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Yaniv - card game

Yaniv (Hebrew יניב) or Yanif is an Israeli card game, especially popular among travelers. It is played with a 54 card deck - the standard international deck with two jokers.



At the end of each round, each player scores points equal to the sum of the cards in their hand, with face cards counting as 10 and jokers as zero. The game's objective is for a player to have 7 points or fewer at the end of the game.

In some variants the objective is to score points fewer than 5, or fewer than the number of cards dealt.

Dealing the cards

Each player is dealt 5 cards. The rest are placed in a stack face down (the deck) in the center of all the players.

The game is divided into rounds, and score is kept between rounds. The objective is to achieve the lowest score.

A turn

Every player in his turn must either call "Yaniv", ending the round or:

  1. Throw a card or several cards and
  2. Pick up a card after throwing a card or cards, and either:
    1. Take a card from deck
    2. Take a card from the free stack which is included in the last thrown card series (explained later).

A player must first throw a card and only then pick up a card. A player can throw more than one card by choosing one of the following cases:

In both cases, the player takes only one card - this is the way to lower the number of cards he holds. The next player can only pick up the first or last card of a set or series (if a player dropped 5, 6, 7, 8, the next player can pick up either 5 or 8). An exception is when one of the cards in a series is a joker - in this case if the next player has the exact card the joker stands for, the player can take the joker and throw that card instead.

Only after taking the card, the card(s) thrown are put on the free stack.

The round progresses amongst all players clockwise, until a player calls "Yaniv". A player can only call "Yaniv" (but he does not need to) if the sum of his cards is equal to or less than 7. When "Yaniv" is called, all players reveal their hands. The player with the lowest sum is the round winner, and is awarded zero points. If there is another player with a sum equal to or lower than the sum of the cards of the player who called Yaniv, that player declares "Assaf" and is the round winner. If more than one player can call Assaf, the player with the lowest sum is the round winner, or all players with the same lowest sum are the round winners (but never the player who declared "Yaniv"). If the player who declared "Yaniv" is not the winner because his hand is beaten by another player, the total amount of his points is the sum of the cards in his hand, plus thirty for one player, or twenty for each player who beats him/her.

If the drawing deck is empty and no one has yet called "Yaniv", then all cards of the free stack excluding the last player's drop are shuffled and placed face down as a new deck.

Some players may choose to instigate a punishment if "Yaniv" is called and the sum of the caller's cards are not equal to or less than 7. Examples of punishments include immediate elimination from the game, being forced to draw 3 additional cards, or having to swap cards with the first person who requests a swap. Others choose to let the game continue as usual.



There are two variations:

The common limit is 200.

Variations in Scoring

It is common practice in Yaniv to cut a player's score in half if they hit a multiple of 50 such as 50 or 100.

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