no chance to win when my wife is behind me as she always knows when I’m lying. :eek: