6 Rules for the Four Aces Card Game

Posted on February 5, 2014. Written by Vince

Four Aces is a two player non-scoring card game that we invented at Listur for your entertainment. If you're bored and have a friend and a standard deck of cards handy, then read on.

#6 The Setup and Goal

The Setup and Goal

Four Aces is a turn-based card game played with two players, a standard 52-card deck and two jokers. The jokers are added to the deck which is shuffled to become the draw pile. There is also a face down discard pile, and a hand of cards for each player. The aim of the game is to get all four aces into your hand, and the first player to do so wins.

#5 How to Play a Turn

How to Play a Turn

Start your turn by optionally playing any number of action cards (described below) from your hand. If an action card results in more action cards being added to your hand, you may also play those cards in the same phase. Once you've played all the action cards you want to, draw a card from the draw pile into your hand. If the draw pile is empty, shuffle the discard pile into a new draw pile. Finally, if your hand contains more than 5 cards, discard down to 5 cards by removing any cards of your choice. Short recap: play action cards, draw a card, discard down to 5 cards. Your turn is then over.

#4 Action Card: King

Action Card: King

A King card can be used to steal an ace from the other player, after which the King is discarded. If the other player doesn't have an ace, you must still discard your King. If the other player does have an ace, they must give it to you, unless they also have a joker, in which case they can choose to give that instead.

#3 Action Card: Queen

Action Card: Queen

A Queen card lets you ask for an ace, but the other player doesn't have to oblige. If they refuse, you may steal up to two random cards from their hand, regardless of how many cards they have. After playing a Queen, you must always discard it. A Queen cannot be played if the other player holds no cards.

#2 Action Card: Jack

Action Card: Jack

A Jack card can be used to force the other player to discard a card of their choice from their own hand. While not overly useful by itself, a combo of multiple jacks can drastically affect the opponent's hand. The other player does not get to draw new cards to replace the ones they discarded, and a Jack cannot be played if the other player holds no cards.

#1 The Joker

The Joker

If the other player plays a King against you, you may choose to give a Joker in place of an ace. You may do this regardless of whether you have an ace in your hand or not, which allows you to bluff about the contents of your hand. If the other player plays a Queen against you, you may similarly give a Joker in place of an ace, to avoid having to give up two random cards. Watch out though, if you give a joker, the other player can use it against you in the future.



Those are the full rules for the game; it's up to you to work out a strategy. However, we'll start you off with a few strategic observations. If you play a King too early, you might waste it if your opponent doesn't have an ace. If you manage to steal an ace, your opponent will know that you have it, and will perhaps try to steal it back. If you play a Queen and the player gives you an ace, it might reveal more information about their hand. If they have a large hand and give you an ace, there's a good chance that they have other good cards that they didn't want to risk losing two of.

Jacks can be useful to free your opponent of bad cards before stealing with a King or Queen. They are also useful in pairs, to make your opponent lose multiple cards in a turn. If you think you're about to lose, and your opponent plays a Jack, you can discard an ace to prevent his win.

Leave your own strategy notes in the comments, and let us know how you get on. You can also get creative and try making your own variations of Four Aces.

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