How to play Egyptian Ratscrew (ERS)
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The object of the game is to collect all the cards from all the other players. Setup: Shuffle a standard deck of playing cards without jokers and deal out all the cards face down to every player as evenly as possible. Players do not look at their cards but instead hold them face down in a deck in their hand.
The player left of the dealer goes first them play proceeds clockwise. On your turn you flip the top card of your deck over into a faceup discard pile the middle of the table. Being sure to flip the card out away from you and not towards you. If the card played is a number card, the next player clockwise puts down a card on top of the discard. This continues around the table until somebody puts down a face card, (that is a jack, queen, or king) or an Ace.
When one of these cards is played, the next person in the sequence of play must play a face card or ace in order for play to continue. If the next person in the sequence does not play one of these cards within their allotted chance, the person who played the last face card or an ace wins the round and the face up pile goes to them, un-shuffled on the bottom of their deck.
The allotted chances are as follows: Jack is 1. Queen is 2. King is 3. And Ace is 4. For example, if a queen is played, then the next player must play a face card by their 2nd card or the pile is lost. Players must always play the top card in their deck and they may not shuffle their cards.
The player who collected the discard pile begins the next round of play by placing their top card face up in the middle of the table in a new discard pile. The only thing that overrides the face card/ace allotment rule is the slap rule. Whenever there are two cards in the face up pile that are the same rank (for example, 5 and 5), any person may slap the pile before the next card is played and that person wins the entire face down pile and takes the next turn. People who aren’t playing or who have already been eliminated from the game are allowed to slap in and join the game.
If you slap incorrectly, then you must discard the top card of your deck to the bottom of the discard pile. If you don’t have any cards, then you are not allowed to slap in at the next opportunity. If you do, you are no longer allowed to slap in until the end of the game. You may also challenge another player’s slap you think is incorrect. They show you the cards and if you were right, the discard cards go back and the player gives you the top card of their deck. If your challenge was incorrect, then you give that player the top card of your deck.
The first person to correctly slap the pile of cards when the slap rule is put into effect is the winner of that round. If it cannot be determined who was the first to slap the pile, the person with the most fingers touching the top card wins.
The first player to collect every card in the deck is the winner.
Some common additional slap rules you can agree to play with at the start of a game are as follows:
Sandwich – When two cards of equivalent value are laid down consecutively, but with one card of different value between them. Ex: 5, 7, 5
Top Bottom – When the same card as the first card of the set is laid down.
Tens – When two cards played consecutively (or with a letter card in between) add up to 10. For this rule, an ace counts as one. Ex: 3, 7 or A, K, 9
Jokers – When jokers are used in the game, which should be determined before game play begins. Anytime someone lays down a joker, the pile can be slapped.
Four in a row – When four cards with values in consistent ascending or descending order is placed. Ex: 5, 6, 7, 8 or Q, K, A, 2
Marriage – When a queen is placed over or under a king. Ex: Q, K or K,Q