A fast-paced card game for two or more players, using a standard 52-card deck.
The goal is to force the other player(s) out of the game. The central pile begins at 0. Players take turns playing cards that add or subtract from this number. A player loses when he cannot play a card without going over 99.
Players begin with 4 or 5 cards. Play proceeds in a circle, each person playing one card and announcing the new sum. A new card is drawn from a draw pile after one is played. The central pile may be reshuffled into the draw pile, but the sum is not reset.
Normal cards add their face value to the sum.
Aces add 1.
Fours reverse the direction of play.
Fives allow the player to select the next person to play, not himself. Play then continues normally from that person.
Tens add or subtract 10, at the player's choice.
Jacks add 0. (Effectively a skip of turn.)
Queens add or subtract 20, at the player's choice.
Kings set the sum to 99, regardless of what it was before.
The sum cannot go below 0.
When there are only two players, fours, fives, and Jacks all have essentially the same effect.
Although it seems complicated to memorize all of the special cards, they soon grow intuitive, and games will move quickly. Eventually, the math may become the biggest hold-up.
Some basic points to consider:
People usually don't begin with a good hand. They use the first slow climb to 99 to stockpile special cards while getting rid of unwieldy cards like eights and nines. Playing a King early on makes life interesting, and could easily finish off a player or two.
Most people won't play a Queen except as a last resort. If there are only a few players, especially if there are only two, you can try to kill them by neutralizing the Queen with one of your own. If there are many players, you can try to force them to play when the sum is near 99 by playing a five.
The more people playing, the less you want to lower the sum. By the time it's your turn again, the effects of your play will be lost.