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Card Games: Shedding and Accumulation Games

This page is part of the index of card games classified by objective. David Parlett coined the term "shedding games" for games in which the aim is to get rid of all your cards as soon as you can. Some books call them "stops games", but I prefer to use this term for a more specific group (stops games are a particular kind of matching game).

Shedding Games

There are at least three varieties of shedding games:

1. First player with no cards wins
This is the objective in all matching games. It is also the aim in rummy games of the basic, contract and manipulation and knock types, though in knock rummy it is sufficient to have a lower total than everyone else at the end, if no one has got rid of their cards entirely. I would also regard most patience games as shedding games - you get rid of cards by playing them on the foundations.
Some climbing games, such as Big Two, and some inflation games, such as Page One, also belong to this type.
2. Last player left with cards loses
This is the objective in all beating games and a few climbing games, such as Tien Len.
3. The sooner you get rid of your cards the better
Climbing games generally produce a ranking order of players according to the order in which they get rid of their cards.

Accumulation Games

The opposite of shedding games are games in which the aim is to collect or at least hold onto cards, while eliminating cards belonging to other players.

In games of the war group, cards are captured from other players, so the winner is the player who collects the whole pack, leaving the other players with nothing.

Card games of the combat group have more in common with certain board games, in that the aim is usually to eliminate cards belonging to other players, causing them to be discarded. A player wins when the opponents have lost all their effective cards, or a more limited objective may be set.