Idea #5 – Card Games

Stack ‘Em (Solitaire)

Use a shuffled deck.

The object is to stack from ace to king (or 2 to ace if preferred, as long as it’s decided beforehand) in each of four stacks, one stack per suit.

You get two stacks of your own to work with (they start with no cards in them.). Cards are face-up. The rules for these two stacks are:
a) you can place a card on a stack only if it’s of an equal or lower face value than the previous top card
b) you can take a card off of either stack at any time to place onto one of the four suit stacks.

You get 3 or fewer cards in your hand at any one time. You can take a card out of your hand and put it on a stack at any time.
(you may not take a card from any of the stacks and put it in your hand.)

Take a card from the top of the deck if you have 2 or fewer cards in your hand and put it in your hand or onto any of the stacks if possible.

Do this process until you’re stuck or you win.

Obviously, variants of this game can be created to make it easier, such as having three stacks and/or five cards in your hand, but I find that with a little bit of practice you can win with the above rules half or most of the time.

Swap (Solitaire)

This game is similar to the Stack ‘Em game.

Use a shuffled deck.

The object is to fill up four stacks, one per suit, from ace to king, or 2 to ace if preferred but only if decided before the game starts.

You get 4 additional stacks that you can work with at your own will (they start out empty.) Cards are face-up. At any time you may
a) take a card off the top of the deck and place onto any of these four stacks
b) take a card off of any of these stacks and put onto one of the four suit piles
c) take an entire stack and place it on top of another stack

You of course may also take a card off the top of the deck and place directly onto one of the four suit stacks.

Do this until you’re stuck or you win.

Note that, unlike in the Stack ’em game, you may put a card of a higher value on top of a card of a lower value. Obviously in some cases this will get you stuck when trying to take the cards off the stacks and put them up into the ordered stacks. Part of the game is figuring out when you can do this without causing a paradox (for example the 4 of hearts is covering the 5 of spades and the 6 of spades is covering the 3 of hearts), or just crossing your fingers and hoping that it doesn’t..

Another difference is that in the Stack ’em game, since you can’t place a higher card on a lower card, you can just keep the stacks directly vertical — good for conserving space when you need to. In this version you’ll need to look at the stack histories to know when you should or shouldn’t put a higher card on top of a lower card, so you may want to keep the stacks (or parts of the stacks) cascaded.

Grid (Multi-Player)

Getting a feel for the strategy of this game probably requires following the instructions and playing it!
Any number of players can play, although it probably becomes pointless with too many players (especially for variant 1).

This game has two variants.

Variant 1:

Use a shuffled deck.

Place 8 cards, face up, on the table in a pattern like this, where the As are.


(The cards will not be all aces, that’s just the letter I used to represent their places. They’ll be whatever you draw off the top of the deck.)

The eight card positions are actually eight potential stacks.

Give each player one card, face-up. These are their personal stacks. The player with the most cards in their stack at the end of the game wins.

Place the rest of the deck, face-down, in the middle position (where the O is in the middle of the A’s)

Players take turns around the table. On a turn you first fill any missing stacks out of the eight with cards from the deck (one card per empty stack). Then you do one of the following:
a) Place one card/stack on another card/stack, as long as the top cards of the two stacks are either the same suit or the same value. repeat as desired.
b) Take exactly one stack and place it on your personal stack. You may only do this if the top card on your personal stack is the same suit or value as the top card on said stack.
You may not pass. (You must either take a stack or place at least one stack/card atop another, unless no move is possible.)

Variant 2:

Just like variant 1 except that you can’t “repeat as desired”. You either do (a) twice, or (b) once. You cannot pass. If you do (a) and only doing it once is possible, you do it once.

Variant 3 (this variant came about because I played it and it had been so long I forgot the exact rules to variant 2. it turned out to be a good game):

Just like variant 2 except that you can do (a) twice or (b) twice, or both (a) once and (b) once in any single turn.


This one I actually forgot the rules to, so you can ignore it. But it’s a big shame, because I taught it to my sister and she taught it to all her friends and they played it because it was so fun.

I just remember you had a few cards in your hand, and there were a few stacks on the table, and you could place a card from your hand onto a stack under certain conditions, I think it was if the top card on the stack had the same suit or number as the card in your hand. I don’t remember if you could do anything else with the stacks on the table. I don’t remember how you win, but I guess it was by running out of cards. But I don’t remember how/when you get new cards into your hand.

You didn’t take turns in this game. You did everything as fast as possible to beat your opponents, so it required fast thinking. Sometimes two people would go for the same card at once, but one of the hands has to be below the other, so you knew who got it.

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