It should be emphasised that in Australian slang, a bastard is not necessarily derogatory; in fact it can be a term of endearment. For example a woman might say to her husband, "Give me a hug, you bastard!". "Poor bastard" for instance is a term of pity for someone who's fallen on hard times.

In the television miniseries Bodyline, which was about cricket, there was an Englishman who was called a bastard on the field. The following dialogue ensued in the change rooms.

Englishman: I DEMAND an apology for being called a "bastard!".
Australian Captain: "Righto! Listen up, you bastards! Which one of you bastards called this bastard a bastard?".

Also known as: Kings and Bastards; Rich Man, Poor Man

Players: Best with 3-5

To Begin With

Basics of Play

Cards are dealt to the left until the entire pack is, well, dealt.
3's are the lowest card (whoever has the the 3 begins with this card - though don't forget multiples as detailed below), the deck continues as normal (4,5,6,7,8,9,10,Jack,Queen,King) and Ace is the highest card. Suits have no effect on the cards value.

Play proceeds in a clockwise direction, each player beating the last card with one of a higher value (never equal). If a player either cannot play a card or chooses to skip that turn (ie to hang onto a multiple or trump) then they are out for that round.
The winner of the round begins the next.


The first player to play all of hir cards is the King, the last player left with cards is the Bastard.
The Bastard shuffles and deals the cards as normal.
Once this is done the Bastard gives hir three best cards to the King in exchange for the new monarch's three worst cards (note: you can't be tricky and hang onto the 3♣ because you want to start - unless you have all 3's - or be generous to the Bastard. They must be your worst cards).

If there are 4 or 5 (or more) players then the second to finish is the Vice-King, the second-to-last to finish is the Vice-Bastard.
Vices exchange one card in the same manner as the King and Bastard.

Repeat as desired.

Moving On

Multiple Cards

If you have cards of the same value (a pair of 5's, three 8's, whatever) then these cards can be played together BUT only if the round is begun with multiple cards (ie whoever starts puts down hir pair of 5's).
Obviously multiples are classed as 'Pairs', 'Triples' or 'Quadruples'.
A multiple can only be beaten by a higher multiple of the same class (ie the three 5's your opponent just put down can't be beaten by that pair of 9's you've been holding on to) - the exception to this rule being trumps.

You can see tactics beginning to emerge when multiples come into play, will you use that 9 and save the two 7's you've been holding onto? etc.


Standard Trumps - these are the 2's. A trump is a handy thing to have as it will top any card (except for another trump) or multiple of cards.

Joker Trumps - these are the Jokers, which are optional. Should you use them one of two sets of rules apply (which one is being used should be ascertained before you begin):

  1. The 2's are no longer trumps, merely the highest normal card. This makes trumping harder to do (coz there ain't as many).
  2. The 2's remain trumps, the Jokers are a form of trump that will beat everything including 2's (but again one Joker cannot beat another). This obviously increases the amount of trumping, but unless you're in the desirable position of having both Jokers you'll think twice before throwing down a 2.


This rule should only be introduced when at least a few of you have a good grasp of the game.

When three consecutive cards are played the third player can 'call' it.
eg p1 begins with a 3, p2 plays that a 4, p3 tops that with a 5 and declares "3 4 5".
For the rest of this round a card must continue this trend if you're gonna play it.
eg p1 has no 6 so must pass, p2 plays a 6, p3 has no 7 and is out. p2 wins this round.

In the event of ordering even trumps will not win automatically. 2's can still win if it gets to that point but Jokers have no value and are effectively useless.

If (in the example used) all cards were red (as in all Hearts and/or Diamonds) then p3 could have declared "3 4 5 red", in which case the next card would need to be a red 6.
If all cards were Hearts then p3 could have declared "3 4 5 Hearts", in which case the next card would need to be the 6♥ (especially cunning if you have the 6 yourself).
Just in case you weren't sure this also applies to black suits ("3 4 5 black") and to every indivudial suit.

If (horror of all horrors) p3 forgets to declare on hir turn, or simply doesn't want to, then the chain is broken before it can properly form and play continues as normal.
If another player can continue the chain (ie p1 throws down a 7) then sie can declare if sie so wishes.
It should also be noted (along the lines of choosing to not declare) that should all consecutive cards be of the one suit, you can choose what level you take it too (and so must choose between making it really hard for your opponents to go and being able to go yourself).

(Just in case)

Three players

    • p1 has 3♣ so must begin
    • p1 plays three 3's (best to get rid of them while you can)
    • p2 quickly scans hir cards and plays a trio of 9's
    • p3 has no triples high enough, so uses a 2
    • No one has/uses a Joker - p3 win

    • p3 starts with the remaining 3
    • p1 plays a 4
    • p2 plays a 5 but does not call
    • p3 plays a 7 (thankful that p2 didn't call as sie has no 6)
    • p1 plays an 8
    • p2 plays a 9 and (seeing as all are red) calls "7 8 9 red"
    • p3 curses impotently
    • p1 plays the 10 smugly
    • p2 plays the Jack♥ (sie had it covered!)
    • p1 realises that sie has no red Queen. Drat!
    • p2 wins

  1. etc until a King and a Bastard are determined.

Mine and Bronco's thanks to ocelotbob for the alternate name.
Sie informs me that there is a vietnamese name, but cannot remember it.

There is also a non-card game that my friends and I play called bastard. It is quite juvenile and it's origins are unknown to me (one of my friends may/probably made it up) but, all in all, it can be a very enjoyable game.

The base concept is extremely simple. Two people play the game, whenever they see each other the first person to call the other bastard wins. This goes on until it is deemed boring. One can see how this would quickly escalate in to screaming bastard at your foe from across a crowded room, or setting up ambushes, and of course arguments over who won (which invariably boil down to infantile name calling).

As a result of possibly infinite game play (I know of a game that's gone on for four years) rules are can be modified as seen fit. We have chosen to score in winning streaks (number of successful bastards between being bastardized yourself), as well as bonus respect for creative bastards. (ie placing a note in a friends book, or elaborate plots that can rival the planning that went into the patriot act’s name)

Ultimately this game is childish and dangerous, (ever mistaken a stranger for a friend when you saw them walking away? Think what could happen.) and definitely more enjoyable to watch than play.


I am a bastard too; I love bastards: I am a bastard
begot, bastard instructed, bastard in mind, bastard
in valour, in every thing illegitimate. One bear will
not bite another, and wherefore should one bastard?
Take heed, the quarrel's most ominous to us: if the
son of a whore fight for a whore, he tempts judgment:
farewell, bastard.

Troilus and Cressida V.vii Troilus and Cressida
Also the name of a climb in the Frankenjura in Germany. The climb was first done by Gerry Moffatt in 1987 and is now graded 10/10- on the UIAA scale. It is still rated as one of the 100 hardest climbs in the region, which is astonishing given the year that saw it's first ascent.
The climb is at a crag called Grune Holle (which translates as green heel). The rock is limestone and the cliff overhangs by about 38 degrees. I stood beneath the climb not one week ago.

Bas"tard (?), n. [OF. bastard, bastart, F. btard, prob. fr. OF. bast, F. bt, a packsaddle used as a bed by the muleteers (fr. LL. bastum) + -ard. OF. fils de bast son of the packsaddle; as the muleteers were accustomed to use their saddles for beds in the inns. See Cervantes, "Don Quixote," chap. 16; and cf.G. bankert, fr. bank bench.]


A "natural" child; a child begotten and born out of wedlock; an illegitimate child; one born of an illicit union.

⇒ By the civil and canon laws, and by the laws of many of the United States, a bastard becomes a legitimate child by the intermarriage of the parents at any subsequent time. But by those of England, and of some states of the United States, a child, to be legitimate, must at least be born after the lawful marriage.

Kent. Blackstone.

2. Sugar Refining (a)

An inferior quality of soft brown sugar, obtained from the sirups that already had several boilings.


A large size of mold, in which sugar is drained.


A sweet Spanish wine like muscadel in flavor.

Brown bastard is your only drink. Shak.


A writing paper of a particular size. See Paper.


© Webster 1913.

Bas"tard (?), a.


Begotten and born out of lawful matrimony; illegitimate. See Bastard, n., note.


Lacking in genuineness; spurious; false; adulterate; -- applied to things which resemble those which are genuine, but are really not so.

That bastard self-love which is so vicious in itself, and productive of so many vices. Barrow.


Of an unusual make or proportion; as, a bastard musket; a bastard culverin.


4. Print.

Abbreviated, as the half title in a page preceding the full title page of a book.

Bastard ashlar Arch., stones for ashlar work, roughly squared at the quarry. -- Bastard file, a file intermediate between the coarsest and the second cut. -- Bastard type Print., type having the face of a larger or a smaller size than the body; e.g., a nonpareil face on a brevier body. -- Bastard wing Zool., three to five quill feathers on a small joint corresponding to the thumb in some mam malia; the alula.


© Webster 1913.

Bas"tard, v. t.

To bastardize.




© Webster 1913.

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