SOLC 25 of 31: Card Game Traditions

The other day, I wrote about genetic hobbies. Card games, one in particular, is more of a family tradition. We call it “SCROOGE” but I’m not sure why – it’s really a multi-player solitaire game. In googling this, I found that it also can be called “Nertz, PounceRacing DemonPeanuts, or Squeal.”

My niece recently called to find out how to play this game so she could teach it to her friends and I thought about how it’s never been a written rules game in our family, but more of an experiential initiation.

I learned it from my cousins, who learned it from their mom. I’ve taught it to so many friends and family members that I can’t even remember. Coming from a competitive family, this synchronous everyone-play-at-the-same-time-game requires you to be fast, strategic and alert at all times.

I have fond memories of playing this game with 13 or more players at one time – it was pure chaos and pure fun!

I’m sure you’ll get better directions if you google it, but for my own record (and for my niece) here’s how we play in our house:

SCROOGE

Materials: 1 deck of cards for each player with distinct and different deck patterns, paper and pencil for scoring.

Setup: Each player places 10 cards in one pile (9 cards face down in one pile and the 10th face up). This is the left-most pile. Then next to the pile moving the right place 4 more cards face up. The rest of the pile you will keep in a stack.

Players should face each other leaving enough space in between the for a shared space game board.

Goal: To get rid of the 10 card pile first by either stacking the cards in your hand or putting them into the shared game space.

How to score points: your point total will be the amount of cards you put into the shared game space minus the amount of cards you have left in your 10 card pile.

How to play:

Each player plays at the same time.

You start the shared game space when you happen upon an Ace of any suit either in your hand or in your deck.

Everyone tries to find an Ace either by moving through their own deck 3 cards at a time or moving a card from their hand. Once the Ace is in the shared space, it is everyone’s job to build up from Ace to King with that suit. The more cards you put out, the more points you’ll get.

If you move a card from your hand and leave a blank space, you replace it with the top card from your original pile of 10 cards and then flip the next card over in that pile. To move cards off of that pile you can also build down red/black/red/black on the 4 single cards in your hand.

Once a player has played all of their 10 cards, they yell “SCROOGE” and play stops. The winner collects all of the cards in the middle, sorts them back to their original players. The rest of the players count how many cards they have left in their original pile of 10.

Your points for that round are scored by the number of cards you put out minus the number you have left in your pile.

Record that score for each player and start another round.

Play ends when you’ve had enough!

PHEW! Writing directional/informational text is CHALLENGING!!

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