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I was recently taught a game with the following rules.

Deal 5 cards face down to each player in a line and then 5 cards on top of the face down cards. Then deal 3 cards to each player for their hand.

Play begins with the player to the left of the dealer. The player selects a card from their hand and plays it face down. The next player plays a card with the following rules. The card must be of equal rank or higher, aces high. If a set of 4 of the se rank is ever on the stack, the stack is cleared and all cards in the stack are removed from play and the last player to play plays again. 2 and 10s can be played on any card. 10s also clear the stack and give the playing player a turn again. If a player cannot play a card they take the stack into the hand. Only once all cards in your hand are played can you play the face up cards in front of you. And only when all face up cards have been played can you play the face down cards.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The game you describe seems to be a fairly typical example of the Shithead / Palace / Shed / Karma / China Hand / Ten-Two Slide (Wikipedia) family of card games. These games are known by a variety of names around the world, and have many local variations. The game you describe does, however, contain most of the basic elements:

  • Players are dealt three initial sets of cards: one set in their hand, one face up on the table, and one face down.

  • The goal of the game is to get rid of all your cards, both those in your hand and those on the table, by placing them on top of a common discard pile.

  • You must first play the card in your hand, then the face-up cards from the table, and finally the face-down cards, which must be played blind without looking at them.

  • On each turn, you may place one or more cards of the same rank onto the pile, but only (with some exceptions) if they equal or exceed the rank of the current topmost card on the pile.

  • The most common exceptions are that a 2 or a 10 may be played at any time; a 2 allows the next player to play any card, while a 10 (or, commonly, any four cards of the same rank together) will clear the whole pile and allow you to restart it from any rank you want.

  • If you cannot play any card (or fail to play a blind card), you must pick up the entire discard pile into your hand and let the next player restart a new pile.

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