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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Sunday, 24 August 2008

'secret' - the card game!

Since I've been unable to find the rules for the card game to which Amy introduced us, I thought I'd reproduce them here. It's a great game to play with young children, because it won't (really) affect the game if you can see their cards.

card scores
A = 1 point
2 = 2 points
3 = 3 points
4 = 4 points
5 = 5 points
8 = 8 points
9 = 9 points
10 = 10 points
J = 10 points except 'one-eyed' Jacks (i.e. those who only appear with one visible eye on the cards)
Q = 10 points except 'bedpost' Queen (i.e. the Queen of Spades, who looks like she has a bedpost next to her)
K = 10 points except 'knife-through-head King (i.e. the King of Hearts, who looks like he has a knife through his head)

6 = half a point
7 = 0 points

One-eyed Jacks = 0 points
Bedpost Queen = 0 points
Knife-through-head King = 0 points

aim of the game

The aim of the game is to accumulate the fewest points possible when the values for the cards are added, including that of the 'secret' card which remains unseen until the end of the game.

how to play

Each player is dealt seven cards that they may look at, and an eighth that they keep face-down on the table until the end of the game. The rest of the pack is laid face down on the table.

The first player takes the top card from the remainder of the cards, and can choose - depending on whether it scores less than a card in his/her hand, to discard it, face up into a 'discard' pile, or to keep it and discard another of the cards in his/her hand.

This leaves two options for the next (and subsequent) players; they may take the next card from the face-down pile, or choose to rescue the top card in the discard pile, if it is of a very low value. They then put a card onto the discard pile to ensure they continue to have seven cards.

Play continues clockwise until the last card has been taken from the face-down pile, and when the last card has been discarded, the scores for each player are added up. Then, each player's eighth card is revealed, and its value (still based on the scoring above) is added on to the total.

The player with the lowest total is declared the winner.


This is ostensibly a game of luck, although with more players, the strategy for picking a card from the pack or the discard pile can make a difference between winning and losing. With two players, it's most likely that the 'secret' card will determine a winner, although the fun is progressing through the pack to find who'll get the 'special' cards.

Hopefully this explains the rules fairly well.. if anything's unclear (or I've got something entirely wrong!) I'd love to know...

Posted by james at August 24, 2008 12:56 PM

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