This article needs additional citations for verification . (December 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Skills required||Speed, counting, pattern recognition|
|Play||Clockwise or Counterclockwise|
|Card rank (highest first)||J Q K A (10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2)|
|Playing time||10+ minutes|
Egyptian Ratscrew,also known as Slap, Egyptian Ratkiller, Egyptian War, or ERS, is a card game of the matching family of games. The game is similar to the 19th-century British card game Beggar-My-Neighbour, with the added concept of "slapping" cards when certain combinations are played, similar to and perhaps borrowed from Slapjack.
The game is played with a standard 52-card deck or with multiple standard decks shuffled together for larger numbers of players. The number of players is limited only by each player's ability to reach the central pile at an arm's length. Each person is dealt an equal number of cards; extras are distributed as in a normal deal. As a variation, one or more Jokers may be added to ensure an even deal or to change gameplay.
Players cannot look at their cards at any time including placing a card onto the central pile. The player to the left of the dealer begins by placing a card face-up, always from the top of their deck, to start a central pile. When playing a card a player must reveal the card to all players at the same time, drawing to reveal the card away from themselves and then flipping face up. (This action prevents a player drawing a card towards themselves revealing the card to said player first.) Alternative to this, as hands with bad technique are more directly above the cards they place, any player can snap the hands of such players down, resulting in likely punishment for the player whose hand is on the bottom as they will likely have incorrectly snapped - see versions of this later in article. Play proceeds around the circle and each player takes turns laying down one card on the central pile at a time until a face card or Ace is played (making that player the "challenger" for that moment in play). The next player (the "challenged") then has a number of chances to play another face card or Ace, as follows: four chances after an Ace, three after a King, two after a Queen, and one after a Jack. Some play with four chances after an Ace, three after a Jack, two after a Queen, and one after a King. The challenged player plays their cards, one at a time, until they either draw another face card onto the pile or exhausts all of their allowed chances. If the challenged player is able to play a face card or Ace, the next player after they must beat it; if the initial face card could not be beaten in its allotted number of cards, the challenger who placed it takes the pile.
Any player who takes a pile is always the one to start the next pile. When taken, piles are always added to a player's deck underneath, face-down. Cards are not shuffled.
The player who collects every card in the deck wins the game.
In addition to the basic progression of play, players should agree beforehand on certain card combinations that, when played, entitle the fastest player to slap the pile and subsequently claim it. The simplest and most common combination is often the Double (any two cards of equal rank). Other common slap-able combinations include Sandwiches (a double with one card of a different value between the two), Hoagies (a double with 2 cards of different value between the two) consecutive-number runs of at least three in ascending or descending order (e.g. 7, 6, 5; 10, Jack, Queen), top bottom (the first card played is played again later on), wild cards (usually Jokers, if used in play), and Marriage (King+Queen on top of each other).
Additionally, slaps can be added for other types of conditions, such as suit/colour (the same three/four times in a row, respectively), or for being the same as the initial card (e.g. a 3 at any time when if first card played was a three, (to make this less common, a suit/colour can also be specified e.g. a red three if the first three played was red). Another condition that can be added is when meeting a challenge if the number of the card played (e.g. the second card played) matches the card's value (in this case, a two), then this is slap-able. For even more confusion jokers can be differentiated e.g. the red joker is an instant snap but the black joker challenges with 13 chances.
For a legitimate slap, the person to react the fastest and slap the pile first claims the pile. If multiple players slap simultaneously with no discernible victor, then the person whose hand is under all of the others or has the most contact with the cards by comparison takes the pile.
Hands must be entirely withdrawn before the pile may be slapped. It is considered unfair to hover one's hand too close to the pile and slap frequently.
Optional rules which negate this include slapping with the hand not delivering the card to the pile, Redneck Rules (wherein players, or convicted players, must bring their hand to their foreheads before being able to slap with that hand), or sleuthing or burning cards (putting the top card of the offending player's own deck on the bottom of the pile) as punishment for illegitimate slaps.
Players who have no cards left to play are eliminated. If a player has fewer cards than chances left while trying to counter a face card and runs out of their deck without countering, either the next player continues attempting to counter the face card with the current chances left or that particular play ends and the pile goes to the player who laid down the face card.
Even without cards, eliminated players can "slap in" on any appropriate card combination and re-enter the game as long as there are at least two people still containing cards. If the last remaining active person runs out of cards while trying to counter a face card and is unsuccessful, the pile goes to the player who played the face card and the player who has all the cards plays 3 more cards for one last chance for the opponent to slap back in.
If players slap the pile when the card combination does not merit a slap, the slapper must discard one or more penalty cards and place them face-up at the bottom of the pile. Play then resumes according to the card last played. Alternatively, if players believe another has taken cards or slapped incorrectly, the play can be contested: if the player was correct, any who contested the play must give the top card of their deck to the player, while if the player was incorrect, the player must give a card from the top of their deck to each player that contested the play, and the round continues. Cards gained in this way are, as usual, placed at the bottom of the player's deck. This, as well as adding a small element of bluffing into the game, helps to keep the play fast by both discouraging people from slapping incorrectly and discouraging people from always claiming another has done so and asking to check.
Players with no cards get a strike for each illegitimate slap and after the third strike, become unable to slap in until the next game, or, in another variation, "burn their hand," (placing their hand on the bottom of the pile and waiting to be slapped.) In this variation, once the pile is awarded or someone slaps, the offender's hand must no longer stay under the pile, and they can resume trying to slap/snap back in.
If cards are played out of turn, these cards become dead cards. They can be either placed at the bottom of the pile or left alone wherever they land. Either way, dead cards do not make for legitimate slaps. Any slap over a dead card, even if a player intentionally places it out of turn, results in a penalty. Penalty cards may be placed at the top of the deck as dead cards to create more confusion and potential illegitimate slaps.
In some cases, this same penalty is applied to putting down a card when it is not one's turn and accidentally drawing multiple cards from one's deck and putting them on the pile.
Memorization may help players recognize slapping possibilities before cards are set onto the pile. For example, if a game has only two players and one player legitimately slaps a double, the other player may recognize that, later on in the game, the double will arise later on as a sandwich that can then be slapped.
Some players may also intentionally fake a slap, since in doing so a player can possibly convince another player to slap incorrectly as well, or obtain an advantageous position in the deck that the player remembered from previous pile collections in the game.
While gaining the entire deck is the object, it is virtually always advantageous to have a deck as rich in face cards as possible with as few non-face cards as possible; the chances are then higher that the player will play a face card (whether to become the first challenger, or to counter a face card as the challenged player). Non-face cards (often referred to as "filler") are disadvantageous as they dilute the face cards in the player's deck, possibly causing them to lose a desirable pile by not being able to counter a face card. This may lead players to refrain from slapping on card combinations if there are no face cards in the pile. They may find it more beneficial to take the slaps available, but it is player preference.
Also, when someone plays a facecard, that person may want to slap on the last card dropped thereafter, (1st for Jack, 2nd for Queen, 3rd for King and 4th for Ace), regardless of knowing what that card might be. This strategy is profitable because the reward of the pile outweighs the risk of "burning" a card. This strategy is also known as a risk slap. The risk slap may be used by players who have a noticeable lead in cards and are comfortable with sacrificing one card on the chance they might gain the pile which they slapped. One counterstrategy is moving a card toward the pile quickly without putting it down on the last card dropped on a face card in order to provoke a risk slap. In case the next card is a face card, the player who has "burned" a card likely will not get it back unless they slap the pile or the challenges come back around the table to them. In some games, it may even be permissible to slap the final card, with no penalty.
Additionally, a player can intentionally slap incorrectly to "burn" a card or two leading up to a face card remembered from earlier in the game. This is especially useful if the preceding player has played a high value face card such as a jack, where there is only one chance to play a face card.
Strategy also exists in the delivery of the slap, from the deliberately cruel wearing of sharp rings (pointing downwards being the worst, as it penalizes the person who wins the pile from under you), to sliding one's hand onto the pile straight ahead rather than slapping downwards. House rules can limit the slap methods allowed.
Beggar-my-neighbour, also known as Strip Jack naked, Beat your neighbour out of doors, or Beat Jack out of doors, is a simple card game. It is somewhat similar in nature to the children's card game War, and has spawned a more complicated variant, Egyptian Ratscrew.
Spit, also referred to as Slam or Speed, is a game of the shedding family of card games for two players. The game is played until all of someone's cards are gone.
500 rum, also called pinochle rummy, Michigan rummy, Persian rummy, rummy 500 or 500 rummy, is a popular variant of rummy. The game of canasta and several other games are believed to have developed from this popular form of rummy. The distinctive feature of 500 rum is that each player scores the value of the sets or cards they meld. It may be played by 2 to 8 players, but it is best for 3 to 5.
Cheat is a card game where the players aim to get rid of all of their cards. It is a game of deception, with cards being played face-down and players being permitted to lie about the cards they have played. A challenge is usually made by players calling out the name of the game, and the loser of a challenge has to pick up every card played so far. Cheat is classed as a party game. As with many card games, cheat has an oral tradition and so people are taught the game under different names.
Slapjack, also known as Slaps, is a simple standard-deck card game, generally played among children. It can often be a child's first introduction to playing cards. The game is a cross between Beggar-My-Neighbour and Egyptian Ratscrew and is also sometimes known as Heart Attack. It is also related to the simpler 'slap' card games often called Snap.
Mau-Mau is a card game for 2 to 5 players that is popular in Germany, Austria, Serbia, South Tyrol, the United States, Brazil, Poland, Greece, Czech Republic, Slovakia and the Netherlands. Mau-Mau is a member of the larger Crazy Eights or shedding family, to which the proprietary card game Uno belongs. However Mau-Mau is played with standard French or German-suited playing cards.
Shanghai rum is a Rummy card game, based on gin rummy and a variation of Contract rummy played by 3 to 8 players. It is also known as California rummy.
Sheng ji is a family of point-based, trick-taking card games played in China and in Chinese immigrant communities. They have a dynamic trump, i.e., which cards are trump changes every round. As these games are played over a wide area with no standardization, rules vary widely from region to region.
Speed is a game for two players or more of the shedding family of card games, in which each player tries to get rid of all of his or her cards first.
Switch, also called Two Four Jacks or Irish Switch, or Last Card, in New Zealand, is a shedding-type card game for two or more players that is popular in the United Kingdom, Ireland and as alternative incarnations in other regions. The sole aim of Switch is to discard all of the cards in one's hand; the first player to play his or her final card, and ergo have no cards left, wins the game. Switch is very similar to the games UNO, Flaps and Mau Mau, both belonging to the larger Crazy Eights or Shedding family of card games.
Contract rummy is a Rummy card game, based on gin rummy played by 3 to 8 players. It is also known as Combination rummy, Deuces Wild Rummy, Joker rummy and Phase 10.
Biriba is the Greek partnership version of a rummy card game of Italian origin called Pinnacola. The Greek name comes probably from the Italian game Biribara, or Biribisso, or Biribi, even if this game is totally different. It is played by two to six players, with two decks and 4 Jokers comprising 108 cards. If 6 players play, one more deck and two jokers more are added. Biriba can also be played by three players with or without partnership rules.
Three thirteen is a variation of the card game Rummy. It is an eleven-round game played with two or more players. It requires two decks of cards with the jokers removed. Like other Rummy games, once the hands are dealt, the remainder of the cards are placed face down on the table. The top card from the deck is flipped face up and put beside the deck to start the discard pile.
Continental Rummy is a progressive partnership Rummy card game related to Rumino. It is considered the forerunner of the whole family of rummy games using two packs of cards as one. Its name derives from the fact that it is played throughout the continental Europe, the United States, Mexico, Canada, and also in South America. According to Albert Morehead, it was "at one time the most popular form of Rummy in women's afternoon games, until in 1950 it lost out to Canasta."
Khanhoo or Kanhu is a non-partnership Chinese card game of the draw-and-discard structure. It was first recorded during the late Ming dynasty as a multi-trick taking game, a type of game that may be as old as T'ienkiu, revised in its rules and published in an authorized edition by Emperor Kao Tsung in 1130 AD for the information of his subjects. Meaning "watch the pot", it is very possibly the ancestor of all rummy games.
One-card is a shedding-type card game. The general principles put it into the crazy eights family. It is played with an ordinary poker deck and the objective is for a player to empty their own hand while preventing other players from emptying theirs. The game is commonly played in South Korea and The Netherlands.
Ten Pennies is a multi-player, multi-round Rummy-style card game involving money with possible origins in Chicago. The major features different from most Rummy-style games are the limited purchasing (ten) of additional cards and the winner wins all the money used in the game. The rules and strategy are simple enough for all ages to play while still exciting and challenging for an adults only game. Playing with money is not required and anything such as chips or toothpicks may be used.
Marriage, Marriage Rummy, often called 21-cards rummy, is a Rummy card game, widely played in India using three or more packs of cards.
Irish Switch, also called Two-four Jacks, Lives or Black Jack, is a version of the card game Switch popular in Ireland. It is very similar to the original with a few rule changes. Switch is a shedding-type card game for two or more players that is popular in the United Kingdom, and as alternative incarnations in other regions. The sole aim of switch is to discard all of the cards in one's hand; the first player to play the final held card, and ergo have no cards left, wins the game. Switch is very similar to the games Uno and Mau Mau, both belonging to the larger Crazy Eights family of shedding games.
Kings Reverse is a card game for 2 or more players that is played in Iowa, in the United States. For more than 5 players, 1 additional pack of cards may be used. Whoever gets rid of his/her cards first wins the game. Kings Reverse is very similar to the games Uno and Flaps, both belonging to the larger Crazy Eights or shedding family of card games. However Kings Reverse is played with regular packs of playing cards.
|The Wikibook Card Games has a page on the topic of: Egyptian Ratscrew|