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I'm looking for the name of a game that my friends call Fish (note: not Go Fish). I have reason to believe this isn't the real name of the game, because I can't find a game called Fish (that isn't Go Fish) anywhere, even on Pagat. (It may be actually possible, in this case, that this game is uniquely new, created where my friends play it, but I still find this unlikely.)

The game setup works as follows:

  • The cards are grouped into half-suits: one low, one high, of six cards each. Low is 2-7, high is 9-A. There is a ninth half suit: the eights, and two jokers.
  • An even number of players four or more sit around a table; every other person is on the same team.
  • The cards are dealt out to completion to each player.
  • Players may not communicate about the game.

The gameplay works as follows:

  • When any player thinks the players on their team collectively hold all the cards in a half suit, they may say so. Cards in that half-suits are revealed, and if they're right, the team scores a point. If they're wrong, the other team scores a point.
  • The player whose turn it is may ask an opposing player for a specific card - suit and number - under the following conditions:
    • They must have that half suit in their hand.
    • They must not have the card they ask about in their hand.
    • If the player guesses correctly, the opponent hands them the card, and the player guesses again.
    • If the player guesses incorrectly, their turn ends and the opponent they asked the incorrect question to takes the next turn.
  • Game ends when one team scores five points.

There are another couple smaller rules, but hopefully this is enough to figure it out. It's mostly complete.

What is the actual name of this game?

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Your description seems to match the one of a card game called Literature which is apparently sometimes called Canadian Fish

I found references to it on Wikipedia and Pagat

Hope this helps...

  • Interestingly, I learned this about 30 years ago at Berkeley as 'fish'. – Fred Douglis Apr 8 '17 at 12:15

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