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Switch - card game


An eight of spades.
Origin England
Type Shedding-type
Players 2+
Skills required Tactics, Communication
Cards 52
Deck French
Play Clockwise and Counter-clockwise
Card rank (highest to lowest) A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
Playing time Various
Random chance Medium
Related games
Irish Switch

Switch, also called Two Four Jacks, Black Jack or Irish 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 his final card, and ergo have no cards left, wins the game. Switch is very similar to the games UNO, Flaps Card Game and Mau Mau, both belonging to the larger Crazy Eights or Shedding family of card games.

The game is also commonly known as Jack Changes, Crazy Eights, Take Two and Peanuckle in the UK and Ireland

If a user ends on a so-called "fire card", a user is able to pick up, and put down another "fire card" immediately unless stated before hand.

Object

Switch is played with a regular, single deck of playing cards, or with two standard decks (shuffled into one) if there is a large number of players.

Each player at his turn may play any card from his hand that matches the suit or the rank of the card previously played; for example, if the previous card was a seven of clubs, the next player may put down any seven card, or any club card, from his hand. Should the player not have any card available to play, he must pick up one card.

Game rules

Players are initially dealt a similar sized hand of cards (often seven per person), but the exact number may vary depending on how many players are present. The remainder of the deck is placed face down and serve as a "pool" or drawing stack. At the beginning of the game the topmost card from the "pool" is revealed and, so long as this card is not a trick card, play begins. (Switch may not start with a trick card, and so if the "starting card" is a trick card, cards shall continue to be selected from the pool until a non-trick card is revealed.)

The first to play (generally, the player on the dealer's left) should select from his or her hand a card that matches either, the suit or the rank of the open card (the card that is "top"); for example, on a 9 of spades, only a spade card or a 9 may be played. If a player is not able to place a card, he draws cards from the stack until he is able to play a card.

If the drawing stack is run down and becomes empty, the playing stack or discard pile (except for the topmost card) is shuffled, and placed face down to become the new "pool."

Power Cards

In Switch some cards are known as "power" or "trick" cards, because their being played directly affects the gameplay:

If a player has a 10, they can place any card of the same suit down, but from then it must carry on in order. For example, 10 of hearts is placed, then you can put down a 7 of hearts. However after this you have to put down an eight if hearts, or a six of hearts, or a 7 of a different suit, or move on to the next player.


When a player has only one remaining card they must remember to call last card (by saying last card aloud) before their turn has ended, to inform the other players that they are about to win. Should a player who has graduated to last card fail to call before the end of the turn in which they reach last card (that is, once the next player has started her turn after the last-card player has put down his or her second last card), he may be penalised, often to the cost of picking up one card immediately (over and above any picking up as a matter of routine course in the game).

Endgame

As soon as a player plays their last card they win the game. If the last card is an Ace they must draw another card as a game can not end with an Ace. The game can continue until all the players get rid of their cards.

Last Card rule

In some games, the "Last Card Rule" can be applied, whereby if a player is down to one card they must say "Last Card" before their turn ends. If they do not, they must pick up another card (or 5 if playing Turbo Switch). Although not an official rule, it is a rule widely accepted across the UK. A player can also not end on a double of one card. Game cannot end on a Queen or Ace.

In the variant known as Peanuckle, players with two cards remaining in their hand must say "peaknuckle" and a player with only one card must say "supper-peaknuckle". Failing to say either will result in the player picking up another card, if noticed by another player.

Variations

Black Jack

Black Jack is the name of a shedding card game which shares its name with the casino card game Blackjack. It is a variant of Crazy Eights.

Dealing

The dealer deals each player 7 cards (or 5 cards if there is more than 4 people), then places a single card face-up on the table and the remainder of the deck in a pile face-down on the table.

A pre-determined method is used to decide which player plays first. It is usually the player left of the dealer who plays first. The game continues from there going clockwise. Play starts from the single card facing up.

Player turns

Magic cards

Certain cards have special effects on the gameplay.

Endgame

The first player to get rid of all of their cards wins the game. The game may end once a player has got rid of all his cards or the remaining players may continue playing until everyone has got rid of their cards (when you do this you are declared to have 'got out') bar one player (this player is declared 'last place' or 'the loser' and he may be eliminated if there is an unwieldy number of people wanting to play)

If the player places their last card, but failed to say "Last card" at the end of their previous turn, then they must pick up two cards from the remaining deck (even if the player has multiple cards). A player can also declare their final card by 'knocking', usually by tapping the playing table.

Black Jack Variants

  1. Some variants may include a joker (usually only one, although the players may opt to include 2 jokers).
  2. The player is not allowed to finish on an ace or any power card
  3. Multiple cards can be placed on a single turn, where each card matches the previous card in rank or suit. There is no limit to the number of cards which can be played, but the player may not finish by placing more than one card.
  4. A 7 or a 10 is sometimes used as the reverse card instead of the king.
  5. The Queen is sometimes a "SLAG" which means she can be covered by any card, not only one of her suit.
  6. Runs within a suit are sometimes allowed (in both ascending and descending order), for example with a top card of 6 of clubs it would be possible to play the 6, 7, 8, and 9 of diamonds.
  7. The King, when it is not "reverse", is sometimes used as a "got to cover" card, in which, the player placing the king must also place a chosen card from the suit of the king.
  8. In some variants you can end by placing a sequence of cards down.
  9. When placing "pick up" cards the black jacks and twos can be placed together giving a maximum pick up amount of 18, so a move such as (JS, 2S, 2H, 2D, 2C, JC) would be a valid and legal move.
  10. The value of the amount of cards required to pick up after a black jack is player varies, traditionally it is 5 however some play where it is 7

These rules tend to lead to faster play, and can make gameplay more exciting as sometimes a large number of cards can be played in a single turn by taking full advantage of both of these rules in a single turn (for instance with the 6 of clubs on top, it would be possible to play 6D, 6H, 6S, 7S, 8S, 9S, 10S, JS, JC, 10C, 9C in a single turn). Using the king and queen rules from the above list, it would be possible to have this as a move, (If the 6 of clubs is on the top of the deck, the next player could play, KC, 10C, JC, QC, 3C, 5C, 8C, 7C, 7D, 6D, 5D, 5S, 4S, 3S etc. until they cannot place another card)

  1. Can be played with two decks of cards if more than five people are playing.
  2. Is quite similar in several ways to the game Uno.
  3. Is often referred to as 7 Card Blackjack to differentiate between Casino game with the same name.

Jacks, Twos and Eights

Jacks Twos and Eights (J28 for short) evolved from earlier forms of rummy with the intention of being a faster, more complex game.

The deck

J28 is played with a standard 52-card pack of playing cards or if there is a large number of people playing one game then two packs may be mixed together and dealt as normal.

Dealing

Dealership alternates from round to round (the dealer to the first round is usually determined by cutting the deck and then the lowest card deals). The dealer deals a seven-card hand to each player. After seven cards are dealt the next card is placed face up in the centre of the table, this is the discard pile. The remainder of the pack is placed face down next to thediscard pile, and is called the stock. The next non-dealing player to the right of the dealer lays the first card.

Play

On each turn, a player plays a card or a run of card on to the discard pile. This card must be of the same suit, or the same value, a heart on a heart or a 10 on a 10. Once this card has been laid it is possible for that player to continue laying cards if a run of several cards is possible. There are several possible combinations the run may be formed from:

Game rules

There are several rules which apply to certain cards in the game which change how the cards can be laid.

Play continues, until one player no longer has any cards to lay. On a player's last card, “last card” must be said on their previous go in order to allow them to lay the card on their last go. One exception to this is if the player is able to end the game with a run or set of same value cards. The game cannot end on a Jack of any suit, 2 of any suit or 8 of any suit. The winner is the first player to have an empty hand.

Take Two

Very similar to Switch, but with some changes. Played with a 52 card deck (No jokers) or a 54 card deck (With jokers.)

Dealing

The dealer deals each player 5 cards, then places a single card face-up on the table and the remainder of the deck in a pile face-down on the table.

The player left of the dealer plays first. The game continues from there going clockwise. Play starts from the single card facing up.

Rules

The player whose turn it is has to place a card of the same value (5 of hearts on a 5 of diamonds) or of the same suit (5 of spades on a 3 of spades). If the player cannot play any card they must take two cards from the deck. When a player is on their last card they must say "last card". A player cannot finish on a trick card. If a player cannot finish they must take two cards from the deck.If a player makes a mistake (e.g. places a card of the wrong suit down) they must fix the mistake and take two cards from the deck.

The game has trick cards like Switch but has less:

2: if a player places a two down, the next player is required to pick up two cards. Should that player have a two himself, however, he may place it down, requiring the next player to pick up four; if he has a two, he may place it, requiring the next player to pick up six; this may continue until the flow reaches a player who does not have a two in his hand, at which point he is required to pick up the required number of cards.

8: if a player puts an eight down, the next player misses their go.

Jack: the jack can reverse the order of play OR skip a player depending on house rules.

Ace: an ace may be placed regardless of the suit, an ace allows the person who places it to change the suit.

Once a player runs out of cards they have won, the game goes on until there is only 1 person left.

House Rules

Decided by the host of the game.

Whether or not placing two or more cards of the same value at once is allowed (placing two 5s in the same turn).

Whether or not placing an ace require the same suit.

Whether a jack skips a player or reverses the order.

Whether or not jokers are used, if they are the next player must take 5 cards from the deck when they are player. Jokers are rarely used.

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Tabletop games: Rules and Strategy