When it comes to family card games, one of the most popular is called Speed. This game has been designed for two or more players and tests the ability of people to count and memorize cards quickly. The goal of Speed is to be the first player to get rid of all cards. While it is unclear where this game first originated, it is based on other similar card games including War, Crazy Eights and Split (also called Slam).
How Speed Is Played
With two people, the gameplay is as follows.
First, a deck of cards is shuffled with two cards being set in the middle of the table, face down. Then, a stack of five cards (face down) is set to either side of those two cards. Finally, the remaining cards are dealt out to each player. In the end, each player should have a hand of five cards and a side pile of fifteen cards, also face down. Next, each player picks up the five cards, looks at them, and sorts them in a convenient manner.
After this, the gameplay begins. This proceeds as follows:
1. On the count of the three, each player simultaneously flips over one of the center cards on the table
2. Players start by placing cards on either of the piles The card placed on the pile has to be either one more or one less than the card that is face-up
3. It is possible to loop cards, meaning that an ace can be placed on a king and a king can be placed on an ace
4. As players play cards on the face-up cards, they draw from their pile of 15 face-down cards that they set aside If both players are unable to play a card, they each pick up a card from the side stacks and flip them face-up on top of the center piles at the same time. Then, play resumes as above.
Whoever runs out of cards first must slap the center stacks and scream “SPEED” at the top of their lungs (the screaming is critical to the gameplay:)
A Variation with Three and Four Players
The game can be played with more than two people. As a rule of them, for every two players added to the game, an additional deck of cards should be involved. There will also be an additional pile in the center for each additional player. While it is possible to play with three players and shorten the side piles, the game tends to proceed too quickly for the enjoyment of most. Consider adding another deck of cards, even for only three people.
The Joker Twist
Another interesting twist to the game is adding jokers. While jokers aren’t usually used in speed, they can also be played as “wild” cards. This means that players can play jokers as any number they wish! It is often good to save a joker in the hand until there is no other move to be made. Then, the joker can help get someone out of a tough spot.
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