Popular card games for two
Warning: thanks in part to the eternal popularity of proper gambler’s games, and the rise of the tablet computer as an alternative to sitting around a table playing cards with your nearest and dearest, some of these games are not even all that common in Britain any more. But they were once—and should be again.
Also known as Old Maid, this is a game in which one card is effectively cursed, and it’s your job to try and convince the other players to take it off you, so you don’t end the game holding it.
Whether using a specially made Old Maid deck or a normal 52-card pack, the idea is that every card has a potential pair, except for one. In Scabby Queen, one of the black queens (most commonly the queen of clubs) must be removed before play starts, then all of the rest of the cards are dealed out into equal piles.
Players first sift through their hands for pairs both in color and number, so the two of hearts and the two of diamonds, the ace of spades and the ace of clubs and so on. These are placed in a pile in the center. Then, starting with the dealer, each player offers his hand face down to the person on his or her left. They pick a card and see if it matches one of theirs. If it does, they discard the pair and offer their hand to the next player. If they get the queen, they would be wise not to mention it.
Thus play continues until there is one player left with the queen. They have lost. In the past, there would then be a further element in which the deck would be presented to the loser to cut the deck. If they pick a red card—say the four of hearts—they would receive four smacks on the back of the hand with the deck. If a black card—six of clubs—the deck would be scraped down the knuckles six times, until the skin tears. Hence the term “scabby queen.” Thankfully, this version is relatively rare these days.
Essentially, this is Go Fish but with Victorian sensibilities, and it requires a special deck for the full effect. The idea is that each player tries to collect all four of the members of a particular family by asking a player to hand over a specific card. If the asked player doesn’t have the card, it’s their turn to ask someone else. If they do have the card, they hand it over and the asking player takes another turn.
Jeux Descartes was a French publisher of roleplaying games and board games. Their most popular lines included: Eurogames, a set of serious board games, previously published by Duccio Vitale's independent company; Blue Games, small card games for larger groups; and Games for Two.
Jeux Descartes was founded in 1977 and went out of business in...
In the card game pontoon can you finish on a power card?
There are no rules againts using a power card in the game pontoon. The objective is to reach 21 points using 2-5 cards.