The Ultimate Card Game for Game Haters

About: A clumsy, energetic bookworm who loves sharing her ideas with anyone who will listen.

Don't you also love games, especially during the holidays? When there are days that are filled with nothing but playing games and having fun with your friends and family? And don't you also know this one person who refuses to join every single time? Haven't you thrown everything at them: board games (too time consuming), sports (too active), online games (too crowded), and even singing competitions (too headache inducing). Haven't you almost become desperate, and asked yourself the question whether you'd ever find the right game for them? Well, stop looking, for I present to you: the Ultimate Game-Haters' Card Game!

In this Instructable, I will teach you the only game which is so much fun and addictive, that it is simply un-unlikable. It's got everything one may want in a game: it's fast, it's fun, it needs logic and luck, strategy, and it makes people hate you for life - or at least until you've stopped playing.

Note: I know this game by its Dutch name, Zweeds Pesten (which means Swedish Bullying), but it's also known as Shitheads. Whichever name you prefer, it will definitely win your friend over. Read on, and enjoy!

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Step 1: What You Need

A pack of cards including the jokers

A table or any other flat surface

The game-hating friend (or other players, there is no maximum amount, but you might want to add another pack if there will be many people)

Note: For sentimental reasons I have chosen to use my oldest pack of cards for this Instructable. I bought it years and years ago when I was on holiday in Rome (here's some free publicity, Italy!), and we spent many hours playing card games during the evenings.

Step 2: The Goal of the Game

The easiest part of this game is the goal: get rid of all your cards. Well then, your by now impossibly obnoxious friend would say, for you've introduced them to yet another game they obviously won't like, if you have to get rid of your cards, I have no cards now so does that mean I've won? What's the point of playing at all?

Because it's fun, of course. And the best part of it is making sure your opponents don't reach the same goal. Since the name of this game includes the word bullying, this is exactly what you have to do: this game requires a tactic that makes sure you end up with no cards while your opponents have to take them all.

So how do you get rid of your cards? Make sure that you add a card to the table which is either the same value (see picture) or higher than the one that's already there, regardless of colour. If you're unable to do so, then you have to take the entire pile. Now you have so many more cards than your opponent, and it'll become harder to get rid of them - especially when your cards are low.

Step 3: How to Start

As soon as you know the values of the cards, it's fairly easy to play this game. Here's how you start.

Each player receives three cards in front of them, faced down. Don't touch them, don't look at them, just leave them be. We'll get back to them later. Seriously, you hear your friend sigh, you have three cards just lying there and you're not even allowed to touch them? That's right. Please just leave them for now.

Then every player is handed six cards, three of which have to be placed on top of the three cards we're ignoring for now. Make sure you place the highest cards on the table, because this will make the final part of the game so much easier. If you've made your choice, you're left with three cards. Only you can see these.

Step 4: Special Values

This is such a boring game, the friend interjects, it is too simple. Well, to make it more interesting and dynamic, there are some cards you need to pay special attention to:

Ace is the highest card of all. Nothing can withstand this winner of a card. Nothing? Well, there are two cards which are able to soften the blow of the Ace...

2 is worth 2, and that means that every single card, even the lousy 3, can be played on it. However, the best thing about 2 is that you can always play it, and if you do, you continue playing as though no other cards have been played yet. You should do this if you haven't got any higher cards left and you'd like to have a second chance (second, two, see what I did there?), or if you want to make the pile even higher for your opponents, if they would have to take it.

Joker is also a very good card: it imitates the card it's played on, and that means you can even play an Ace if you don't have it, hereby possibly forcing your opponent to take the pile, and to hate you for this. Use this one wisely.

Step 5: The Game - Part One

The player with the lowest card begins the game. When a card is put on the table, the next player (clockwise) has to put a card with either the same or a higher value on top of it. When one (or more, if they have the same value) card is played, then the player has to replenish their stock until they have three cards.

Eventually one of these three events happen (So something can actually happen?your slightly interested friend may ask):

- One player is unable to play a higher card or start over with a 2, and has to take all the cards. They have to skip a turn (see picture).

- Four of the same cards (including jokers) are played in a row, which means you can discard the pile. The player who gets rid of the pile can play the next card.

- A 10 is added to the pile, which means it can be discarded. Again, the one who plays the 10 may play the next card. Use this card wisely, for it is a very good one.

Strategic note: There are several ways in which you can play this game. You can either decide to simply get rid of your cards as fast as possible, so simply playing every card as close to the one on the table as possible. Another option is to play aggressively, so making sure you won't be the one who eventually will have to take all the cards. You can do this by making sure you keep playing high cards your opponents won't be able to play. Finally, there's the smart player: you want to get rid of all the cards as soon as possible by either playing a ten or making sure there's four of the same card. This way you're sure you won't have to pick up the entire pile.

Step 6: The Game - Part Two

The first part of the game can take quite some time, especially if players keep having to take the pile. However, as soon as the stock pile has been depleted and you have played all the cards in your hand, you can move on to the next phase of the game.

Did you forget about the six cards lying in front of you? I most certainly didn't, your friend assures you, and I want to use them! Stupid rules. Well, you're going to need them now.

When you've run out of cards, it's time to play one (or more if they're the same) of the cards in front of you. You have to get rid of all three of them before you can play one of the three blind cards in front of you. This means you need to think carefully about which one you want to play.

Strategic note: It's always a good idea to end with your highest card, because that means the opponent might have to take the pile and you get a free play at one of the three cards. However, you might also end up with the pile if your opponent possesses an even higher card. Then you have to get rid of all your cards again before you can play the next blind card. The best option is making sure you can discard the pile; having a 10 is a great idea, but you need to be sure you will be able to play it.

Step 7: Finish!

If you have turned over the final blind card, and find out that you can actually play it, then it means you've won the game. Congratulations!

Whether you've only just made it by sheer luck, or you went out with a bang by playing an Ace, that doesn't matter of course. It simply means you can do your victory dance, get a trophy, or play another time. You ask your friend if they are up for another rond, and they say: "I'm not a loser! I will keep playing this game until I'm the ultimate winner!" And there you have it. You've changed your game-hating friend into an addict. Have fun!

So, did you like this game? Have you set the record for most games in a row? Have you turned one of your friends into a game machine? Do let me know in the comments!

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