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Stress - card game

Type Shedding-type
Players 2+
Skills required Speed, Memorization, Counting
Age range 9+
Deck Anglo-American
Playing time 5-15 min.
Random chance Easy
Related games
Speed, Spoons

Stress, or Hong Kong is a card game that uses a standard 52-card deck. Because of the rules of the game, it can only be played with a number of people that divides twelve (1, 2, 3, 4, 6, or 12 people). The objective of the game is to get all of a player's piles to have four-of-a-kinds.

Game rules


The aim is to get each hand with a four-of-a-kind. To achieve this, players must put down cards into the middle of the table, picking up another that was in the middle. There must always be four cards in the middle of the table, and in each pile. Once one of a player's hands has four-of-a-kind, that hand can be put down onto the table face-up. Once all of a player's hands are face-up on the table, they must yell "Stress!," or "Hong Kong!" in order to win.


The deck is divided into thirteen equal piles, each with four cards. One pile goes into the middle, and the rest of the piles are equally dealt among the players. Each of the players' piles will remain face-down, and can only be lifted when the pile in the middle is flipped. The pile in the middle is flipped over so that all four cards are completely visible.

Card piles

Each player's pile is entirely their own to look at. Only one player's pile can be lifted at a time. If the player wishes to look at another one of their piles, they will have to put down their pile and pick up another one.

The play

When playing Hong Kong, it is customary for the second, third, and fourth players to win to say "Beijing," "Shanghai," and "Tokyo," respectively. The list may go on to the enth person ("Whiplash!"), or Reykjavík. Because of the nature and card transferring of this game, there is rarely a time in which two players will not be yelling "Stress!" at nearly the same time. This also brings about the concepts of sabotage into the game.

Alternate Version

Another version of stress is commonly played with poker or uno cards. How to play: Simply turn your deck of cards facing down and open the first 5 cards. Next, take the 6th card from the deck and open it at the same time and start to place the cards either ascending or descending (depending on the 5 cards) , applying speed. Keep opening cards (not more than 5) once the repeated number is on both decks, slap two hands on both deck, shouting "stress". -by Sherlin

If you have no more cards playable (both players), one will need to "stress". If you manage tho stress both piles, take the smaller. When you are stressing only one pile with your hand, take that pile and give the rest to your opponent.

The game ends when you or your opponent run out of cards.

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Tabletop games: Rules and Strategy