I was playing a game and no one knows the name, or origin of the game.

The game is played with normal playing cards. Anywhere from 3 to 13 players can play.


  • A single joker is used.
  • A single set of numbers per player is used. (4 cards, one of each suit, all the same number)

All the cards are shuffled. Cards are dealt out until all are in players hands. One player will have 5 cards, the rest will have 4.


The player with 5 cards in their hand is the "playing" player. That player now makes a series of offers to the next player (clockwise).

First, a single card is offered, if the card is accepted then the next player takes the card and becomes the current player and play continues.

If the first card is not accepted, another card is offered, it is added to the first card, and the next player may now choose either of the two offered cards.

If neither the first offer or the second offer is accepted, the current player simply chooses a third card and gives it to the next player.

A turn would look like this:

Bob places a card face down on the table and offers it to Alice. Alice can accept the card, and then becomes the current player, who must then do a turn of her own with the next player, or can refuse it an ask Bob for another card. If she refuses it, Bob would then choose another card from his hand, and place it on the table next to the first one. Alice can now choose either of the two cards on the table. If she does, she will become the current player, and will have to play a turn with the next player after her. If she does not take either of the cards then Bob will choose a card from his hand and give it to Alice.


The game ends when any player who has 4 cards in his hand has a whole set of a single number, emphasis on 4 cards, he can not also have any other cards in addition to the 4, so if a player has 4 cards of the same number AND another card (meaning they are the current player) they must try to give their 5th card which is not in the set to the next player.

When any player completes the game like this, everyone wins except the player with the Joker - who loses.

In other words, players are trying to complete sets, and not be left with the Joker. So a player with the Joker will always try to get rid of it by giving it to other players.

Those are the rules, the way its played is that you play "cooperatively" by talking about your cards, and which cards you are giving the other player, of course, you are welcome to lie and trick people. And that is the game.

What is the name of this game? What is it's origin?

And, perhaps, maybe I remember the rules wrong, was told it wrong, or there are more rules?

1 Answer 1


The game your are playing is a strategic version of "Vatra" or "Fire".


This comes from the same family of games as spoons and pig.

The rules are pretty much exactly as you mentioned them. The only difference being the offering of the second card.

  • Yes, certainly similar. This might be it - but where would the extra card variant come from? Thank you.
    – Inbar Rose
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 8:21
  • @InbarRose It's the Travelling Card variant listed in the link.
    – LeppyR64
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 9:37
  • I mean the extra offer.
    – Inbar Rose
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 10:04
  • @InbarRose Sorry, I'm not sure.
    – LeppyR64
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 13:10

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